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MSFS Alpha 19 Released

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australia
Jon, I got everything installed and working OK, did a couple of very basic "two way edits" much as you describe in the end notes to the "Alpha 19 notes v2.pdf" and it all worked and looks very promising.
But as I proceed to gather some testing info for your spreadsheet using other airport elements, I'm getting inconsistent results and I have to wonder if I'm doing things right.

When I create comething new, or edit something, in the sim Scenery Editor, and "save scenery", I understand that the project's .xml gets updated with the edits. That .xml used to be in the "Documents/My Projects" folder, but I think under two-way-edits it is now in the ADE project folder along with an .ad20, an apf, and autosave.ad20 file, four in all. They should all have the same (new) time and date, but they don't seem to change. Is this correct?

If I proceed to "build all", the package in the ADE project / package folder certainly gets updated, and when I put that in Community and restart MSFS, the new stuff and edits show Ok in the sim when it eventually starts.

But if I restart ADE20 alpha 19, or reload from "recent files", it gets pointed to the .adf file, and all the new features fail to show in ADE.

If I make the same changes in ADE, save project, and rebuild - then put the new package in the sim in the usual way, everything is OK in the sim after restarting.

Big things like a new runway, a control tower or the new "light row" have worked correctly sometimes, but details like runway surface changed fro bitumen to concrete, or moved position of a fire truck, don't get into the .apf file.

Attached is a slightly modified version of your spreadsheet, but it doesn't make much sense to me. "y" means all works properly, "n" means problems.
 

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scruffyduck

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Thanks for your very helpful feedback. I think the first thing to clear up is that the shared XML which is updated by saving in ADE or Dev Mode is not in the project folder where you have the apf and ad20 files. It is located in the project Package Sources. Specifically it is located in <project Folder>\PackageSources\data

1619161946164.png

This is the shared xml file which both apps use and each will either write to it or read from it. I will call it the shared file from now on

This is also why at the moment you need to start a project for two way editing in ADE. ADE can't reliably read the folder structure of an project not created by ADE. This should change in the next alpha or so

When you create a project for two way editing the .ad20 is actually no longer used. It is the shared file described above that matters and gets updated. So there won't necessarily be any of the file date changes you looked for. Loading the project will read the shared file and not the ad20 file. The apf file just contains information used by ADE and does not contain anything related to the airport data. It is just the way to get an ADE 2020 project to start and load. As stated if you have two way editing turned on then the project data is loaded from the shared file. If you have two way editing turned off then the project does indeed load the ad20 file.

Just for clarity (I hope!)
  • When I create a new project in ADE I start by generating basic airport xml for the shared file. When I add or edit anything to the project in ADE then the shared file gets updated when you use the Save Project menu item. This takes the current state of the project in ADE and saves it to the shared file
  • I now go to the sim and in Dev Mode use Open Project. I am selecting an xml file in the project folder which contains the project reference data. This will read the shared file into Dev Mode when you tell Dev Mode to Open the Airport in the Dev Mode Scenery Editor. Now ADE and Dev Mode should both have the same information based on the shared file
  • Next I make some updates to the project in Dev Mode. To sync this back to ADE via the shared file I use the Save Scenery Button. This just updates the shared file from the Dev Mode
  • Now ADE needs to load that the updated work done in Dev Mode. The way to do that is to reload the project in ADE (quickest way is to get it from the recent files list). ADE just reads the shared file and displays it. Everything is back in sync.
One issue of course is that this syncing is manual. If you forget to save the project in ADE then the shared file does not get updated and your changes won't make it into Dev Mode when you reload the project there. The same applies in the other direction. Not saving changes in Dev Mode before going back to ADE means any changes made there won't be seen in ADE. I am looking at the best way to warn the user to save changes or to reload projects in the correct way to keep everything in sync.

The final point as you know is that there are some elements of xml source that each side understands but the other does not. ADE needs to be able to save and interpret any source that Dev Mode can send it via the shared file, That is what I want to test




Thanks for the chart - very helpful. I will try and replicate it,
 

scruffyduck

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Just a final thought about files. We know where the shared xml file is. But the files in an ADE project main folder are these:

1619171585100.png


  • The ad20 file is the traditional ADE project file and is used to load and save the project if two way editing is not enabled
  • The .apf file is used to open the project in ADE. It holds some information like the setting for two way editing which can't be stored in a project. When you use the File > Open Project in ADE this is the file you select. ADE filters the files in the folder just to show this file.
  • The xml file is used to open the project in Dev Mode. When you use Dev Mode > Open Project this is the file that gets used. The open file dialog is filtered so that only this file appears to be selected
  • The autosave is just a backup for the ad20 file.
 
