Page 4 of 4

Re: Save Flight Error

PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:29 pm
by Steve Waite
...So I found a situation where a simconnect client can make a 'repeating' call maybe in an enless loop or a similar bug, that effectively halts simconnect services. Then at some point after that we go to save the flight with IF and IF backs out with a message - remember at this point the sim will still continue saving flights reliably.

After that - until the sim is stopped and restarted IF can't communicate with it - it will except when trying to start a flight. Once the sim is stopped IF can restart the sim and start the flight without an exception message. Nothing to do with IF unfortunately - if there was a work around I'd put it in. Even so I am still continuing to look for a reason for Joe's complaint that could be IF.

No feedback is ignored - IF proves to be a completely reliable addon. Look over on another thread there are plans being made with fsAerodata which of course requires a planner that can read the scenery database. IF continues to be the leading auto-planner.

Re: Save Flight Error

PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:17 pm
by Steve Waite
...many sales, IF running on big diverse and professionally installed systems, no faults reported....obviously there are bugs and unknowns. But it is obvious that IF is one of the all time most reliable programs to go with the sim and also at the same time the most comprehensive over 270,000 lines of code. All I do is gather information and act on anything that comes in, even if it was trouble finding some help - a note is made and something will change. Your confidence is ensured because if you find an issue it will be repaired, often the section would be improved as well.

I have to work this way because we want to get the file formats first and we want the gps plans and all the other technical stuff now. So corners are cut in development on things like, the neatness of the interface or the help system or the website, the tech under the hood comes first.

The update coming shortly cures the wheel down bug which emanated from the damage system within a work around for the way P3D starts. Also I've updated the interface to get rid of the retro fonts which are there for performance and keeping the size of app down.

Someone asked hey what's going on with the banner text scrolling across the top it's jerky. Yes it runs in "idle time", so when your CPU is idle the banner moves smoothly and when a demand is made from the system the banner code will yield to the system otherwise it will compete with your sim. You don't run apps that compete with the sim and god-forbid utilise the GPU functions when you want them 100% for the sim, do you?

Re: Save Flight Error

PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 4:55 am
by Steve Waite
When we make a product to add to and or interact with FSX/P3D we can guarantee it works on the stock simulator. That's fine and understood. However I have got over £4000 of addon scenery and planes, and along with others busy testing IFPro and IF10 the app works the same. Occasionally we see that certain settings or config entries might be incorrect after installing another product, not often, but we do change them by hand and use the addon in the sim as intended. We don't leave faulty settings in scenery or add-on configs or leave folders unavailable to writing back files and so on.

If we find unusual behaviour then we can expect an obvious fault and fix it over night. If it's a fault of an addon or the way it is installed we can sort that out too may take longer. I've put in various work arounds for some products. Remember the sim can run scenery without certain data, but apps like IF are machine readers and if the data does not exist then it is inserted by IF as a best guess. Might not look right. If you see something let me know and I'll accommodate it. Having said that we found nothing for several years, even so there will be something.

Joe's unusual since either he died or he's misinterpreted the problem. It's not usual behaviour and it's a four minute job to run the sim in stock format - unless you installed addons that alter the physical format of the platform might require copy back of some files. See if it works OK now, including empty dll.xml and exe.xml files - I've seen more mistakes in there than I've had roast dinners.

There's a situation that IF won't report in the SimConnect server because it's a waste of time and processing and also caught others out when it went wrong and they don't need it either. If the sim does not respond it's not responding. And IF will drop the network client and fail with an exception. Mostly IF will continue and think the sim is still running, but can except out. Another way to drop IF is to hold open a file. IF really only reads the .fxml and .flt just after they are saved by the sim. IF only knows about that if the SimConnect server is running.

Does IF affect the SimConnect server - no. Does IF hold any file open - no. Everything about IF is designed from the ground up so it does very little indeed and cannot be blamed for problems encountered. The network data from the sim is no worse than the data in the packet header and it won't slow the sim down that way. It launches the sim from a flight file (.fxml or .flt) that the sim iteslf has saved and so if the file cannot be loaded properly we must look to your plane or other things. Remember IF starts the sim from a .flt or .fxml that are already linked in to a .pln. Without IF we start the sim then load a plane place and plan and start the flight - that's entirely different. If the plane does not load from a flight then it does not act like a normal plane and most likely IF won't be able to improve things for it until it is further developed. However I do not know of any that do not work from the .flt or .fxml.

