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mikealpha

shouldn't Addon developers commonly decide where to install ?

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47 minutes ago, Jim Young said:

Customer complaints and their wallets are the best way to tell a developer he needs to change over to a new system.  I personally doubt FTX/Orbx will ever changeover for a program like P3Dv4 as they develop for many simulators. 

Best regards,

Jim

And that is the real answer.  It's a supply and demand economy.  As long as people are willing to give their money to developers for products that "might work...if not post a notice of the problem in our forum and we'll try to fix it when we get around to doing it", NOTHING will change.

Personally, I have quit spending ANY money on addons for ANY of the "new" sims until this whole goat-rope is resolved.  Why?

Because I know I am NOT the "uneducated don't know what is happening" customer many developers WISH I was.  Hell, if someone like Pete Dowson (FSUIPC developer) is STILL confused about all of this, I feel like I'm in VERY good company with any "concerns" I might have about it all.

Can anyone HONESTLY believe that many of the "big players" in addons DIDN'T know this was going to happen?  How many times have we seen posts from many of them like, "Well, we've been 'working with' LM for the last YEAR to get ready for the release of P3Dv4, and now we are JUST AS SURPRISED that it is happening!!!"  Huh???  Either LM was lying to the developers, the developers are BS'ing the customers, or (insert conspiracy theory here....).

Yes, somebody like Lorby has "stepped up" to save us all from the disaster of the Scenery Library Ordering Fiasco.  But even now using Lorby's tool doesn't solve all the problems without the customer having to jump through hoops.  A developer like FSDT puts ALL of their products in the sim using what at best can be called a "proprietary naming convention" for their products (they all start with FSDT), and other developers use other naming conventions, and even using the XML adding method the end user ends up with a conglomeration of library entries that are a mish-mash of named entries that makes no sense whatsoever. 

And the thing that worries me most of all is that NOBODY...not any of the addon developers who "worked with" LM for a year...or even WORSE, LM ITSELF...saw any of this coming?  Are you SERIOUSLY trying to tell me that nobody at LM "saw or knew" that the in-sim Scenery Library GUI would NOT WORK ANYMORE for organizing the scenery list it displays?

I honestly feel as a customer that I have been "duped" in a way I have never been in my past 3 decades of simming.  "Buy our product now...send us your money now...THEN after you install it you'll discover all this stuff that DOESN'T work anymore...".  If I had ever done something like this to a paying customer in my 35+ years of IT Systems and Security Management, I would have been tarred and feathered (or because I did most of it in the military, arrested, courts martialed, and sent to prison as a convicted felon). 

Speak with your money.  As long as we keep paying developers for unfinished products and are willing to be PAYING BETA TESTERS, nothing will change.  It will continue to take numerous months (and in some developers cases...YEARS) to provide products that are just good enough to "get by".  Or at best, come with the caveat, "OK, give us a year and we'll get around to fixing everything you paid for now."

 

 

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Rick Ryan

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voting with wallet won`t happen. A scenery or Addon you were waiting for or got great reviews. Would many not buy just for installer issues ? Probably not.

Would developers even get the idea to correlate lower sales numbers with their installers ? 

I think that won`t change anything. Somehow getting developers on one "virtual" table and think about it would be better. Or at least somehow wake up some common sense in this regard.

But ... how ??

Mike


1. A320 home cockpit (FSLabs, Skalarki), P3Dv5  Main PC : I7-8700K, GTX1080Ti

2. FSLabs A3xx, P3Dv5. Gigabyte Aorus 17G YC, I7-10700K, RTX 3080

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On 7/28/2017 at 7:58 AM, mikealpha said:

Yeah, you`re right, forgot ORBX.

And just found, Creative Design studios (Night Environment) installs to C:\Users\Appdata\Local\..

So that`s 11 different folders just for sceneries...

Mike

we do allow to move our titles from their default install location, its a simple registry change and cut and paste folder in the new location,

consider that not too long ago it wasn't so common to remove and reinstall a new Sim revision,
developers could rely on "Sim\Addon Scenery\" folder as their first logical destination,

today the standard scenario is... user's these days have one single drive as their main drive in a raid array,
with LM and Steam constantly issuing update revisions you often reinstall and need a safe location for your paid addons you're not reinstalling in and out of!
when you reinstall Sim or even delete your computer; 9 our of 10 times your user profile folder is backed up and restored,

this assures your titles are installed in a safe location on your drive that is likely not to be deleted accidentally,
you can uninstall and reinstall your sim as many times you like; your scenery is by default will be there as appose to be accidentally  deleted when changes are made,

we understand this is not the case for everyone,
for those advanced users who like to tweak their systems; we do allow easily relocating the main directory,
by default we do apply a rudimentary safe logic most developers/advanced users aware of,

 

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Chris,

I understand that, but the installer should at least give the user an idea beforehand what to expect.  

