Friday, July 11. 2014
I think I found the problem with the out of memory exception that have been caused by loading multiple stock airports one after another. Since I fixed it in the current production update there are no new reports of these exceptions and some positive reports that suggest it may be fixed.
Sunday, June 29. 2014
We are seeing more of these errors with recent versions of ADE. It is quite common to think that this is related to the total memory that you have and wonder why such an error can arise when you have 8 or more Gb of memory. The problem is that the error is not actually related to the total memory that you have but to the amount available to ADE and how fragmented this is:
An out of memory exception is thrown whenever the .Net runtime fails to allocate the memory that was just requested - this could be because the machine has run out of physical memory and the swap file is disabled (or the machine has run out of disk space), or it could be because the virtual memory space of the process is too fragmented to allocate the desired block of memory (which can happen when working with large objects).
Over the years ADE has added new functions and there are some very big projects out there. The introduction of features like the custom ground objects is also adding new objects into the project. We are aware of this issue and are actively looking for ways to reduce the memory needed by ADE and also to 'predict' when it might be about to run out of memory. This is not easy however and may take a bit of time - out of memory can occur pretty much anywhere in the application depending on the state of the memory at the time and whether there is enough to allocate to a big object or complex process. So the place where the error actually arises may not be the real cause.
Saturday, May 31. 2014
This is a minor update that fixes a number of bugs and adds support to allow custom gp object layers to be changed in ADE. Please see here for the details
Wednesday, April 30. 2014
Friday, April 25. 2014
We have just published a new web site for ScruffyDuck Software and Airport Design Editor. The old site was getting a bit long in the tooth and editing it was becoming difficult. We hope the new site will be more friendly than our old sites. We plan to move all the old site information into one new site over the coming weeks.
We are still working on domain links and re-directions so it might take a little while for the new site to show up for you. It can be accessed via here or our old link here
Sunday, April 20. 2014
Logging is where an application makes a record of what it is doing. This can be especially helpful if the application misbehaves or crashes. The log can be analyzed to see what went wrong. ADE has a very powerful logging system based on TracerX If ADE crashes or the user manually sends the log then the airport project they were working on at the time of the crash will also be sent (the user can opt not to send it but the project is often the clincher in being able to replicate the problem).
We also ask the user to send us an email address and some notes on what they were doing at the time of the problem. Often folks do not fill this in. If we have fixed the bug and the user is running an older version it is frustrating not to be able to tell them that they can update to fix things. Sometimes the problem is easy to see and to replicate. Over time though, as we fix the obvious things. most reports are subtle and hard to trace. Some seem to actually be impossible! We cannot see how the user got where they did and were able to do something they should not have done. In these cases some notes on what they were doing can be extremely helpful.
If you do send us the log and provide an email address then we will generally reply. Our issue management system has an email client so it is pretty simple to send out an email when we log things.
There are a couple of articles on our on-line help site related to logging that might be of interest:
Sending us the ADE Log manually
Setting the Logging Level of Detail
I hope they may be of some interest.
Thursday, April 17. 2014
We have just released an update to ADE - 1.61.5220. This fixes a few issues and also includes access to improved help functions including a Command Help option. ADE has a lot of keyboard shortcuts and some of them are not very intuitive. The Command Help should make it a bit easier to find out what shortcuts are available and includes a text search function.
Working on the Commands help did raise the problem of inconsistent shortcuts. We plan to try and rationalize shortcuts in the next few versions - for a while there may be an old and a new shortcut for some features. We want to make the shortcuts less 'English' dependent. Many of them rely on the user having a keyboard that uses one of the English language settings and this is not the case for many of our users.
Watch this space for new developments
Sunday, April 13. 2014
We released version 1.61.5210 a few days ago. Originally this was planned to be a bug fix release but along the way some new features got added. First we added a new comments helper object. this provides a way to add comments to the project to perhaps identify specific areas of the project or things that need more work done. This is based on the comment property that has always been available for all objects placed in the project. The tool tip for a comment displays the comment property. While we were doing this we realized that comments were only displayed in the tool tip for one or two object types. So we updated the tool tip so it now will display any objects comments if there is one. We also added formatting to the tool tip so that you don't need to be mean with the text. The comment will be formatted into width based on the other data in the tool tip so that the width does not become too great. Finally we updated the way that defaults can be set for taxi links. In previous versions this was limited to setting a default surface and width which applied to all taxi link types. Also there was no way to set different default markings and lighting for different link types. The new method allows users to set different default surface and widths for different link types. If you have a ProKey then you are also able to set the marking and lighting defaults by link type.
We are also pleased to announce that we have a new on-line help system. This can be accessed via ADE On-line Help System The link is a bit of a 'mouthful' at the moment but we are looking at how to link it back to the ScruffyDuck domain. This new system is an extension of the current Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials system that we have used over the past couple of years. It adds a number of features that we think will be useful. These include a search engine, text translation using Google Translate and tags for versions to help identify new and updated information. We are looking forward to feedback on this new system so that we can make it more useful in the future.
