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Christopher Low

FU3 package authors

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I decided to have a look through the FU3 file library yesterday, in a bid to determine how many package authors there are. Since there has been some discussion about "cleaning up" the file library, I thought that I would find out just how many entries can be attributed to individual authors.....and these are the "top 15" :-)Hennie Van Rooyen..... 63Robert Driscoll....... 60Andre Meystre......... 42Pete Collis........... 29Jon Point............. 24Steve Hess............ 23Markus Brunner........ 17John Lewis............ 14Ansgar Avermeyer...... 13Jouko Huovinen........ 12Daniel Lindstrom...... 11Steffen Schiedek...... 11Naji Chehabbedine..... 10Peter Ridge........... 10Tom Wunder............ 10It is important to note that one or two authors may have double entries in my list. For example, what is the real name of Capt. Rolo ? I really should know this, but I have forgotten ! It could well be that he has uploaded several packages using his real name, in which case the total for this author would be increased. I have attached a WordPad document to this post, so that information like this can be updated.It is also worth noting that the total for Tom Wunder does not include several chat transcripts that are in the FU3 file library (I just class these as "others", since they are almost certainly a good place to start as far as "getting rid of the garbage" is concerned ;-)So, since we would need to get the permission of original package authors (wherever possible) before the trash compactor is plugged in, consider this a reminder of just how much of your own stuff currently resides in the FU3 file library. It would be useful if each individual author could have a look at their own stuff, and decide what can be discarded (if anything). There might be several different versions of the same add-on, or maybe several different bits of a much larger package that can now be downloaded (or at least obtained) in its entirety.You decide.Chris Low.

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Hey, I need just four more.(Oh yes, but I've got to delete my duplicates. Bother. Back to the bottom.)Nice effort Chris! That must have taken a while to do.You should possibly co-ordinate with agtim as I understand he is also gleaning the files.I suggest the most useful output of this would be a post pinned to the top called 'Help for Newbies' which categorises the top 10 or so contributions, eg:planes(links)packages(links)utilities(links)model databases(1 link for each region!)challenges(links)info files (like white pages, AI/ATC helps, tips and hints, airport info)(links)other (eg config files, palette enhancements)(links)Well it doesn't have to be top 10, could be more/less.Make this an openly editable document, so anyone can go in and erase ... I mean add ... things they like or find.

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Hi Chris,Have built a avsim-fu3-database the last days. Type is MS-Access, have imported all 541 entries and set classification to it like plane, scenery, tool, must have, region used ... with avsim ID and the zip name of the file for local reference on the own hard disk.now we will have to rate the entries and set some entries as outdated.There are 117 flyable planes in the lib, but many are wrong versions or beta releases.Here is a first plane list.Users with MS-Access can contribute to the rating task then I don't want to rate it alone without many opinions. :-) :-wave agtim

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Chris,I would agree that on aircraft only the most advanced version for a given aircraft from a given author should be maintaned. Frank Betts (the original moderator of this forum) has stuff under his own name and another name (which I will check on but don't remember at the moment) that he used for a while. Good stuff if I remember right."It is also worth noting that the total for Tom Wunder does not include several chat transcripts that are in the FU3 file library (I just class these as "others", since they are almost certainly a good place to start as far as "getting rid of the garbage" is concerned ;-)"I do not agree regarding the chat files. Those are very small and provide some historic context to this forum and the efforts of many (including yourself) who have worked to enhance FU3. There is a lot more there than Bob's cheese discussions. :-lol There are gems from Gideon (who made aircraft add-ons possible), Bazza, Wayne, Allan, Ansgar, and all the people who's names escape me at the moment who got all this going in the first place.