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australia
All understood, thanks.

There is a caution in the Notes about not responding to an offer by ADE to save after editing in the sim, but I believe I have been saving manually in ADE when the edits were made there. So the failure of some features and properties to get into the shared file is most likely explained by the .xml source differences you mention. Good luck with that one, I'll continue testing and try to concentrate on the problem elements. More spreadsheet data will follow, is my format OK?

I don't understand the following clause in the "notes" though. Is there a "reload" button somewhere? ... or is this possibly a meditation? :
"An urgent update to this function is a reload button that bypasses the save dialog. If you do accidentally do this then go back to the sim and save the scenery again."

Rgds, Bruce.
_______________________________________________________
"Tapping persistently breaks the stone."
 

scruffyduck

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I don't understand the following clause in the "notes" though. Is there a "reload" button somewhere? ... or is this possibly a meditation? :
"An urgent update to this function is a reload button that bypasses the save dialog. If you do accidentally do this then go back to the sim and save the scenery again."

No there is no reload button yet. It is planned but not implemented

Your spreadsheet format is just fine thanks you!
 

connomar

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As you say there are some painted line types with lights. The line type describes if they are lighted. I haven't run a test to see if the lights actually work
I've tried a couple of the painted lines with lights. They do work, but perhaps not logically. I tried edge lines and got blue lights offset to one side at 150ft intervals. I also tried HOLD_SHORT_TAXIWAY_LIGHTED and got exactly the same lighting setup, i.e. 150ft Spaced and offset. I also tried the Enhanced Center Line Lighted, and sure enough, lights on stalks, 150ft spacing, so perhaps there is another parameter to indicate where the lights are placed.
 
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There's a parameter inSim that allows you to space the Edge lights. I don't believe this applies to any others. I usually don't use the lighted edge lines, just plain and place the Edge Lights strip as I need and adjust spacing as required.

<EdgeLights groupIndex="20" spacing="14.000000">
<Vertex lat="-40.99389428571794" lon="145.72457361149296"/>
<Vertex lat="-40.99412648133944" lon="145.72524603172653"/>
</EdgeLights>

1619308931577.png
1619309060765.png
 

scruffyduck

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You can set spacing in ADE

1619332387922.png


It seems that creating a new light row does not set spacing. This is a bug which I will fix
 
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us-northcarolina
It appears that the approach lighting is only applied to the Primary end of the runway. In fact, in Alpha 19 you have the approach lighting entries disabled. Do you plan to address this issue.
 

scruffyduck

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It appears that the approach lighting is only applied to the Primary end of the runway. In fact, in Alpha 19 you have the approach lighting entries disabled. Do you plan to address this issue.
Where are you looking? Approach lights are available in the property dialog for both ends of the runway. If you are looking at the property dialog and no lights are set you will see this

1619418952258.png


Changing the light type and end will make the approach lights available

1619419050658.png


This probably needs tidying up since the grid doesn't show what end in the drop down list.

Or do you mean something else?
 
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Where are you looking? Approach lights are available in the property dialog for both ends of the runway. If you are looking at the property dialog and no lights are set you will see this

View attachment 72612

Changing the light type and end will make the approach lights available

View attachment 72613

This probably needs tidying up since the grid doesn't show what end in the drop down list.

Or do you mean something else?
That is very helpful thank you. There was a change to the way you edit this from version 17 to 19 and it thru me for a loop. I didn't know the arrow to the left of Runway was a dropdown button. DUH!
 

scruffyduck

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That is very helpful thank you. There was a change to the way you edit this from version 17 to 19 and it thru me for a loop. I didn't know the arrow to the left of Runway was a dropdown button. DUH!

You are not alone ;)
 
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us-northcarolina
After changing the approach lighting to one of my small airports, MSFS went into a loop chewing up all available memory (32GB real memory) and the page file before it crashed to the desktop. I am in the process of setting all of the runway changes back to stock to see if that will fix it. I got this error after the build:
1619466443449.png

1619466539123.png

I clicked OK then rebuild, then I got the copy message. I have had this on occasion and everything copied and was OK.
Some how the ApproachLights spacing and offset was changed from:
<ApproachLights
end="PRIMARY"
system="NONE"
strobes="0"
reil="TRUE"
touchdown="FALSE"
spacing="30.48"
offset="30.48"
endLights="FALSE"/>
To this:
<ApproachLights
end="PRIMARY"
system="NONE"
strobes="0"
reil="TRUE"
touchdown="FALSE"
spacing="100"
offset="100"
endLights="FALSE"/>
But I didn't make that change.

