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rhumbaflappy

To Microsoft FS9 Team

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As we all know the popularity of the Flight Simulator series owes its popularity, in part, to the work done by third parties producing either tools or end products. Without these contributions the market for this product would be largely limited to "walk-in" impulse buyers at various computer software stores.It seems to me that Microsoft has probably budgeted followup activity for the production of timely SDKs. One of the unfortunate elements of this process, in past releases, is the delay in the publication of the SDKs. People expend time trying to create tools or end-products that end up as easily produced once the knowledge within the SDK is revealed. Please Microsoft, try to shorten the SDK lead time as much as possible to retain the growth curve, and thus the ongoing evolution, of the FSxxxx series.Dick KLBE

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Hear, hear! When the FS2002 scenery SDK came out the simulator was already more than half-way through its life. Fingers crossed for the FS2004 SDK.... Best regards, Chris

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It's pure speculation on my part, but I would guess that the Microsfot folks that come up with the SDK's are the same ones that created the program. If that is the case, it is tough to do both at the same time. You need to finish the program, then work on the SDK.For that matter, even if you tried to develope both at the same time, I think it would be tough till the program code was "frozen".Tony

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>It's pure speculation on my part, but I would guess that the>Microsfot folks that come up with the SDK's are the same ones>that created the program. If that is the case, it is tough to>do both at the same time. You need to finish the program,>then work on the SDK.>For that matter, even if you tried to develope both at the>same time, I think it would be tough till the program code was>"frozen".>TonyIf it was a one man show that might be true, but there must already be documentation of what code does what And with the poor response of past scenery SDK releases and empty promises with its ill effects it would behoove the MSFS team to have the SDKs close to ready at launch.May it be the case this time.If not, I have already announced that I will be refunding a sizable investment by a few extraordinary folks who take great interest in this sim, take the hit, pack up and quit as there is only so much fun one can have burning yourself out for a year just in time for a new version that forces you to start over again and all at the same time you have to unmask what is already known at Redmond but for some really bad reason not shared with the rest of FSteam, AKA designers.Of course not one of us can force the MSFS team into reacting quicker, I am merely sharing my own personal frustration which has to be small compared with the time and investments of many others here.

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Hi all.Any info or SDKs are held up by corporate policy, not by any difficulty in conveying the information. 8-10 typewritten pages would give us most of the fundamentals of the changes, including the C+ code the team normally gives us. Changes to VTP code and the new autogen lines could fit on a single page.New tools are a different matter. New versions of BGLC, Annotator, TMFViewer would take some time to develop.I do hope the Scenery and Terrain SDKs are delivered quickly... but a preliminary guidelines document would be of great help while we're waiting for the more detailed and accurate information.Dick

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Also, I saw no need for a 'patch' release in FS8 but this one does need 'patched'; we need the roads fixed, and we need a quickly accessable scenery library so we can change priority layers, disable/enable scenery areas, etc, etc. Presently, all we can do (I think) is to cut/paste on the scenery.cfg file to do these things and have the sim load quickly.I know M$ does not approve of such a thing but a "No-CD" crack would shave 8 to 12 seconds off every re-load required to test add-on scenery objects.I do appreciate the 'land class' improvements, including more accurate mesh variations and elevations and the new AGN objects available in FS9, though. And I think they should be complimented on the weather system options --- but the clouds can be made 'prettier'..J.R

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Just want to add my full support to this thread.One thing I really don't understand is why the in-house development tools can't be published as SDKs. What does Microsoft have to loose? I'm sure that it's corporate police, as Dick pointed out, but it just goes beyond my comprehension level. We could make all the greatest add-ons for FS9 and make them now. Wouldn't this be a great incentive for more people to upgrade? It seems that a large number of people of the NZ flightsim community is not upgrading until FS2002 add-ons will fully work in FS9.I'm very, very pessimistic though. The non-inclusion of any sort of 3rd party development tools with FS9 seems to indicate that SDK release policy will be even more conservative than it was for FS2002.I have to say that I'm also very much thinking about quitting for good, at least making add-ons. The (usually) untimely release of SDKs and the recent discussion on the crippling of flight dynamics in FS9 really make me think if continue supporting MSFS is worthwhile. I don't see the point using FS9, when I can't fix airspace in NZ, and other things, that I fixed for FS2002. The recent article on x-plane encouraged me to give it a try once again, but after checking the forums at x-plane.org, I was shocked how much they reflect the attitudes in MSFS forums. Seems like 3rd party developers struggle with the similar issues in x-plane. I really hope that one of the big software publishers will re-think their position on civil flightsims and invest into a FlyIII version. We are in serious need of more competion...Cheers, Christian

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Dick, Last year Microsoft officially announced that the CFS3 scenery SDK would be released in spring, 2003. Their web site still gave the same time long after spring had come and gone - it came out in July. But the interesting thing is that it is a *beta* SDK. If they had waited for the final SDK it would have been even later. I imagine most people here would be happy to get the beta SDK for FS2004 in the same way, as it would mean that at least *something* is in our hands somewhat earlier.... Best regards, Chris

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Hi Chris.I don't know if the CFS3 team has any relationship to the FS2004 team ( I hope not ).I have seen the CFS3 beta SDK, and it is pretty bad. Martin Wright is trying to fill in the missing pieces, but it is very frustrating for him. They have used GIS data that is in odd formats, and not explained the structures of any scenery files... only giving some tools that "almost" work. I suspected this would occur from that team. I don't suspect anything like that with the FS2004 team. But a deviation from their SDK release policy would be nice:Give us some guideline sheets to clue us into the right direction regarding updates to VTP file structure and the changes to the new BGL headers, as well as the replacement code for AFD bgls.I'm not talking about a novel here... just a few typwritten pages.Dick

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