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Dear All,I suggested this to Chris in an email a little while ago, so it's good to see something happening! Andre,I've got the file and will look at it tonight. As far as my stuff goes:>> Planes* The final DC3-G202A can stay, previous bits (like the DC3 altitude correction etc) can go - I will review the exact files needing shredding!* The 2 GeeBees should really be wrapped into 1, with an alternate livery.* The Dash-8, plus other liveries (Horizon, Jersey) can stay as-is.* The Blanik should really be re-packaged without the scenery models and packages but I think it's best left alone for now. Besides, it give users new to gliding a better intro. A number of people have emailed me to thank me for their experiences in gliding, as beforehand, every time they switched the motorglider's engine off, they crashed!* The Twin Otter is also fine as-is.>> Models/Packages* I am going to re-release ALL my models in one (2 actually) release. I am currently working towards that now.* Packages (Clare's Valley, Lewis Creek etc) require special treatment IMO. Although I am releasing all the models again, I have decided that since model files are small, it makes good sense to include with a package all models and mipfiles used in it. Users will probably end-up overwriting their existing files with each package install but at least there'll be no surprises ;)* The tree upgrades (Seattle and Sanfran) are OK as-is I believe.* The Seattle FBO upgrades are OK as well.* The Sanfran FBO upgrades DO work, but something in RobD's recompiled database makes them float (apparently makes other things float too!). So, we need to trash THAT database (unless someone knows what's wrong with it) and replace it with something more stable - like individual models...* Maybe, these 2 upgrades (trees and FBOs) COULD be better done if we release an updated modelmip.tag file for each region, including JUST the above upgrades (i.e. no new model entries). This would keep them smaller and avoid people ever needing to recompile them. It's fine for us 'techies' but unfair for most users IMO - see below: * I will stick my neck out here and suggest that apart from recompiling modelmip.tag files to include model upgrades (i.e. FBOs, ntrees etc.), all models should be uploaded as individual sets of files. This constant recompiling of tagfiles has resulted in a few disasters for some of us and isn't something we should encourage. The games works fine even with >2,000 files in the gen folders! Otherwise, if us developers ever wish to re-release a model or mipfile, the entire procedure must be repeated and sorting through 1576 files for the RIGHT mipfile to replace may sound easy, but 1 mistake and it's CTDs for ever :-(Anyway, I'll review everything and report back soon :-waveBTW, I think it IS really time for Avsim to give us 1 or 2 library categories to make things easier - even if it's just 'Aircraft & Liveries' and 'Scenery & Models'. Especially if we are expecting a small flood of newbies ;)Oh, and thanks guys (Avsim) for doing the wonderful job that only you do! Hopefully this re-release will bring lots of newcomers to the site. Even if they don't stay with FU3, there's plenty more for them here. Besides, I am soooo sick of sites requiring 'membership' just to download freeware - especially when it requires payment. As you all probably know, I have been especially careful to have my stuff removed from these sites (if you find any, let me know), in keeping with my 'you're not paying me, so don't charge others for access to my work' ethic!Regards,**************Jonathan Point**************"I'd rather be down here wishing I was up there than up there wishing I was down here"

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For the records , My real name is Ralph Mace. I always use my virtual name.Allthough Allan D. and I did a package together.Sure is nice to be around such talented people and fellow pilots!CaptRolo

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Hi FU3 gang,Tom.Frank Betts used the name Kim Wiemer (not sure I spelled the last name right but, it's close)Frank lives really close to us, Carol and I have met Frank and his better half Linda, we spent an afternoon together playing FU3 and FS2002. I showed him how to land on the dome so there might be two folks in the FU3 world that could do that :-lolChris.I see I only have 2 files in the library that are still bugging you.I'll remove them in the morning.There is one other that was a joint effort between Capt Rolo (Ralph Mace) and myself that I'll have to get his ok on before I remove.Also I have a add on by Capt Bazza uploaded the ship I believe, I'll try to get ahold of him and see if we can remove that file.Now Hennie Van Ronnie is a different story, I have never seen anything that he invented by his very own self, but a lot of my packages are in his scenery uploads. How do I get rid of them?Heaven forbid that FU3 should be bogged down by anything that I've added.I have so much fun playing with fled, (still) but have learned not to share or brag about it. Have Fun :-vuurAllan and PuppyBush Flying Unlimitedhttp://avsim.com/hangar/air/bfu/logo70.gif

