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RFields5421

Backwards Compatibility??

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Guest United

As most of us wait for the 17th to obtain FX , I remain confused. I thought that the FX team (ACES) was giving backwards compatibility quite a bit of attention (like many Microsoft products incidentally), especially in the arena of aircraft and yet I am reading on this and other developer forums that quite the opposite is true as if FX is so foreign to FS9 aircraft as to be unrecognizable. I know a lot of external eye candy is going to be different, is it the model folder that is so radically different as to defeat any backwards compatibility? It just seems so out of character as to what Microsoft usually does with any of it's products.Randy Jura, KPDX

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It just seems so out of character as to what Microsoft usually does with any of it's products.FSX is completely compatible with almost every addon designed to be FULLY FS2004 compliant. (Utility programs are another matter because they are so version specific).An amazing number of current addon aircraft rely on FS98 technology / concepts - which are finally no longer supported.There are a lot of FS98 gauges on your system today - I'll bet. They work so well that no one has ever bothered to update them.Now we will have to do that.There are some real changes in the way data is fed out of FSX which many addon developers use.Actually it is now standardized and documents with the SimConnect API - but nothing is designed for that interface yet.There are similar issues with scenery - many people release payware and freeware scenery which is dependent upon compatibility with FS98 for some elements.

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Guest United

YOu know what, that's the best explanation I've heard to date. I had no idea we were simming with hugely outdated programming via FS98, god help us all!Randy Jura, KPDX

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"It it works don't try something new" - we are all guilty of that to some extent.I saw a discussion on another forum about a utility under development - and someone was arguing that they should use Visual Basic 5 - because that was what he knew very well.

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>FSX is completely compatible with almost every addon designed>to be FULLY FS2004 compliant.Reggie, just to clarify the context, this statement applies to Aircraft only I presume you meant. Addon Scenery is another matter.Jon

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Scenery developers suffer from the same "falling back on favorites" as the rest of us.There are many functions and methods in scenery design which worked perfectly in FS2004 - but were not in full compliance with the SDK and other recommendations from Microsoft.From the FS2004 BGLComp SDK: "Scenery should no longer be created with BGL opcodes or the BGLC compiler from previous versions of Flight Simulator. The older BGL opcodes are supported for backward compatibility, however, we cannot guarantee their support in future releases."The exact same quote is included in the FSX BGLComp SDK included with the beta - I don't know if it is in the final.I don't consider scenery which used those methods to be fully FS2004 compliant - even if the scenery was designed only for FS2004.Unfortunately, there is no real way for a purchaser to know if the developer used only the latest methods in building the scenery.There are some award winning, highly praised FS2004 sceneries which totally destroy the FS2004 air space and approach system for both user aircraft and AI aircraft.People seem very willing to accept the explaination that "It's Microsoft's fault"Which I do not.Microsoft built a lot of backwards compatability into FSX - some of which I'm sure held back some advancements.Microsoft finally took a step which I feel very critical to such a product - bringing in addon developers early and throughout the development process.However, when something does not work in FSX, my first thought is "What did the developer do wrong, or old fashioned?" not "Why didn't MS maintain backward compatability?"I also fully expect many of my favorite addons, scenery and aircraft, to not make the transition. Anything which was originally for FS2002 or previous - I've be surprised and a little disappointed if it moved completely.I am greately heartened by frank statements like those of PMDG about the B737NG. They had an approach, they produced a great aircraft loved by many - but it is not on the path of the future.Rather than a halfarsed patch, they are going back and doing it right.Yes that will cost me a bit more - but in the long run, it will be definitely worthwile.

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Hi Reggie.However, when something does not work in FSX, my first thought is "What did the developer do wrong, or old fashioned?" not "Why didn't MS maintain backward compatability?"In the case of vector terrain ( LWM and VTP ), it is "Why didn't MS maintain backward compatability?" The FS2004 vectors do not work correctly in FSX... and this will mean many users will need to download/purchase new vector terrain enhancements form their favorite sources.For example, Ultimate Terrain for FS2004 will not function correctly in FSX. This is certainly not the fault of Allen, or of the Aces team, but it is simply a casualty of improving the terrain 'engine' of FSX. Why didn't they maintain backward compatibility? Because it simply was not feasable given the restrictions of time, necessity, and code requirements.Dick

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Old fashioned might be a poor choice of wording.I never expect everything to be version independent - which unfortunately many people do.The very best addons are very version specific.Yes it's a bit disappointing - especially since I finally learned how to make VTP2 polygons.

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