The bigger problem are the mentioned 11 different folders where to find Addons (just in my case), and I bet I missed many because I don`t buy all.

Instead of every developer baking his own bread, shouldn`t it be more standardized for the benefit of everyone ?  That was the main intention for my post. 

Relocating, editing registry and so on, all that is error prone. 

Mike

  • Upvote 1

1. A320 home cockpit (FSLabs, Skalarki), P3Dv5  Main PC : I7-8700K, GTX1080Ti

2. FSLabs A3xx, P3Dv5. Gigabyte Aorus 17G YC, I7-10700K, RTX 3080

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from installer aspect it is more prone to issue dealing with random directory variable,
when providing product support that variable also makes the whole process over complicated,
there is also the uninstaller to consider; it also needs to find different files,
that process is separate and and happens much later; and mostly based on registry entries to find files after they were installed!

nevertheless... i think you simply missed the brows button (it is a bit obscure :tongue:)

brows.jpg

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On 7/29/2017 at 1:44 PM, Nemo said:

@ Jim Young, thanks for the details about UT2 installation. I was just going to install it it too.

I went to the UTX forums and saw no issues where anyone else had a problem so decided to try the installation again.  This time no problems.  The PMDG aircraft now load.  It may be the scenery.cfg got corrupted somehow and, when I removed it and had another one built, it fixed the corruption.  Just wanted to let you know as I am thoroughly impressed with GEP3D World Edition and UTX2 so far. 

Best regards,

Jim


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5 hours ago, Jim Young said:

I went to the UTX forums and saw no issues where anyone else had a problem so decided to try the installation again.  This time no problems.  The PMDG aircraft now load.  It may be the scenery.cfg got corrupted somehow and, when I removed it and had another one built, it fixed the corruption.  Just wanted to let you know as I am thoroughly impressed with GEP3D World Edition and UTX2 so far. 

Best regards,

Jim

Thanks for the update. I am also tempted to try the UTX2/GEP3D combination. Unfortunately, I have already installed FTX Gobal which prohibits GEP3D (and vice versa). Would be great if we could simply switch between both texture worlds by some clicks, but the FTX installation philosophy makes this impossible and I don't know much how easy it would be to deactivate GEP3D. Also important, how FTX Global airports behave with GEP3D?

 


- Harry 

i7-7820X (@4.8 GHz), 32GB RAM (@3467) RTX 3090 , 3.5 TB SSD (NVME M.2) MSFS 2020: Some Freeware & Payware scenery add-ons, No larger airports so far. P3Dv5.1: FSGlobalNG (mesh), ORBX (Global+OLC, all FTX Regions, all TE products, many Airports), DDscenery (NYC, Chicago, SEA), Airports (FT, FB, FSDT, AS); PMDG (737, 747, 777), MJC DQ400, RA Piston Duke, A2A C172. Weather ASP5. RXP GTN 750, AI Traffic: AIG OCI.

 

 

 

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If anyone is waiting on fs developers to all agree on ANYTHING you are wasting your time.  A more cantankerous lot of hard headed, stubborn egomaniacs you would be hard pressed to find.  You might think that I am being harsh with that remark, but it is probably a dire necessity most of them have that characteristic, since they have to deal with flight simmers all day long.  As well, this thread should serve as proof that not only is there no way to get the devs all on board, but there is also no way that the collective flight simming world would agree on what they should do in the first place.  LM has touted the add-on xml approach, but to be honest, it creates nearly as many problems as it solves, and I doubt LM's own interest in the procedure goes much beyond "don't yell at us when we update and you have to reinstall everything",  otherwise they might have provided a tool themselves to manage it within the p3d GUI.  

most who are serious about the hobby want to organize their own stuff on their own pc, the way they want.  developers who have to provide support want it in their own folders where they can troubleshoot quickly.  add to that concerns with ssd's which are small and expensive, but getting to be required.  it's going to be a mess.  I personally preferred the old approach,  though I can see the advantages of the new.  Only thing I can say is that I don't think you can count on anyone to make it streamlined, and would advise all to educate yourselves on how the structures work, just like you would learn aircraft systems, so that you can deal with the inevitable conflicts.

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22 minutes ago, ShawnG said:

A more cantankerous lot of hard headed, stubborn egomaniacs you would be hard pressed to find.

