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Terrain Configuration Analyser

Discussion in 'Tools programming' started by Markus Freyt, 28 Nov 2010.


Do you think this tool would be useful for you?

  1. yes

    0 vote(s)
  2. no

    0 vote(s)
  1. Markus Freyt

    Markus Freyt

    29 Dec 2009

    have you ever wondered what kind of changes scenery addons might apply to your terrain.cfg, when you run their black-box installers? Have you ever got fear that they might change something, which would crash other addons? Have you ever noticed, what happens if you run their deinstallers?

    Well, its a pitty, but there is only one terrain.cfg in the root directory of Microsoft FSX and most scenery applications are using it to optimize their addons. Of course, it would be great to have a terrain.cfg for each scenery instead. This one could contain the CHANGES to the original, only! The resulting terrain.cfg would be a mixture of core and custom terrain.cfg. This would be much more powerful and also easier to use for the developer and user. If you would like to revert to the original behaviour you could do very easily by just activating via FSX scenery management.

    Anyway, as stated above there is only one and this means that there could occure conflicts indeed. During developing our scenery openVFR, we thought it might be a good idea to develop an independant (free) tool to compare different configuration before appying them to the final terrain.cfg. We hate installers! :p

    The idea was, that this tool would automatically load the standard terrain.cfg of a standard Microsoft FSX into a temporary buffer. You could add your exisiting terrain.cfg and any new one (independant from openVFR) additionally to it. With the help of the tool you would be able to compare and edit the different versions before saving it as a new terrain.cfg. Also you could check for conflicts the new one would affect to your actual configuration. Finally the tool would also help you to revert to earlier versions.

    Well, right now the tool is in development already (refer to the screen) and it would be very interesting for us to get your fedback.

    What would be th functionally you would expect?
    What are the problems you are faced with? Do you see problems? :confused:
    What would be helpful to get integrated into this new tool?

    Looking forward to your feedback. Many thanks.

  2. rhumbaflappy

    rhumbaflappy Moderator Staff Member Resource contributor

    2 Jun 2004
    Hi Markus.

    Good luck with the tool. However, I think you'll find the problem will be the end-users are already not able to comprehend the terrain.cfg

    As it exists, you only need to rename the terrain.cfg as terrain.orig to deactivate it. Then you can create any CFG you like, for any combination of active scenery you like... and that's not excessively complicated. Just use the Scenery Library to activate/deactivate scenery, and then swap in/out the correct terrain.cfg by renaming the CFG files.

    But this is already beyond the scope of most end-users.

    Your proposed tool will only further confuse the end-users, and lead them into all sorts of temptation to tweak their FSX. In the end, you'll produce hundreds of "how do I" and "I need help" posts related to your program.

    While your tool would be of interest to simmers capable of understanding the terrain.cfg, those simmers already don't need such a tool to swap out different terrain.cfg files. And your tool may lead developers down the path of temptation to produce dozens of new terrain.cfg files to further confuse the situation.

    Sorry for the depressing post, but there it is. The Aces screwed this up, and there will be no end to the problem until ( hopefully ) Flight arrives and gives us a correctly programmed way to have terrain.cfg files for each scenery folder.

  3. scruffyduck

    scruffyduck Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

    17 Sep 2005
    I am inclined to agree with Dick.
  4. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

    28 May 2004
    Hi Markus,

    As we already discussed by email, I think this tool is only useful to a limited set of people.

    Many scenery packages automatically install their updates to the terrain.cfg file, so then you are already too late to compare them. So I am not sure if it is really useful to end users (as others have pointed out, it might be above their knowledge as well).

    But it might be useful for developers to compare their changes with the default or other terrain.cfg files.
  5. LCSims


    26 Aug 2009
    Since the poll asks "Do you think this tool would be useful for you?", I answered yes.

    If the poll asked "Do you think this tool would be useful for the general FSX user?", I would have answered no.

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