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Guest Larrycx

What works in FS2004 like LWMviewer?

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Hi All,First of all I give up on XML, its too strict for me. I think some MS head programmer has a vanity problem and is forcing this mess downstream. Other less rigid compilers worked OK.I've been trying to figure out what earlier stuff works with FS2004. I have the most recent (I hope)downloads of Airport, FSSC, LWMdraw. LWMviwer and have FSUIPC installed. I have had some success with LWMdraw and have been studying the tutorials and help in others. I have a notebook full and starting on a second one. I get the impression that "backward compatability" is OK in FS2004 and not planning to move to the next version. Some of the programs seem to work in 2004 and other don't. I was really interested in LWMviewer and wanted to look at some of Microsoft's BGLs. It seems to work with some addon BGLs but screams about opening Microsoft's.Will Airport work. Even with FSUIPC in FS2004 I don't seem to have a link?Will FSSC Work. A lot of posts imply it will but I can't get off the ground?Help Please!!Larry Costa

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LWMViewer works fine with MS bgl's, perhaps you could explain your problem.George

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George, First of all thanks for the reply. This is my 2nd attempted post to you. I accidently hit the ctrl key and then esc and my entire messsage disappeared. Perhaps it was posted. Re: you question. With LWMviewer and FS2004 open at my home airport (99V, Crawford, Colorado, USA) and in slew mode I just found out I could get to several BGLs and a background of a bunch of rivers & streams that make sense for the area. However, in LMVviewer I click fileopen and choose most any BGL in FS2004sceneryworld I get "Unsupported filetype". But I just discovered that if I choose "bvcf.bgl" I don't get the message but the background remains blank. I don't know enough to proceed at this point.My original post revolves around the number of tools available for scenery design at AVSIM. I have been following a lot of posts and am confused and overwhelmed by too many choices. Long ago I used to program in MASM and used some then available tools to change some stuff in FS98. By using LWMdraw I was able to add a pond at 99V and Crawford Resevoir to FS2004 but both need some touchup. I will be doing that and upload the BGLs when right. Right now my goal is to change the runway at 99V from gravel to asphalt to make it the way it is now. Any ideas (but not too many!) would be appreciated. I kinda know I will have to exclude the gravel before adding the replacement but its all very fuzzy right now. Right now I have LWMviewr and FS2400 open with the rivers & streams background but don't know the next step(s)Thanks again,:) Larry

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Larry,I think you are trying to use the wrong tool. LWMViewer is to show the land/water masks and not airports. I would suggest that you look at AFCAD by Lee Swordy. I've not used this tool, but I think it is just what you are looking for. Others in the forum would probably be more helpful.George

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>Hi All,>First of all I give up on XML, its too strict for me. I think>some MS head programmer has a vanity problem and is forcing>this mess downstream. Other less rigid compilers worked OK.You're right - XML is strict. I found it pretty frustrating, but I kept with it, and learned from the minor little mistakes I made, and now I can at least tolerate it.... barely. I almost gave up, but I found lots of help here, and I found that other people were having the same problems I was. Don't give up!- Martin

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George, Thanks again for the response. The LWMviewer is a great tool! :) I poked around in it and found my area and airport, I think I have isolated the area that underlies the airport. It is some VTP polys that look about what I saw on the viewer. At least I know for sure which cell and areas are involved.I will check out AFCAD. This is still another one to figure out among the others I already have. I really apreciate the info.:) Larry

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Hi.>However, in LMVviewer I click fileopen and choose most any>BGL in FS2004sceneryworld I get "Unsupported filetype".You've picked probably the one folder that contains almost nothing that LWMViewer will read :) (Yet, anyway...)>I just discovered that if I choose "bvcf.bgl" I don't get the>message but the background remains blank.It should really complain about that one too, that's a minor bug I never remember to fix. If you check out the readme with LWMViewer, it has a list of filetypes that it will load; not just rivers and streams, but pretty much any visible feature except for specially placed objects. It will show you the *locations* of airports but not any other details (runway designations, radio frequencies etc).Regards,Jim Keir.

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Hi right back Jim, I played around with LWMviewer some more and WOW! :) Its a great tool. I was able to open the background BGLs by "following" or by location and even able to look a the source code. It doesn't matter to me if I can't open a BGL by filename. I wouldn't know which one to open anyhow. I now know which cells and areas are under Crawford, CO airport. Another answer told me to check out FSCAD 2+ which I did and it looks like the tool I neeed to modify this and some other airports that need changes in the general area I fly real ones and the Sim.I'm going to refind the LWMviewer thread and suscribe. Who knows what gems I will find there.Thanks again to you and others for the help.Larry :) :)

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Martin, 1st thanks you for the boost. I kinda knew that others were fighting the XML stuff with frustration. Now that LWMviewer has let me see some of the MS coding examples, I might be able to force myself to learn more. Really any computer language requires experimentation and involvement to learn enough to get by. Windows XP had me unhappy til I learned more about where and what to poke. I still think XML is sorta eliteist. There must be a bunch of macros out there to at least get the headers and equates going. I promise I will look closer.Larry :)

