theskyisthelimit

add-on.xml + p3dv4 - disabling entries (active = false) makes no difference in load times?

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So I had gone through the process of making 95% of my scenery addons addon-xml format.. with folders in the addons directory along with components etc (everything except for FTX and UTX basically)..

Prior to this, say with nothing in the addon folder and all entries just as scenery.cfg, a typical load time, fully enabled with everything might be say 6 minutes total.    Not much different via the addon folder method.. nothing shocking there i guess..

Where it gets odd is that if you use either Lorby's tool.. or manually change add-on.xml entries within the addon folder to disabled.. there is ZERO difference in load time.. unlike how in the past you can group things in scenery.cfg and then disable bunches and save lots of time on loading depending on whats enabled or disabled.

I'm thinking the p3d parsing of the xml files (in this test case a few hundred) slows it down, regardless of enabled or disabled.. unsure.

This has me sticking with full on scenery.cfg methods for the near term at least.

Has anyone else gotten advanced enough here to note the same thing or maybe some other way of "disabling" them while speeding it up, short of moving their folders out of the addon folder, on a case by case basis?

I'm pretty sure simstarter uses the same method if you disable addon entries (marking them as disabled internally in their xml cfg)

Thanks in advance

 

 

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20 hours ago, theskyisthelimit said:

I'm thinking the p3d parsing of the xml files (in this test case a few hundred) slows it down, regardless of enabled or disabled.. unsure.

I highly doubt that. First of all, a 1MB file might take longer but we are talking about files that are relatively small even if you have a 1000 entries.  Second, C++ runtime library has complete xml support and there is very little custom code required to parse xml data compared to text data (scenery.cfg is text), which requires custom code. 

I think you are shaking the wrong bush.  Load times are affected by the megabytes of scenery and textures that get loaded and by how efficient the old code is with multi-threading.

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Just get an SSD disk and if you want super fast speeds get an .M2 key I would recommend the Samsung EVO PRO .M2 keys drives, my Sim loads in seconds as these devices provide you with up to 150,000 IOS / 2500 MB/S of writing and reading speed. 

On another point I strongly advise to stop messing about add-on's XML files, you are going to cause a lot of conflicts with your simulator due to Prepard3D V4 overriding logic for effects, sounds, gauges, etc. most add-on's developers prepare their installation files in accordance with LM requirements, they also perform a lot of tests to confirm that their installation method avoids any conflicts with your base files simulator and other developers files (effects, sounds, tectures, etc.), your changes will disrupt a lot of things and soon or later you will start experiencing a lot of problems with airplanes, textures, sound and effects that are not working as they should be.

If you don't believe me, go and read the SDK V4 documentation for Prepard3D, it is available for free to everybody.

edit: no discussions of EULA allowed

Regards,
Simbol

 

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1 hour ago, simbol said:

Just get an SSD disk and if you want super fast speeds get an .M2 key I would recommend the Samsung EVO PRO .M2 keys drives, my Sim loads in seconds as these devices provide you with up to 150,000 IOS / 2500 MB/S of writing and reading speed. 

On another point I strongly advise to stop messing about add-on's XML files, you are going to cause a lot of conflicts with your simulator due to Prepard3D V4 overriding logic for effects, sounds, gauges, etc. most add-on's developers prepare their installation files in accordance with LM requirements, they also perform a lot of tests to confirm that their installation method avoids any conflicts with your base files simulator and other developers files (effects, sounds, tectures, etc.), your changes will disrupt a lot of things and soon or later you will start experiencing a lot of problems with airplanes, textures, sound and effects that are not working as they should be.

If you don't believe me, go and read the SDK V4 documentation for Prepard3D, it is available for free to everybody.

 

Regards,
Simbol

 

My existing main drive already is SSD (evo 850 1tb), though not an .m2.. i'd like one but the 1TB still runs about $360.. was hoping for a larger size at some point when the price comes down.  On the converse, everything i do in the other sim (XP11) loads up reasonable fast with everything loaded, no messing with sceneryconfigeditors or simlaunchers.. just plug and chug.. seems a shame there isnt a way to optimize the loading sequence on p3d after all these years.

There are many threads floating around here on organizing addons via the addon-xml method.. are you saying LM hasnt intended this to be the long term replacement for scenery.cfg?  Many of the vendors already push things in the same manner with components and the scenery entries in the add-on xml method.. i get your point on the risk of conflicting things, but I still feel the longer term goal was to get, at least the developers to start embracing this method.  Many of the users, myself included, felt that using that method would make it possible to reinstall p3d without having to run through hundreds of installs in that situation.

Simstarter NG has provided a way to organize add-on xml's by configurations, ie: using regions and selecting the ones you want.. however, this becomes a huge mess when you have 60% say in the scenery.cfg area and 40% in addons.. in terms of being able to create regions/groups to make the sim load faster.. waiting 7 minutes for a load is a real deal killer for me.. getting to under 3 minutes is more attainable for the casual simmer on a time crunch.

Still, i guess grabbing an .m2 key and putting 80% on there or more, might be a more elegant solution than trying to reinvent the wheel.  There is the 960 pro and 960 regular .m2's.. i may keep an eye on the price for now and get the non pro sooner than later and be done with it. (i think my asus 170-a supports it)

Honestly for now im pretty set on leaving all the older scenery.cfg as is.. and the newer automatic add-on xml's where they are and grouping what i have in sceneryconfigeditor + simstarter.

