View Full Version : Best way to support multiple versions of FS?
15 Oct 2006, 04:17
Time for another poll. This could be answered by users as well as developers. Given the arrival of another new version of FS I am wondering about the best way to support FSX and FS9 with my software.
I am still not sure how to do it for my tools, but in general I would say go for the latest version only. Maybe keep a version that works for the previous version around for a little while, but stop supporting it after a while (that is how I did it with CAT for example).
For small tools, it might be an option to support both in one tool. That is what I am thinking about for Library Creator XML for example. As the changes should not be very big. But for complex programs I doubt it is worth the trouble.
15 Oct 2006, 20:42
I see you have FSUIPC as an example of "separate versions", but of course, in fact, FSUIPC3 supported all the previous versions of FS back to FS98, even including CFS1 and CFS2.
This was getting pretty messy though. The common code concerning user facilities was fine, but the "offsets" interface was becoming unwieldy, with multiple tables directing code off into the most appropriate way of reading or writing each element of data for each version of FS. I spent a lot of time on each FS release not only hacking into FS but also making the resulting structure as efficient as possible where it mattered.
Even so, if FSX was to be another similar growth from FS9 and FS9 was from FS8 etc, I would have just extended the tables and added whatever new code was needed. I'd rather maintain one lot of code than two, and FSUIPC3 will unfortunately still need my attention for several years, I reckon. Believe it or not I still get queries for FS2000 users! And of course there are still plenty of FS2002 ones.
The deciding factor in FSX, which effectively forced a separation, was SimConnect. At last MS were doing what I had been jumping up and down asking them to do for seven years or more!
The change for FSUIPC from foraging into FS's innards to using SimConnect was total. Well, at least for 95% of the stuff -- the other 5%, currently hacked, is still being negotiated.
There was really no way to force such a completely different way of doing things into FSUIPC3. I would have still been struggling!
16 Oct 2006, 01:55
Thanks Pete. I certainly agree that maintaining more than one lot of code is a PITA. I find it a nuisance to maintain separate production and development versions. If I bug is found in the production version then that needs fixing and also in the development code.
However I am beginning to think that maintaining a maintenance only version for FS9 and concentrating on developing the FSX version is the way to go.
It never ceases to amaze me how many older versions of FS are still being used. I wonder if FSX will be different in that the adoption/switch over time for the majority will be longer than in previous versions but I don't really have any experience of that prior to FS2002 to FS2004.
Personally Im completely behind FSX and won't be looking back at FS9 for my carrier addon 3wire. This is probably not much of a suprise given the new functionality in FSX that is just not backwards compatable with FS9. Im looking forward to getting stuck into some programming with SimConnect.
16 Oct 2006, 11:20
Can you reset my vote. I voted for separate versions, but I really meant FSX only :rolleyes:
16 Oct 2006, 11:48
Not sure I can, maybe Arno or Nick could do it :)
16 Oct 2006, 15:33
sure looks that way :)
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