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FSXA Query on 3.3.1.6

Don

I have not tried 3.3.1.7 yet but when I want to use 3.3.1.6 and I click on the exe file to start up, it takes a couple of minutes to come up on screen. This does not happen if I do the same on 3.3.1.2.

If I close down AIFP and repeat the process it comes up as usual within seconds. Any ideas?
 

gadgets

Resource contributor
AIFP has a lot of work to do on startup, moreso now with the added burden of PV5 airports. But a "couple of minutes" does seem excessive. I didn't intentionally do anything in 3.3.1.6 that should have had such an impact and, frankly, I haven't noticed any similar change on my own system. But, I have found that, occasionally, AIFP does takes a noticeable period to start - which I blame on Windows doing other things. I'll take a look.

I suspect it doesn't do this on subsequent startups because Windows/Net likely finds some of the files in a cache and doesn't have to reload.
 
Yes I suspected that a 'cacheing' process is going on when I start the first time - there is a load of hard disk activity (on my machine anyway).

I hope to look at 3.3.1.7 in the next 24 hours and will report on this afterwards.
 
I think Ray has a little exaggagereted ( hoping this is the right word). Start up AIFP for the first time takes a little longer as before but the second time if necessary takes only seconds.
I have an other problem. When I run FSX and later l try to start AIFP sometimes FSX crash down and restart automatically. I suggest the new AIFP needs too much resources for my machine. I only use FSXA so I don't need informations the new AIFP collect in the starting process. I will try the version 3.2 and perhaps this will be enough for me.
 

gadgets

Resource contributor
Christian, what is the nature of the error message associated with the crash? Version 3.3 does not use substantially more resources than 3.2. It requires more disk activity at startup (as you've noticed) but less when running. There should also be a small reduction in CPU usage after startup between 3.2 and 3.3. If your system has enough free memory, you shouldn't even notice a startup delay. Depending on what applications you are running, RAM used by those applications may not be freed up afterwards and eventually you'll have no free memory. A system restart is then required to recover.

Monitoring memory usage on my system, startup of AIFP only (no traffic file loaded) tops out at just under 60 mb. If I load the stock traffic file, that goes up to just over 74 mb. Unless your system is very heavily loaded, that memory usage shouldn't cause a crash.

The main raison-d'etre for 3.3 is to accommodate the large number of airport data changes between FSX (up to PV4) and PV5. If you don't use PV5 or care about its airports, then you probably won't notice any difference between 3.2. and 3.3 (other than increased start-up time). However, going forward, updates will be applied only to 3.3, so you wouldn't have access to them. Consequently, I will investigate whether AIFP can use less memory during startup. I will also investigate whether an option can be added to ignore PV5 airports for users who have no interest in them - which would result in faster startup and (marginally) lower RAM consumption.

But, please do let me know about that error message.
 
Hi Don,
Thank you for answering. I really don't know if the version 3.2 could prevent the crashes. It is only a speculation. I can't remember I had earlier such seldom FSX crashes.
I am using two screens , run at the same time FSX with two windows, little Navmap. Sometimes I am on a flight and am interested if a nearby airport has AI-traffic. So I try to start AIFP (check if Airport is used in Traffic Files) and AIFP starts and (sometimes not in any case) suddenly FSX starts at the same time without any error message before and bring me to the last choosen airport.
I sometimes have the same problem with ADE. During a flight I try to test with ADE if a overflown airport is capable for AI-traffic. I click 'P' and start ADE. ADE starts and FSX make the same as with AIFP. Restart without any error message.
My system isn't so bad but I feel this procedure is sometimes to much for FSX.

Intel(R) Core (TM) i5-6600K CPU @ 3.50GHZ, 4 Kerne, 16 GB physischer Speicher (4x4)
Grafikk. MSI RX 480; M. SATA WD 500 GB; WD RED PRO 2TB Win 10, 64 bit; FSX Gold Acc.
 
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gadgets

Resource contributor
I've just eliminated all possible memory wastage during startup of 3.3. I haven't yet investigated the option to suppress processing of PV5 airports. But, at this point, it's not even clear that doing so would make a significant difference in processing resource requirements over 3.2.

