There has been some discussion on x-plane.org recently about producing a more general-purpose installer of X-Plane addons. This dovetails with something I have been considering for OpenSceneryX – The ability to select from a choice of OSX components, so a user can tailor their install to their own preferred set of content.
For example, OpenSceneryX could initially be split up into ‘Airport Buildings’, ‘Static Aircraft’, ‘Forests’ and ‘Other’ and the user could select which sections to download.
If this idea was extended to allow the user to pick scenery packages not just from OSX but also from other developers, then hey presto you have a global package installer.
As always, there would be a few hurdles to cross:
- There would need to be a central repository of all the sites where packages are available, and this would need to be kept up to date by each individual scenery author as they release new packages.
- A decision would need to be made whether this central repository was also where all the packages were stored, or whether each individual scenery author would be responsible for hosting their own packages on their own servers. Of course, a central repository would need to be hosted and the usage could get quite high.
- Because an incremental installer is the best way to go (i.e. an installer that only downloads files that have changed since the last time the user checked) then each author would have to carefully process their content. If they were hosting their own then this processing would need to be done by them but if it was all centrally hosted then the system could do most of it automatically.
This is basically all food for thought. I’ll post in future with more detail on how the OpenSceneryX incremental installer works.