Library Creator XML 2.0
From FSDeveloper Wiki
This is the user manual of Library Creator XML 2.0. This manual will explain what you can do with this tool and how you can use it. But it will also try to explain to you the basics of using object libraries.
 What are object libraries and why use them?
The first thing you might wonder about is, what actually is an object library? Simply said an object library is a BGL file that contains a lot of different scenery objects that you can later use by picking them from that library. So after you have put the object in the library, it is not actually placed somewhere in the world yet. That is still something you need to do yourself as well.
But what are the advantages of having all your objects in a library?
There are also a few other technical terms that you need to be aware of when using object library. The first GUID, which stands for Globally Unique Identifier. The GUID is the number that is given to your library object, so that it can be called for placement later on. As the name already says the GUID is unique. If you think a bit about this, this is logical of course. What would happen if two objects have the same GUID? Which one would be shown in FS when you call that GUID? That also means that you should never reuse the same GUID twice, always use a new GUID for a new object.
GUIDs can be given in a few notations. For Fs2004 the following notation is used:
For FsX the notitation has changed a bit. It is now giving in the following form:
 Why use this tool?
Now that you know what an object library is, you might be wondering why do I need this tool to work with them? Of course you can also create an object library by writing the XML code manually and compiling it with BGLComp. But using this tool has a few advantages.
 How to use this tool
The first step before you can use this tool is of course the installation. Luckily the installation process is quite simple. All you have to do is unzip the ZIP file you downloaded to a folder of your choice.
As the tool has been written using .NET, you will have to make sure that you have the .NET 2.0 framework installed on your computer. If that is not the case, you can download it from Microsoft.
 The GUI
After you have started the tool, you will get the empty screen as shown below. As you can see the basic interface is quite simple. At the center you have a treeview where all objects contained in your library are listed. Below that are three buttons to perform some basic operations. And all other actions can be done from the menus shown at the top.
The three buttons do exactly what their caption says. The Add MDL objects button allows you to select the MDL files from your harddisk that you want to add to the library. The Remove MDL object button allows you to remove the select object from the library. The Replace MDL object button allows you to replace one object by another.
The tree view of objects also has a context menu if you right click on the GUID of the object. This will allow you to copy that GUID to the clipboard, so that you can easily paste it into a XML document or another tool.
This section will explain what all the menu options can do for you.
The file menu contains the options related to creating, opening, saving and compiling libraries.
The tools menu allows you to perform some special operations on your library. For example export its content in a different format.
In the options menu you can set different options that determine how Library Creator XML works.
The help menu gives you help, in case you need it.
Now that you have read all about how the interface looks and what you can find in the menu, it is time for a more practicle example. In this example you will be shown all steps involved in making your first library.
Let's assume you just installed the tool. In that case you first need to set a few settings correct:
Now that you have made sure that all settings are correct, it is time to create your first library. To do this go to the File menu and select the option "New library". You will get a file selection dialog where you can enter the location and filename of the XML file that will be created for your library. For this example let's name it first_lib.xml. After you have pressed the Save button you are back on the main screen and you will see that the "Add MDL objects" button is now active, which means that you can add objects to the library.
So let's add your first object. To do this press the "Add MDL objects" button and in the file selection dialog that appears add the MDL file(s) you want to add. There are a few things you need to think about:
After you have selected your MDL object, you will see that it has been added to the list of objects in your library. If you press the + next to the object name, you will see more information about the object. For example the GUID and the path to the MDL file. Below you see a screenshot of how your library could look at the moment.
Also note that at the right bottom you will see the FS version for which this library is. So in this example I have added a FsX MDL object to the library.
Now add some more objects to your library. As explained above their purpose is to collect object, so you will hardly ever create one with only one object in it.
Once you are done with adding your objects, it is best to first save the library. You can do this from the File menu with the option "Save library". This will make sure that the XML file is saved on your disk, so that you can reload it later to add more objects to the library. Or maybe remove an object that is no longer used. To load a save library again, you use the option "Open library" from the File menu.
Now, the last step before you can use your objects in FS is to compile the library into a BGL file. To do this select the option "Compile library BGL" from the file menu. This will give you a file selection dialog where you can specify where you want your library BGL to be placed. Once you have select the location and name, Library Creator XML will call BGLComp for you to do the actual compilation. Once this process is done you will see a log window that shows you if everything went OK. Below you see how the window should look if no errors occured.
Now you have your object library ready for use in FS. So use your favorite placement tool to put them somewhere in the big world.
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(c) 2007-2010 Arno Gerretsen / SceneryDesign.org
This software program is distributed without charge to other scenery designers, redistribution of the original ZIP file is allowed. You are NOT allowed to sell this software program or ask money for its distribution. Libraries created with this software program can be used in commercial scenery projects if you wish.
The copyright and any intellectual property relating to this program remain the property of the author.
The software distributed in this way may represent work in progress, and bears no warranty, either expressed or implied.