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Good to see you Allan,"Frank Betts used the name Kim Wiemer"Thanks. Knew it was something like that.I see no reason for removing any of your files. I think it would be good to remove early versions of things that are fully replaced by later versions by the same author but nothing beyond that.As an example:If V1.1 was the newest version of my Skyhawk then 1.0 would have to stay because 1.1 was an update and did not fully replace 1.0. But 2.0 and later 2.1 (done to your specs) did fully replace the earlier versions. So all versions up to 2.1 of my Skyhawk may be removed. Jan Haagdorens put in a version 2.1a that is based on my 2.1. That can not be seen to replace 2.1 because it is the work of another author and I for one (probably the only one) happen to prefer mine. So 2.1 & 2.1a must remain.So you see Allan your stuff is very important and I for one think it should stay. I wish you would upload more. I am probably prejudiced since I happen to use and like many of your packages. :) All of my planes have newer versions by other authors that are probably preferred by most... too bad... I happen to like mine. There is no reason that each author can't be represented in the library.And one more thing... DO NOT remove anything of Barry's (Bazza's)... his stuff is far too good to be cast aside. Even... or maybe especially... the ship! :-lolNote to Chris Low:It would appear that Baron 2.1 & Beaver 2.0 are the newest versions of those aircraft and they do fully replace the earlier versions. I had 3 other aircraft under development but never completed them.

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Allan,I only made the list as a reference tool to make each package author aware of how many of their own packages were in the FU3 file library. The two packages of your own that are included in the list are certainly not "bugging me", and I do not expect you to remove them if you don't want to. Maybe you were simply making a joke, but it is rather annoying that you seem to respond to many of my posts by assuming that I am "out to get you". That has NEVER been the case (which is something that I have tried to explain to you many times).The total for Frank Betts remains at 6, since I was well aware that he uploaded these with the name "Kim Wermer". There are no packages in the FU3 file library at the present time that specifically state Frank Betts as the author.With respect to Hennie Van Rooyen, does anyone know his e-mail address ?Chris Low.

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Tom,That's fair enough. If some of you would like the chat files to remain, then they should stay.Chris Low.

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I agree with Jon about the model database files. The easiest would be to replace the modelmip.tag files for SanFran/Seattle regions with the original LGS versions, modified by Jon's improved versions of various trees and FBO's, then have all other models just sitting in the GEN directory. This makes updates much easier.Now that we have agtim's tools for listing models used, I also agree its become easier to include all of the models used in a package with the release version. That will mean a lot of work for me, because in the early days (before the UKS) work I tried to make generic models, and even now I will use a lot of common objects between packages - a fence is a fence. Still, I think he is right and it is time to clean this up. But I have been so busy with other developments that I will need some time to disentangle myself and put these packages into the form that Jon wants.If AVSIM gives us a second library, that would help - we could move finished (public release) stuff to there, and slowly work through the rest.But I think the easiest is to have a pinned message at the top of the postings here, containing links to "final and best products", openly editable and addressed to newbies.Agtim's list of planes is excellent. My own hangar got to over 100 planes ages ago, and I've kept sorting and deleting so it sits on about 60 now. Who would have thought the old sim to have so much blood? I remember people criticising FU3 for so few planes. I think there is only a handful of planes I would now like to add - a helicopter (impossible), a spitfire (yessss!!!) and a Concorde (why does no-one build a Concorde?). I've got the rest - gliders, seaplanes, seagulls, boats, blimps, 747's, DC3's, modern planes, ancient planes, ultralights, blackbirds.No, I don't want a space shuttle thanks.RobD.

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Hi,I remember an old post here of someone lamenting the sudden, and without warning deletion of a Flight Unlimited 2 section of the library. Now there's to be voluntary deletions of certain archives in the Flt3 category?I have wary thoughts of a long away author, having been contacted about this venture, requesting the whole of his uploads be deleted.My input:-I hope Steve Hess and Hennies files stay intact.-Hands off any Bfu stuff.-Hands off any outer terrain packages.-I've never contibuted anything of significant value to the flt3 library, so you all can delete anything I've uploaded if you like. JimB

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Jim,Hennie has a total of 63 entries in the FU3 file library. Are these all unique ? The main reason for making everyone aware of the number of packages attributed to each author was to get those authors to search for (and delete) older versions of the same add-on. That makes a lot of sense, and is something that I have done immediately whenever I have uploaded new versions of my packs.I think that a smaller, tighter FU3 file library would be a lot better than a sprawling mass of individual bits and pieces.Chris Low.

