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
Sunday, January 26. 2014
Arno has been working hard to get the forum transferred to the new server. So far it is all looking good. Users and Threads are all transferred and we are testing different aspects of the system. We hope to make it available to users again later today.
Friday, January 24. 2014
Over the next few days we will be making some updates and changes to FS Developer. It may be that there will be some interruption of service during this time.
Wednesday, January 15. 2014
We are aware that some folks are not able to update ADE via the on-line updater. We have therefore developed a small installer that will update an ADE installation even on a computer without an internet connection. The preferred update process is still via the on-line updater but this alternative should make it easier for some folks to have the current version of ADE. A simple tutorial on using the manual update installer is here:
Tutorial for Manual Update Installer
Saturday, January 11. 2014
It seems when I released ADE 1.60 that the version for FSX contains my personal database of objects and not the standard stock list. As a result there are a lot of libraries and objects in there that you will probably not have in your sim. I am wondering if it is best to release a proper standard database or to provide details of the libraries needed to match what is in ADE.
The real problem is that some users may place these in ADE and then wonder why they do not show up in the sim.
So this is a WARNING - if you use objects from the ADEX Library Object List then please be sure that you have the libraries installed in Sim.
Wednesday, January 8. 2014
We have finally set up a single location where tips, tricks and tutorials for ADE can be found.
ADE Tips, Tricks and Tutorials Forum
We will collect all the tutorials here in future. If you know of any or have some of your own please let us know or add them to the forum!
Wednesday, January 8. 2014
We have just made a small update to SAS. It now supports Prepar3D V2. This update is available via the on-line updater
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