Saturday, March 22. 2014
We have just released an update (1.60.5194) that should fix the CTD experienced when clicking the Red Issue Manager button. I hope this will be stable and not give rise to any other problems.
This is available by on-line update.
Friday, March 21. 2014
I was just in the process of rolling out this update when I received a report of a CTD caused when trying to open the Issue Manager. Somehow without any known changes by us a third party component in use in this dialog has decided to stop working. It seems to be a known issue but I don't understand why it has not affected ADE before this update.
In any case I have pulled this update. If you have already installed it then please do not click the Issue Manager button if it turns Red.
I am working on a fix that will ideally involve removing dependence on the third party component. Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause those who already updated.
Wednesday, March 19. 2014
I am settled in Florida so things should return to normal as far as dealing with emails, registrations and licensing requests. I hope to have time to work on an update to ADE over the next several weeks.
Saturday, March 15. 2014
A little later this year but I will be heading to Florida on Monday. There shouldn't be much down time but I will be out of touch from early Tuesday morning for about 24 hours. So I may be a little slow responding to emails or purchases of things like the ProKey. All being well normal service should resume on Wednesday morning.
Monday, March 10. 2014
ADE has a problem which has been there since the start of the application. That is - certain dialogs and windows lose or partially lose buttons at the bottom of the window when the user monitor is set to a dpi setting greater than 96dpi. To be hones I have never understood the problem until now. I set the text size on my new computer to 125% giving a dpi setting of 120. Pouf! away go some buttons. On checking the code I found that the border style of the windows and dialogs that lose bits was Fixed Tool Window. Change the border style to something else and the missing bits reappear irrespective of dpi setting.
So far my research does not find an explanation why this one type of window does not autoscale when dpi settings are changed. However I hope that shortly the problem will be resolved although there are a lot of small windows to find and check in ADE!
Sunday, March 2. 2014
This 'issue' raised its head again recently in the forums. What is it and what are the effects. Geo Locking is a term that the community has somehow coined for want of a better description so I will use it in this post.
What is it?
Well the effect is seen when placing an object and it does not show up. There are lots of reasons why this might be but in this case the object is not showing up because it appears to be a special object related to a particular location. The Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower, Buckingham Place are examples of this.
What causes it?
This is caused when there is placement code for the object (model file) in the same Bgl file as the object model itself. This appears to have the effect of limiting the area over which the object can be placed using placement code in another Bgl file. Objects are usually placed in Library Bgl files. These files just contain a collection of objects and nothing else. Placement code is just a bit of XML that refers to the object and provides coordinates to place it and some other bits of information - so it is a reference to the object which is in another file. This is very efficient and means the same object can be placed multiple times anywhere in the world but is kept once. If there is placement code for an object in the same file as the object then the geo-locking effect takes place. Presumably there is something in the FS graphics engine which will only accept new placements within a certain range of the coordinates that are in the same file as the object. I am not sure about that though and it might be worth more testing.
How can I use one of these objects somewhere else?
The generally accepted method is to use a tool to extract the model from its original Bgl file and then put it into another Bgl file that does not contain any placement code. Generally a new GUID is needed for the extracted object otherwise there could be conflict with the original However once it is extracted into a library then it can be used anywhere provided no placement code is put into that library.
If so then you are in good company. Some folks will say there is no such thing as Geo-locking and any object can be used anywhere - that's true of course if the object model is extracted and put into another bgl file with no placement code. I find that using the term is helpful when trying to explain why some objects can't just be placed anywhere.
Monday, February 24. 2014
I swore that I would never have another tower based desktop computer - Hah!
My current laptop cannot run P3D V2 and I cannot change the graphics card. It overheats to the extent that I can't use it except with a chill pad. The battery life is now less than an hour - portable it is not!
Then I looked at value for money. Frankly I have always believed that memory is king. The laptop has 4Gb and struggles. I found a PC Builder call ChillBlast in the UK who has a great reputation for building good machines and for excellent customer service.
So the new kit is now ordered with i5 Haswell processor; 16Gb memory; GeForce 660 2Gb graphics card; 120Gb SSD and 1Tb HD plus sundry other bits and pieces. It is not an out and out gaming machine - I really don't need that but it is specced to run my development environment and the sims alongside each other. I have Windows 7 64 bit to go on it. I think Win 8 is fine but I prefer 7 for the time being. Anyways I will probably put Win 8 on the laptop now and in any case there is plenty of memory on the new PC to run a virtual machine with Win 8 or Linux.
Waiting on the clock now - they take two weeks to build and test. Fingers crossed it is not a DOA!
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