Uploaded XML Debugging Tool

#1
BlackBox Gauge Debugging Utility:

As a gauge builder novice, much of my learning is trial and error based. To help me out, my son wrote an XML gauge development utility that I find to be exceptionally useful whilst debugging XML gauges. This tool, “BlackBox”, is very simple in concept but greatly speeds up my learning and gauge development. What it does:

BlackBox constructs an xml diagnostic gauge that can be used to display in readout form the numerical or string values of all or selected A:, E:, P:, L:, C:, G:*, and @c and @g macro (related to the FS9 or FSX gps module) variables of the gauge you are editing/building. It can display important parameters such as boolean, L: and A: variables that are not often displayed directly by the gauge you are building. As such, it is very useful for debugging xml gauge logic; you can see what the variables are actually doing as MS Flight Simulator flies.

It's very fast, polished, and simple to use. I think other gauge builder novices and veterans will also find this very useful.

BlackBox is FREEWARE and can be downloaded here.

Feedback is very important and very welcome.

Regards,

RPMC
 
#3
Thanks, Thorsten. :)

I have had success using BlackBox with FSX. It seems to have no difficulty opening and parsing any of the xml gauge files that come with FSX, including the complex ACEXML gauges like the Garmin 1000 ‘g1000_pfd.xml’.

I have used BB in the default Baron58 without problem. I prefer to edit the panel.cfg file to add a new window, put the BlackBox gauge in that window, then view the new window while flying. I have 2 screens, so I undock the BlackBox window and drag it onto the other monitor for easier viewing.

All of my gauge development so far is with FS9, and most of my simming is still FS9… but I have not had any problem to date in FSX.

Regards,

Bob
 

Horst18519

Moderator
Staff member
Resource contributor
#6
Unfortunately no.

I created the small varlist.xml:
Code:
<!-- BlackBox Test Gauge -->
<Gauge Name="BlackBox" Version="1.0">
	<Size X="400" Y="1000" />
	
	<Macro Name="c">C:fs9gps</Macro>
	<Macro Name="g">C:fs9gps</Macro>
	
<!--	<Element>
		<Image Name="BBScroll.bmp" Bright="Yes" ImageSizes="20,61"/>
		<Position X="0" Y="0"/>
	</Element>
	
	<Element>
		<Position X="0" Y="0"/>
-->
	
	<Element>
		<Position X="10" Y="10"/>
		<Text X="372" Y="15" Bright="Yes" Length="31" Font="Arial" Color="White" Adjust="Center" VerticalAdjust="Center" Multiline="No" Fixed="Yes">
			<String>%((L:fw_Switch_AuxFuel,bool))%!10d!%(' L:fw_Switch_AuxFuel')%!-20s!</String>
		</Text>
	</Element>
	
	<Element>
		<Position X="10" Y="28"/>
		<Text X="372" Y="15" Bright="Yes" Length="31" Font="Arial" Color="White" Adjust="Center" VerticalAdjust="Center" Multiline="No" Fixed="Yes">
			<String>%((L:fw_Fuse_AuxFuel,bool))%!10d!%(' L:fw_Fuse_AuxFuel')%!-20s!</String>
		</Text>
	</Element>
	
	<Element>
		<Position X="10" Y="46"/>
		<Text X="372" Y="15" Bright="Yes" Length="31" Font="Arial" Color="White" Adjust="Center" VerticalAdjust="Center" Multiline="No" Fixed="Yes">
			<String>%((A:Fuel_Pump,bool))%!10d!%(' A:Fuel_Pump')%!-20s!</String>
		</Text>
	</Element>
	
	
<!--		<Shift>
			<Value Minimum="-1000" Maximum="0">(L:BBScroll,number)</Value> 
			<Scale Y="18"/>
		</Shift>
	
	</Element>	

	<Mouse>	
		<Area Left="0" Top="0" Width="20" Height="30">
			<Cursor Type="UpArrow"/>
			<Click kind="LeftSingle" Repeat="Yes"> (M:Event) 'LeftSingle' scmp 0 == if{ (L:BBScroll,number) 1 + (>L:BBScroll,number) }  </Click>
		</Area>
		<Area Left="0" Top="31" Width="20" Height="30">
			<Cursor Type="DownArrow"/>
			<Click kind="LeftSingle" Repeat="Yes"> (M:Event) 'LeftSingle' scmp 0 == if{ (L:BBScroll,number) 1 - (>L:BBScroll,number) }  </Click>
		</Area>
	</Mouse>
-->

</Gauge>
I put it into my aircraft/panel/custom_gauges folder and added this entry to the panel.cfg:

[Window01]
BACKGROUND_COLOR=2,2,2
size_mm=156,229
windowsize_ratio=1.6
position=8
visible=0
ident=VarList

gauge00=Custom_Gauges!VarList, 420, 10 , 200, 500
I have a black panel popping up like expected, but nothing inside.

The gauge I'm trying to evaluate though is working well (more or less).

Any ideas what went wrong? :confused:
 
#7
Hi Thorsten,

I think it's a placement and size issue of the BlackBox gauge with respect to Window01. Please see if this works for you:

[Window01]
size_mm=156,229
window_size_ratio=1.6
position=8
visible=0
ident=VarList
gauge00=Custom_Gauges!VarList, 1, 1, 100, 250

Now, having said that, I am still a novice. Someone with real expertise like Bill might have to offer some help.:)

Regards,

Bob
 
Last edited:

n4gix

Resource contributor
#8
You are creating a "window" that is too small:

[Window01]
BACKGROUND_COLOR=2,2,2
size_mm=156,229
windowsize_ratio=1.6
position=8
visible=0
ident=VarList

gauge00=Custom_Gauges!VarList, 420, 10 , 200, 500

Also, you are placing it outside the "window" you've created:

420, 10 ,

This should work:

[Window01]
BACKGROUND_COLOR=2,2,2
size_mm=200,500
windowsize_ratio=1.6
position=8
visible=0
ident=VarList

gauge00=Custom_Gauges!VarList, 0, 0 , 200, 500
 
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