I retested the difference though in loading xml addons disabled vs removed at least.. i think there was a glitch in my first tests.. there is a drop being disabled.. i think it was scenery.cfg vs add-on.xml load times that might have been a bit different (slower with the xml by almost 2x in my first try).

 

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1 minute ago, theskyisthelimit said:

are you saying LM hasnt intended this to be the long term replacement for scenery.cfg?  Many of the vendors already push things in the same manner with components and the scenery entries in the add-on xml method.. i get your point on the risk of conflicting things, but I still feel the longer term goal was to get, at least the developers to start embracing this method.  Many of the users, myself included, felt that using that method would make it possible to reinstall p3d without having to run through hundreds of installs in that situation.

 

LM is asking for all developers to use this technique, however it has to be done properly. I have seen examples of people editing XML files and they don't have idea of the effects that it will cause for their simulator.

For example, to instruct PD3 look for airplanes on a different area / hard drive you should add to the .XML the section <SimObjects> that is all required, but people is adding <SimObjects> + Effects, gauges and sound sections with paths to sub directories of the airplane that they want to relocate! that is a disaster zone.

The .XML technique is explained very well under the developer SDK, and accordingly it is a documentation intended for PD3 developers, not end users.. 

If you want to move add-on's to different areas you must be certain that your add-on can support it, and if it does their installation file would allow you to change the installation destination folder accordingly, so what you should do is to use original Add-on installation tool to perform the move.

there are a lot of add-on's being converted by their developers to V4, the job needs to be left for them, they will do their tests, they will find the best way to install the products, I am really concerned how this people is reacting to the XML add-on configuration as they will damage a lot of things, more over they will prevent their add-on's from operating properly.

Regarding your 7 minutes to load the sim, this is very bad, I have more than 15 add-on's installed and my PD3V4 loads takes 4 second to load welcome screen and maximun 10 seconds to load a payware airport with PMDG 737NGx cold and dark, so maybe you corrupted your PD3 installation already.

Best Regards,
Simbol

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33 minutes ago, simbol said:

LM is asking for all developers to use this technique, however it has to be done properly. I have seen examples of people editing XML files and they don't have idea of the effects that it will cause for their simulator.

For example, to instruct PD3 look for airplanes on a different area / hard drive you should add to the .XML the section <SimObjects> that is all required, but people is adding <SimObjects> + Effects, gauges and sound sections with paths to sub directories of the airplane that they want to relocate! that is a disaster zone.

The .XML technique is explained very well under the developer SDK, and accordingly it is a documentation intended for PD3 developers, not end users.. 

If you want to move add-on's to different areas you must be certain that your add-on can support it, and if it does their installation file would allow you to change the installation destination folder accordingly, so what you should do is to use original Add-on installation tool to perform the move.

there are a lot of add-on's being converted by their developers to V4, the job needs to be left for them, they will do their tests, they will find the best way to install the products, I am really concerned how this people is reacting to the XML add-on configuration as they will damage a lot of things, more over they will prevent their add-on's from operating properly.

Regarding your 7 minutes to load the sim, this is very bad, I have more than 15 add-on's installed and my PD3V4 loads takes 4 second to load welcome screen and maximun 10 seconds to load a payware airport with PMDG 737NGx cold and dark, so maybe you corrupted your PD3 installation already.

Best Regards,
Simbol

The load time is with hundreds of addon entries.. so not really unheard of with p3d.. sounds as if you may have a fraction of what i have going on.

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The main cause of slow app startup times is having an AI aircraft package installed with lots of models and paints. P3d has to read every model and each of its paints. P3d3 used to also look for CAB compressed versions of those files but I'm not sure if V4 still does that. One can see what's being loaded by running the MS utility Process Monitor. Use Google to search for the MS  download webpage. If you are loading any of the Flight1 gauges their copy protection conflicts with PM.

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2 minutes ago, jabloomf1230 said:

The main cause of slow app startup times is having an AI aircraft package installed with lots of models and paints. P3d has to read every model and each of its paints. P3d3 used to also look for CAB compressed versions of those files but I'm not sure if V4 still does that. One can see what's being loaded by running the MS utility Process Monitor. Use Google to search for the MS  download webpage. If you are loading any of the Flight1 gauges their copy protection conflicts with PM.

In my case i have none enabled/installed.. i also took out all regular aircraft addons to rule those out.. the drastic differences are usually from ftx regions/airports.. i can see the flow differences by creating groups and selecting/unselecting things in sceneryconfigeditor.

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This is like any other methodology in using P3D. I don't care what it is, if you use it incorrectly, you can mess up your system. The add-on method was designed for developers, true, but WITH A LITTLE CARE, can easily be used by the knowledgeable user. Even using a tweak incorrectly can cause issues.

Again, the bottom line - go ahead and use the method but be aware of what you are doing and what the risks are.

Using a tool like Lorby's Add On organizer certainly helps.

Vic

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AI packages are a killer to load times - just install the AI ships package and you will see a huge difference. Also the TEXTURE_EXP_SIZE=10 setting dramatically increases load times.

Vic

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