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As next here the list of scenery packages by region.There are 126, grouped as SanFran, Seattle, both region, Outer region, UKS and Switzerland. :-wave agtim

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Now I have generated 8 lists and updated the plane list (now 122)Size is too large here, have uploaded all lists in 1 zip in the library. :-wave agtim

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I suggest that we don't rearrange the avsim library, but simply pin a post to the top directing people where to look for downloads. Such a list could be updated easily and would allow future development of the forum and library.Using agtim's pdf file for challenges, I've put together a sample of what we could do, simplifying the information (note the AVSIM forum deletes white space so formatting is difficult):CHALLENGESRegion: (not known)P51 Challenge

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I spent a lot of the weekend trying to construct a better version of the UKS modelmip.tag database. Its slow, because I have to check each package for all models, then all models for all mips. Without agtim's little programs it would be impossible, but it will still take me some time. A quick check with one airport of a partial rebuild did not show an improvement in framerate - in fact it seemed that having so many models outside the database slowed the framerate. At this point I think the idea of having each package self-contained is NOT a good idea, and that we made the right choices with UKS in going for the large database inclusive of models as they were made. That is, it is better to have the models inside the database, despite the hassles with upgrading. It would be better to spend the effort on making an automated update program instead.This seems different to what was said on this forum before, and I understand people wanting to make each package self-sufficient. Maybe it works better for Seattle/San Fran, since packages there use few new models. If I included all models used in my packages, they would be bigger downloads than Ansgar's 747! I don't think this is a good idea.So I suggest making updated versions of the models databases for each region, linking this to a download (as suggested in previous post), and re-releasing packages without the models. All you would need is a message at the beginning saying "Requires models database xxxx (link)".And as usual probably the best is a compromise - new models can sit quite happily outside the database, and rebuilds need only be done if a large number of new models comes along.RobD.

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Rob,"So I suggest making updated versions of the models databases for each region, linking this to a download (as suggested in previous post), and re-releasing packages without the models. All you would need is a message at the beginning saying "Requires models database xxxx (link)". "This wouldn't work for either of us - I create packages to show-off new models and you create new models for all your packages!Maybe, the answer lies in between. Certainly for UKS, as many models are unique to the area, THOSE models should be in the database, together with all the 'generic' LGS stuff already ported across. At some stage (once per year?), someone re-compiles it with the models added recently. We could do the same for the other regions too.I just can't live with the concept of creating packages only using existing models :-roll It would also discourage everyone (including me) from contributing models :-( What we DO need is a simple utility that does the mipfile rebuild from a GUI interface, allowing people to add models to their own databases when they receive them. As you did Fixmip, do you think this is easy? I envisage that you would open it, select the database to be edited (which would then show you a list of models and mipfiles), then select the models & mipfiles to be added in another pane and hit 'Compile'. I know this can be done from a command prompt but there must be a better way for others to use!You could also add the ability to check for the right mipfiles being present - simply read the first part of the binfile to get the texture names, truncate the extension and search for the mipfile name in the source folder. If not found, show an error message and halt the process (to prevent one from compiling the tagfile with a missing mipfile).Actually, I just thought of a usefule checking utility - something that disassembles the tagfile and checks that all required mipfiles are there, using the above method.So, anyone up for some programming? I'm a bit busy building bridges and aircraft right now ;)Regards,**************Jonathan Point**************"I'd rather be down here wishing I was up there than up there wishing I was down here"

