theskyisthelimit

add-on.xml and p3dv4, best approaches out there? ftx?

30 posts in this topic

So i've been doing some reading on here about managing addons via the add-on.xml approach, which i think is stored in my documents..

Just curious how everyone is approaching this moving forward.. i have a clean (or mostly clean install of p3dv4).. i've installed ftx products which got pulled from p3dv3 (which is still on the hard drive).. i ran some installers for a2a products and fsdt airports..

Now that i realize i can organize all this in the xml file(s) i'm wondering the best method here.. i think i should either start clean again with p3dv4 or uninstall what i've done so i can regroup them folder structure wise?

I found the Lorby Addon organizer tool online here for organizing.. i assume there is no real way to just move the install folders without breaking things..  

So my questions..

Should i point all new installations to a custom path, like in my case.. V:\P3D-addons ? then the appropriate subfolder.. like V:\p3d-addons\ProductXYZ etc, then inside it automatically puts folders like scenery, texture.. but what about files that get installed into the root of p3dv4, like scenery\world\scenery etc.. i'd imagine i'd have to do some sluething to figure out what files it installs there?  For p3dv3 installers its easier, i could just reinstall to a "blank" p3dv3 folder structure and i'd see the files, but for p3dv4, not so much?

I assume most arent just using one single giant XML file for all addons.. no way to disable portions of the file easily ? (or maybe simstarter NG will allow for this some how when the new version is released?).. in the past i'd use sceneryconfigeditor and add groups.. i'm guessing this will be a thing of the past and i'd just create at best, an xml for say the USA, maybe another for World-Europe etc, and maybe another that groups both together if i want it all loading at the same time, ala Worldcomplete.xml etc?  All groupings via these combinations of xml files, porting parts of one to the other where they overlap?

In looking at the folders under documents, it looks like each package installed puts its own add-on.xml file in the folder (and cfg).. would i ultimately just rename that to add-on.xml.bak and create a new one in another subfolder under documents.. ?  Like say create a folder under P3d-addons called USA then have addon-ons.xml in there and the contents of all the "usa" sceneries get merged into one big xml file here instead?

Also.. for FTX, i guess ftxglobal is the one exception in that i cant install it to the custom addons folder, since it changes default files.. but is everyone having success and just installing airports to custom locations in one big folder(not sure that this can even be done at least via the ftx central menu)?  And again, how to know which p3d main folder files get changed? (or is it generally the case that p3dv4 installers will NOT install files to the subfolders of the p3dv4 install directory?)

I assume the same is true for aircraft.. perhaps just installing directly to say V:\P3D-addons\Aircraft\PRODUCTHERE is the way to go?

I'm trying to make this painless for reinstalls down the road..

Any experiences and suggestions so far with all this?

Thanks in advance

 

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Essentially I have a folders F:\Addon Aircraft and F:\Addon Scenery. When I install a product, I direct it to those folders. SO I would then have something like F:\Addon Aircraft\Alabeo and under that would be effects, gauges, sound, simobjects , etc.

Then using the Lorby P4AO tool I create an addon.xml for the entry. This keeps all Alabeo aircraft together. If I need to disable a specific aircraft, I just move the specific aircraft folder in SIMOBJECT somewhere else and it's gone.

For the odd and end aircraft that I like to fly, I created a Generic Aircraft folder in F:\Addon Aircraft and use that.

As for World Scenery -  scroll to page 5 - the discussion about Base Layer should answer that.

 

Vic

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21 minutes ago, vgbaron said:

Essentially I have a folders F:\Addon Aircraft and F:\Addon Scenery. When I install a product, I direct it to those folders. SO I would then have something like F:\Addon Aircraft\Alabeo and under that would be effects, gauges, sound, simobjects , etc.

Then using the Lorby P4AO tool I create an addon.xml for the entry. This keeps all Alabeo aircraft together. If I need to disable a specific aircraft, I just move the specific aircraft folder in SIMOBJECT somewhere else and it's gone.

For the odd and end aircraft that I like to fly, I created a Generic Aircraft folder in F:\Addon Aircraft and use that.

As for World Scenery -  scroll to page 5 - the discussion about Base Layer should answer that.

 

Vic

Thanks for this info..

