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FGRUN 1.7.0 No TerraSync folder select button

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FGRUN 1.7.0 No TerraSync folder select button

Postby wlbragg » Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:06 am

Hi,

Is Launch Control 1.7.0 not suppose to have a Terrasync Button to mark the terrasync scenery folder anymore or is mine broke?
If it is not broke how do you designate what scenery folder is your terrysync scenery folder?
If you can't then what does it default to?

Thanks
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Re: FGRUN 1.7.0 No TerraSync folder select button

Postby Alant » Sun Oct 06, 2013 3:28 pm

This was removed 3 days ago by Gijs. His Git commit message says Remove TerraSync config options (obsolete with the new built-in SVN).

He is correct, but that is true only for users of the latest version of Flightgear that is in Git. Users of earlier released versions still need that option.
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Re: FGRUN 1.7.0 No TerraSync folder select button

Postby Gijs » Sun Oct 06, 2013 4:28 pm

Users of earlier versions of FlightGear should not use bleeding edge FGRun. ;-)

TerraSync must now be configured in-sim (Environment > Scenery Download from the top of my head), the options in FGRun had/have no effect anymore, which is why I removed them, on request of James.
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Re: FGRUN 1.7.0 No TerraSync folder select button

Postby jimkberry » Sun Oct 06, 2013 4:44 pm

Does this mean that you will not be able to pre-fetch scenery from FGRun anymore?

Can I assume the built-in svn component will ensure the scenery is downloaded before starting the sim?

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Re: FGRUN 1.7.0 No TerraSync folder select button

Postby Gijs » Sun Oct 06, 2013 4:54 pm

All correct. You should no longer start in the middle of the ocean when scenery isn't installed yet, instead you will get some extra time to enjoy the nice splash screen.
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Re: FGRUN 1.7.0 No TerraSync folder select button

Postby wlbragg » Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:03 pm

I think it is prefeching as I have to wait forever for it to load scenery I don't even want to use. I was trying to load a test custom scenery (no designated terrasync folder) and it still loaded the terrasync scenery. We still need that control in the launch pad,

Dang nab it, why was that removed?
What changes in current version of FG precipitated it?

Now how do we priority order our scenery folders now. Or more accurately, how do we designate and prioritize the terrasync folder on page one of the Launch Controller with the other custom scenery folders we may have.

(Environment > Scenery Download from the top of my head)

It's too late after we are already in the game

Is there anywhere this was discussed prior to making this change so we can at least see why and understand what it was all about?

Armed with only the lack of any facts I have, this was a bad move if you ask me.

edit...
my splash screen is off :oops:
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Re: FGRUN 1.7.0 No TerraSync folder select button

Postby wlbragg » Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:41 pm

Now it appears I CAN'T turn terrasync off. Even when I enter FG, shut it off in the Environment menu, leave game, leave fgrun, restart fgrun and the --enable terrasync is still there. Looks like there is no way to shut it off. I for one am dead set against removing any type of extra control we have to set up the environment the way we want prior to launch. Unless Launch Control is being turned into some newbe foolproof starter and we "power user" (no I didn't say that with a strait face) need to go to cmd line.
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Re: FGRUN 1.7.0 No TerraSync folder select button

Postby wlbragg » Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:16 pm

This was removed 3 days ago by Gijs. His Git commit message says Remove TerraSync config options (obsolete with the new built-in SVN).

I saw that also but it doesn't explain anything.

After a couple tries I was able to shut off terrasync in the Environment menu. And I guess as long as you know what folder you have designated as terrasync in game I guess you can still include it in the page one list in Launch Control in the order you want. Does that all sound correct?
If so, guess I can live with it, but, we really like to have the option to turn it on and off in the launch control.
Please rethink this and at least leave an option to turn it on and off in launch control. If you decide I am right then I also ask that you might as well let us designate what folder to use in there also. Why not? Why should we have to go into the game to do that? It is OK to be able to do that in game but also it needs to be in the launch control. I sure hope a bunch of users chime in on this because this is making it more difficult for us to work with different sets of data.
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Re: FGRUN 1.7.0 No TerraSync folder select button

Postby zakalawe » Mon Oct 07, 2013 6:34 am

To explain - there is still an on/off item in FGRun, which replicates the in-sim selection.