What is clear is that, with 16gb of RAM, RAM consumption is not your issue. Which brings me back to the amount of free RAM that may be available. If you have no free RAM, Window is forced to use memory swapping which is time consuming. I'd suggest you restart your system (which will maximize the amount of free memory) to see if these situations persist.
 
Don you are probably right. I don't think the program itself makes FSX crash and restart but initialisation of the program with its impulse could be too strong running FSX.
I will try to start first AIFP and then FSX testing the situation.
 
........ Sometimes I am on a flight and am interested if a nearby airport has AI-traffic. ...........

A bit off the original subject of this post I know but have you installed any of the Traffic Toolbox items from the SDK into your FSX. "Explorer" is very useful - I find anyway - in this case it would tell you during your flight whether there are any aircraft currently operating out of any of the airports within your vicinity. Just a thought.
 
Thank you, yes I have installed the Traffic Toolbox and I wouldn't miss it. You are right I can see the traffic but often I can not see traffic at a specific airport because it isn't the time for operating. Maybe some hours later or at the next week. If such an airport is interesting for me and has no traffic or only default I can give it some traffic:cool:.Filling empty airports is one of my hobbies.
 

gadgets

Resource contributor
It just occurred to me that I may have done things a bit backwards in Version 3.3. In 3.2 at startup, AIFP simply loaded a consolidated airport text, file that had been prepared some time earlier and generated the necessary indices. In 3.3, the consolidated airport file and associated indices are created at every start-up and saved only for manual reference/general interest. In either case, should conditions change, the file was/is regenerated.

As I indicated earlier, I have now assessed the effects of not including the PV5 airports for users who had no need for them. Doing so would have only a marginal impact (<10-%) in reducing airport data file size. I can only guess as to what the reduction in startup time might be, but I suspect any reduction would be of a similar order, certainly not more than about 15%. So, that approach isn't going to yield the magnitude of improvement we seek.

But, while doing this, I realized there was no need to regenerate the airport file at every startup since, once it exists, it is regenerated and saved whenever a change is made that affects it. So, in the upcoming release of AIFP, I will revert to the 3.2 approach. That should significantly reduce startup time. The downside is that, should conditions change such that the file needs to be regenerated, the first such regeneration in any AIFP session will take longer. But this should be a relatively infrequent occurrence.

Stay tuned.
 
Don
just tested 3.3.1.8.
1st time of opening took at least a couple of minutes - subsequent openings are virtually instant.

Opened 3.3.1.2 - 1st time - instant.

But hang on - what I have been doing is expanding the new ZIP file into a copy of a previous version of AIFP. Just expanded into a brand new folder and tried opening - instant :) - so I had better re-think just how I am doing this!

My reason for 'updating an existing installation was that, by doing it this way, all of my existing Flightplans were in the new version folder.
 
Further tests AFTER turning my computer off then on again.

Trying to Run the AIFP3.exe file in the previously empty folder into which I unzipped the 3318 zip file. It takes a long time before I get the UAC confirmation box up on the screen and then a short time before the program starts up.

Now I cannot do any tests because I have no entries in the 'Flightplans' folder. I previously overcame this situation by unzipping the update file into a copy of my previous 'working' installation folder.

But the important thing is - it is still taking a long time to start up.
 

gadgets

Resource contributor
There is no reason (I am aware of) that you can't update an existing AIFP folder - no matter how old. AIFP should recognize this and undertake whatever file regeneration is necessary.

When you first installed 3.3.1.8 in overwrite mode, it would seem AIFP found an older (pre 3.3.1.3 version) of Airportlist.dat and regenerated that file - which I'm surprised takes a couple minutes since the same action on my system requires only a few seconds.

It takes a long time before I get the UAC confirmation box up on the screen and then a short time before the program starts up.
I don't think you can blame that delay on AIFP. Windows issues the UAC prompt as part of the load process. AIFP hasn't run yet. It sound like Windows is struggling to find swap space.

Re your other point, i.e., no flightplans, in the new folder, you should be able to copy the FlightPans, TrafficFile, etc folders from your old AIFP folder to your new one. You'll probably also want to copy aifp.ini and files whose name starts with "AirportList" (except AirportList.dat) into your new folder.
 
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