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No, I don't want to stop people making new models! - that's not what I meant. I'm certainly against anything that limits people from making new models, and I think most people would agree that to save framerates, the original LGS models were made a bit too sparsely. So I have no problems with people releasing new packages with new models in any way they like, with the new models just being shoved in the GEN / LITEMAPS directories. But what I would find a bit difficult with UKS (well, I HAVE found it difficult already) is re-releasing the old packages as self-contained units with all models provided, because of the sheer size of the resulting packages (literally bigger than Ansgar's 747 release package). You would end up downloading some models many times as I reuse them in multiple packages. So take your pylons packages - if there were 10 packages using the pylons, would each package have to be self-complete? In the UKS case, the total models size is too large.So I think ideally, we should make a link (like the Challenges one I put up before) pointing to a current best version of the database, and below the link, pointers to packages that may contain new models not in the database, but are complete with the database. So you would download the modelmip.tag for the region, download the package, copy new models into the directory, and it should work straightaway. Every so often, we rebuild the database to include newer models. And basically that's what we're doing now, except that we don't have it organised in a way that is easily accessable by newbies.I have always thought that there was very little effort by this community put into making scenery models, and that has very much disappointed me. When Captn Bazza started making them, I was very thirsty for even the stupidest models (castle, dragons, old ships) that he put out, because no-one else was bothering. And I think making good models is far more complex than most people think - I have lost track of the number of times people have said to me - let's make a little city here, with castles, streetlights, every major building etc - and then been disappointed that I didn't drop it in there email the next day! People put big efforts into other aspects, and assume that making models is a 5 min job at the end of the package. Its the other way round, and I have done both. So I certainly am not against development of new models, and we still have plenty to do, eg the DSF series that should be replaced.And after all that, I think we're saying the same thing! A main database for each area, updated occasionally, clearly linked for newbies. Possibly packages should reference the version (eg link number or year) of the regional database they are based on, and all databases be backwards compatible!.Despite this, I don't have strong feelings either way (after all, I put in many hours over the weekend to try and find a workable solution for UKS with standalone packages, and will keep trying if that's the consensus). I don't want this to stop us getting our house in order. That's my 2c worth.Your next point was to write a program to do this. YES!! I would love this. I don't know how to build the modelmip.tag though - I simply use the existing programs. But it might be possible to run those programs from within a supervisory windows based program. So I will look at this. Probably agtim will beat me to it ...RobD.

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Robert,Your comments concerning the time required to build models is a good one. In fact, every time that I see something else that I would like to add to the SanFran 2005 pack, I worry about whether I should ask Jon to build it or not ! As he says, he already has plenty on his plate.However, Jon also makes a good point regarding using existing models for new packages. I am having that very problem with respect to small buildings for marina packages. I end up using "house5" for the vast majority of these, because I am not aware of any other models to use that are of a similar size, or simply seem appropriate. If any of you know of any models that could be used for small buildings at places like these, then please let me know ! They would need to be buildings ONLY (ie. not including other stuff "stuck onto the side", like cars, gardens etc). Alternatively, if anyone fancies creating a handful of models for this type of package, then feel free to start building ! Buildings with "witches hat" style roofs (four hips converging at the peak) are quite common for "marina HQs", but a nice combination of buildings with terracotta or grey roofs would be great :-)It would also be useful to be able to remove existing models from a region, but in a confined area. I am thinking here about the sail boats that exist at the Pier 39 marina (San Francisco, near Fisherman's Wharf), Emery Cove marina (this is on the east side of the bay, just north of Alameda), and also Pillar Point harbour (next to Half Moon Bay airport). I would really like to be able to remove the sail boats from these locations.....but ONLY these locations (without having to manually remove them using FLED). This would allow me to create new marina scenery packages at these locations.Any ideas ?Chris Low.

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Find me a photo of what you want and I'll build it, no problems. Also, the Cardiff houses would add some variety - they are based on actual English houses but may be close to what you want. Or if not, possibly they could be renamed and retextured. So send me a pic and I'll send you the model (simple houses shouldn't take too long so long as you don't want the doorbell rendered in 3D!).I guess I'm advocating leaving the avsim library untouched, and producing a post guiding people to links rather than culling the whole library. Any thoughts?RobD.

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Robert,OK, thanks. That will take some of the pressure off Jon !I will send you some screenshots of various marinas that I would like to include in SanFran 2005. These should give you an idea regarding the sizes and types of buildings that I am looking for.I thought that you would be far too busy with the UKS region, which is why I did not ask you in the first place. Your help is greatly appreciated.Chris Low.

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