So for scenery.. you install the specific product to say.. F:\addon Scenery\Product?  Or are you somehow dumping all of them in the root.. ie: install the specific ones to F:\addon scenery\ root instead?

Same for aircraft.. lets say you have a2a 182.. are you pointing the install path to F:\Addon Aircraft\A2A 182 ?  or.. would it be more like f:\addon aircraft\Cessna182s\A2a182 etc (or just to the root of cessna182s)?

 

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My current train of thought is this....

I am putting everything in Documents\Prepar3D v4 Add-ons with an associated add-on.xml.

If a particularly scenery only installs into the Sim folder I manually move it to Documents\Prepar3D v4 Add-ons and use the P4AO tool to create an associated XML.  Some exceptions like ORBX still reside in the main sim folder but I don't care about this because all the content is managed through FTX Central.

I quite like the new add on.xml approach because it resembles the Custom Scenery folder of X-Plane which I think is very neat and tidy.

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12 minutes ago, sidfadc said:

My current train of thought is this....

I am putting everything in Documents\Prepar3D v4 Add-ons with an associated add-on.xml.

If a particularly scenery only installs into the Sim folder I manually move it to Documents\Prepar3D v4 Add-ons and use the P4AO tool to create an associated XML.  Some exceptions like ORBX still reside in the main sim folder but I don't care about this because all the content is managed through FTX Central.

I quite like the new add on.xml approach because it resembles the Custom Scenery folder of X-Plane which I think is very neat and tidy.

I tried to create a new add-on.xml, under say the folder 1-USA then copy the xml from say both NYCX and DCX into this single XML (manually without tool), but that resulted in an error.. when i used the tool to create a new entry called USA, i found that it could only take one entry/scenery per add-on.xml (i think)?  I thought it was possible to group everything into one single add-on.xml file under a specific folder, in my case this 1-usa folder in my documents, i guess not?  so when you say your putting everything into my documents with add-on.xml files.. how does that look from the root down? 

 

I also seem to have an entry in the tool at the bottom that says "Prepar3d Scenery", its red.. "not active" etc.. not sure if this is a glitch.. is that entry supposed to be there, unclear to me

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58 minutes ago, theskyisthelimit said:

So for scenery.. you install the specific product to say.. F:\addon Scenery\Product?  Or are you somehow dumping all of them in the root.. ie: install the specific ones to F:\addon scenery\ root instead?

Same for aircraft.. lets say you have a2a 182.. are you pointing the install path to F:\Addon Aircraft\A2A 182 ?  or.. would it be more like f:\addon aircraft\Cessna182s\A2a182 etc (or just to the root of cessna182s)?

 

I separate them to make it easier. If I need to disable one in the sim, I then use the add on menu to disable just that scenery. If you lump them all together you cannot do that. As I said, I use generic folder for various a/c but anything specific like A2A, Carenado, Flight1, etc  I put in their own folder UNDER F:\Addon Aircraft\<xxxxxx>.

I do not install the actual product in the Documents folder - I like to keep the system folders as clean as possible AND this could cause your system drive to get filled rather quickly which could also affect performance. IMHO, best scenario is to put the actual files where you have the most room and just the XML files in the Documents folder - BUT that is not a requirement.

Just FWIW, the current A2A V4 installers do it all for you. I have mine in F:\Addon Aircraft\A2A and their installer puts each a/c in it's own folder under that.

Vic

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1 hour ago, vgbaron said:

I separate them to make it easier. If I need to disable one in the sim, I then use the add on menu to disable just that scenery. If you lump them all together you cannot do that. As I said, I use generic folder for various a/c but anything specific like A2A, Carenado, Flight1, etc  I put in their own folder UNDER F:\Addon Aircraft\<xxxxxx>.

I do not install the actual product in the Documents folder - I like to keep the system folders as clean as possible AND this could cause your system drive to get filled rather quickly which could also affect performance. IMHO, best scenario is to put the actual files where you have the most room and just the XML files in the Documents folder - BUT that is not a requirement.

Just FWIW, the current A2A V4 installers do it all for you. I have mine in F:\Addon Aircraft\A2A and their installer puts each a/c in it's own folder under that.

