Prepar3D v3 - dissapointment ?

Are you dissapointed with P3D V3 feature list


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#21
A zero byte file never really exists... except as an entry into the drive's table. However, the zero byte file's "location" is inside the core sim's folders... and L-M wants those folders to remain pristine, untouched by addons in any manner. There are .cfg files for what needs to be done.
 
#22
All.....you keep forgetting that P3D is not a tool for hobbyists/amateurs. LM doesn't even want you to use it as such "on the record". It's a training tool. They could really care less about developers for "simming use",
Some companies and government entities pay millions in licensing for P3D. Most hobbyists pay only for the "educational" license at best, or just download illegally. Lockheed is not interested in your business, yet they've made the tools available for commercial developers, and even provide support in limited way. I know some team members at Lockheed Orlando, where P3D Team is, and they don't have Aerosoft, FS Dreamteam, ORBX in mind when they develop P3D. I would almost say that such commercial developers take away some credibility from them. I've flown the real F-22 and F-35 simulators several times, and they are P3D based. Friends of mine work on future battlefield simulations.....all P3D.

Let's just be grateful we have access to play with this "tool" (which I am certain it will eventually be taken away from general public). Still beats Steam Edition in my opinion.

David
 
#23
http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/prepar3d-v3-dissapointment.435243/page-2#post-723452

A zero byte file never really exists... except as an entry into the drive's table. However, the zero byte file's "location" is inside the core sim's folders... and L-M wants those folders to remain pristine, untouched by addons in any manner. There are .cfg files for what needs to be done.
AFAIK, NTFS 'SymLinks' or 'Hard link' "clones" are NOT *.LNK files, and using them will essentially place NOTHING "inside the core sim's folders", thus IIUC, ALLOWING "those folders to remain pristine, untouched by addons in any manner".

As Link Shell Extension (aka "LSE") author Hermann Schinagl explains in the "Background" section of his web page:

http://schinagl.priv.at/nt/hardlinkshellext/linkshellextension.html


"Symbolic Links differ from Shortcuts in that they offer a transparent pathway to the desired data object, with a shortcut (.lnk), something has to read and interpret the content of the shortcut file and then open the file that it references (i.e. it is a two step process). When an application uses a symlink it gains immediate access to the data object referenced by the symlink (i.e. it is a one step process)".


http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/prepar3d-v3-dissapointment.435243/#post-723417

It will be interesting to see how these P3Dv3 linkage and prioritization features work as they are more fully explored and tested. :scratchch


FYI: Developers who wish install their 3rd party add-on (not replacement) content outside the [P3Dv3 install path] local root and nested sub-folder chain, may wish to consider using directory (aka "folder") symbolic links via Junction v1.06 By Mark Russinovich, available from Windows Sysinternals at: :wizard:

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896768.aspx


This freeware utility by one of Microsoft's top programmers can be used via a installer or configurator utility, a script, 'DOS' batch file, etc. to make and break a junction link with a remote folder (and all files within it), such that they 'appear' to be located inside the local folder (...but actually are NOT inside the local folder.).
http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/prepar3d-v3-dissapointment.435243/#post-723417

Obviously both the "P3Dv3 3PD" and end-user communities would benefit from a 'rich' feature set in P3Dv3 for linkage and prioritization of add-on content, which would eliminate the complexities (and risks) associated with exercising ones legal right to use obscure features that already exist in the Windows NTFS file system (and which should, IMHO, not be interpreted as "EULA work-arounds"). ;)
Again, it will be interesting to see how these P3Dv3 linkage and prioritization features work as they are more fully explored and tested. :scratchch

And again, how 'rich' the feature set in P3Dv3 for linkage and prioritization of add-on content will be as it evolves through various subsequent updates, may ultimately impact whether and how P3Dv3 users may exercise their legal right to utilize existing options available within the Windows NTFS file system to "associate" their add-on content with the [P3Dv3 install path] local root and nested sub-folder chain from the "outside" via NTFS 'SymLinks', and not through placement of any physical "file" inside P3Dv3's folders.


Hope this helps ! :)

GaryGB
 
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#24
Frankly if I wasn't embracing the changes I'd probably be figuring out how to hack FTX and Carenado into the new sim right now instead of playing around with these .cfgs. :)

EDIT: OK now I'm hacking FTX and Carenado into the new sim. ;)
Hi Jim:

I'm curious if you have (or are presently) testing how NTFS "SymLinks" or "Hard Links" work in linking external 3rd party content to [P3Dv3 install path] local root and nested sub-folders ...with or without concurrent use of the P3Dv3 feature set for linkage and prioritization of add-on content (ex: *.Cfg files) ? :scratchch

And if instead you have yet another (different) method, could you also share that info with us here ?


