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Posted (edited)

Early on it was suggested that all add-on’s be placed in the Add On Manager directory within Program Files (x86)\.  Now I’m seeing even modern installers attempting to place the add-ons within P3Dv4 itself.  I believe FlightBeam is an example.

Should we still abide by the Add On Manager rule, or is there a reason not to install within P3D other than the problem with reinstalls of the sim itself?

Edited by Chuck Dreier

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Hello Chuck,

Question: what is the "Add On Manager directory within ProgramFiles (x86)" ??? Never heard of it. Where did you get that advice? You should never install any content into protected system folders like "Program Files", "Program Files (x86)" or "Program Data".

The rules that you should abide by are described in the P3D help file <P3D main folder>\Learning Center.chm.
Learning Center -> Software Development Kit (SDK) -> Add-ons

Best regards


Oliver Binder

LORBY-SI

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The SDK Add-on Instructions for Developers does provide as a recommendation the use of Program Files\<Company Name> but as Oliver points out this can lead to issues with the Windows nanny protections.  SODE is an example of a product that is installed exactly as recommended.  Their installer makes an entry in the add-on.cfg file that points P3D to the Program Files location "C:\Program Files (x86)\12bPilot\SODE\P3Dv4" where the file add-on.xml points P3D to the add-on components.  Only the add-on.xml file and the SODE dll module are located in the Program Files area.  All of the other stuff such as simobjects used by SODE are in the Programdata area.  This is all perfectly done in accordance with the SDK.

However, other than SODE and Orbx (which still uses the legacy scenery.cfg) and PMDG, I keep all my addons on a separate data drive and I modify all installed addons to follow the same convention that I use.  That is I only use  the auto discovery method, I group together all products from the same developer in one add-on.xml and I keep all addon scenery, textures, simobjects, effects, etc., in the D:\Addon location.  For example, the FlyTampa add-on.xml file has entries for all 12 locations I have for them plus their Libraries, and all the files are located under D:\Addon\FlyTampa.  What works for me might not be suited to you because I happen to be rather anal with it comes to configuring stuff but I like doing it this way because when something doesn't work I can usually figure it out pretty quickly.

Bottom line Chuck is that you cannot go wrong following the SDK and studying it, using it, and playing with it until you are comfortable.  I can also recommend the Lorby Addon Organizer for anyone not inclined to take the time to learn the nitty gritty details.  Either way gets the job done.

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Dan Downs KCRP

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Posted (edited)

 Thanks to both of you!  Oliver (Lorby) I use your addon manager which is very helpful!  As for your question about where I got the Addon Manager idea - if I'm not mistaken I believe it came from P3D, somewhere in the past, where the advice was to not place addons directly in P3D itself.  Am I wrong about this???  In any event, I'm going to take a look at this.  Dan, I think what I'm doing is pretty much what you suggest.  The addons are grouped by developer such as Fly Tampa and reside within my folder within C:\ Program Files (x86)\ Addon Manager\.  

Am I making it more complicated than it needs to be?

Edited by Chuck Dreier

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Chuck Dreier said:

As for your question about where I got the Addon Manager idea - if I'm not mistaken I believe it came from P3D, somewhere in the past, where the advice was to not place addons directly in P3D itself.

That is true - but you should not install content into the "ProgamFiles ..." folders either - those are for exectuables/programs only, and specially protected by Windows. That is why I was asking. The only "Addon Manager" that I know of is the one from FSDreamTeam, and they indeed install their content there. That does not mean that you have to follow. You can install your content anywhere (and you should), as long as it is not dumped directly into the core simulator folders.

Best regards

Edited by Lorby_SI
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Oliver Binder

LORBY-SI

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Could be the OP is confusing Lorby's Addon Manager with Fsdreateam Addon Manager ?

And, before anybody asks, the default installation location under C:\Program Files (x86) for FSDT Addon Manager is perfectly fine and it won't cause ANY UAC problems, because nothing in our software ever tries to WRITE anything there. Our software is 100% fully UAC compliant, and it follows MS UAC recommendations to the letter, namely:

- Install the program executable and other binary files that won't be modified while running in C:\Program Files (x86) by default, offering users a choice of an alternate destination

- Use %PROGRAMDATA%, for larger binary files that might be created/modified while running. These are files users are not supposed to deal with, like the GSX airport cache for example, and they are not duplicated with each user account, because they don't store any user-related preferences.

- Install smaller files which are usually user-created files like preferences or airport/airplane customizations in %APPDATA%, and these are independent for each user account on the system.

The suggestion to not install under C:\Program Files in order not to run into the Windows UAC protection features, is valid only for products that are NOT following the above standards, and still behave like they were running under Windows XP. Since many developers find confusing adapting their software to such standards (which came out in 2006, with Vista), they find easier to just say "Install outside C:\Program Files" or "Turn off UAC" or "Run As Administrator"

The same can be said about installing ( or not ) the simulator *itself* under C:\Program Files, or if it might be best to install into its own separate folder outside any of the protected folders. I think this might be a good suggestion, and I personally follow it, not because the sim runs better, but because of those add-ons that installs only "inside" the sim, they might have issues if the sim is installed into C:\Program Files, since they might not necessarily respect the above UAC standards, and might try to write into "their own" folder, and if this happens to be located under the sim, and thus under C:\Program Files, they might fail, and likely crash when Windows will block them, unless they (or the sim, or both) are running "As Administrator".

So, personally, I install the sim into C:\Prepar3D4, because I know there might be add-ons that MIGHT not work if it's installed in C:\Program Files

But I install our own ( Fsdreamteam ) Addon Manager in the default location under C:\Program Files (x86), because I'm also SURE it will work flawlessly there, because it's fully compliant with UAC rules, and I purposely keep it installed there, to always test it in the default configuration.

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