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Scenery Design Engine Test Build 61217


Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
OK folks this week's build can be gotten from here:


This has the following updates from the last build:

Fixed - Problems with XML code getting comma decimal separator for some objects when the culture calls for a comma separator.
Fixed - not reading all the Com codes and not reading them correctly
Fixed - problem with Marker BackCourse name
Fixed - bunch of smaller odds and ends

Added - De-compile/Compile Approaches
Added - de-compile/compile of FSX additional SceneryObject Flags
Added - Context Menu for Tree view. currently contains delete but will eventually contain context sensitive add options.
Added - Hex View of most scenery objects displayed below XML pane

Updated - XML Coding methods
Updated - The way that SDE generates and makes object trees available

Main change is the addition of approaches. I don't understand them :) But I think that SDE de-compiles and compiles them now. Perhaps someone who knows can let me know. I have found the hex display useful for understanding some of the objects. It is available from the engine so I thought to display it.

I guess I need to caution people that this tool is currently capable of doing harm to your FSX set-up. Make sure that you do not overwrite any default or other bgls which are important to you. Also there is no limits checking in the engine at the moment - it relies on BGLComp to spit out what it does not like. You can compile out sections of a file such as an airport but make sure that you select something that can be compiled as a stand alone otherwise the compiler will throw a lot of errors - you have been warned ;)

All feedback much appreciated. I think that I have now managed to remove any XML generation which will generate comma separators.
Hey Jon,

I've been following the development of your scenery design tool for some time, although I've never posted on here before and arn't a programmer myself.

I was wondering what you're overall objective is? Is it to create a program similar to Lees' AFCAD, or is it destined to be more of an object placer?

Out of curiosity, are there multiple people working on various parts of it, or are you working alone.

From what I understand, your the only hope the community has at the moment of generating anything similar to AFCAD. Can I ask, in your opinion, how far off you think you are from it being released, in some beta form?

Hi Kael

Well at the moment I am creating a software component or library (which I am calling the scenery design engine). As such the plan is that it will be able to represent all the different types of scenery object. At the moment I am working on those types of scenery which are created using BGLComp and who have source code written in XML. The design is such that in the future it could also contain other types of scenery information such as landclass, terrain and so on. That is in the future however, and there is work in progress by Luis Sa who has a version of SBuilder which can handle some of the elements created by the other compiler called Shp2Vec.

Being a library it can be used as the basis for an AFCAD type program or an Object placer or both. Right now I am just working to make sure that I can get all the information correctly from scenery files and compile it back so that it is the same.

The test app is really just that - it allows the engine to be accessed. My first 'application' on top of the engine is planned to be something akin to AFCAD. I may also make the engine available for other developers to add applications around, and it may also find it's way into something called SDSX which is talked about in the Tools Programming Forum.

At the moment I am working the coding myself, however a development of this kind is never done in isolation and I have help from a number o talented people including Winfried Orthman who develops BGLAnalyze.

Also other developers such as Arno (who runs this site) are working on different aspects of the FS Scenery model.

In terms of timing it really depends. I generally take time off in January to concentrate on a programming project and I will do the same this year. I am releasing builds as I go along both to give people something to look at and also for feedback. While I certainly would not recommend it I do know of at least one person who is already using the Test App to create and modify airport data. So maybe a first beta in February :)

Finally I am aware of at least one another developer working on an AFCAD like program.
Hi Jon,

I don't know if it has any consequences compiling the xml but I think you are missing the "fuel availability" field when decoding airports (offset 48). Fuel type and availability are embedded in 4 bytes.

Best Regards,

I wonder if anyone has tried to use the bgls created by SDE in FSX? I just tried a couple of airports - the code compiles fine via BGLComp without any errors but I get a CTD with FSX when I select the airport. I've not really worked with modified airports before so I am not sure what might be happening. I used the delete Airport record to delete everything bar approaches and then copied the SDE created bgl into the addon scenery\scenery folder. Selecting the airport in the airport selector causes a CTD with a couple of different airports. Obviously I have something wrong and the compiler is not protecting me from my mistake :(

Perhaps someone with a better understanding of Airport records than me can take a look at the XML produced and tell me what I may be getting wrong!
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Hi Javier

I'm not de-compiling services at the moment and that would include fuel so that is why it is not showing. There is also service information in the Additional Airport Information record which I have not gotten to yet.

Hopefully in the next build :)
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I have not seen the CTD yet. I am still trying to get a compile to work.

I am testing a FSX bgl that I made and compiled for my hometown airport and everything is 100 percent FSX.

If I open the bgl with SDE everything shows correctly (as per the lasted biuld) based on what I wrote in the original xml and all trees work. If I chnage a simple piece of data such as deleteAllJetways= from false to true (there are none at this small airport) or widen a taxiway by 2M's and save, the compiler produces errors.

When I take the xml apart in the work folder there is no Airport Header which the BGLComp compiler will not make a bgl without the header.

Do you have a doc somewhere on the use of what has been built? I have read the SDE page on your site and several of the listed (bullets) don't appear anywhere in the last build or it just could be my old habits of writting all xml by hand and making a bgl.

As soon as I get a better handle on "how to" I may be able to help find some of the other small issues.
Hi Jim

Thanks for the reply. At the moment there is not really any documentation but I will start putting it together. Really all that happens is that the Open File will de-decompile a bgl as far as I have it coded. Using the properties box should allow you to change properties. Then click Save to create new xml and the bgl. The one thing that can cause a problem is if you click the Save button when you have an element highlighted which can't be compiled separately. So if you change the delete record and then click save you will get errors since SDE is trying to compile that alone. I need to fix that and I will for the next build. In the meantime if you change something and then click on the airport node of the FSData node you should get a proper bgl. That works for me and I can change things and get a compiled bgl OK. Problem is that they cause a CTD in FSX as mentioned above.

Thanks for your help
OK I did the change for the Save button and I have uploaded a new build 0.5.2544 (I have changed my build number method so 2544 is correct even though it is less than the last one :) )


You can compile at the FSData level and on something like Airport, Library Object, Marker but not on some part of an airport such as the runway or delete record.
OK Figured it out (I think :) ). SDE partially decompiles taxi information at the moment - just points. BGLComp lets you compile those but unless the full taxi point/path information is present then it will cause a CTD in FSX. I removed the taxi points from the XML and compiled again - this time the airport works in FSX.

I have also noticed that removing the taxi point nodes from the SDE object tree does not remove the XML associated with them. I changed something last week and I think that is why the code is not deleted. I manually changed the xml in the work folder and compiled it by hand. I will try and fix that today.

I also will try and complete the de-compile of taxiways and also implement an Add function so it is possible to add new objects to the tree in the correct place.
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I have the program compiling now.

I have made my own FSX bgl's (writting XML) with everything that can posibly be in the file that is part of the FSX BGLComp SDK. I also added many additional areas such as 10 fuel Trucks, additional roads, new Tower, new Fire Stations, the list is endless.

Took out all the old Approach data for KATL and rewrote all new transistions for all runways as per current Jepp plates including the new FLCON and PECHY which replaces MACEY TWO STAR arrivals.

I am now running each new release of SDA on the single very complicated bgl to see if what I have written is being decoded into XML. So far as I said the tree is reading everything you have coded up to this point. It is nice that I can now compile once I look at the tree and make a minor change.

I do have a wish list/possible changes on some areas but will hold off a few more days.
OK Thanks Jim

I will certainly have another build this weekend and I am on vacation between Christmas and New Year so if you want to let me have the wish list after the next build I will see what I can do :)