Trouble with some other addons can be alleviated by using the Pause options in the flight file. In IF cold and dark we can specify if the sim starts up already paused or starts then pauses or just starts and keeps going. That might play an important part in how other addons might work successfully especially if their developers did not do much testing with the sim starting from flight files. That of course would be a problem of theirs.

We do get folk come here first of course with their problems, not thinking that unusual behaviour is most likely a fault of the other dev if their thing works different to everything else. Even so we have no reports of problems for IF with anything really since the flight file and plan file are central to the way the sims work. We had a report recently of a plane not working and since we got all of them all here in all their guises and seen no issues and not heard back since, in the end it's going to be the other guy or a weird setup fault for the addon - possibly due to the one installed just before it so be careful who blames who.

At the moment i'm just preparing a new version of IF10 and IFPro a big refresh - fixes a couple of non urgent bugs (that don't stop us using it) and the more urgent wheeldown issue, improves performance considerably during the build, uses the clearest available hi-res anti-aliased text throughout, colour blended through all the backgrounds and backdrops no matter how fancy you want them, and introduces some very nice new stuff so stay tuned.

Re: Save Flight Error

PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 6:44 pm
by Steve Waite
The gist of this thread is that Joe turns up and has no issues whatsoever can save and restart flights then after so many hours of flight goes to try to save and IF drops out with an exception. A SimConnect exception I expect because it's the only one IF doesn't trap deliberately for performance reasons. So it is suspected he simply came within range of scenery that invokes a SimConnect client and hangs the server.

Rather than try to understand the problem he simply vanishes without trace. Maybe he died or maybe he was showing a grievance toward the development of Ideal Flight - who knows - maybe it was just a wind-up.

The issue restoring and the plane with wheels down and engine off is fixed. Not everyone sees it so it's not been reported often.

A big refresh to IF coming very soon - delays due to leaves on the line mean it's a little later than I planned.

Re: Save Flight Error

PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:08 am
by Steve Waite
The latest builds are uploaded and feature adjustable clear text throughout, and a profile glyph - drag and drop jpg, bmp and png's onto the glyph to add your own picture or simply recolour the default internal glyph. The profile glyph can be turned off in the settings page.

Remember that Ideal Flight is a test harness - what that means is that it will identify problems on your simulator setup. You may think your system is rock solid. We have identified a problem on a P3Dv4.2 machine that shows a simulator error when started with IFPro set in a certain way. The simulator works OK without the problem applied. The customer thought initially that IFPro was the cause even though they have a history of problems and weird behaviour - however IFPro is in fact the identifier of the problem. More later on that.

But we have still not had another Joe problem to look at, which is why it is such a shame that Joe pulled out so early - when we do we will expect to identify it is an error in the setup. That won't be all. If we identify an error in the setup we can advise on how to fix it.

Re: Save Flight Error

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:42 pm
by Steve Waite
Just an addition. This came up quite a while back - never heard back.

One other random odd interaction which he says doesn't happen without IF starting the Flight. IF doesn't start the flight it is started by the Windows shell and P3D. The flight startup sequence is different then.

IF10 & P3Dv4 End Scenario Loop

If we get some kind of random weird error like this and Joe - our system is showing us that there is a problem. If it's not apparent all the time it's not a fault of IF that we see it then. IFPro is a test harness used professionally with P3Dv3 and v4, by professionals and universities. They don't have weird problems.

Two random different errors that will be affecting the sim in some way, maybe not crashing it but it will be going on. When I investigate these kind of problems that show up even without IFPro on the system, it's a duff setup since I'm always able to recreate the exact same system and the error does not exist on my systems. Look on the forums - dozens of weird errors like Joe's and Richard's without IFPro running.

It is up to us to ensure our system is installed correctly and it quite amazes me the contortions and convolutions folk go through to install the sim and addons.

Re: Save Flight Error

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:57 pm
by Steve Waite
...Aircraft addons especially complex ones, get folk after support all the time.

They are bombarded with quotes like "all my other planes work ok".

It's not their planes I can assure you.

Re: Save Flight Error

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:21 am
by Steve Waite
"More later on that."

I have included a workaround for certain systems when using IFPro for the P3D alternative startup behaviour 'Terrain Startup'.

Some systems, when starting the flight, due to certain add-in software relying on an item missing from the load up with only terrain, might crash to desktop with a CTD in a SimConnect application. Normally this would not be an issue to cause a problem.

