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Specs for new Gauge Browser Programme?

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I have a son who is a programming "guru" - I believe he can do just about anything when it comes to computer programming (usually in a VERY small code size )I have talked him into creating a programme for me that will allow me to (easily and quickly) browse the internal bitmaps of every GAU file that I have in my Gauges folder. These gauges are old style FS98 .gau files which are single gauges, Fs2000 style .gau files that contain multiple gauges and associated bitmaps and FS2002 cabbed XML files.Now - I have many hundreds of gauges in my gauges folder and I want to be able to "browse" these easily and quickly -- with a view to using the internal bitmaps for other purposes. I know this is treading on proprietary issues - but the programme is only for my own use . :)If this programme was available to you for your own personal use, what would you like to see it do?I have an idea for it to "browse" the contents of all my gauges and display their associated bitmaps in thumbnail format initially - just like the "browser" function of Painshop Pro works Barry

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Technically possible for .gau gauges. The easiest way could be to extract all bitmaps from the resource part of a gauge, but that doesn't give any information about the association between bitmaps and subgauges and overall no placement information. If he is that good he can try to find the compiled structure in the binary code of the file and therefore also the resource ids for each single gauge, their drawing elements and also their positioning. The gauges.h of the newest and earlier SDKs contain enough information for it.Arne Bartels

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>Technically possible for .gau gauges. The easiest way could >be to extract all bitmaps from the resource part of a gauge, >but that doesn't give any information about the association >between bitmaps and subgauges and overall no placement >information. If he is that good he can try to find the >compiled structure in the binary code of the file and >therefore also the resource ids for each single gauge, their >drawing elements and also their positioning. The gauges.h of >the newest and earlier SDKs contain enough information for >it. >Arne Bartels Thanks for the reply Arne -- my problem now is that I cannot really understand what you are saying above (to be able to explain it to him).My requirement is simply to be able to browse the bitmaps inside all my installed gauges ( I know that this is already possible using other resources -- but not really easily ) . I want a more "graphic" approach to it . Barry

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For me, the best Gauge browsing utility ever devised was GAU Browser for FS98.When you start it up, it gives you a tree view on the left which you can point to your gauges directory, or any other directory of your choosing. If the directory has .GAU files, then their names are displayed below.Then, on the right hand pane, the bitmaps for the gauges are visible. With a slider at the bottom to cycle through all the bitmaps in the gauge. It shows bitmap size, and how many bitmaps in the gauge.When looking at a bitmap, you can export it, or import a new bitmap to replace the one you are looking at.Unfortunately, since it is an older program, it only handles FS98 style single gauges. Doesn't work with Multi Gauges, nor XML gauges. This makes it a very limited program nowadays.If I were to create a new gauge browser, I would use this model for viewing gauges and update it with functionality for the newer gauge formats. I would add a third pane on the left hand side, where when you click on a multigauge in the second pane, the gauges inside that multi gauge would show up on the third pane below it. Then, you would click on a particular gauge in the third pane, and the bitmap (and associated bitmaps for that gauge) could be viewed, exported, imported on the right hand pane.As it stands right now, I use Gauge Browser when I want to edit FS98 gauges, ResHacker for Multi Gauges, and I simply unzip the cab files for XML gauges. For simple previews of gauges, I use the freeware CfgEdit to view FS98 and FS2000 multigauges, and again, I unzip for cab gauges. CfgEdit is still very good for simply looking at gauge bitmaps and figuring out what their resource ID's are... makes it much easier to track down the bitmap when editing them with ResHacker.

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I have some code "lying around" to analyze the structure of .gau gauges and to find the bitmap ids. Not exactly what yo need I suppose, but if you are interested let me know.Arne Bartelsarne.bartels@nwn.de

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Yes - I also use GAUBZR.EXE for FS98 gauges , GAUBMP.EXE for FS98 and FS2000 gauges and Resource Hacker as well for FS98/2000 gauges( it seems to lock my machine up often) .I guess an updated version of GAUBZR would be good -- better than reinventing the wheel , so to speak. But I would like it to show small thumbnails of the embedded bitmaps initially -- some GAU files have literally dozens of bitmaps Barry

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>>>If I were to create a new gauge browser, I would use this >model for viewing gauges and update it with functionality >for the newer gauge formats. I would add a third pane on >the left hand side, where when you click on a multigauge in >the second pane, the gauges inside that multi gauge would >show up on the third pane below it. Then, you would click >on a particular gauge in the third pane, and the bitmap (and >associated bitmaps for that gauge) could be viewed, >exported, imported on the right hand pane. Yes - this would be good - but the problem as I see it with that approach is that "sometimes" the gauge names are a bit esoteric and a bit difficult to work out just what they are . I guess a simple click on the gauge name would reveal all - but I am more inclined to a more "graphics" based approach whereby you can see (at first) at an instant smaller thumbnails of all the embedded BMPs.What say you?Barry

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A thumbnail view would be nice, no doubt about it. Personally, I don't mind looking at each bitmap individually. In multigauges, each sub-gauge is not going to have that many bitmaps, so it's really not too big of an issue. The main functionality which I think is important, is for each sub-gauge to have it's bitmaps displayed independant of all the other subgauges.This is one of my pet peeves with extracting XML gauges, you have all the bitmaps in one directory, and often have to look at the XML code to figure out wich bitmap goes where. :-)

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>A thumbnail view would be nice, no doubt about it. >Personally, I don't mind looking at each bitmap >individually. In multigauges, each sub-gauge is not going >to have that many bitmaps, so it's really not too big of an >issue. The main functionality which I think is important, >is for each sub-gauge to have it's bitmaps displayed >independant of all the other subgauges. If you have a look at a gauge file called Cessna.gau , you will see just how many gauges and bitmaps it has inside it. At this stage, the only programme I can find to even open it is "Resource Hacker" -- and that just gives a list of numbers . You have to click on each number to get any kind of idea of just what is inside. I want to see a browser whereby you can see "at a glance " what is inside .Barry

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If you have someone to program it, the numbers you referring to, associated to the specific subgauge, can be extracted with the tool I mentioned. You'll need then someone who knows to extract the bitmaps to these numbers and display them.Arne Bartels

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