Vic

Yeah i'm finding for instance, if i create an add-on xml in a subfolder in my docs called "1-USA" and put things like NYCX and DCX into that xml.. it works.. it creates the xml file just fine, but in the add-on.xml manager, you still see individual entries like NYCX, DCX etc, and if you disable one of the two, both become disabled (as you would expect with a "category" type xml grouping), but its harder to see the "category" for these since it doesnt show up as such in the add-on manager.. of course another option is to just rename the xml in my example, 1-USA\add-on.xml to .bak and it disables all sceneries in this "category"..

So that brings me to SimStarter NG.. apparently it will have its own scenery/add-on manager and it will allow for config sets for each.. so you can create a config set for "USA" and browse to each xml file that you would loop into that grouping.. then stick these under various profiles IE: "usa only" etc.. 

I'm guessing the best bet for now, is as you say.. install all things scenery to whatever folder they need under in my case the "V:\P3D addons\scenery" folder.. so there might be 15 aerosoft folders here,  the PMDG addons folder and all their respective subfolders with xml files.. and for scenery that is old, manually create the add-on xml files for those, test them, disable if need be.

Same thing for aircraft.. "V:\P3D addons\aircraft", with various subfolders like a2a and each aircraft under that with individual xml files and carenado subfolders.

I suppose it might be possible to move FTX airports into this subfolder area, unsure.. thats a different beast.

I'm assuming that the add-on.xml files cant be put anywhere other than "P3DV4 Add-ons" under my documents.. it would be nice to put them in a more generic folder for future pathings (assuming they keep all this constant down the line), like P3D Add-ons instead.

 

 

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Is this entry in pink normal.. not sure i understand its purpose? i guess the defaults, though it says not active?

 

p3d1.jpg

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That entry is placed by ORBX... do not know why..or how. Also anything that requires an entry in the terrain.cfg file has to be done either manually or with a parser as the entries have to be consecutively numbered..(P3D SDK says the file has to be edited , there is no command line. for it)

Jorge

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On 7/17/2017 at 2:06 PM, vgbaron said:

I separate them to make it easier. If I need to disable one in the sim, I then use the add on menu to disable just that scenery. If you lump them all together you cannot do that. As I said, I use generic folder for various a/c but anything specific like A2A, Carenado, Flight1, etc  I put in their own folder UNDER F:\Addon Aircraft\<xxxxxx>.

I do not install the actual product in the Documents folder - I like to keep the system folders as clean as possible AND this could cause your system drive to get filled rather quickly which could also affect performance. IMHO, best scenario is to put the actual files where you have the most room and just the XML files in the Documents folder - BUT that is not a requirement.

Just FWIW, the current A2A V4 installers do it all for you. I have mine in F:\Addon Aircraft\A2A and their installer puts each a/c in it's own folder under that.

Vic

Wanted to double check on this.. i started my entire pc over, from scratch and working back up..

Yeah the A2A installer wants to put them in my documents.. My pathing is

V:\P3D Addons
            Aircraft
                    A2A
                            Cheroke 180
                             Cessna 172
                    AntsAirplaneP92
                    Carenado
                    MiscAirplaneXYZ

             Scenery
                     AerosoftXYZ
                     DDNYCX

              Misc-Tools
                      ASPD
                      ASCA

As you can see, when you point A2A to the location under aircraft (a2a folder).. it then creates the subfolder for the various aircraft, with simobjects effects etc in the root of the A2A folder.. likewise.. i assumed it best to then put the generics in their own folders under "Aircraft"..

The issue with the a2a is that the add-on.xml file gets put on the V drive not the My documents which is where all the add-on.xml files are supposed to go.

So did you move those or just leave them in the other "non" Documents location.. or use the utility maybe, to have them show up there (the a2a aircraft dont appear there, in the utility).

Slightly confused on this.

 

edit: after installing the two a2a craft, and an ants planes p92.. neither seem to be showing up in the vehicle selection window.. i think i'm missing a step

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There is another add-on.xml file located in %ProgramData%/LockheedMartin/Prepar3d V4 - this contains the A2A Package info. Oher than telling the A2A installer where wanted to put their files, I let them do their thing.  You can always uninstall A2A and reinstall if you want to change things.

If they're not showing up, double check the <Path> in the xml file.

Vic

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1 hour ago, vgbaron said:

There is another add-on.xml file located in %ProgramData%/LockheedMartin/Prepar3d V4 - this contains the A2A Package info. Oher than telling the A2A installer where wanted to put their files, I let them do their thing.  You can always uninstall A2A and reinstall if you want to change things.