I don't know what has happened but after changing everything dealing with the runway back to what it was before the changes has not fixed the problem. Unfortunately I did not make a backup before these changes so I have no easy way back.

**** As it turns out I have a backup Community folder that is the latest before the changes I made today. YEA! ****

Now, is there a way to get that back to ADE 19 so that I could make changes if I want to? Also, is there a way to detect differences in the BGL files?
 
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scruffyduck

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**** As it turns out I have a backup Community folder that is the latest before the changes I made today. YEA! ****

Now, is there a way to get that back to ADE 19 so that I could make changes if I want to? Also, is there a way to detect differences in the BGL files?

Do you mean a bgl backup and you want to create a project from it?

You could get the xml out of each bgl file and compare that. There are tools to compare xml files. I use this one (though it is payware but there is a trial period):

1619502335841.png


1619502396251.png


I am sure there must be others.
 
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us-northcarolina
Do you mean a bgl backup and you want to create a project from it?

You could get the xml out of each bgl file and compare that. There are tools to compare xml files. I use this one (though it is payware but there is a trial period):

View attachment 72647

View attachment 72648

I am sure there must be others.
That is exactly what I am after. I have Notepad++ which can compare the two xml files. I have created a project from the bgl file in my Community backup and in the process of comparing the two. There are more differences than I thought because I had made some additions that did not find their way into the backup folder. There are a large number of Fuel Services that I didn't add that are most puzzling. Other than that there are slight changes in position and direction of objects that are just floating point rounding issues. I had added ApronEdgeLights, changed sign size and changed some coloration values.

I am including the xml files for you to examine if you wish. Just in case you see something you need to fix.

1619524400034.png
 

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I found the culprit causing MSFS to run out of memory and crash to the desktop with the KTDF airport. The default spacing on the ApronEdgeLighting is set to zero.
 
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Hi Jon:

As I test ADE Alpha 19, I am pleased to report that I was able to 'Add' a large *.BMP high-resolution background satellite image: o_O

SIZE=743 MB (780,063,718 bytes)
BBOX AREA=1.792 sq km
LOAD TIME=0.01 s
NUM COLUMNS=23170
NUM ROWS=11222
NUM BANDS=3
COLOR BANDS=2,1,0
PIXEL WIDTH=0.1493 meters
PIXEL HEIGHT=0.1493 meters
BIT DEPTH=24
SAMPLE TYPE=Unsigned 8-bit Integer


While I did receive an initial prompt message regarding a greater than 7.5 MB image size, ADE was able to add / load it. :wizard:

NOTE: My computer has 128 GB of 3600 MHz DDR4 system RAM; but perhaps ADE-19 'may' accommodate even larger images ? :scratchch

Many thanks for your recent expansion of the background image capacity in this 64-Bit build of ADE for MSFS-2020. :)

GaryGB
 
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canada
I've just started using ADE. I'm getting to grips with it, and have successfully done two way editing. Very nice.

Quick question: Are guidelines and/or markers not saved with the project?

Thanks,
...jim
 

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I've just started using ADE. I'm getting to grips with it, and have successfully done two way editing. Very nice.

Quick question: Are guidelines and/or markers not saved with the project?

Thanks,
...jim

Not with two way editing. ADE can only store what is available in the XML source it shares with the Dev tools. It might be possible to save stuff like guidelines on the ADE side but that is for later
 

scruffyduck

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Hi Jon:

As I test ADE Alpha 19, I am pleased to report that I was able to 'Add' a large *.BMP high-resolution background satellite image: o_O

SIZE=743 MB (780,063,718 bytes)
BBOX AREA=1.792 sq km
LOAD TIME=0.01 s
NUM COLUMNS=23170
NUM ROWS=11222
NUM BANDS=3
COLOR BANDS=2,1,0
PIXEL WIDTH=0.1493 meters
PIXEL HEIGHT=0.1493 meters
BIT DEPTH=24
SAMPLE TYPE=Unsigned 8-bit Integer


While I did receive an initial prompt message regarding a greater than 7.5 MB image size, ADE was able to add / load it. :wizard:

NOTE: My computer has 128 GB of 3600 MHz DDR4 system RAM; but perhaps ADE-19 'may' accommodate even larger images ? :scratchch

Many thanks for your recent expansion of the background image capacity in this 64-Bit build of ADE for MSFS-2020. :)

GaryGB

Thanks Gary - yes the limit message needs to be removed.
 
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