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roarkr

Please Microsoft, simplify the folder structure in MSFS2020

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Posted (edited)

Today FSX/FSX-SE/FSW/P3D all have a very distributed file structure. It is a MESS!

Files for the main program are spread over many different folder locations and Addon can live all around.

I want MS to make the installation and locations av files as easy as XPLANE does. Everything goes into the main XPLANE folder. This is simple, clean and easy for end users.

 

Why make it so dam...... complicated? Keep it simple!

 

Edited by roarkr
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7 minutes ago, roarkr said:

I want MS to make the installation and locations av files as easy as XPLANE does. Everything goes into the main XPLANE folder. This is simple, clean and easy for end users

+ 1000 !!

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Agreed, too.

FSX and friends may still be - marginally - acceptable and mostly keep to the Windows files structure with /Users, /ProgramData etc. directories, at least. X-Plane clearly shows it's originating from a different world and certainly is more eary to maintain with its 1-folder-structure.

Anyway, files spread all over the system and even duplicated(!) in different directories as in Prepar3d are beyond my understanding. 

Plus, they'll hopefully avoid installing the whole sim + addons compulsory unter C:\ where space is always tight, as some AeroflyFS2 addons do. 

Kind regards, Michael

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Posted (edited)

Since most simmers use a dedicated PC these days anyway...how about they release a version of Windows 10 with MSFT Flight Simulator 2020 built in? This way they could cut off all the fat from the OS and really optimize performance. 🙂

Edited by Flybynumbers

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In the interests of having everything for the flight sim easily accessible, at the very least put links to the necessary folders in the main sim folder during installation.

A lot could be done to clean up and organize the installation.

Hook

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6 hours ago, roarkr said:

Today FSX/FSX-SE/FSW/P3D all have a very distributed file structure. It is a MESS!

Files for the main program are spread over many different folder locations and Addon can live all around.

I want MS to make the installation and locations av files as easy as XPLANE does. Everything goes into the main XPLANE folder. This is simple, clean and easy for end users.

 

Why make it so dam...... complicated? Keep it simple!

 

I stopped counting how many scenery.cfg files there are. Lol

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The XP method is clearly superior on this.
Want to install an airplane? Drag the folder in the Airplanes one. No need to extract Gauges, Effects and what not.

Same for sceneries.

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8 hours ago, roarkr said:

Today FSX/FSX-SE/FSW/P3D all have a very distributed file structure. It is a MESS!

Files for the main program are spread over many different folder locations and Addon can live all around.

I want MS to make the installation and locations av files as easy as XPLANE does. Everything goes into the main XPLANE folder. This is simple, clean and easy for end users.

 

Why make it so dam...... complicated? Keep it simple!

 

i doubt Microsoft devs will read this but i hope they do

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Posted (edited)

Issues that arise from this approach:

1 - User deleted files/folders that shouldn't have been, causing issues.

2 - Third-party installers that overwrite core files.

3 - Third-party installer that deletes core files during uninstall because it overwrite them with it's own version.

Addons should not be installed in any location that can overwrite core files, of any type.  It is a significant weakness and causes seriously long hours of tech support. Seriously, been there... done that.  Installation into the core area shouldn't be supported.

Edited by WarpD
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2 hours ago, france89 said:

The XP method is clearly superior on this.
Want to install an airplane? Drag the folder in the Airplanes one. No need to extract Gauges, Effects and what not.

Same for sceneries.

True,  but so many get lost in the plugins folder  with Lua, python where does this go? I put my AI aircraft where?

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, WarpD said:

Issues that arise from this approach:

1 - User deleted files/folders that shouldn't have been, causing issues.

2 - Third-party installers that overwrite core files.

3 - Third-party installer that deletes core files during uninstall because it overwrite them with it's own version.

Addons should not be installed in any location that can overwrite core files, of any type.  It is a significant weakness and causes seriously long hours of tech support. Seriously, been there... done that.  Installation into the core area shouldn't be supported.

Take the KSP route, maybe?

 

Go into the GameData folder, where you can put any files of addons that work completely and you can remove on a whim?

Here's an example.
 

ksp-win64-1.7.3/ksp-win64/GameData/ (place here)

 

Inside Gamedata is all the game files, and it's a folder called Squad. Don't touch that, just add folders to the GameData folder. So it would look like

GameData

       AirplaneModelName

       ModName

       Squad (or Microsoft in this case)

       TextureName

That way you don't need to touch the game files.

____________________________________________________ 

Or you could have a dedicated "mod" folder;

  Mods

          AirplaneAddons

          SceneryAddons

          TextureAddons

          OtherAddons

 

And you just put your add-ons in the folder that specifies it. Addons that have many, many features could go in Other, but each would need to be specified, and on startup, the game checks to see if there are any new mods. Then it sorts what needs to go where; the modmaker specifies that. The game then leaves a deletion tag (edit: in the location where the mod used to be) which you can either edit or delete based on what you want. If the tag is deleted, on the next startup, the game checks for all the mod tags. If a tag is deleted, the game shows a pop-up asking if the user wanted to delete or disable a mod (that part of the game, the popup, can't be modified). That way all you need to do is put in a file and the game puts the file where it needs to be.

 

 

 

Edited by Concodroid
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I agree that a simple approach should be used.  However I do not think it should be the main folder.

