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Thread: Packaging FMs

  1. #1
    Registered: Sep 2003
    Location: Cambridgeshire UK

    Packaging FMs

    During testing, an FM that had been packaged in .7z format could be installed and run OK by two testers via FMSEL, but not by the 3rd tester. He could cope with .zip format OK. After checking that his installation was sound it was noticed that the 2 testers who were OK with .7zs also had NewDarkLoader installed. He didn't!

    It would appear that the presence of the NewDarkloader files extends the capabilities of FMSEL. Perhaps someone who knows what they are doing could confirm/deny this?

    In the meantime I would advise authors to package their FMs in .zip format and not .7z.

  2. #2
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: Formby, NW England
    NewDarkLoader doesn't do anything to FMSel, although they both share one common file: 7z.dll. This is actually the main part of the 7Zip program (it contains all the functions). The 7zip program file (7zFM.exe*) is essentially a GUI frontend.

    It's possible that the single user had fmsel.dll but not 7z.dll. The presence of NDL for the other two users is neither here nor there; they may already have had everything needed for FMSel, but the NDL download file does have its own copy of 7z.dll for the benefit of users who haven't installed FMSel.

    *FM is an unfortunate acronym for us, but is stand for File Manager.

  3. #3
    Registered: Jun 2000
    Location: Land of enchantment
    I am the tester with the problem ffox mentioned in the OP.

    I have both dlls. I note that the 7z.dll packaged with NewDark 1.25 / FMSEL (1,049 KB) is not the same as the 7z.dll packaged with the program 7Zip (1,572 KB). I copied the 7Zip version of the dll into the T2 directory, and FMSEL failed altogether -- it would not even start.

    What happens with me, specifically, is that my FMSEL will install the FM correctly -- all files look identical to those installed via a ZIP. But when I actually play the mission under my FMSEL, it plays the OM Mission 1, Running Interference, and not the FM that was installed. All the entries in the ini files look OK.

    My speculation is that NewDarkLoader may not "do anything" to FMSEL, but it could set a pointer or adjust the registry in such a way that the 7z bug in FMSEL is inadvertently corrected.

    I am hesitant to install NewDarkLoader just to see if it works because, if it works, it will mask the bug I have and prevent further testing and bug fixes, if they exist. If anyone has any suggestions for investigation or testing that are not a potential path of no-return, I will be happy to try something.
    Last edited by smithpd; 29th Nov 2017 at 01:57.

  4. #4
    Registered: May 2001
    Location: Boston MA

    7 Zip Workaround

    So it is my mission that Peter has an issue playing. At FFox's suggestion, I investigated how to cure the issue and still use 7Zip. After some finagling, I was able to get the file in .zip format so that it could be played and thought I would share what I did:

    - Start with a file that is already zipped using 7 Zip [and the file directories are all correct, etc.] and sitting on your desktop
    - I use FMSEL to run fan missions so I tested the 7 Zip file works with FMSEL on my laptop
    - I heard it does not work well with Darkloader
    - Highlight file [in my case file is “Beta2testWalkthrough.7z”]
    - Right click>7 Zip> add to archive
    - Under archive format – click zip>OK
    - You should now see a file on your desktop called “]
    - Double click and it will show you there is only one file in the zip - “Beta2testWalkthrough.7z”. This file will not play correctly
    - Click on the file and it will show you the directories below it. Copy each one to your desktop
    - Click back up so that you only see Beta2testWalkthrough.7z
    - Drag each of the directories/files you just copied to your Desktop to the zip file
    - Once that is done, delete the file Beta2testWalkthrough.7z
    - You should be left with a file - “"
    - Now you should be good to go

    Not sure if this is helpful but since I did the work, I thought I would share. I am not a techie, but I did notice the file using .zip format is larger (23.3mg) than the 7zip file (10mg).


  5. #5
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Fields of bluegrass
    That should just be the same thing as making your mission archive a ZIP file to begin with.

  6. #6
    Registered: May 2001
    Location: Boston MA

    Dopey Me

    DAH. It is amazing when you climb up the side of a mountain, there is always someone smart at the top pointing out there was an elevator 10 feet from where you started. This is why I love this forum!

    Thanks Yandros.


  7. #7
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Fields of bluegrass
    LOL! Sorry, didn't mean to make you feel dopey. I hope you're considering entering the T1 20th Anniversary Contest!

  8. #8
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: Texas
    If you have two instances of WinZip open you could simply drag all of the files/ folders from the .7z file to a newly created zip file. I'm not sure if WinZip has a feature where you can simply save a current compressed file whatever it is to a zip file.

  9. #9
    Registered: Sep 2003
    Location: Cambridgeshire UK
    We've made some progress with the original problem. Starting with a brand new installation via Tafferpatcher, smithpd still had FMSEL trying to play the mission selected in Darkloader instead of the mission installed from .7z file.

    He then started FMSEL again and loaded the same mission as Darkloader using FMSEL. That worked fine - Darkloader and FMSEL were synced.

    He started FMSEL again and installed the new Beta2.7z FM. This time it correctly switched to Beta2.7z, and it worked! From then on, FMSEL was able to change back and forth between various FMs.

    His conclusion is that, for him it is necessary to first synchronize Darkloader and FMSEL to run the same FM, any FM, and from then on FMSEL can select, install, and run any FM for its .7z package.

    I can't duplicate the issue on my PC. Remember, there was never any problem running a package in .zip format

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