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bob.bernstein

Arghh..some people must have the FS2004 SDK.

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After looking at Lee Swordy's wonderful AFCAD for FS2004, it is apparent that some people already have their hands on the new SDK. I looked at the file format of the new BGL files. And, as Christian mentioned previously, the format appears to have completely changed. Even the header has changed, making it just about impossible for us anxious developers to crack it any further.Since FS2004 is somewhat backward compatible, there must be 3 supported BGL header file formats now.I am now starting to wonder if there is a beta-test list for the new SDK. If so, I wonder who we contact ?With no word from Microsoft, we may be looking at days, weeks, or even months for the SDK.Am I the only one extremely agitated about this ?Allen

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FS2004 is a very complicated program for only $55.00. It also sets atop a much more complicated Windows OS. We cannot reasonably expect everything to operate to our liking. Almost all aspects of FS2004 operate according to the performance statements of Microsoft. SDKs are not part of the original $55.00. That price is for the package as is. Microsoft must spend bottom line money to produce the SDKs as a service to the 10% or so that feel a need to add or modify the original package. It is not reasonable to demand SDKs when such a small part of the customer base needs them. We should thank Microsoft for producing the Flight Simulator series and not pressure them to create additional materials that do not add to the bottom line.Dick KLBENow, maybe I can become a Beta tester for FS2006!

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With all due respect Dick.....**** RANT ON ****I don't dispute that FS2004 is a fine product. I guess I am also safe in assuming that you have never downloaded additional aircraft or scenery for the MSFS series. Since you are happy with everything out of the box.You see, the small percentage of people interested in the SDK's, are the ones spending lots of their private time producing product for the large percentage of those people that are interested.I am a little hacked off after spending anywhere from 500 to 700 hours on a scenery design tool, which I ported over from another simulator. By the time I completed the tool for FS2002, FS2004 was released with the promise of a soon-to-be-released SDK. Right now, I am dead in the water with all of my time wasted for the last 4 months.And you wonder why some top notch developers leave MSFS. I could name them, but most serious developers already know who they are.If Microsoft has no need for 3rd party developers to enhance their product, and fill their pockets with $$$, then fine. At least they could have the courtesy of letting us know that ahead of time. Either release the SDK or don't, instead of keeping us all in limbo.What more could Microsoft ask for.....free labor from very expensive hard-core developers. Most other successful software firms understand the benefit of encouraging outside development.**** RANT OFF ****I really wanted to hear some feedback from the hard-core scenery designers on this. Sorry guys, I won't bring the issue up again, since I appear to be the only one bothered by the delay.

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Hi Allen.We went through the same agitation with FS2002, and eventually, MS produced the SDKs. And that's where we are right now... all waiting for the SDKs and hoping they actually explain the new changes ( and explain some old changes they skipped in the last SDK set ).In this case, it's a little more frustrating, as we need a new Scenery SDK for airport elements to get them to work right.Lee Swordy's AFCAD program is not without problems, and that would indicate he has no special inside info... just a special talent for investigating the default BGLs. I'm sure he is as frustrated as the rest of us.Dick

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Dick,Thanks for the reply. I have a lot of respect for your work and opinions. I have been holding the frustration in for a few months, and it finally got to me.Take care,Allen

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While it will, of course, be fun when the sdk's are released, I'm not in agreement with folks who feel the sdks are a microsoft obligation. To my knowledge MS did not actively recruit us to modify its product. In general, MS policy is to avoid open source products. After folks figured out how to, 3rd party work began to appear, but I don't think it was ever invited...I suspect its been tolerated, and then appreciated...but that's different from being invited.So....when you crash the party with no invitation, it feels like poor taste to complain about the food.We have choices of how we spend our time. Some folks find solace in complaining about what they can't change...but that really grinds on others. That's true about me. I choose to stay busy having a great time designing, and when the sdk comes out...its gravey. Until then..complaints are a foolish way to spend the precious days of this life, don't you think?Best,Bob Bernstein

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Please re-read the note after the signature. SDK's are a necessity for the continued future of FS2004. Microsoft has acknowledged the need for addons to maintain interest during the product's two year life cycles. Someday (maybe) we will learn what goes on in the marketing meetings and budget debates at Microsoft.The stuff I wrote was a parady on the words of others who are afraid that Microsoft may be angered by negative thoughts and either not provide SDKs or they may kill the product's evolution. There is lots of anger in the USA that may not always be toward Microsoft but stems from a variety of causes. Unfortunately, it is not politically/socially correct to express that anger in these forums. Others, who may also be upset, are seeking some solitude in the hobby and expressions of anger destroy that perceived tranquility. Not everyone is a Colin Powell who can almost never express anger.Dick KLBE

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Sorry Dick....I originally did not see where you were going with the closing line :)Allen

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Bob, I agree that the SDK's are not Microsoft's obligation.However, I feel like they are obligated to let us know what is going on, since their statement following the FS2004 release was "soon to be released SDK's". What is soon ? 4 months is not soon.All I want is some periodic bits of communication from MS to their user base. Give us a target release date. If they can't make it, then tell us it will be a bit longer. Just tell us something !Allen

