Libraries, libraries and even more libraries!
We’re pleased to inform you that X-Plained will from today, April 10th 2017, offer X-Plane libraries too. We did support/provide you already the NAPS library (Freddy De Pues NAPS)), the MisterX6 library and his Airport Environment HD library, but from today and on, we offer additional libraries.
X-Plained.Com is pleased to announce that Scottish Wings (The Handy Objects library), CAMI (CDB library), Oleg Shevchenko (RD library), Einstein (RE_library) and AndrooC (XAirport Scenery library) have given their approval that X-Plained can support and provide these libraries to their members. Oh yes, there are much more libraries, but we need to wait for everybody’s approval to support and offer them on X-Plained. Soon the list will be growing and growing!
For your convenience, here are the direct links to all the libraries we offer (as per April 10th 2017):
– New The Handy Objects library version 5.81
– New CDB library version 2.4
– New RD library 1.3
– New RE library 1.8
– New XAirport Scenery library version 1.1
– NAPS library version 3.0
– MisterX6 library version 1.5
– Airport Environment HD version 0.9
Makes sense to me.
As X-Plane 11 takes off, there seems to be a lot more activity and interest. That means that more activity from developers, as well (a good thing). But, keeping up with what libraries are needed and what is the latest version of those libraries is pretty cumbersome. I spend almost as much time downloading and installing as I do flying. Since most of the files are freeware, I am not complaining. But, some sort of organization would be great.
It also brings up another point. I assume that payware developers are not using any freeware libraries in their work. Or, if they are, they are compensating the freeware developer for such use.
You have my vote.
Now if we can just convince Angelique to be the keeper of freeware. It shouldn’t take too much time to develop a system that will automatically notify all of us whenever there is an update. Even better, a system that would check our freeware files automatically and notify us of the need to update! Shazaam! 😉
It seems as though more new libraries are often being created which of course adds to the size and complexity of the program, while possibly reducing its performance. I am of the opinion that it is past time for some better control and managing the growth and functionality of all these libraries before they get completely out of control.
Personally I feel it that either the development team of X-Plane, or if that is not possible, then X-Plane.org should take over the administration of all these libraries.
Here is what I believe would benefit the users that the library administrator should do:
– Limit the number and content of libraries to a few specific ones covering topics such as scenery, aircraft, airports, cities, etc.
– Combine existing libraries into the topic libraries and administer the updates or new libraries to them, along with some light testing to make sure they do not conflict with each other or create runtime errors.
– Work with library developers to resolve duplicate efforts and conflicts.
– Release regular updates to these libraries from a central source – i.e. server.
Any costs for the administration of the libraries I feel should be borne by the developers of the libraries as they are the ones adding to the library complexity and using objects from the libraries to same themselves the time and effort needing to build the object directly into the add-on. If the developer wants to pass that cost onto the user through a purchase fee for the add-on then so be it.
But to charge users a fee directly for downloading each library or subscription fees for library access I feel would strongly reduce interest in add-ones that use the libraries. The use of libraries does not directly benefit the users but does benefit the developers as it makes it faster and easier for them to create their add-on.
An alternate paradigm would be to be the source of all these libraries for developers and have the necessary objects be incorporated in into the add-on so users would not have to be concerned about installing libraries in order to get the add-on to work properly and constantly having to be concerned if they have the latest update for all the libraries whenever they incorporate a new add-on into their user copy of the simulator. The downside of this is that it would increase the size of the add-on and the same object might be present multiple times in different add-ones
As it currently stands I would not be surprised if the complexity of all these libraries is creating resistance from potential customers of the add-ons from investing the time and money into using them to enhance X-Plane, then subsequently being disappointed by the stock version limitations.
Is it me or ….. could you explain me this sentence “But to charge users a fee directly for downloading each library or subscription fees for library access I feel would strongly reduce interest in add-ones that use the libraries. The use of libraries does not directly benefit the users but does benefit the developers as it makes it faster and easier for them to create their add-on.”
To whom or what are you referring?
