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Herbie63

FSX - Did You Know!

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Has anyone noticed the new "tools" in FSX SDK SP1a?The first is psd2xml.exe...Psd2Xml is a tool that generates the files required for a gauge from a multilayered Adobe

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Nice.One day I hope to have to time to read/learn about them. ;DIn the last two weeks, I've been too busy with all the web site stuff, and been going crazy.Great finds, and thanks again ACES!

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Hi Bill,would you by any slim chance know how to convert an XML file written for FS9 into XML written to the new ACES.XML schema so that it would load into ACES.exe?cheers,nick

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>would you by any slim chance know how to convert an XML file>written for FS9 into XML written to the new ACES.XML schema so>that it would load into ACES.exe?Yes. Very carefully! ;)Actually, I'm in the process of doing just that at the moment with my ESDG "Garmin stack" of gauges.To make life simpler, I've carefully created "templates" for each of the various types, and simply cut-n-paste 'em into the "new" gauge project's XML file.Keep in mind ALL of the existing parameters and coordinate locations are the same, only their syntax and locations have changed... So, it's really not that difficult. Tedious and time consuming to be sure, but hardly difficult! :)Because I'm blessed with three monitors on my dev computer, I'm able to have FSX open and running on the middle monitor, the two XML gauge files open on the left monitor, and my "template XML file" open on the right monitor.Every so often, I'll save the "new XML gauge" file and exit notepad, then open it in the ACES Editor, (re)save, then load it back in notepad to continue working.Frankly, I find the ACES Editor too cumbersome and ackward for the task of "converting" an existing XML gauge file, but it is invaluable for (re)formatting the XMl code with proper tabbing and indents, as well as "validating" work done so far.After throughly testing and debugging the gauge, the final step is exporting as an SPB file for the "release version" of the gauge, removing the plain-text XML file of course... ;)

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>>would you by any slim chance know how to convert an XML>file>>written for FS9 into XML written to the new ACES.XML schema>so>>that it would load into ACES.exe?>>Yes. Very carefully! ;)>>Actually, I'm in the process of doing just that at the moment>with my ESDG "Garmin stack" of gauges.>>To make life simpler, I've carefully created "templates" for>each of the various types, and simply cut-n-paste>'em into the "new" gauge project's XML file.>>Keep in mind ALL of the existing parameters and>coordinate locations are the same, only their syntax and>locations have changed... So, it's really not that difficult.>Tedious and time consuming to be sure, but hardly difficult!>:)>I've started a similar procedure, just copying/pasting the structures to templates of the new format. VERY BORING, but not difficult at all. Besides, mostly of my codes are long stack structures and macros, which makes the whole thing simpler to convert :-)The idea, as Bill pointed out, is to take advantage of the new SPB format file, for which the ACES tool becomes mandatory. (though I still believe is a no-no for programing-only for exporting)Tom

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>The idea, as Bill pointed out, is to take advantage of the new>SPB format file, for which the ACES tool becomes mandatory.>(though I still believe is a no-no for programing-only for>exporting)Oddly enough, the SDK wasn't updated for SP1 in the description of SPB file creation. It still describes a way to use the Simpropcompiler.exe program:"To create an SPB file, run the simpropcompiler.exe tool, which is in the SDKCore Utilities KitSimProp folder. This is a command-line tool, so open a command window and navigate to the SDKCore Utilities KitSimProp folder. If Flight Simulator X is installed, then enter the following command: > Simpropcompiler 2spb

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Hi Bill,Could you please explain where or when you use multilayered PSD files in a plane design?Thank you for this observations!Best,Jose

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>Hi Bill,>>>Could you please explain where or when you use multilayered>PSD files in a plane design?>>Thank you for this observations!It would have been better to ask this question in a new thread, rather than branching off into another direction entirely.In the instance discussed in this thread, a multilayerd PSD file is used to create the gauge artwork, and automatically generated the basic XML code framework.As for "plane design," multi-layered PSD files are used to build up the texture bitmaps for the aircraft...IOW, one should always use multilayerd PSD files for both aircraft and scenery textures.

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Thanks Bill,It was just curiosity because I am now studying Photoshop and call my attention your comments.I suppose that you draw background of a gauge in one layer and, say a needle in another layer and this tool makes the BMPs and a XML file ready to load in aces.exe to work in the code just for the functions?If that is true, do you think it is worth do gauges in C++?? If you want I can open a new thread asking how to do a little sample gauge from a PSD file.Best,Jose

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>I suppose that you draw background of a gauge in one layer>and, say a needle in another layer and this tool makes the>BMPs and a XML file ready to load in aces.exe to work in the>code just for the functions?>>If that is true, do you think it is worth do gauges in C++?? I still do 98% of my gauges in C++...>If you want I can open a new thread asking how to do a little>sample gauge from a PSD file.The procedure is adequately described in the SDK already. ;)

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>The second "tool" is actually a new feature of the ACES.exe>XML Gauge Editor.>>Gauges written to the new ACES.XML schema may be "Exported">from the ACES.exe tool in SPB (Sim-Prop Binary) format. If an>XML version of a file is found in the same folder as an SPB>file, the SPB file will be loaded in preference to the XML>file as the binary format is faster to load that its XML>equivalent.>>This means that gauges in the SPB format are binary encoded,>and thus protected from theft...That sounds interesting! But I just tried to export one of my latest gauges and - allthough it works well in the sim - I've got several load errors in ACE. OK, deleted the elements in question, got no more errors, exported - and it does not work in the sim - it doesn't appear at all.Any idea where to start with this kind of problem?

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>Any idea where to start with this kind of problem?Without seeing the code, I don't have a clue. OTOH, I've had several people who've reported that one of my SPB'd gauges won't display in their FSX at all, yet it works fine for 98% of the others... :-erks

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>>Any idea where to start with this kind of problem?>>Without seeing the code, I don't have a clue. OTOH, I've had>several people who've reported that one of my SPB'd gauges>won't display in their FSX at all, yet it works fine for 98%>of the others... :-erks Ah....exactly the scenario that I anticpated would occur withthe publication of this "tool"...At least when I run across malfunctioning XML gauges I cango about troubleshooting them and making the necessary fixes( as well as alerting the original designer to my findings ).BTW, how does a program like Panel Studio react to these SPBfiles? Just curious as I don't expect to ever D/L or useany addon's that use the SPB format for gauges. Paul

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First of all, thanks for the answers.Despites that this new ACE-version is something one should consider to use, I guess / hope we'll get at least one more update for it.Try to load one of the default FS-X xmls, and you'll get errors...(at least with some gauges like the radarscreen). But the gauges obviously work...Meanwhile I found the mistakes that caused the errors in my xml and also could export them to working spb-files.But all in all I see no big advantage of this format. The code isby far not safe in this format...Herbert

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