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Scenery priority

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If two scenery files of the same area are stored at the community folder, one of them takes precedence, or they superimpose  ?

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Addons are loaded alphabetically and last one wins. If you want a specific one loaded for sure, just prepend a "z" to the filename.

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I often rename addon scenery folders by adding a numerical prefix to keep a group of them together.  One mistake not to make is to rename a scenery library such as mikes asset pack or daves people as I guess other sceneries that use them would be looking for the correctly named directory.


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14 hours ago, cianpars said:

One mistake not to make is to rename a scenery library such as mikes asset pack or daves people as I guess other sceneries that use them would be looking for the correctly named directory.

As long as you don't change the internal structure of the package it doesn't matter either way.   The names of the folders in the community directory don't get loaded into the sim at all -- all they do is define the order in which the sim loads them.   You could rename all of Mike's libraries to FRED, GEORGE, RALPH, and BOCEPHUS and they'd still work. 🙂

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Rob Jones, Lead DeveloperWorking Title Simulations

 

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Addons are loaded based on "content.xml" order. At least that was the conclusion after testing I've made with other mods authors to make our mods compatible. File is located in ...AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.FlightSimulator_8wekyb3d8bbwe\LocalCache, so 2 tiers above Community folder.

Every addon you add to Community is automatically added to that file.

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10 hours ago, kaosfere said:

As long as you don't change the internal structure of the package it doesn't matter either way.   The names of the folders in the community directory don't get loaded into the sim at all -- all they do is define the order in which the sim loads them.   You could rename all of Mike's libraries to FRED, GEORGE, RALPH, and BOCEPHUS and they'd still work. 🙂

I hadn't realised that.  I don't need to be careful about that then. Apart from Dave's 3 packs and Mikes pack, are there any other commonly used libraries or 'must haves'?


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On 5/10/2021 at 9:54 PM, vgbaron said:

Addons are loaded alphabetically and last one wins. If you want a specific one loaded for sure, just prepend a "z" to the filename.

 

5 hours ago, PuffinFlight said:

Addons are loaded based on "content.xml" order. At least that was the conclusion after testing I've made with other mods authors to make our mods compatible. File is located in ...AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.FlightSimulator_8wekyb3d8bbwe\LocalCache, so 2 tiers above Community folder.

Every addon you add to Community is automatically added to that file.

Here is part of my contents.xml - it is not in alphabetic order.  Which statement above is true and what order do my addons load?

<Package name="asobo-modellib-props" active="true"/>
    <Package name="fs-base" active="true"/>
    <Package name="fs-base-ai-traffic" active="true"/>
    <Package name="fs-base-nav" active="false"/>
    <Package name="navigraph-navdata" active="true"/>
    <Package name="fs-base-ui-vr" active="true"/>
    <Package name="microsoft-airport-katl-atlanta" active="true"/>
    <Package name="microsoft-airport-kfhr-friday-harbor" active="true"/>
    <Package name="microsoft-usa-point-of-interest" active="true"/>
    <Package name="drzewieckidesign-seattlelandmarks" active="true"/>
    <Package name="orbx-airport-ksba-santa-barbara" active="true"/>
    <Package name="orbx-airport-1s2-darrington" active="true"/>
    <Package name="orbx-airport-kors-orcas-island" active="true"/>
    <Package name="orbx-airport-ktiw-tacoma-narrows" active="true"/>
    <Package name="orbx-airport-og20-fairways" active="true"/>
    <Package name="senecadriver-los-angeles" active="true"/>
    <Package name="banksandiego" active="true"/>
    <Package name="compton-woodley" active="true"/>
    <Package name="prediosandiego02e03" active="true"/>
    <Package name="sandiegopack1" active="true"/>
    <Package name="dzs-airport-ksee-gillespie" active="true"/>
    <Package name="bhd-sbarigs" active="true"/>
    <Package name="gaist_msfs_v1" active="true"/>
    <Package name="poseattle" active="true"/>
    <Package name="microsoft-airport-egcb-barton" active="true"/>
    <Package name="fs-base-coverage-map-uk-tin" active="true"/>
    <Package name="microsoft-airport-eggp-john-lennon" active="true"/>
    <Package name="microsoft-uk-point-of-interest" active="true"/>
    <Package name="microsoft-airport-eghc-lands-end" active="true"/>
    <Package name="asobo-airport-eg78-outskerries" active="true"/>
    <Package name="microsoft-airport-egpr-barra" active="true"/>
    <Package name="airport kbli bellingham-v1.2" active="true"/>
    <Package name="treeupdate01" active="true"/>
    <Package name="wookie042-allan-island-airstrip-sji5" active="true"/>

 


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From my experience load order depends on this file. Just tested it and after moving my "We Love VFR" mod to the bottom of the file exclusions from another, test scenery stopped working. 

