Subfolders in Community Folder, What do you think?

Tha add on linker mod as posted by @PScaber is the way to go. You can have all of your mods organised however you like and turn them on/off with tick boxes very easily.

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Indeed, Addons Linker is doing the job perfectly, I also don’t think this should be added natively into the sim.

I totally agree, I’d love to see folders in the Community folder. But I’m pretty sure it will never happen. If it doesn’t work on Xbox, it won’t come to the game, and I don’t think Xbox would allow/be capable of such a thing as file folders as a DLC package organizational concept.

The whole thing about Xbox is to remove such complications from the experience so that anyone can use it. Of all the people who use computers, not many people understand how a file system works or the concept of folders.

I said a long time ago, that this game was developed by an Xbox game developer for Xbox, and, just like other Xbox games, it works on PC, too (since, essentially, an Xbox is a specialized PC with a specialized operating system). People laughed and derided, but, the proof is in the pudding.

I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, it’s just something to understand when you look at the functionality of the game and how its being developed, and what to expect from it. I also don’t believe they will take away the extensibility of the PC version (as long as Windows allows that), and will continue to support that extensibility. But core things like the VFS will continue to follow the Xbox model. Unfortunately, I think also, more DRM features will be coming our way.

As everyone has already said above, in answer to your question, if you’re looking for that functionality, Addon Linker is the way to go.

Personally, rather than use the addon linker, I rename all my packages to order them in directory like structures with prefixes like aircraft_ objlib_ scenery_(state)_ livery_airplane_ etc.

Given the system level quality of freeware addons is so low, I have to go through and edit them all the time anyway to avoid CTD’s and to keep my system running cleanly, so it’s not a big deal.

I do not use that software but can appreciate how powerful it is allowing you to do those things.

One thing that does not appeal to me at all is enabling just one area to fly in.

Unless Im mistaken - this would mean that if mid-way through a gaming session if I change my mind I would have to exit, enable the OTHER area I want to fly in and then restart the game.

I would rather have the entire game load each and every time so that anywhere on earth that I have addons will be available.

The load times of the game dont bother me, I just make a coffee :coffee: :smiley: and Im on a spinner drive. Many people are on SSD so the loads cant be that bad.

I do however see AOLs value in letting you rapidly enable/disable mods for testing purposes.

I do wish we can one day use Vortex as a mod manager, I really like that one.

While you cannot do that (and I highly doubt it will ever change) you CAN rename the folder.

Do not rename anything else within the folder (like the manifest files)

Just the folder name is fine.

This will let you name by type. Example:

  • Aircraft - Cessna 206
  • Aircraft - Cessna 152
  • Aircraft - Boeing 787
  • Airport - KLAX
  • Airport - WSSS
  • Airport - VEGT
  • Avionics - Garmin G1000
  • Avionics - Better PFD for 787
  • Helicopter - R44
  • Helicopter - Bell 206
  • Scenery - Alps
  • Scenery - Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur)
  • Utility - Hide Toolbar
  • Utility - HUD toggle

I organise my scenery by country or region so I can have for example, all of USA or just Germany, France and Austria - or everything. It’s very flexible, mostly I leave everything turned on and only have small localised regions which I seldom visit turned off. It also means that when a new FS2020 update causes problems, I can turn off all add-ons with a single mouse click.

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I cant argue with how easy it makes all those functions.

When a new update comes I just rename my Community and use the game for a day or two with no mods to establish baseline performance. Then just name it back and carry on.

One thing I hear the AOL does is track the file versions of mods? And it alerts you when a new version comes out? Is this correct? This is an excellent function and one I cannot match with manual Community management. I keep having to to go to flightsim,to to check for versions.

Not true. You can put them anywhere you want. You pick the folder when you first run the game. If you just move the files somewhere and run the game it’ll detect their gone and ask you for the new location (or download them again if you wish).

It is, at the moment, unclear whether the Community folder will ever be available on xbox. Xbox uses the marketplace exclusively right now and is, I think, the way it will always be. To do otherwise risks code that has not been through the MS xbox vetting process being able to be run on the xbox, which is not allowed today for any title.

Mods sold through the marketplace are stored in the “Official” folder and not the Community folder, and so the user never has a need to organise these through some kind of file structure and therefore no need to be able to manipulate these through an “xbox explorer” (which doesn’t exist anyway) as it can all be managed through the content manager as is today.

In that sense, the devs have clearly thought through the design to be able to work on both xbox and PC.

None of which makes this an xbox title designed for xbox that happens to run on PC. It has been designed to run on both from outset, which is the same as all windows “play anywhere” games.

This is one of the areas where the PC and xbox titles differ. The others being things like the graphics fidelity capabilities and ability to be able to connect to external software (like FSUIPC, LNM etc) which is also currently not available on xbox. So definitely not true to say that if it doesn’t work on xbox it won’t come to the game…it already has.

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I think you mean “can” here?

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The other advantage of Addons Linker is that it includes two tools that scan all of the addon files for duplicate file names and corrects them.

These duplications cause conflicts which in turn are a common cause of CTDs, esp if you have a lot of addons all loaded at the same time.

It only takes a few seconds to run each of the scans everytime you add a new add on to your folders.