GymW, none of these libraries is payware. They are all free, for the use of anyone who develops or uses freeware scenery. The libraries are great for end users because 1) they are free, 2) they avoid downloading same objects over and over again, 3) far easier to keep up-to-date etc etc. They are great for freeware scenery designers because they add greater realism to the scenery package without re-inventing the wheel, and without the huge investment in time (and talent) it take to build all these objects. They are a win-win for everyone.
There is no such thing as ‘all the necessary objects’, as the world is filled with millions and millions of objects, which all evolve over time. As such, it’s generally a case of ‘the more libraries, the better’, otherwise airports and other scenery end up looking kind of all the same. I think the growth of the available libraries, and the increasing quality of those libraries has been a major boost to X-Plane, and a huge benefit to both scenery developers and users.
With regard to X-Plane developers (Laminar), these libraries really have nothing to do with them, and for X-Plane.org (run by X-Plane enthusiasts), they simply host the downloads, they have no administrative ability over the content of peoples freeware submissions.
Anyway, nice job X-Plaining Angelique!
Unfortunately both of the above replies either missed the point or my comments were unclear. Let me summarize here:
What I was trying to do was to present a comprehensive plan for the future administration of all X-Plane Libraries.
– X-Plane libraries are proliferating at an increased rate with no control as to how many or what they contain.
– Many add-ons now require theses libraries to be install in order for the add-ons to work properly.
– Since each of the add-ones use a different group of libraries the end user may feel compelled install them all to insure full compatibility
– Libraries are often updated so the user must regularly check for these updates for all the libraries to insure full compatibility whenever their add-on are updated.
– This usage paradigm may create confusion, create run-time issues, and frustration for the end user, especially the novice end user, that may dissuade them from attempting to use any add-on’s, free or fee based.
– Libraries mostly benefit the developers as it frees them from recreating objects that someone else has all ready created. It also shortens development time and reduces the size of the add-on.
– Multiple libraries contain a multitude of objects, sometimes very similar to objects in other libraries, of which many are never accessed by the individual add-on, but must be loaded at runtime which can negatively impact X-Plane performance and load time.
– Despite some recent attempts, as far as I can tell, there is little to no central control in regard to the number of libraries in existence, their content or the maintenance of a complete or accurate listing since any one can create a library for any reason at any time.
– I am suggesting that some organization be done to accurately manage all these libraries, check compatibility with each other, keep on top of updates, and make an effort to reduce duplicate or very similar objects. This organization could also reduce the number of libraries by merging independent libraries in to libraries of a specific topic or category. For example it does not make sense that a user who uses an airport airport add-on also must use a general library also contains objects that is not relevant to the airport itself. Doing so could reduce the number of libraries a user must track for their particular add-on interest and soften the load on X-Plane
– I recognize that most if not all libraries are currently free. My comments about fees are to proactively address any thoughts that might occur with individuals attempting to turn libraries into a profit center balanced with the concept that administrating and organization of libraries may take significant time and effort for which the task might reasonably seek some compensation for the time and effort it would take. That is why my first nomination for library administrator would be the X-Plane development team, who being already is engaged in a profit business, and therefore is in a better position to do the administration and either absorb the cost or increase the cost of X-Plane by a nominal amount to cover such administrative costs.
– Since developers are the main beneficiaries of the libraries, if the X-Plane development team is NOT interested in library administration then I was suggesting that add-on developers bear the cost of any library administration compensation rather than charging the end user for the use of libraries. Developers would then have the option of passing those costs onto the pricing of their already fee based add-ons.
– Concurrently I would suggest that no administrative costs be passed on to developers that offer ALL their add-ons for free. That would prevent the possibility of any less than scrupulous developers from expecting to get administrative costs for libraries waved, if their were any, by offering some add-ons for free and then using those libraries for pay-ware add-ons in order to circumvent any fees that other pay-ware developers might be charged and encourage add-on development by hobbyists.
I hope this clarifies what I was stating.
Bravo X-Plained – This is very good news indeed. I hope you get all the libraries on board.
Many thanks, Bruce
I hope they reply soon. I’ve addressed them all, but no idea when they look at the received PM.