So in your case first asobo-modellibs-props is loaded then fs-base and so on. 

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3 hours ago, PuffinFlight said:

From my experience load order depends on this file.

Yes, the testing I've done in the past confirms this:  content.xml is the final arbiter of the order in which things load.   But I wouldn't suggest relying on edits to that file for managing your load order.   Primarily, that's because the file is a derived source, it's not itself canonical.  You can determine this easily by deleting the file completely and restarting the sim; you'll get a brand new content.xml which is constructed from your community folder and its current order.

Further, things do not get removed from it when they're removed from the community folder, so over time it grows to just be a list of "everything you have ever had enabled", with everything new added at the end only when it first shows up.   This means if you have something installed, change its load order, then remove it and later reinstall it you can now got unintuitive behavior as the file you have just activated does not load when you think it should.

IMO it's better to use the tool we've been given to manage load order than it is to mess around with second-order derived resources.

But to each their own.  I'm sure it would work fine for most folks.  Until it didn't.  🙂


Rob Jones, Lead DeveloperWorking Title Simulations

 

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3 minutes ago, kaosfere said:

IMO it's better to use the tool we've been given to manage load order than it is to mess around with second-order derived resources.

Which tool you have in mind? Would be cool to recommend it to my users as they sometimes find changing order manually a bit too hard.

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2 hours ago, PuffinFlight said:

Which tool you have in mind? Would be cool to recommend it to my users as they sometimes find changing order manually a bit too hard.

Sorry, I just meant "it's better to control the order the way we're meant to, via directory names".   However, I'm almost certain LorbySI's addon manager will manipulate MSFS's content.xml in the way you want.   As far as suggesting it to your customers, it's described as a "prototype", but it functioned when I tested it, back when it first came out.

(I use Addons Linker to manage my stuff so I've not really worked with it since then.   @Lorby_SI can probably give you a more informed opinion on its current general stability.)


Rob Jones, Lead DeveloperWorking Title Simulations

 

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But directory names don't control the order. Order depends on when you add a mod. Then it's added to the list. That's all. If you want specific order, you need to edit that file.
I guess it might be alphabetical order when you remove content.xml completely and it gets generated from scratch.
I'll take a look at these managers. Might be a good solution for my less tech savvy users (users, not costumers. I do freeware 🙂 ).

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55 minutes ago, PuffinFlight said:

But directory names don't control the order.

Sorry, but directory names definitely do control the load order.  I also did a whole bunch of experiments a while back to investigate the interaction of the community folder and content.xml, but I couldn't remember the full details.   So I just went to reproduce a simple experiment here to see what got changed when you changed the name of a mod already installed in the community folder then changed it back.

But now, when I remove my existing content.xml and start the sim, it doesn't even get fully populated with my community folder content.   It only seems to have the content that's in OneStore.   I know for a fact that the mods I have installed are loading, though, because I'm working with them today.

Not sure what's up there, perhaps the purpose or behavior of that file has changed.  I'd need to spend more time investigating that than I want to sink into this at the moment.   But it seems that currently -- unless I'm absolutely spacing out and screwing something up here, it's been a long day -- content can be loaded from the community folder and not show up in your content.xml at all.

Which gets back to my original point:  the officially supported mechanism that we have for controlling the load order of our mods is through directory order.  That's the contract.  There is no contract around content.xml, and relying on manipulation of that to work in ways that are consistent and don't change can be hazardous business. 🙂


Rob Jones, Lead DeveloperWorking Title Simulations

 

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Official? Did Asobo state that it is like that or it's just the way everyone is used to from FSX era.

I'll do some testing too when I have some time as it should be clear.
At the start it was wonky, but after one of the updates it got clear for me that context.xml order finally works. It is a chance that things not listed in that file are loaded by alphabetical order but I still think that file has priority, so relying simply on folder naming is not reliable at all. Especially if other programs and installers might mess with it.

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You can't edit posts here? Maybe it's because I'm new.

Just wanted to add that it looks like only sceneries are added automatically to content.xml. I don't have many addons installed, but it looks like quite clear pattern. And as expected community sceneries are added alphabetically at the end of the file.

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