I agree with Ed's approach, above -- anyplace that is simple but *not* in the main folder / core sim files.  The main dir shouldn't be touched by any add-on.  

Personally I like the way I do it  -- some add-ons don't work this way, but of the ones that do...I try to do the following:

D:\Aircraft
D:\Scenery
D:\FSTools
etc. etc.

To me that's simpler yet than the "KSP" method mentioned previously (what is "ksp"?)

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I do love the ideal that scenery could go somewhere else, so I don't need one jumbo SSD to store them all, it could be done with different hardware driver, some could go to HDD as well.

BUT HELL, why 3rd  add-on makers (and many other non-FS app) so love to push everything they have(even aircraft) into "My document" or "ProgamnData" or "AppData" under my C:\ drive(although I have moved my document out of C), without even asking?! MY C DRIVE IS NOT FOR THESE S***T!

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I've used both FSX and P3D.   I have a small SSD.  I've gone out of my way to put what I can in the D drive( HDD).  Both FSX and P3D insist on putting files in the overcrowded C drive (SSD).  I echo the opinion:  allow us to put everything in the D drive (HDD).  I'm looking forward to see what shakes out of Microsoft

Jim Elder

 

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5 hours ago, Mace said:

To me that's simpler yet than the "KSP" method mentioned previously (what is "ksp"?)

KSP stands for Kerbal Space Program. It's a game where you can explore space by building Rockets using parts. Very fun game with great physics simulation!

KSP on Steam Store

Edited by UltimateAntic

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4 hours ago, C2615 said:

BUT HELL, why 3rd  add-on makers (and many other non-FS app) so love to push everything they have(even aircraft) into "My document" or "ProgamnData" or "AppData" under my C:\ drive(although I have moved my document out of C), without even asking?! MY C DRIVE IS NOT FOR THESE S***T!

Microsoft recommendations:

Use %ProgramFiles% to install the application, so it will get extra security protection from UAC. Nothing should try to write anything in this folder.

Use %APPDATA% for smaller configuration files that contain preferences that might change by user account (es. .INI files)

Use %PROGRAMDATA% for binary files that will be rewritten by the application and don't change by user (es. program databases)

LM recommendations:

Install the add-on.xml file under %USERPROFILE%\Documents, so it will get Auto-discovery, that is the ability to uninstall the whole sim and have the add-on being recognized again on the next installation without having to do anything. It's NOT required the add-on itself to be located *here* in the Documents folder, just the add-on.xml, but some developers puts all files under here so they can spare themselves from writing the actual installation path in the add-on.xml <Path> lines.

I purposely used VARIABLES ( those % signs ) to make it clear that, these locations are NOT set in stone, while they are *usually* on C:\ they can be moved, even if not all of them can be moved very easily but, if an installer will use the proper Windows API functions to read this VARIABLES, the files will end up and will work even in their moved location.

There are so many reasons that are simply too long to explain here why those are very sensible choices, and I doubt Microsoft will go against their own standard rules which has been there since 2006 when UAC came out.

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4 hours ago, C2615 said:

BUT HELL, why 3rd  add-on makers (and many other non-FS app) so love to push everything they have(even aircraft) into "My document" or "ProgamnData" or "AppData" under my C:\ drive(although I have moved my document out of C), without even asking?! MY C DRIVE IS NOT FOR THESE S***T!

 

There is an excellent guide https://www.prepar3d.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6322&t=120676

that explains why you need to do none of the things that you have apparently done.

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37 minutes ago, virtuali said:

 

I appreciate your post, factual and didactic. But there is an obvious tension between the well thought but complicated construction of software engineers and what the user wants. It is time that the former listen to the latter. 

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1 hour ago, domkle said:

I appreciate your post, factual and didactic. But there is an obvious tension between the well thought but complicated construction of software engineers and what the user wants. It is time that the former listen to the latter. 

The OS folder layout design is not up for review or modification by the FS2020 crew.  So... best practice will remain unchanged until there is a completely new version of Windows that no longer dictates the current design elements.

The actual error is in purchasing a small drive for the single most important drive of one's system.

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Just now, WarpD said:

The OS folder layout design is not up for review or modification by the FS2020 crew.  So... best practice will remain unchanged until there is a completely new version of Windows that no longer dictates the current design elements.

The actual error is in purchasing a small drive for the single most important drive of one's system.

I agree that FS20 will probably not change the Windows structure ! That was a general statement.

On the second point, I genuinely don't really understand where the problem is. My P3D3 main folder is on G: SSD drive with  a "program files (x86)", not on C:. The issue for me is more the scattering  of "utility" files on the C : and an E: (I split in two my Users/xxx directory) drives.

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Rather than try to relocate FSX, almost anything for FSX can be re-located elsewhere than C: with pathing set in the configs.

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1 hour ago, WarpD said:

The actual error is in purchasing a small drive for the single most important drive of one's system.

The bigger error, IMHO, is in not learning about and effectively using symbolic links to alleviate some of the pain.

Just one example article, chosen mostly at random: The Complete Guide to Creating Symbolic Links (aka Symlinks) on Windows

 

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K.I.S.S.

I like the X-Plane approach to files.

On the new MSFS, I'd like to see a comprehensive, yet friendly User Interface.

The new MSFS sure has drummed up a lot of excitement in the flight simulator community. Make it great.

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