Thanks in advance for your clarification. :)

GaryGB
 
#25
It's the new v3 content management system Gary, we now have a bunch of .cfgs located in the ProgramData folder where you can specify an alternate folder containing your addons outside the sim.

LM now says:
the files contained in [the Prepar3D v3] folder, should never be modified
My understanding is that a symbolic link simply redirects the sim (or whatever) to another folder, the actual files within the folder containing the link (if any) are ignored. That would mean you'd need a complete duplicate of the P3D\Texture folder at the linked location for example, where with the content management system (theoretically) your alternate folder defined in the .cfg need only contain the files you wish to override, the sim will get whatever it can't find in the alternate folder from the default P3D\Texture folder. Maybe I'm wrong about symbolic links, I've never messed with them. Please correct me if so.

The .cfgs we have are listed below:

airlines.cfg
autogen.cfg
display.cfg
effects.cfg
fonts.cfg
gauges.cfg
scaleform.cfg
scenarios.cfg
scenery.cfg
shadersHLSL.cfg
simobjects.cfg
sound.cfg
suneffect.cfg
terrain.cfg
texture.cfg
weather.cfg

texture.cfg for example looks like this (default state):

Code:
[Entry.0]
Title=Default Textures
Path=Texture
Type=Global
Required=True
Active=True

[Entry.1]
Title=Default Global Scenery Textures
Path=Scenery\Global\Texture
Type=Global
Required=True
Active=True

[Entry.2]
Title=Default World Textures
Path=Scenery\World\Texture
Type=World
Required=True
Active=True
If you wanted to define an alternate Texture folder, say you want to use the freeware HDEv2 sky and clouds package without modifying anything in the P3D folder you might do it like this:

Code:
[Entry.0]
Title=Default Textures
Path=Texture
Type=Global
Required=True
Active=True

[Entry.1]
Title=Default Global Scenery Textures
Path=Scenery\Global\Texture
Type=Global
Required=True
Active=True

[Entry.2]
Title=Default World Textures
Path=Scenery\World\Texture
Type=World
Required=True
Active=True

[Entry.3]
Title=Addon Textures
Path=D:\P3Dv3 Addon Content\Texture
Type=Global
Required=True
Active=True
Then you'd place the 140 HDE sky_*.bmps and cumulus01.bmp into the alternate folder at
D:\P3Dv3 Addon Content\Texture and (theoretically) the sim would use those 141 files from the alternate Texture folder yet still get runway and taxiway textures for example from the main P3D\Texture folder.

I assume these .cfgs are supposed to give you priority as you'd layer things in the scenery library (that's what I'd expect anyway and that's what devs will need in order for this to work), I say "theoretically" because priority doesn't seem to be honored at this time, I tried the above scenario and found that the sky textures were read from the alternate texture folder while the cumulus01.bmp was read from the default P3D\Texture folder in spite of the file being available in the alternate folder. When I swapped the priorities of the default and alternate Texture folders around in the .cfg the opposite happened but priority was still seemingly random.

That's the problem I see with the new content management system, we will need consistent prioritizing between addon and default files if this is to work and everyone is to keep their files out of the P3D structure, as it is now the only way to gain consistent priority over default files is to overwrite them.

It all works fine if the files in your external folder system are not competing with default files of the same filenames, I set up the Carenado Navajo for example in an external folder without a glitch.

Additionally but unrelated we've been given the ability to edit these .cfgs by passing a command to Prepar3D.exe from an installer script for example, special tools that append entries to the scenery.cfg, dll.xml, exe.xml, etc. are no longer needed (terrain.cfg isn't implemented yet):

Code:
Prepar3D.exe "-Configure: File=Scenery, Operation=Add, Path=C:\Program Files (x86)\My Company\My Scenery Product\data, Title=My Scenery, Required=True, Active=True"
More here:
http://www.prepar3d.com/SDKv3/LearningCenter/add-ons/add-on_configuration.html

Apologies for the lengthy post :)
Jim
 
#26
Hi Jim:

Thanks for that lengthy explanation (the details helped) and for linking a SDK doc on the new P3Dv3 add-on configuration method. :)


IMHO, having a prioritization system that "works" properly would need to be a "top priority" for the p3Dv3 development team. :pushpin:


I offered the above posted info on SymLinks to stimulate some though-provoking exploration of alternative and/or supplemental options for FS developers and end-users to have more complete control over use of their add-ons.

