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Advantages/disadvantages of XML gauges??

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I am only learning about gauge creation - so my knowledge is fairly limited right now.My understanding is this -- first in FS98 there were single gauges .GAU , then there were in FS2002 gauges.GAU which contained multiple gauges, now there are XML gauges which can be contained inside a CAB file or not. I believe that the earlier gauges were written in C++ (??) .Could somebody explain the advantages/disadvantages of the new style XML gauges -- why Microsoft has implemented them . What should a budding new gauge programmer work with ?Thanks Barry

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Hi Barry,C++ is still the best language to create gauges.Disadvantages of XML: very slow, bad refresh rate, not flexible, you cannot add sounds (without module), no vector programming, opening files,...Advantages: you do not need programming skills.If you have C knowledge I would keep on using it.Regards,Marcel Burr

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Well, I kind of disagree. With a C++ gauge you definately have more available power, but I believe the xml standard to really catch up in future releases.One major advantage in an xml gauge is that because the source is "open", the end user can go right in and change things to his liking. If I downloaded an aircraft package with C gauges that used Farenheit as temperature indicators, I would be stuck. With xml, all I have to do is change the unit to my liking.Another major advantage is the possibility to change things without the need to recompile. With xml, all I need to do is resave (with same name even) the tweaked gauge, then just hit the "reload" (another gauge) button on the panel to see the changes in work instantly.As already stated, you don't need any programming "skills" to start making xml gauges, but I also think this is true for simple C gauges, where you use templates fairly easily. Programming new functions in C can be tricky, but also not impossible in xml. One "skill" that come in handy though, is your ability to read RPN maths (Reverse Polish Notation). Get a head start by buying a HP calculator :)Finally, just by releasing a C gauge, you're not passing on helpful information to other gauge creators, even if the gauge itself may be very useful. With an xml gauge, everyone can examine the code and actually learn new tricks in the trade. So I think using the xml standard will help the community, and bring out new talents.Refresh rates of the gauges themselves aren't too bad, it's when you put them in a virtual cockpit they tend to really slow down. As far as I have read, this has already been fixed with CFS3.On the negative side: There is no file i/o yet, that is correct. In addition there are quite a few parameters or "key events" in the SDK that is simply not working. There has been a few generous souls that have made them accessible through "monitoring" C gauges that sets the proper events through these "modules" (including gauge sounds).The main advantage in a C gauge, is better access and communications with the program, and creating advanced functions in a more logical layout; xml can get quite "ugly" to read if you take it far enough.

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