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!
Monday, February 17. 2014
Well things have been a bit hectic here over the past week. Those in the UK will know all about the storms and other bad weather. We were fortunate in not suffering any real damage. There is a lot of small debris lying about that needs clearing. On top of the weather I am in progress of re-building a bathroom so that is also taking time.
There is a small update to ADE due which includes a new version of the Custom Ground Poly Library. It should have been released over the weekend but there are a couple of things in fix that I want to finish so the next update may be a day or two late
Monday, February 10. 2014
As you might know the current versions of ADE automatically offer updates as they become available. Update strategies are controversial. There are those folks who wish to decide for themselves when to check for an update and others who prefer to be told when one is available.
The big issue for us as software developers is when users report bugs (usually through the automated log sending function) that we know are fixed in the latest version. However the user has not updated and in many cases do not provide an email address. In these cases we are stuck knowing that a user is suffering from issues that are fixed but we are unable to tell them. If we do have a return email address then we always contact the user to ask them to update. This happens even with the latest versions so we know sometimes that users are getting the update offers but ignoring them and then suffering the bugs those updates fix.
The current ADE version is 1.60 but we still get logs sent from 1.50 and earlier now and again!
We are aware that there are weekly updates to ADE at the moment. That can be annoying for some users. However we are in an intensive period of getting bugs fixed. We want that done as far as possible before we move on to new features.
Monday, February 10. 2014
We have been steadily working through a number of fixes and small enhancements to ADE 1.60. The current version is now 1.60.5153 Please check the Release Notes/Change Log for information.
Monday, February 3. 2014
I have just found vsFunnel If you have a large or complex solution with multiple projects then this is a life saver. It can reduce load time by significant amounts and declutters the Solution Explorer as well. I have been using it for a few days now and it is definitely a must have.
PS - unfortunately this will not work with Express Editions of Visual Studio
Saturday, February 1. 2014
After the success of the recent FS Developers on-line conference we are in the process of organizing the next one. We hope this will happen some time in April 2104. If you have any ideas as to what topics you would like to see covered then please visit us here
Sunday, January 26. 2014
Thanks for all the hard work Arno - the new forum is now active and looking good FS Developer
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