My initial thought was that SymLinks may help keep 'certain' add-on (and not 'replacement') content "outside" the [P3Dv3 install path] local root and nested sub-folders, since SymLinks 'associate' external 3rd party content files to [P3Dv3 install path] local root and nested sub-folders as if they were placed within those folders (...although they actually are not located 'inside' those folders).

Thus P3Dv3 would not know the files are "outside" the [P3Dv3 install path] local root and nested sub-folders.


But certainly if a 'Draconian' feature were implemented by LM to inventory all non-default P3D files at startup that "appear" to be located within the [P3Dv3 install path] local root and nested sub-folders, and that same feature then prevents P3Dv3 from running until one removes the SymLinks or Hard Link "clones" (because P3Dv3 "thinks" that they are real files, but cannot remove or relocate them), then complications might result.

Thus, it will be rather interesting to see how urgently LM wants to implement a feature set for linkage and prioritization of add-on content that is able to provide total control over add-ons for both P3Dv3 add-on developers and P3Dv3 end-users.

If indeed the present build of the P3Dv3 feature set for linkage and prioritization of add-on content is not working properly, then it may motivate P3Dv3 add-on developers and P3Dv3 end-users to explore ways to implement "re-direction" to alternate custom file sets which utilize P3Dv3 default folder and file names via ex: SymLinks / Hard Links ...at remote locations. ;)


FYI: I found yet another technical article which discusses these types of scenarios, which also includes examples of how custom application "Environment" PATH variables may be manipulated to expedite controlled use of file sets at remote locations / paths:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/aaron_margo...ity-issues-on-64-bit-editions-of-windows.aspx


< Oh, and some Geeks will be thrilled to see that "Contoso" (like "MS-Bob" ?) ...is alive and well at MSDN. :D >


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Bob

http://www.cnet.com/news/bill-gates-says-microsoft-bob-will-make-a-comeback/


GaryGB
 
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#27
There's an installer that Microsoft provides for free... that forces all installations reside in the user's folders. It's a one-click or some such. I never retain any software that uses that installer. Ever. Doesn't matter what the software offers in functionality... it violates an area of my system that I'm unwilling to allow.

Any addon that created 'links' on my computer in the manner you're suggesting would also get the exact same response. Removal and refusal to ever support it.

Bad ideas are just that... bad ideas. It matters not whom provides the idea... if it's bad... it's just bad. Bad installer, bad file location cheat. Bad.
 
#28
http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/prepar3d-v3-dissapointment.435243/page-2#post-723539

There's an installer that Microsoft provides for free... that forces all installations reside in the user's folders. It's a one-click or some such. I never retain any software that uses that installer. Ever. Doesn't matter what the software offers in functionality... it violates an area of my system that I'm unwilling to allow.

Any addon that created 'links' on my computer in the manner you're suggesting would also get the exact same response. Removal and refusal to ever support it.

Bad ideas are just that... bad ideas. It matters not whom provides the idea... if it's bad... it's just bad. Bad installer, bad file location cheat. Bad.
Hmmm... that was 7 uses of the word "bad" in one paragraph; perhaps it's a 'good' thing you would refuse to ever "support" someone else's add-on if they conveyed a high degree of control to the end-user. ;)


< BTW: That calls for some comedy relief ! :p https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyhJ69mD7xI >



As for LM, perhaps we shall see if they recognize the difference between 'Social Networking' and 'Social Engineering' (and escalate to the top of their "priority" list, ASAP) further development of a feature set for linkage and prioritization of add-on content ...that is able to provide total control over add-ons for both P3Dv3 add-on developers and P3Dv3 end-users. :scratchch

GaryGB
 
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#29
I think this priority problem is simply a minor glitch with the sky textures only, I can't seem to reproduce the problem with any other file. I marked a bunch of textures in my addon content folders in yellow and their counterparts inside the P3D folder in red. I then gave all the addon content folders priority in the texture.cfg and started the sim. (It appears whatever entry has the lowest number in the texture.cfg gains priority BTW, which opposes what we're used to in the scenery.cfg) What I see when I start the sim is yellow everywhere with the exception of the sky textures:



This test encompasses "Default Textures" (Prepar3D v3\Texture) and "Default World Textures" (Prepar3D v3\Scenery\World\Texture) in the texture.cfg. I also prioritized "Default Global Scenery Textures" to my addon content folder and although I didn't mark any textures I do have Orbx HD Trees there and I can visually confirm I'm seeing those in the sim so that seems to work as well.

