Monday, August 13, 2007

No more scenery in the Resources/Earth nav data folder.

Back in X-Plane 7 the default scenery location was the "Earth nav data" folder of the Resources folder. Custom scenery went into packages in the "Custom Scenery" folder, just like now.

In X-Plane 8 we introduced the concept of a "default scenery" folder in the resources folder. The default scenery folder acts exactly like the custom scenery folder, in that it holds scenery "packages", but it has two special properties:
  1. Packages in this folder have lower priority than any custom scenery package.
  2. It is in the resources folder and is therefore the turf of Laminar Research and our updater -- the Custom Scenery folder is for third parties.
Okay that's not really a special property, more of a convention. But the main idea here was to remove special cases from the scenery system...in X-Plane 8, all scenery comes in packages, no matter what it is and who ships it.

Scenery comes in packages, period. Repeat it like a mantra.

The original X-Plane 8.0 still installed legacy ENV files into the Resources/Earth nav data folder (but installed DSFs into a package). X-Plane 8.20 (when we shipped full DSF scenery) installs everything into packages, as will all future versions of X-Plane.

X-Plane 8 still looks in "Resources/Earth nav data" as a last resort. But this is going away! Future versions of X-Plane will only look for real scenery packages in the "Custom Scenery" and "Default Scenery" folders.

What does this mean to you? Almost certainly nothing...but...
  • If you are an author and your scenery needs to be installed into the resources/Earth nav data folder, fer cryin' out loud, please put your scenery into a custom scenery package. It takes about 5 seconds and will make life easier for you and your users.
  • If you are a user and you have been moving files into the the resources/Earth nav data folder, please don't do this! Learn how scenery packages work and put whatever you've been moving into a custom scenery pack. You'll find things much easier to deal with.

4 comments:

Cormac Shaw said...

Hi Ben,
Ok, no more stuff in the Resources/Earth nav data folder.
Where do you recommend a user puts the old default env scenery (or the xpsrtm stuff) if they want to use that but don't want it to override any coinciding DSF scenery, be it default DSF or custom packages?

Benjamin Supnik said...

Hi Cormac,

Users should bundle the ENV files into a scenery package. If they REALLY want to install it AND have the DSFs override it, they could put it in the defauilt scenery folder, but I don't recommend this -- it's a waste of disk space, at risk of interfering with x-plane's internal files, etc. Why install scenery if you don't want to see it? :-)

(I know the answer ... because you don't know which files are "under" DSFs...)

Jim said...

Hi Ben, Cormac beat me to the question - and I still install Custom ENV scenery into the Custom Scenery Folder - however just to clarify... are you also saying that we should put ENV files that cover the portion of the earth that we have no DSF files for, into the Custom Scenery Folder also? i.e. above 60 degrees latitude?

Thanks!

Benjamin Supnik said...

Jim, that's correct...

1. If you ever find scenery to add to x-plane that doesn't come in a package, put it in a package yourself, then into custom scenery.

2. If you want to continue to use the global ENV render in future versions of x-plane, you'll need to package it, as the 8.0 DVD installer that provides it (and the v7 GLOS CDs) don't package it.