If they're not showing up, double check the <Path> in the xml file.

Vic

In the programdata folder.. all i'm seeing is an add-ons.cfg file.. which appears to blank.. 

I'm going to try another install of the aircraft (both a2a and ants airplanes didnt show up).. 

 

edit: there is a note on the a2a site about adding to this cfg file if you install them outside of the my documents area..

You would add lines like this

[Package.0]
PATH=C:\Documents\Prepar3D v4 Add-ons\A2A
ACTIVE=true
REQUIRED=false
[Package.1]
PATH=E:\P3D Addons\developer xyc
ACTIVE=true
REQUIRED=false
[Package.2]
PATH=E:\P3D Addons\developer abc
ACTIVE=true
REQUIRED=false
[Package.3]
PATH=F:\Flight sim\P3D Addons\developer 123
ACTIVE=true
REQUIRED=false

 

However, this brings me to the point where i'm wondering if maybe i'd be just as well off "moving" the p3d v4 add-ons folder that exists in my documents via a symbolic link.. i have junction point magic installed.. so i could in theory, physically move that folder to be the V:\Addons folder that is V:\P3D Addons

I'd create the junction point in the root of my documents to this (and rename the junction/symbolic link name to what p3d expects).. 

I may try this, then there is no editing of the cfg file in programdata ever needed.

 

edit: not so sure on the junction point, as it may be true/needed for the aircraft addons, but for scenery it could become unwieldy to try to track down the various add-on.xml files which would then get mixed in with the scenery installation files and subfolders for each area, unless the ones that now seem to want to install to my documents are actually All just the aircraft type addons.  The main benefit of a redirect here would be to keep those things like A2A going to where they think they need to go.. 

 

edit2: just adding the entry 

[Package.0]
PATH=V:\P3D Addons\Aircraft\A2A
ACTIVE=true
REQUIRED=false

into the add-ons.cfg file resulted in the Lorby Utility showing "A2A" under the "Other addons" area, with its various subfolders like effects etc.

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This how the A2A installer set mine up:-

installing A2A products: 

D:\Users\???????\Documents\Prepar3D v4 Add-ons\.....folder..A2A  (see below for contin )

                                                                                       folder..Carenado

                                                                                       folder..Lorby ...ST Addon,org....

 

in folder A2A.....folder A2A ( edit note this folder has other items ..manuals.. eula.tools ...etc.

                          folder.. Effects

                          folder ..Fonts

                          folder...Gauges

                         folder...Scripts

                         folder ...SimObjects  

                                                         in folder SimObjects ..folder.. Airplanes

                                                         in folder Airplanes..     folders.. A2A_C182

                                                                                                           A2A_Piper_PA24_250_Comanche

 

I used the Lorby Addon organiser to 'edit' create the addon-xml file for  the Carenado products.

bob

 

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16 minutes ago, onebob said:

This how the A2A installer set mine up:-

installing A2A products: 

D:\Users\???????\Documents\Prepar3D v4 Add-ons\.....folder..A2A  (see below for contin )

                                                                                       folder..Carenado

                                                                                       folder..Lorby ...ST Addon,org....

 

in folder A2A.....folder A2A ( edit note this folder has other items ..manuals.. eula.tools ...etc.

                          folder.. Effects

                          folder ..Fonts

                          folder...Gauges

                         folder...Scripts

                         folder ...SimObjects  

                                                         in folder SimObjects ..folder.. Airplanes

                                                         in folder Airplanes..     folders.. A2A_C182

                                                                                                           A2A_Piper_PA24_250_Comanche

 

I used the Lorby Addon organiser to install the Carenado products.

bob

 

So in your case you basically did a location change for your my documents to that of your addons drive.. for me, i'd rather not do this.. so i guess im manually installing to my custom folder on my p3d drive and then changing the cfg file each time or using lorby (or maybe trying a junction point).. leaning towards sticking with adding the entry to the cfg file, as once they are in there, its done.

 

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How do you guys handle scenery addons which automatically place files at different locations with the xml methode ?

So installers which also put files in Effects or in a World/Scenery folder ?

How do you know that has been done ?

regards,

Gerard

 

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