The path selection is removed from the launcher, because for 98% of users it's unnecessary - TerraSync defaults to a safe location inside your homedir, inside %APPDATA%. If you want to override this, you can do so via the --terrasync-dir command line option as always; either from a .fgfsrc file, or from the command-line builder in FGRun.

The purpose of the launcher (any launcher) isn't to expose every possible configuration option, but to give a straightforward experience for most users - ultimately FGRun should not ask for any paths at all (at least without going to an 'Advanced' screen) since for an increasing number of people, 'paths' are a fairly low-level concept, and error-prone.
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Re: FGRUN 1.7.0 No TerraSync folder select button

Postby Gijs » Mon Oct 07, 2013 6:43 am

zakalawe wrote in Mon Oct 07, 2013 6:34 am: If you want to override this, you can do so via the --terrasync-dir command line option as always; either from a .fgfsrc file, or from the command-line builder in FGRun.
Hm, there is no command-lineline builder. I'll see if I can add an option under Advanced today.
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Re: FGRUN 1.7.0 No TerraSync folder select button

Postby wlbragg » Tue Oct 08, 2013 5:50 am

A couple of observations,

FG picks up the state of the terrasync toggle from Launch Control but Launch Control doesn't pick up the state from FG. So if terrasync toggle is off in Launch control and you turn it on in FG next time you run Launch Control it is off again. It is only talking one way. That is why I didn't think it was working. That may lead to confusion for some.
I think it is a bad idea to default volumes of scenery to a hidden folder on a system drive. 99% of users will not know where or how or why their system drive is losing so much capacity the more they fly around the world in FG. Furthermore they wont have any idea how to fix it.
Why after so may years of being able to designate which folder is the terrasync folder from Launch Control do you suddenly decide to only allow it from in game. Why does it make more sense to have it in the game rather than prior to starting it. I guess there might be a user that wants to change paths in the game whenever they fly to a new country or area or something. Other than that I can't see any reason to have it in game at all vs in the Launch Control. After all that is where we are controlling a lot of options and other data sources.
Please reconsider an add the option back to "LAUNCH CONTROL". If it doesn't make sense to you to do it the way it has always been done (which I thought was pretty slick), or your afraid typical user don't know what a path is, then at least add it in the advanced tab so advanced users still have access to it prior to entering the game. I use Launch Control for its convenience. It's not convenient to have to edit a .fgfsrc file. Maybe this "command-line builder" would be an acceptable alternative except it sounds like it isn't there anymore. Maybe that explains why I have never seen it and don't know what it is either. Probably the Launch Control was more convenient so it was removed.
Again, I emphasize, bad idea to put large amounts of data in a hidden system folder by default.

If I might ask, would you mind explaining this to me.
the options in FGRun had/have no effect anymore
obsolete with the new built-in SVN

Maybe if I understand this, it will make more sense. I would really like to know what this is. Even if you can point me to any documentation of what
new built-in SVN

means.

Please don't think I am trying to pick a fight or something, I just used that toggle and manipulated the terrasync path a lot during my testing of scenery.
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Re: FGRUN 1.7.0 No TerraSync folder select button

Postby zakalawe » Wed Oct 09, 2013 7:44 am

A couple of different points here:

- the goal is to remove options before flying which most users don't care about or understand. When users install FlightGear, they want to select aircraft and startup location. They don't care about data paths or executable paths - all that stuff needs to be configured with sensible default values already, or they will get stuck and have to read Wiki pages or ask questions here.

- We have never attempted to include all config options in the launcher GUIs - although FGrun does (historically) include a very large number. An increasing number of those options are no longer needed, or have sensible defaults, where in the past they did not. For example we used to need to specify a socket option for terrasync, when it was a separate program. The problem is the layout of the FGRun UI forces new users to see all these options, instead of keeping them in an 'advanced' dialog / tab.