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What’s unclear about it?
Check out Top Wish #27
https://msfs-cdn.azureedge.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/c38783.jpg

You misintertpreted what I said.

The file system is a base feature of how MSFS works. You’ll of course notice that MSFS exists as an app in the Microsoft Xbox style ecosystem under Windows 10/11. Yes, MSFS retained the simconnect methodology and included WASM and C++ programming API for interacting with other programs from FSX. But, hmm, let’s take a look at all of the controversy around the RXP applications, which can’t work in MSFS anymore because of the changes in interaction with MSFS, hmm, very similarly to how Xbox doesn’t allow external programs to interact.

I’m not a programmer, so I can’t speak exactly to the issues I’m discussing above, but there’s plenty of discussion on this board around this subject if you do a little searching.

My point was, the community folder is not likely to get subfolders, because that is a very base functionality of how the program interacts with the OS, and, if it’s not going to work on Xbox, they are not going implement it on PC.

Anyone who hopes to see the PC version fork from the Xbox version is dreaming. If anything, the program is going to get more “locked down”. I’m obviously not saying they are going to remove the ability of developers to extend the capabilities of the software. But it’s going to follow rules based on the Xbox ecosystem, with some extensions available on PC, that still follow the rules of “sandboxing”. And, when I say “locked down”, what I mean is, the 3rd party developers, in general, would like to see more DRM so they can keep their IP safe.

Well, then I’d kindly suggest you don’t spread misinformation about Reality XP either!

The only reason you can’t have any Reality XP add-on in FS2020 has nothing to do with ancient or older simulators technologies which are no longer available in the FS2020 SDK, not at all.

As a matter of fact, some of the advanced SDK features which would have been helping were already discussed in the past with one Asobo lead in a private forum… until MSFT stop all communications with Reality XP dead-cold in March 2020.

I don’t believe I have a solve for your question, but related to it, here are 3 topics about this you might want to check out to see if you agree with:

https://www.avsim.com/forums/topic/582275-rxp-gtn-750650-and-gns-530430-for-fs2020/?do=findComment&comment=4524732

https://www.avsim.com/forums/topic/582275-rxp-gtn-750650-and-gns-530430-for-fs2020/?do=findComment&comment=4554785

https://www.avsim.com/forums/topic/582275-rxp-gtn-750650-and-gns-530430-for-fs2020/?do=findComment&comment=4623331

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I had no intention of spreading misinformation, and I’m sorry if I did. My point was, your software used to pass information between FS and an external program directly as it were, and that’s not allowed anymore. Essentially for “security” reasons, in this case, as opposed to a UI reason which I implied above for managing a multiple folder system for storing packages. But, I imagine, also, that there are “Xbox related” file system /VFS reasons as well that pushed them to choose not to have multiple “Community” folders as part of the MSFS file system structure, as FSX used to have.

(I put “Xbox related” in quotes, because, I imagine, Microsoft is looking to make Windows itself similar to Xbox OS as it moves forward)

Is that incorrect?

(I did not mean to get into any business related reasons that got in the way of implementing RXP products in MSFS. I’m sad discussions fell apart, and I do hope that gets worked out/resolved someday. And, thanks for the links to the discussion related to the subject.)

(I’m also assuming that “Asobo” couldn’t have been so “stupid” as to not realize users would be managining hundreds if not thousands of addon packages; I’m assuming there is a technical reason for a single “Community” folder.)

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Don’t worry I’m fine, I’m not claiming you’re intentionally spreading misinformation either, and I’m sorry if I lead you to believe the contrary. Like you said these are development and technical low level issues which are complex enough on their own. As a matter of fact, just by using the SDK as-is, without any hack, you can distribute add-ons which are injecting foreign code into the FS2020 process and/or granting access to call any DLL on your system… both from WASM and JS/HTML layers. And I won’t even try to explain other types of WASM sandbox evading in exploiting your CPU flaws similarly as with the Spectre exploits, because I think this is off-topic enough already, but you can search my post history for more details.

What I’m advocating consists in implementing in the SDK direct access to what the SDK is otherwise using indirectly. These are technologies/APIs which would be protected the same, by the Windows Kernel, as they are already protected the same when used indirectly via the current SDK… In doing so, the SDK would be offering support for a larger category of add-ons needs, and it would support more effective implementation of the most complex airliner gauges as well, like the ones found in PMDG, FSLabs, Tolis, and many other similar aircraft.

Therefore the only reason to me this is not implemented has nothing to do with security (it is no less secure) nor with technology (they are already using this technology indirectly via the SDK). And this has nothing to do with the Xbox either, because the PC version is already offering a certain number of PC specific capabilities like the user-level access to the Community folder, and there is no particular reasons to not offering PC specific SDK additions either.

And just to make it clear: this has nothing to do with Reality XP “wanting” to load external DLLs… we wouldn’t need to with the aforementioned SDK addition… which again raises the question: who benefits the most from lecturing me…

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No need to lecture me, but I think we agree

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Yes the community folder should support arbitrary subfolder …

This is only true for the MS Store version. On the steam version you are completely free where you put your game files.

Already covered in #self-service:wishlist - please participate there. Thanks.

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