I'd really like to be any one of those, preferably all, but in reality I'm a fairly easy-going bloke trying to make a go of it in a very limited market. It may be that most developers are like me -- one-man-band, with a lot of experience with making scenery/whatever, but trying to make sense of changes in the way that stuff is installed, and trying to keep up with my customers who want updated installers quick-smart. Most would prefer to adapt their existing methods, which may or may not vary from the currently recommended ways, otherwise it means going back to the drawing board, which keeps us from ongoing development, and delays updates. Recently, the difference between profitability and my normal opposite state is the amount of updates I've had to do.

I'm only just coming to terms with what does and doesn't work, and luckily I didn't rush into updates with P3Dv4-- most of the techniques I would have use have since proved... difficult to manage.

There's also the need for customer education, from reading threads like this it is very apparent that most don't really understand the how's and why's of the recent changes, and merely repeat what others have posted, with absolutely no way of knowing if the post they quote is actually true. 'Fake news' is rife here. Which brings me to...

22 minutes ago, ShawnG said:

most who are serious about the hobby want to organize their own stuff on their own pc, the way they want.

Really, about 96% of my customers have no interest in anything but a simple installer. They don't want to spend time organising their addons, mainly because they don't have any interest in the 'computery' stuff. A lot here do, but believe me, you are the exception. If something goes wrong, they just ask for help, and provided they haven't shifted too much around, I can normally fix any issue.

And they don't read manuals. If I give a choice of install location, most will choose the default, even if I cover the need to plan this in detail via the manual... So, do I keep it simple for them, or lay on options for the minority? Still haven't figured that out yet.


Godzone Virtual Flight, for 'Real New Zealand' scenery

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1 hour ago, toprob said:

Really, about 96% of my customers have no interest in anything but a simple installer. They don't want to spend time organising their addons, mainly because they don't have any interest in the 'computery' stuff. A lot here do, but believe me, you are the exception. If something goes wrong, they just ask for help, and provided they haven't shifted too much around, I can normally fix any issue.

And they don't read manuals. If I give a choice of install location, most will choose the default, even if I cover the need to plan this in detail via the manual... So, do I keep it simple for them, or lay on options for the minority? Still haven't figured that out yet.

Sure I understand that. But it is exactly the 'I just care about my Addon' approach and not about the rest. So every developer just simply installs, well "somewhere", where he thinks it should be Ok.

But in case of 50 Addons, if something goes wrong and you have to find a problem ? The original 17 subfolders in my P3D folder have now become 35 subfolders, so 18 by Addons. Add to that stuff somewhere on the system disk.

Why not leave a user P3D installation organized ? What's wrong with that ?  I wonder no developer has come up yet with any interest or proposals how to do that.

Mike

 

 


1. A320 home cockpit (FSLabs, Skalarki), P3Dv5  Main PC : I7-8700K, GTX1080Ti

2. FSLabs A3xx, P3Dv5. Gigabyte Aorus 17G YC, I7-10700K, RTX 3080

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Yes, I'd certainly consider something which became the defacto standard, but I guess there will always be the bigger -- and more organised -- developers who have invested a lot in their current system.

I have a list of goals for my new installers, but there are still things which could go either way -- for example, do I put everything into one add-on.xml file, or keep different scenery releases separate? Much tidier if they are all together, with a single activation, but then someone will want to switch off just one area, so maybe they need to be different... the trouble is, you can't second-guess everything the punters are going to want to do. So even if there was a tool which standardised installation, someone is going to want to do something different.

Come to think of it, the 96% I mentioned are a lot less trouble that the 4% who fiddle with things:)


Godzone Virtual Flight, for 'Real New Zealand' scenery

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As far as FSDT i directed it to install on a separate drive it creates "addon manager" folder with all of their scenery. The Documents folder is only for add-on-xml. 

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On 29/7/2017 at 10:38 AM, Pete Dowson said:

But even those who follow the "recommended procedure" arrive at different interpretations. I've been informed that. for example, FSDT installers seem to install all the scenery into the Documents folder! Who would want that? By default the User Documents folder is on your System Drive, really the wrong place for scenery. I know a different folder can be selected, but many people just leave it to default. 

You have been misinformed, or you might confuse FSDT with FSDG. We surely don't do anything like that and, instead, we follow all the LM suggestions in the SDK which are:

- Install ONLY the tiny add-on.xml file in a separate sub-folder for each add-on, under Documents\Prepar3d V4 Add-ons folder. This will enable the addon to be reactivated even after a full reinstall of the sim, without using the product installer again.