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LarryYou should consider looking at using an XML editor rather than trying to hand-code the XML. Not only will this prevent you making mistakes in the XML syntax (or give you early feedback on any you do make), but if you're lucky it will also use the bglcomp XSD file to show you what valid options are available at any point in your XML file.For example, if you're entering the scenery complexity, it will show you that the valid options are VERY_SPARSE, SPARSE, NORMAL, DENSE, VERY_DENSE or EXTREMELY_DENSE. When you subsequently compile the saved file you can guarantee it will sail through the XML compiler stage, though it's possible that BGL comp could still throw out other errors such as min lat should be less than max lat.This is one of the great strengths of XML, but unfortunately if no-one takes advantage of it it is completely wasted.The bad news is that I can't personally recommend an XML editor which will do the job. I've heard Peter's XML Editor recommended, but I don't think it has complete XSD support as yet. You could certainly buy a payware XML editor which would do the trick, but at the moment these tend to be a little pricey. (If anyone can recommend a suitable XML editor, I'm sure a lot of people will find it useful).Finally, using an XML editor can be seen as a convenience and/or learning tool, but does not prevent you edit the XML direct once you become more familiar with it if that's how you prefer to work.John FarrieVisual Flighthttp://www.visualflight.co.uk

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Hi John.I agree with what you write excepting:"When you subsequently compile the saved file you can guarantee it will sail through the XML compiler stage"Actally, the XSD/compiler combo is full of bugs. Some are in the XSD, some are in the compiler, and some are in the documentation.Hopefully, MS will re-release a corrected version of the SDK. If not, we will be able to change the XSD file to help some, but the compiler bugs will remain.Possibly, someone will crack the new BGL format, and bypass all this with a BGLC or SCASM version, or compile directly from a GUI, like AFCAD2.It doesn't matter how the BGLs are made, as long as their formatting is acceptable to the sim. With the old scenery we had the advantage of the Scenery SDK showing us the actual ASM code. Here we are just given a "placer", with no insight to the internal code structure, and no indication that any other code, such as conditional code with variables, is allowed. This makes the new scenery quite restrictive. If the old BGLC is not allowed in FS10, we might be in some trouble.I haven't found a satisfying XML editor either... perhaps we'll need to make an FS9-specific editor.Another possible problem, is that we should be arranging our elements according to LOD8 (?) cells from NW to SE... first finishing a latitudinal row before proceeding with the next row. The compiler makes no provision for this, but we may have problems with large sceneries if we don't use this convention.All this points to the desirability of a GUI program that will do all this transparently in the background, like AirportforWindows or FSSC.Dick

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Dick,I couldn't agree more. However if both the schema and parser both have errors it makes it difficult to use any XML editor.George

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>Actally, the XSD/compiler combo is full of bugs. Some are in>the XSD, some are in the compiler, and some are in the>documentation.I'm aware of the discrepencies between the documentation and the XSD, but I'd be interested to hear what bugs there are in the compiler itself. (Apologies if I've missed any obvious posts on this).>I haven't found a satisfying XML editor either... perhaps>we'll need to make an FS9-specific editor.That's rather a nice idea. It's surprising that there isn't a decent XML editor already, and one geared towards MSFS scenery design could help ease people not familiar with XML into the process as well as making sure the output is optimised for FS as you say.John

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Hi John.BGLComp cannot allow the placement of advanced buildings at elevation... only at AGL ( that doesn't allow us to place hardened flat surfaces anywhere in the sim ). It can be hacked with a hex editor. Note: this is specifically forbidden by the compiler; it was not an omission.Biasing problems, and attaching anything other than an object to an attachpoint is also not allowed. Inability to delete an ILS ( possibly not a problem with BGLComp ).We actually have a good compiler in the old BGLC ( it's just assembly language )... we just need the proper macros, and file structure info to use it.Dick

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Hi John, You are right a decent XML editor would be great but from what I'm seeing in posts even the payware ones aren't ready. I will check my version and dates of the bdlcomp sdk, it could be out of date already. Things move so fast with FS2004 scenery design that its hard to stay aware of what's out there. I was looking for a set of BGL macros to at least eliminate all the header stuff. I may already have them in my bdlcomp sdk. Its hard for me to understand it all at this point.AFCAD let me do one of the things I wanted to do, change my home airport from gravel to asphalt and make it wider. (and still let me avoid XML)One of today' posts contained a small list of tools and a brief description of waht they could do. This was more like my original start of this thread was asking. I think its topic 17480. Meanwhile I will keep plugging away. Its kinda hard for an old coder like I used to do to years ago to jump into today's world of "programming". I assume a XSD file is a source code for the compiler but I could be that ignorant.Larry Costa

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