That can be fixed in several ways - reorganising the layout of FGRun is one, moving items into the sim's UI is another (as we did for multi-player), and simply making options be set by editing config files is a third. Deciding which category an option be is the debate, but the rough guide is that if 90% or 95% of your users never change a config option, you should just remove the option. In FlightGear we don't really remove options, just hide the GUI setting.

- We need to store an increasing amount of data that is downloaded. Right now it's 'just' terrrasync but soon it will include AI models, AI traffic and hopefully main aircraft models. These files have to be downloaded to a location FGFS can write to, when running as a regular user. On Unix systems this basically means somewhere inside the user's home directory (without having complex setup issues to create a special shared group for FlightGear, and dir inside /var). On Windows we could use a location inside Program Files, but sooner or later Microsoft are presumably going to prevent non-Admin users writing to that.

From my perspective we are no different to Steam or iTunes or iPlayer or any other app which downloads gigabytes of data - it has to be stored by the current user, and the recommended location on Windows is AppData (so, /users/willbrag/Application Support/FlightGear, I think). It's going to many gigabytes but that is really a trivial amount in the age of Steam and Dropbox.

And for advanced users, who do care, you can change the path - the question is how easy that needs to be, and how we avoid that option confusing the UI flow for the common case.
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Re: FGRUN 1.7.0 No TerraSync folder select button

Postby Johan G » Wed Oct 09, 2013 9:46 am

Airing my opinion, I think that in many cases there can be e middle thing between GUI dialogue settings and config file settings and that is having a GUI dialogue that can be accessed by clicking a "Advanced" button. I do not know how the GUI looks in the current FGRun and FlightGear, but in my ancient 2.4.0 setup a few more things could be hidden away in various advanced dialogues.
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Re: FGRUN 1.7.0 No TerraSync folder select button

Postby zakalawe » Wed Oct 09, 2013 9:56 am

Johan G wrote in Wed Oct 09, 2013 9:46 am:that is having a GUI dialogue that can be accessed by clicking a "Advanced" button.

Yes absolutely, that's one of the options I listed above. But this needs people to take an interest in the UX design of FGRun, balancing the needs of both first-time users and advanced users. Volunteers for this are most welcome, and the C++ changes needed are relatively simple.
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Re: FGRUN 1.7.0 No TerraSync folder select button

Postby wlbragg » Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:04 am

When users install FlightGear, they want to select aircraft and startup location. They don't care about data paths or executable paths

That's your opinion! I disagree, I am a user and I do care about those paths greatly or I wouldn't be fighting to leave them in the Launch Control. This isn't a typical piece of proprietary commercial software that was designed to do just one thing. It has so many customizations that can be configured and manipulated. Not to mention the frequency of version iterations. I am constantly changing versions and configurations. You can reason out every selectable option in the Launch Control if you want. Aesthetically speaking, why do you need to select starting location or aircraft from launch control? You could just start the game and then select it. Why have a launch control at all? What was the original purpose of the Launch Control? My guess, users got tired of having to edit config files or type out long command line strings but still wanted to be able to completely configure and customize it. FG is meant to be customizable.
OK, I said my piece. If no one else cares enough to voice their opinions then I guess it's staying out and that's that. I personally can work around it and I guess if I dislike it enough I can code it back into a custom version myself.

As far as the using the C:\Users\account\AppData\Roaming\flightgear.org\TerraSync, for the scenery files (that is the exact location substituting account for the users account name), I still think that isn't the best place for it. By default it is hidden starting at AppData.
You referenced iTunes and such, while I don't think scenery data is in the same category as music files, using that analogy they are stored in the C:\Users\account\Documents directory where all user data is stored (not to be confused with application data that would more than likely be hidden in the AppData). So are scenery files app data or user data? I guess I would lean towards app data except we have custom scenery which then I would categorize as user data. Lots of games use the users\Documents directory to store their settings, states, saved game data and other variable data in so maybe it would be a better fit for scenery.
If I was making the decision, I would put it in a Documents\flightgear.org\data\terrasync or something to that effect so users know it is there and can decide whether or not they want that much data on their system drive.
As long as we have the option to move it wherever we want I guess that will have to do. It wouldn't be the first thing I moved out of its default location because I disagreed with the authors reasoning for having it there.
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