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FS multi-line message color.


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Hi Pete,

Haven't spoken in a while, I hope this finds you well.

I have really been enjoying working with FSUIPC for FS9 lately. I know, I'm totally behind the times, but I feel like I'm just starting to develop a full appreciation for it.

Is there any way to programatically control the white-text user option? Or is this an option that MUST be set by the user via their FSUIPC user options (miscellaneous) tab?

I couldn't find a reference to it in the programmer's guide, so I'm assuming it must be set by the user manually, but just in cased I missed something I thought I would ask to be sure.

Much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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Is there any way to programatically control the white-text user option? Or is this an option that MUST be set by the user via their FSUIPC user options (miscellaneous) tab?

I couldn't find a reference to it in the programmer's guide, so I'm assuming it must be set by the user manually, but just in cased I missed something I thought I would ask to be sure.

There is a reference in the offset list, at 3302 -- but it is only a read-only flag to tell you what the user has selected. As it is really a readability preference (I like red, for instance, but for some that makes the characters too fuzzy) I didn't see any point in having it programmable. Is there a good reason why it should be?

Currently the option doesn't work anyway on FSX -- but if or when I can make it so, I will see if a programmable option is reasonable.

Regards

Pete

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Thanks Pete,

Good points. I had a hard time reading the red over green, but like you said, a friend of mine thought the red over green was just fine.

The case for programatic control of the text color might be that someone builds a cool free widget using FSUIPC and wants to give the user a choice of the text color, because the user probably doesn't have that choice through unregistered FSUIPC (correct me if I'm wrong).

But that brings up a good question as to whether the text color is a nice-to-have and should only be available in registered FSUIPC clients, or is it a need-to-have, in which case programatic control would be nice for a developer. So that he/she could extend it to his users through is own application.

I was just happy that I could change the color through the client tabs. But if you ever add programatic control of it through FSUIPC, I will certainly take advantage of it. I can't speak for other developers on the subject.

By the way, I always enjoy reading your FSX feedbacks in the newsgroups. I think you bring up a lot of important points, that not too many people would notice/raise without the deep understanding of the sim. If it weren't for you, I think some very important topics would be overlooked. We will all benefit from your feedback, in time.

QUESTION:

I am working on a neat little client that will do some fun stuff in Flight Simulator (I know, pretty vague). I am currently working in FS9. I am using the FSUIPC interface to get mostly basic information about the aircraft (alt, airspeed, heading, location, yada, yada). I don't believe I am using any advanced functions of the interface (weather, etc). Ultimately, I want to build a client that would work in both FS9/FSX. But because I have not used FSUIPC for FSX yet, I have no idea if this cross-version capability is just a pipe-dream. But as a programmer, I have to guess that this is the whole reason that you are creating new FSX versions of FSUIPC. Growing pains aside, do you think this is a realistic goal for me to have? Provided that I am only using the FSUIPC interface for retrieving mostly basic user-aircraft (not AI) information?

I know you probably get asked questions of that nature a lot right now, so I'm not expecting a long answer (unless you feel like giving one of course, I'll take what I can get!). One of the reasons I chose FSUIPC for this idea of mine was because I didn't want to limit my idea to only SimConnect in FSX.

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The case for programatic control of the text color might be that someone builds a cool free widget using FSUIPC and wants to give the user a choice of the text color, because the user probably doesn't have that choice through unregistered FSUIPC (correct me if I'm wrong).

Yes, you are wrong! ;-) You missed this paragraph in the User Guide section entitled Message Window Options:

The default message colour is Red, but it can be changed to White using the option for this in the Miscellaneous options. Again, unregistered users would have to access this by editing the INI file (the relevant parameter is WhiteMessages.

But because I have not used FSUIPC for FSX yet, I have no idea if this cross-version capability is just a pipe-dream. But as a programmer, I have to guess that this is the whole reason that you are creating new FSX versions of FSUIPC.

Yes, that is the whole point. That is what FSUIPC, as an application interface, is all about. That is why I created it in the first place -- to allow all my FS98 add-ons to work with FS2000 without having to wait for all the developers to catch up. Almost 100% compatibility has been maintained (though with growing difficulties, naturally) all the way through from FS98 -- FS2000 -- CFS1* -- FS2002 -- CFS2* -- FS2004 and now FSX.

I added "*" to the CFS's because they only support a small subset, CFS1 particularly.

The interface grows and grows of course, as new facilities are added to support new FS features, but the old ones have to be maintained!

Growing pains aside, do you think this is a realistic goal for me to have? Provided that I am only using the FSUIPC interface for retrieving mostly basic user-aircraft (not AI) information?

You should be able to use any almost any facility in FSUIPC3, whether AI or not, and have it work pretty well in FSX with FSUIPC4. There are still some omissions -- I maintain a document called "FSX Offset Status", which is an Offset list showing what is and isn't done so far -- see the FSX Downloads above. It's in the SDK addendum there.

One of the reasons I chose FSUIPC for this idea of mine was because I didn't want to limit my idea to only SimConnect in FSX.

Yes. I think that is still happening a lot, and will continue until FSX is better established and runs on "everyday PCs"! ;-)

Regards

Pete

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Thanks again Pete,

Your responses have been very helpful.

Even if FSX had a 75% adoption right now, I would still want to reach the other 25% if I could. (I think the adoption of FSX as primary sim among Hovercontrol's audience is sub 10%, and that is a generous guess) So I see myself becoming very friendly with FSUIPC for some time to come. Not to mention the fact that now that I have my "mojo" for working with it, I'm finding it to be a very productive interface.

I just wish I had started working with FSUIPC more seriously earlier on. I spent most of my development effort on aircraft. I'm only just now really starting to get into it heavily and having a lot of fun. I did one small FSUIPC client app several years ago, but it was very minimal in its functionality (it manipulated fuel levels to simulate load weight on helicopters). That's why I said I was "behind the times". Gotta catch up now.

Any way, thanks again. I guess I'll get back to work now. I'll see you when I have my next big question that is clearly included in the documentation LOL. (actually I have been a heavy user of your programming guide, just not so much with the user guide).

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