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FSX Planner beta available

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Hi all,I'm new to this forum, so here is post #1. :)I am involved in the development of an airport editing program for FSX called FSX Planner. This application allows you to open an airport xml file (bgl as well once finished) and graphically edit the airport, then compile the airport into a bgl file that you can use within FSX.It is nearing completion, and is available as a beta to whomever would like to use it. As it is a beta some functionality is not yet finished, and there may be some bugs. But it is working and we will try to incorporate any suggestions into the finished product.You can download it here: http://www.zbluesoftware.com/clients/FSXPlanner.zipThere is a Read Me file that contains all the relevant information.The finished application will be avialble for free.Any feedback is appreciated.Thanks!

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Downloaded and scanned with AntiVir with no problems. Loaded and ran ok. Looks like a replacement for AFCAD which is desperately needed! Just opened LaGuardia with no futher actions yet. Wanted to post an ok since this would be a clever way for a demented person to infect your computer.I would choose some other name than FSX Planner. This denotes just another flight path planner and not what appears to be a strong airport facilities editor.Regards,Dick BoleyA PC, an LCD, speakers, CH yoke

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Thanks for the positive email. It's definintely not a virus. I actually hadn't even though of that!An alternative name we were playing with was FSX Architect. We didn't think one was better over the other, but if there is a strong concensus we might change it.-Russell

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Compile forces an Addon/Scenery folder structure. Personally I would like to place the BGL in the folder of my choice. I can see that it protects you from the unknowing user. In that case auto-creating just a Scenery folder is adequate. But I still vote for using my own folder creations.Using the arrow for editing an apron may eliminate some questions. The special tool may not be noticed.Some native (Microsoft) airport BGLs will not recompile. They have an error or two that was ok with the compiler Microsoft used early on. Just a note in case someone complains that you do not recompile stuff that is a Microsoft "standard".I would suggest the BGL DeCompile by Jon Masterson (scruffyduck) as a recommended tool to get from an existing BGL to XML. http://scruffyduck.com/ Finally it is almost a necessity to link to FSX via FSUIPC to allow repositioning airport elements based upon "reality". Aprons, taxiways, etc. can be adjusted to match photo-scenery.Regards,Dick BoleyA PC, an LCD, speakers, CH yoke

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Tried opening two sample airports from the stock FSX ones by first converting them to XML with BGL2XML and nothing got displayed. The two airports I tried were KJFK, and MYNN. Am I missing a step?

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The trick is to extract the XML file from all of the other airports within the BGL. I have found a better method for that. On the scruffyduck site there is a program called SDE. It will decode and present the airport BGL. Then you can easily locate just JFK and it will be displayed in XML format on the right side. Copy/paste to Notepad and save as an XML file. Now the FSX Planner has a single airport XML file to work with. I believe that Jon will work with the FSX Planner author to find some method of integrating his basic "engine" code to perhaps allow Planner to extract and work with the target airport XML automatically.I tried using Notepad to get just JFK from the very long XML file (BGL2XML) and found that more trouble than it was worth.Regards,Dick BoleyA PC, an LCD, speakers, CH yokeA portion of the FSX Planner - KJFK:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/171437.jpg

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Thanks I went the other way around. Hopefully other novices will find this helpful:When using FSXPlanner "find airport" feature, it actually only gives you the bgl file where your airport is located among a whole bunch of nearby airports.Therefore, as you had explained there's an intermediate step involved in extracting your airport from the others and creating an XML file with just your airport.I went ahead and had bgl2xml convert the entire Microsoft scenery bgl found in the default scenery folder.I then opened the resulting XML file in Microsoft XML Notepad (google it, its on a MS-Dev website).MS-XML Notepad will show a MS-Explorer-like tree display of the XML file. Just delete all the blocks the are NOT your airport and save it out as a new XML file to be opened in FSXPlanner.

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Wow, thanks for all the replies explaining how to convert the bgl files to xml files!You are correct, I am working with Jon and there will be the ability to convert bgl files directly into FSX Planner without the intermediate xml step. We just haven't got that far yet. Of course the xml format will always be supported.The application will also interface with Flight Simulator so that you see where you are in both apps. We may be able to do more than that, not sure yet though.What do people think of the name FSX Architect?

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>Compile forces an Addon/Scenery folder structure. Personally>I would like to place the BGL in the folder of my choice. I>can see that it protects you from the unknowing user. In that>case auto-creating just a Scenery folder is adequate. But I>still vote for using my own folder creations.Perhaps there should be an option for using Addon/Scenery folder (the default) or being able to place the bgl file where ever you like?>>Using the arrow for editing an apron may eliminate some>questions. The special tool may not be noticed.Not sure what you mean here? Do you mean having to right click to get the extra tools is something that users may not realise and therefore wonder how they can add/delete vertices?>>Some native (Microsoft) airport BGLs will not recompile. They>have an error or two that was ok with the compiler Microsoft>used early on. Just a note in case someone complains that you>do not recompile stuff that is a Microsoft "standard".We are adding an error checking feature that should make it much easier to find and then correct these errors.-Russell

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For FS2004 there was a scenery design program with Architect in its name. It never made it to FSX. If you are focusing on airport design alone then something that is specific to that goal - such as Airport Designer.If you plan to go beyond into landclass and objects then that is a different title. Regards,Dick BoleyA PC, an LCD, speakers, CH yoke

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re: >>Using the arrow for editing an apron may eliminate some>questions. The special tool may not be noticed.Not sure what you mean here? Do you mean having to right click to get the extra tools is something that users may not realise and therefore wonder how they can add/delete vertices?============================================I was thinking about the need for a separate menu tool to draw apron like areas. I was wondering if that might be better incorporated into the arrow tool. However, that would require either a pull-down or a right click popup to make the selection for drawing the apron area. Therefore, ignore my comment. It is quite all right as is.Regards,Dick BoleyA PC, an LCD, speakers, CH yoke

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I think it will remain as FSX Planner. I had heard about the FS2004 program with Architect in the name, so agree that FSX Architect would not be good. The long term goal of FSX Planner is that it will do more than just airport layouts, but scenery, etc, as well.-Russell

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Will you be adding the Airport FLX7824 Boundary function?A BGL from FSX Planner does not overide an airport BGL in the 302/26170 folder. However, a BGL for the same airport (5G8) does overide the indigenous Microsoft airport in 302/26170. The only difference I can quickly see is that the FSX Planner BGL does not contain an airport boundary. There may be some more relevant difference of course.Regards,Dick BoleyA PC, an LCD, speakers, CH yoke

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