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FlyingsCool avatar image
FlyingsCool asked virtuali commented

Airport Services and Living World Cfg SPB vs XML

Getting all the values correct for various configurations of airports is very difficult. For instance, I'm building configurations appropriate for large GA airport with Medium Twinjets and GA traffic (KBED and KACK), smaller GA airports with usually some large jet traffic (i.e. Longitude in size) (KASH), Smaller GA airport with some military traffic (KCON), and then small turf fields out in the White mountains.

Could somebody explain the reason why it is now recommended that we compile these files to SPB vs using them in raw xml format? Can I still develop them by modifying the xml file in the community folder and reloading the airport? Currently I'm exiting and reloading, is there another way to reload an airport from within Dev mode, and then exiting Dev mode so i can get the traffic and all that?

I have lots more questions, but I'll save those for other topics.

Edit: I should add, I am so far creating all freeware airports, and I'm unconcerned with other people using my work in this area (in fact, I'd love to have it be an example of how it should be done). Hence, I'm wondering if there's a technical or other reason to release it in spb format over xml (the telephone game affect would be a good answer).

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Paavo avatar image
Paavo answered

SPB is a compressed binary representation of the XML file. It is faster to read for MSFS.

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FlyingsCool avatar image
FlyingsCool answered Paavo commented

Yes, I understand that, but, is there a problem with XML format Services and LWC files?

Does it no longer use them? Does it ignore them? I can't imagine once read that it takes up any more memory space once loaded, it should be the same information? Most other files are text, so it doesn't make sense to require these to be SPB. So I'm wondering why they have deprecated the xml format?

The reason I ask is SPB is impossible to debug for myself or users. So every time I want to make a change, I have to recompile my airport, rather than making a simple change to the file.

I'm having all sorts of problems getting these files to do what I want, so I'd like to know that XML format is still supported.

Or am I wasting my time and Airport Services and LWC are not finished yet and therefore don't expect it to work? I'm not being derogatory here, just asking. It not being finished is a perfectly acceptable answer and I'll spend my development time elsewhere. Otherwise, I'd like to be able to figure out what I'm doing wrong as efficiently as possible.

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Both XML and SPB files can be used.
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Richie81 avatar image
Richie81 answered virtuali commented

BTW, as a developer who have created livingworld files and distributed them in the community with payware product of AREX. You must understand that you can't configure for one or 2 airports. You will configure the ENTIRE region, so if you are doing KBED or KACK, you will configure thousands of airports, for example KJFK, KLAX, KORD, you name it all of them.

So presenty configuring for just one airport won't work, therefore you will configure the entire region.

So probably you are wasting your time considering your file will come into conflict with thousands of airports. And products such as ours will become incompatible with those users who have them. Have had these issues in the past months, have had developers remove them.

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That's very interesting to know, thank you!

Just wondering: Wouldn't it be possible to set up a new region (something like <RegionID>MYREGION</RegionID> instead of the the hard coded regions?

In which case of course the same region code needs to be assigned to a particular area using either a BGL or CGL and we need to have the ability to do that.

I haven't exactly figured out the difference between the regions.cgl and regions.bgl that come with MSFS yet.

We can still view the regions.bgl that comes with MSFS in P3D SDK's tmfviewer. But creating a new region assignment BGL for a particular area using the P3D SDK (in my case I tried regions E and Z) didn't have any effect at all in MSFS. So it seems that only the CGL variant of the regions assignment is loaded and there doesn't seem to be a way yet to create region assignment CGL files.

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On the old developers forum, the ability to define custom regions was hinted about a year ago, maybe reposting it as an Idea might be worth it.


Not being able to control LW other than globally is really limiting: we made a small airfield in France, which should be better suited for private cars, yet we still get the big Passenger Bus on it...which is also another thing that should be customizable by-airport.

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FlyingsCool avatar image
FlyingsCool answered Paavo commented

So, I asked that question in a different thread, and it's a 100% different subject than what I asked in this thread, but, thank you for responding.

They describe two methods of creating LWC and AS files in the SDK, in one, you place them in shared, and it's supposed to affect the whole world. In the other you create an Airport Services file in

AirportServices\<icao>\Services.xml

and

LivingWorld_Config\<icao>_LWcfg.xml

But the SDK is unclear on what the difference is

1. Why have two methods of releasing files, if one isn't meant to affect only the airport it's designed for? Certainly method two implies it's only meant for the local airport it was written for?

2. The SDK seems to imply that the above method is local, and the shared method is meant to affect the world.

Quote from the SDK for Airport Services:

The Services.xml main file describes what services will be created at each airport (and mention the script files to use them), as well as the parameters controlling the position and frequency of creation of such services. A file in Shared will describe any airport that does not have a specific folder named after its ICAO code in any package.

Do you have it from an official source that local AS and LWC files can't be made?

Your experience with people's files interfering with yours may just be due to formatting issues and poorly written files by the other users? I've certainly seen lots of that.

That's why I asked the question in the other thread.

I'm sorry if my files are interfering with yours, but, I have to do something about firetrucks and other vehicles I would never see at the airports I fly into running around. I'm doing my best to do this in a non-destructive manner, so it's only in the airports I release, and would LOVE to have some OFFICIAL word on the intention of these files and how to accomplish what I want. The SDK is not clear on the subject.

Is it going to work appropriately some day, and but not yet?

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Airport Services (Services.xml) can be both local and global.

Living World (LWcfg.xml) is global only.

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FlyingsCool avatar image
FlyingsCool answered FlyingsCool edited

Ok... that makes some sense.

But, why is there a suggestion to create LWC files as

LivingWorld_Config\<icao>_LWcfg.xml?

Is this part of an old design that was never implemented?

Are there perhaps portions of a LWC file that can be local? Is there a format for that, for areas smaller than a region?

I'm not sure where I read this? I can't seem to find it in the SDK. But, I didn't make it up.

If this is truly the case, that LivingWorld_Config files are region specific, I'd like to ask for a new tag for the <Airport> section, something like <Airport icao=xxxx> that would limit the scope of affect of the given Living World Airport section to a specific airport.

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Where did you see that suggestion?

I see ICAO code mentioned only in the context of airport services.

In living world sample, a company prefix is used in naming, and it bears no meaning. The file replaces existing config globally.

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FlyingsCool avatar image
FlyingsCool answered

Oops, it looks like the comment that I was responding to has been deleted?

Basically they said Airport Services can be local, but Living World Config is region only...

Based on the structure of the file, this makes sense to me, but, I'd love to see an option similar to what I suggested above be implemented, then.

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