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>While it will, of course, be fun when the sdk's are released,>I'm not in agreement with folks who feel the sdks are a>microsoft obligation. To my knowledge MS did not actively>recruit us to modify its product. In general, MS policy is to>avoid open source products. After folks figured out how to,>3rd party work began to appear, but I don't think it was ever>invited...I suspect its been tolerated, and then>appreciated...but that's different from being invited.>>So....when you crash the party with no invitation, it feels>like poor taste to complain about the food.>>We have choices of how we spend our time. Some folks find>solace in complaining about what they can't change...but that>really grinds on others. That's true about me. I choose to>stay busy having a great time designing, and when the sdk>comes out...its gravey. Until then..complaints are a foolish>way to spend the precious days of this life, don't you think?>>Best,>>Bob Bernstein>Bob,With all due respect, and I mean that most sincerely as you have had a nice way of keeping things balanced...I think you are way off the mark here...Since the days of FS5.xx and the hacks of Mr.Blackie and many others MS themselves have flaunted the fact that their product is supported by a worldwide community of 3rd party developers and contributors of add-ons. MS have stated since FS95 that the FS series is an "open source" program. Since FS2k MS have stated that they will be ready with SDKs at product launch or close.Many of us have based our decisions of how we will use our resources of time and money based on what we have been led to believe was a direction that would be beneficial and helpful for all thanks in many respects to the then up and coming threat of TRI.Some folks find>solace in complaining about what they can't change...but that>really grinds on others.Complete BS Bob, Complaints are exactly how thing have changed for the better in most every aspect of FS including what functions we do or do-not have in the graphic engine as well as others. That's true about me. I choose to>stay busy having a great time designing, and when the sdk>comes out...its gravey. Gravy?Hardly! Just to remind you... the SDKs have been almost worthless, by the time they come out, they are not even correct in many aspects. Photoreal scenery capabilities that we enjoy right now did not come about via SDKs, it was painstaking and dedicated work by Christian and many others.... needlessly.Until then..complaints are a foolish>way to spend the precious days of this life, don't you think?>No Bob, Complaints are a reasonable means to get some action for those who have spent more than enough time developing the Add-ons that give MSFS its "spine" and deserve more than silence.

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well, I'm proud to have written "complete bs"...I have a real problem with folks who go part way and then quit...lolwe disagree, and that suits me fine.enjoy...Bob B

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Howdy:I guess I'm more in the same camp as Bob and Rhumba. One of the reasons for that is that MS does not market FS as Open Source, at least not to the end users. Have a look at your FS9 package (I have the tin box): it doesn't say anywhere on the box that you can add anything, and in the "manual" (ahem!), there's a brief blurb (three sentences!) on Page 27 (of 30) which talks about add-on aircraft - and aircraft only! I really don't think we are as important to MS or, more importantly, the average user as we'd like to believe (which is too bad cause it makes it so hard to discuss our dogged commitment with the ones in charge of house cleaning schedules :-) I fully understand the anxiety about and desire for better communication and/or speedier supply of SDKs but I don't think that threatening to quit your hobby is going to impress or hurt anyone other than yourself. Suggesting that FS sales will drop significantly if add-on developers were to quit tomorrow is a rather shaky assumption too (and I think that's a very gentle way of saying that). Generally, I'd say there's a difference between constructive criticism delivered to the people in charge, and complaints or rants dropped on us "sheep" that accept the bits MS sends our way whenever they arrive. Further, it occurs to me that those who deliver these complaints just seem to wait for someone to dare to present a differing opinion. In contrast, I'd like to offer a big thank-you to those that continue to dive with hex-editors into the depths of FS! Come to think of it, doing just that may very well be their preferred aspect of the FS hobby!?!Cheers, HolgerP.S. Starting a post with "with all due respect" does not eliminate the need for actually expressing respect.

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>After looking at Lee Swordy's wonderful AFCAD for FS2004, it>is apparent that some people already have their hands on the>new SDK. >>I looked at the file format of the new BGL files. And, as>Christian mentioned previously, the format appears to have>completely changed. Even the header has changed, making it>just about impossible for us anxious developers to crack it>any further.>>Since FS2004 is somewhat backward compatible, there must be 3>supported BGL header file formats now.>>I am now starting to wonder if there is a beta-test list for>the new SDK. If so, I wonder who we contact ?>>With no word from Microsoft, we may be looking at days, weeks,>or even months for the SDK.>>Am I the only one extremely agitated about this ?>>Allen>>Hi Allen,Lee have worked on the AFD BGL File format for month with a good Hex Analyzer and very good programing praxis.It took me 8 hours to analyze the AFD File format with the help of the AFCAD2 program. It is only a question of time and knowledge to crack every file format. Currently I, and I think Lee too, didn't know everything in the AFD file. But again it is only a mather of time (Trial and error, and the analyze of different AFD's help alot).So if you intrested in the AFD file format you could ask here and I try to help you.The header of the AFD contains mostly offsets to the other data structs. I guess that the AFD header wouldn't be used in other BGL, but didn't have checked this.ByeMarkus

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