Ideal Flight's 'Terrain Startup' behaviour loads the terrain without a plane first then loads the plane on top and the saved flight restarts with all systems powered and operating as they were when the flight was saved. A very fast route straight to the cockpit from cold. Thanks Cruachan for the impressive fault finding on the system in question.

Incorporated in Preview 03, uploading soon.

Re: Save Flight Error

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:11 pm
by Steve Waite
One could still say, don't do that then. Well, true. However, let's look at what we found in more detail.

Programs utilise procedures and functions to resolve the contents of .ini and .cfg files. Generally the same methods, code or calls are used for reading the files. The file is checked for a [section] and an item is looked up for a value in that section. There need not be a section or an item in that section for the program to know there is no value. The problem we found is that somewhere a function in some addon has a CTD if there is no item in a section, even though it does not need it. It is a bug in that code. We found we can input a section with an item and that item is empty (item="nothing-blank") as it pertains to nothing, and the CTD goes away. I don't know the extent of the problem or to what extent it affects the simulator just yet. We do know it's a bug.

Re: Save Flight Error

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:22 pm
by Steve Waite
Return to this just now because it serves as a great indication of just how good Ideal Flight actually is. With hopes of FSW gone Ideal Flight continues to target FSX and P3D with renewed interest.

Purchase of IF could require some thought and might be a worry as it does loads of things - no problem. There's going to be something, many things, you find indispensable when using IF and one of the exciting things is finding all that out. It's a planner, it's a test harness, it's a round the world trip, it's whatever you want from the sim. To find out you need to get it.

I want to make it quite clear that IF functions readily like a go/no-go gauge. It uses the sim more strictly, namely the sim is started from a saved flight file, and this might press more buttons than usual. If this doesn't work then the sim can't really function properly anyway and will show up some kind of error condition at some stage.

That's just using IF to start a flight in one way, IFs flight build procedures and plans are second to none - these can be used independently of IF just like any other planner, except with the IF briefing included.

This started when an FSX? user finds an issue at some stage into the flight and IF can't savegame from the ALT Add-ons menu - I think.

The messages he sees are pretty obvious - if the flight wasn't saved then the flight can't be restored - that's not hard to understand? Suspecting a problem with IF (why?) he starts a 'process of elimination' that goes nowhere fast.

Of course could it be a problem with Ideal Flight? IF does a lot of stuff right? Well, not really in the sense that it cannot make your sim go wrong, IF invokes the sim you have there. Possibly more things come to life with an IF flight file, ATC and GPS, and that can easily uncover a problem in the sim you never knew you had.

joewatson129 wrote:Yes, I pull down the alt menu and use the IF10 save button. It allowed me to save several times during the flight and then i tried again just to be safe, and it suddenly crashed. I have only tried the g1000 variants, however I am now trying the Leerjet, and shall start my profile and flight settings from scratch.

Always was a problem with Joe's setup I'm happy to report.

It doesn't matter what plane he uses or profile or whatever - quite simply his sim becomes unstable at *some point* during the flight.

Later when he goes to use an IF function it can't work due to a missing or locked out resource - IF backs out and will try to leave a message in the log but that is not always possible - read on.

As it happens no other similar issue has been reported. The few issues reported this year all turned out to be problems with the system - IF is always in the clear.

Remember that IF's main remit is to build the next flight from where we are currently parked to a compatible in-range destination in a single button with all our preferences and plan requirements and then launch the sim.

The launch is done with the simple Windows Explorer Open with... "<savedgame>.FLT" function and the Windows shell completes the task.

Next IF listens for the Simconnect server to start up and in turn posts it's requirements as a simconnect client.

Periodically the sim sends data less than the size of a network packet header to IF with no impact on resources or fps at all.

If we have weather and AI then IF sends that and that must be checked if the simulator misbehaves, suspicious behaviour can easily be tested with weather and Ai traffic enabled/disabled.

Otherwise nothing happens until we go to save a flight. If the sim has something changed then IF might simply run into a brick wall.

IF as I mentioned automatically backs out in such circumstances, since in debugging a problem in the sim it's desirable that IF drops the simconnect client right away. However if Ideal Flight crashes at this stage it is an indication that something outside of IF's control has gone wrong - it is very simple - it is not a fault in IF - (or you would see it every time you run it).

Increased sales and continued lack of problems encountered, not just here on the forum but to codelegend email and myself included have next to no contact regarding problems, just thanks mainly. I can say with even more confidence now - when Joe had found his problem in his sim he found it by using IF.

Thank you all for supporting Ideal Flight - development continues as usual....