- Install the actual product scenery, objects, and modules files in a folder chosen by the user, at install time. By default, we prompt this folder to be C:\Program Files (x86)\Addon Manager, which is what Microsoft suggest as the most sensible choice for a default installation folder for any app, but users are then free to choose any folder they like. This is both compliant with every Windows standard program out there AND it still gives users the freedom to install everywhere they like, like in a separate drive, even a different one that the one the sim is installed into.

- Use the simulator services to make the required changes to the add-on.cfg files and NOT trying to modify *any* of the simulator config files by ourselves. Again, totally compliant with what LM is suggesting in the SDK. This means, we DO NOT touch any of the core files with our installers, like the scenery.cfg, the dll/exe.xml files or any other configuration file of the sim. 

- Use the %APPDATA% folder for small INI-type user preferences and %PROGRAMDATA% folder folder for larger files which might need to be modified (like the GSX airport cache) which is, again, 100% following the most proper Windows standards, which mandates that preferences or databases that will be modified after the installation, should never be installed in the main application folder ( the one under C:\Program Files\, for example ).

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On 29/7/2017 at 10:21 PM, FalconAF said:

A developer like FSDT puts ALL of their products in the sim using what at best can be called a "proprietary naming convention" for their products (they all start with FSDT), and other developers use other naming conventions, and even using the XML adding method the end user ends up with a conglomeration of library entries that are a mish-mash of named entries

I'm not sure what you are referring to here. First, we do not install ANYTHING into the sim now. Unless, of course, when you are given the choice to install into C:\Program Files (x86)\Addon Manager, you just ignore it, and decide to install into the sim anyway.

Once we give you the freedom to select the folder, you surely CAN do this, although it wouldn't be a very smart move: we gave you to install everywhere you like, even into another drive, preventing your sim folder to be "polluted" with stuff, why you'd want to go back to the old ages, and install into the sim ?

Having said that, the thing we use the FSDT* prefix for are:

- The name of the folders of our Simobjects. This might be thought as a relic of the past, when we *used* to install into the Simobjects\Misc folder of the sim, so this naming convention was obviously useful for users to recognize our stuff in that folder, because it was a folder shared with lots of other stuff. Now, this might not even be required, since we now install into OUR OWN Simobject folder, which is separated from the sim so, we might have named the folders in any other way, won't make any difference.

- The TITLE of our Simobjects. How they are named, are not really your concern. But it's important that no Simobjects with the same name are installed so, obviously, having all of our Simobjects titles starting with FSDT*, would minimize the risk of a name clash with the object of another scenery. And, there was another secondary reason for this: in order to facilitate FSUIPC, to prevent removing our objects (even pieces of scenery), when was used together with other 3rd party products, we named all the objects that way, and FSUIPC knows about it.

So, of course, having what you call "a proprietary naming convention" is PRECISELY to make your life easier, not because you are supposed to mess with it, but to prevent possible conflicts to be happening so, it's doing exactly what you wanted to achieve.

But again, the name of the Simobjects folders (now in their own separate folder) and even more the Title, are really nothing you are supposed to be involved with.

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9 hours ago, virtuali said:

By default, we prompt this folder to be C:\Program Files (x86)\Addon Manager, which is what Microsoft suggest as the most sensible choice for a default installation folder for any app, but users are then free to choose any folder they like. This is both compliant with every Windows standard program out there AND it still gives users the freedom to install everywhere they like, like in a separate drive, even a different one that the one the sim is installed into.

That's amazing, in as much as even LM doesn't use the "C:\Program Files (86)" folder as the "default folder recommendation" anymore when installing P3Dv4.  Heck, even Microsoft ACES team and it's lead developer made it very clear long before P3D v1 that THEY didn't recommend installing ANYTHING concerning their flight simulators into that folder.  I am honestly amazed that LM defaulted their P3D installations to it through P3Dv3 (but it finally changed to the root C:\ drive for P3Dv4).

But feel free to have a brand new flight simulation user (and customer of your addons) who wouldn't know any better to just select YOUR default location (that no responsible flight sim user would ever use).

Which is exactly what 96% of all users WOULD do if I am to believe the quote from a post above from a different Commercial Member (and I assume Developer)....

"Really, about 96% of my customers have no interest in anything but a simple installer. They don't want to spend time organising their addons, mainly because they don't have any interest in the 'computery' stuff. A lot here do, but believe me, you are the exception."

Cool.  Let's have your P3Dv4 addons all default to the Program Files (86) folder now.  That'll teach 'em.

WHO is going back to the Dark Ages? 


Rick Ryan

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