Jim
 
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#31
Hehe Jim, that reeks of structured testing
Lol, well it wasn't as serious as it looks, I already had a batch file that imprints filenames on textures so all I had to do was change the color and let it run about 5 minutes to get the red vs yellow. I do think I'm onto something with the LSD clouds though, don't you? :)
 
#34
I must say I have trashed P3D. Fixing old FSX bugs plus new ones and getting practically nothing new plus paying so much money was for me a big Kaput!!!...I fell once for it, No More...content with FSX's ills and bugs.
 

n4gix

Resource contributor
#35
As long as you are happy driving that antique Model-T who's to gainsay you your pleasure! That's what's so neat about actually having multiple choices now! :rotfl:
 

Paul Domingue

Resource contributor
#36
Well this thread hasn't thrown me off getting v3 but I rarely fly except to test and I allow myself only one extravagance per SS check. It was going to be v3 but instead I'm going to buy the service manual and pilot's handbook I've been wanting for my newest model. Maybe next month I'll purchase v3.
 
#37
Well if this http://nexgenflightsim.com/wordpress/ eventually gets released, which it is looking more likely these days, P3D is likely to fade out of the home based market and we will all see how well it stays relevant.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate all that MS & LM has done, and V3 is doing rather well, but old ESP 32-bit code must die so we can move on.

I personally don't care about how many add-ons (many thousands of dollars worth) I have acquired, I don't allow this to hamper my desire for a new sim, because I still fly MSFS 1.0 - FSX with scenery disks 1 thru SD-HAW and ATP w/3DAGS East/West Scenery and even Sublogic's UFO. I still fly FS 2002 with Pro Pilot / Ultimate Airlines and my Flight 1 737-400 whenever I wish. I still fly in FS9 doing some of the historic flights with the countless number of planes and scenery and utilities.

But, I still would never trade any of the old stuff for the new P3D V3 with Orbx FTX, PMDG 737/777 w/ FS2Crew, A2A 172/182, AS Next, STB, and the list goes on. And this makes the point that you don't have to give up your old things to get new things. We could have had much better newer things by now, the technology is there. If we would begin to at least encourage the folks at http://nexgenflightsim.com/wordpress/ we may just have PMDG quality planes as default so that PMDG can move on to build for example a 787 series with complete and totally functioning circuit breakers and effects that totally fool us into thinking we are actually flying a real 787 in a real world.
 

Paul Domingue

Resource contributor
#38
Well if this http://nexgenflightsim.com/wordpress/ eventually gets released, which it is looking more likely these days, P3D is likely to fade out of the home based market and we will all see how well it stays relevant.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate all that MS & LM has done, and V3 is doing rather well, but old ESP 32-bit code must die so we can move on.

I personally don't care about how many add-ons (many thousands of dollars worth) I have acquired, I don't allow this to hamper my desire for a new sim, because I still fly MSFS 1.0 - FSX with scenery disks 1 thru SD-HAW and ATP w/3DAGS East/West Scenery and even Sublogic's UFO. I still fly FS 2002 with Pro Pilot / Ultimate Airlines and my Flight 1 737-400 whenever I wish. I still fly in FS9 doing some of the historic flights with the countless number of planes and scenery and utilities.

But, I still would never trade any of the old stuff for the new P3D V3 with Orbx FTX, PMDG 737/777 w/ FS2Crew, A2A 172/182, AS Next, STB, and the list goes on. And this makes the point that you don't have to give up your old things to get new things. We could have had much better newer things by now, the technology is there. If we would begin to at least encourage the folks at http://nexgenflightsim.com/wordpress/ we may just have PMDG quality planes as default so that PMDG can move on to build for example a 787 series with complete and totally functioning circuit breakers and effects that totally fool us into thinking we are actually flying a real 787 in a real world.
That looks very interesting. My biggest fear with a new flight simulator like this is that they will cut out the independent developer and hobbyist. If the only way to have a new addon is by purchasing it then it won't be of interest to me. Some people can afford spending megabucks on addons but not everyone.
 
#39
That looks very interesting. My biggest fear with a new flight simulator like this is that they will cut out the independent developer and hobbyist. If the only way to have a new addon is by purchasing it then it won't be of interest to me. Some people can afford spending megabucks on addons but not everyone.
Well that is what is so great about this new project, they will not cut out anybody. Everybody is welcome, and if hobbyists want to even help create/develop all are welcome, there are even job openings, though the positions are filling very fast. Add on developers big and small are all welcome. This project is built around flight simmers who care about the future of flight simulation and its continued development. The staff are all very kind, open to all ideas, and very reachable. So far a win/win project that's surging forward with big time help.
 

Heretic

Resource contributor
#40
"Next Gen Flightsim" should do a Kickstarter for a project. With a few hundred thousand dollars in the bank and the amount of hype and blah-blah already present, it could just turn out to be flightsimming's very own Star Citizen!
 
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