Latest posts.

My tools and Windows XP

wpid-windowsxp.pngAs you have most likely heard by now Microsoft has stopped supporting Windows XP as operating system. I know there are still many users using my tools on Windows XP as well and the decision of Microsoft doesn’t mean of course that ┬ámy tools will stop working on Windows XP.

However given that official support has stopped now, I have decided that I won’t fix bugs that occur only on Windows XP from now. So if a problem doesn’t occur in Windows 7 or 8, but only happens on XP, I will not spend time to fix it anymore.

For the rest I expect that my tools will keep working on XP as well for the foreseeable future.

Full of new inspiration

20140401_145228I have returned from my vacation yesterday. As usual I don’t bring a computer on vacation, so I haven’t done anything on FSDeveloper or my tools in the last 3 weeks. But of course that doesn’t stop my brain from coming up with new ideas. Luckily I had brought a notebook (you know, a paper one) to write those ideas down. So now I have returned full of interesting ideas to try again.

At the moment the things I want to work on first are:

  • Finish the Nantucket autogen I have been working on as a test project for scenProc for a while now.
  • Get the scenProc 1.0 release ready. This mainly involves updating and writing the new manual, but there are also a few bugs to fix.
  • Start experimenting with the other scenProc ideas I have written down in the last weeks. I have some cool ideas to make even more realistic autogen that I can hopefully tell more about later on.

The photo on the right is a photo I took in Shanghai (China) from the hotel we stayed. I guess it would be a real challenge to represent just a city realistically with autogen. And also during our train travels through China I have seen a nice variation of buildings that would be interesting as autogen objects. You see, even when I am on vacation and just enjoying the landscape, my mind keeps busy with how to present something like that in a scenery.

As you might see ModelConverterX is not so high on the current prio list (but those lists tend to be quite fluid, as I quickly can get distracted by other interesting ideas to try). But I hope to spend a day in the near future to look at some of the recently reported bugs.

Replace building by rectangles updated

I have finished updating the algorithm of scenProc to replace building polygons by multiple rectangles. From the tests I have done for the Nantucket area I am quite pleased with the results.

I just spend most of tonight to type in the manual how the algorithm works, so I’m not going to repeat that here now. I would say just download the new development release tomorrow and have a good read in the manual.

Upcoming updates

The last weeks updates of my tools have been a bit slower than usual. On one hand that was because I have been busy with non-FS activities, but also because I have been experimenting a lot with creating autogen for Nantucket with scenProc. It’s useful to sometimes do some actual work with my own tools, that gives a lot of ideas for future improvements.

For ModelConverterX the highest priority new feature is to improve support for aircraft MDL files. But since I’m quite busy with scenProc now, it might take a few months before I will concentrate on ModelConverterX again. In the mean time I do try to fix bugs that are reported, but that also goes a bit slower than usual.

In the last week I have been working on improving the scenProc algorithm to split complex building footprints in multiple rectangles. I’m almost done with this update, I only need to implement one last improvement that I have in my mind now. After that I will have to update the documentation so that it is clear how to use this improved step.

I had hoped to finish this scenProc improvement by this weekend, but last week I had less time than expected. Next week we’ll go on vacation, so it might be I will only be able to finish it after that. So in that case you would have to wait a few more weeks…

Reading complex OpenStreetMap files

I got some error reports about the scenProc IMPORTOGR step. Sometimes it would throw an error that interleaved reading mode should be used. This mainly happened on bigger, more complex files. But when working on my Nantucket test area I also noticed that reading with certain required attributes stalled and got in some kind of endless loop.

I have now fixed both of these problems. So in the next development release it should be easier to use OpenStreetMap data in scenProc.

Where did my options go?

In the next development release of scenProc some options are gone from the global options form of the tool. But I have not removed them, I have just moved them to the configuration file. That way it is easier to enter different values for these options for different projects (especially when using batch mode).

So which options are affected by this?

  • KeepXML is now an option in the EXPORTBGL step
  • ProcessHoles is now an option in IMPORTOGR and DETECTFEATURES. Be careful though, the new option is called DONTPROCESSHOLES. The default behaviour is now to process the holes.

Detect features and holes

I have just fixed some bugs in the scenProc detect feature step. With these fixes the holes in the detected features should now be processed correctly. Before the holes where not always represented correctly.

Be aware that processing holes in features does take more processing time. So you might see that detecting the features takes longer if you have processing of holes enabled.

RADItor update

When I updated my tools to be Prepar3D v2 compliant there was one tool that I forgot, RADItor. RADItor is a small tool that is mainly used by aircraft developers to edit the radius and bounding box values of a MDL file. Sometimes these values need to be tuned for the aircraft to display correctly in the aircraft selection window for example.

I have now made a new version of RADItor that can edit P3D v2 MDL files as well, besides FSX MDL files. You can get the new version from here.

Download links

After the recent move of the FSDeveloper site to another server some of the download links to my tools as reported here on the tools pages were broken. I have now fixed them all.

All of the files are now hosted on this website directly, so you browse all old stable releases in one place if you want.

OGR is the way to import from now on

Today I have finally deprecated most of the pre-OGR importers. So that means that IMPORTSHP, IMPORTOSM and IMPORTKML are no longer available in scenProc as steps. You have to use IMPORTOGR from now on to read those (and many more formats).

One of the main reasons to deprecate them is to get rid of the dependency on the Microsoft Access database driver, which was used by the shapefile library used by IMPORTSHP. This dependency gave a lot of crashes, since it seems not everybody read the manual to check what other dirvers need to be installed.

With the switch to OGR this problems should be less. However I am seeing some crashes now from people that are related to the OGR libraries as well. These seem to be caused by wrong .NET framework versions. Make sure you have .NET framework 2.0 and 3.5 installed when using scenProc.