Updated! (10. june). If you're ever uncertain that you've really understood something write a blogentry and you'll sone discover more. Since I wrote this entry I've discovered:
- I've found a working profile for IL-2, you can get it yourself on the ubi.com forum where joeggi has dropped a link to a zip-file that amongst others contains this profile.
- Darkcloud does explain something about these versions in the thread X-52 Pro profile Converter in The Official Saitek Forum, also with a link to a
converter for .pr0 for the X52 to .pr0 for the X52 Pro.
- The Saitek software does support migration to some degree as explained by UKSupport2 on howto re-use the commands created for the X52 Pro for FSX (using the new software) and include them in profiles for other controllers.
- UKSupport2 has also provided links for 6 video turotials (located on the Saitek public FTP-server, and they are zipped
wmvfiles) on howto use the profile software:
- Starting the Editor
- Basic key assignments
- Activating Profiles
- Advanced Commands, Macros and Key Combinations
- Banding Axis - Usefull if you want to assign keys to an axis, for example, the w,a,s,d keys for movement to a stick.
- Shiftstates/ Modes - Take advantage of that mode button and switch between multiple assignments in game!
- Saitek has a web page with links to profiles for the most common games. Though the URL path ends with
x52pro.htmthey title are X52 Game Profiles, and they are all in the deprecated
When you create a program that needs to persist data you have a couple of common possibilities like plain files or databases (which in the end are fils as well there's no escaping it's all files). If you choose to go with the file option wou have to decide how you want to organise and serialize/deserialize the data. The most common options are XML, csv, configuration fileformat (like the ones for PHP and OpenSSL) which are all plain text files, but you can always roll you're own format as either text or binary. I in general would suggest XML since I'm familiar with it and there are many tools available and schema validation can easily be added. Today I discovered a variant that falls close to XML but is a propriotary format.
As the happy owner of the Saitek X52 Pro Flight System I've been (re)introduced to classic versioning problems. With the flightstick comes the SST Programming Software (SST stands for Saitek Smart Technology), that gives me:
- Increase the number of functions you can assign to the controls on your controller through shift states and multiple modes
- Create and save profiles for your favorite PC games, which you can load to configure your controller for that game every time you want to play it
- Assign keyboard and mouse commands to your Saitek controller to play PC games that do not offer support for game pads and joysticks.
It's the second one that write about today. I first set out to find a configuration file that I could use for IL-2 1946 but after googling and browsing relevant forums I discovered that there was a lot of confusion and frustation due to changes in the profile file format. Here's some:
- The X52 (normal) used a file format thats binary with the extension
dat. This format can't be used with the software for the Pro version.
- The file format for the X52 Pro is
pr0, but the format contained has changed in a breaking way with the newest version of the software.
- There even seems to be a platform binding so that profiles generated with the same version of the software can't be used on ex. both Windows XP and Vista.
These challenges are not new in software (as I started out) and analogy could be made to the challenges with rolling out OOXML:
- The former version of document editing software in Office saved in a format with the extension
doc. In contradiction to the SST software this format can still be read in the new version of the software.
- The version of OOXML that's implemented in the current version of Office is different that the version going through ISO right now. I expect that they'll both use the extension
In the end the biggest problem is not the file formats them self but that the doesn't seem to be a migration path between them. The software that reads the profiles (deserialise them) can detect the specific format either from the filename and/or the content. The software team a Saitek has decided not to incorporate support for the different formats and thereby not support they're customers (both those with the X52 Pro and the ones migrating from the X52 (normal).
There has been created a conversion tool as a standalone program but I haven't had much succes with it, and I think it's because it's between the
dat and the first version of the
The file formats
The three format mentioned above are:
- The binary/obscure
- The first
- The second
I can't show the a), but here's a screendump of a profile for b):
Yuep, that's good ol XML. I've searched for a schema for the namespace
http://www.saitek.com/sd5/sd but haven't found one. I wont try to analyze the format, but I notice that there is a
version attribute (with what looks like binary content for '65').
I've installed the newest version of the SST software
and saved the default profile:
and the format now looks like:
and Yuep, that's almost like good ol XML. The syntax is a little different but very similar and also shares a resemblance to the format that I share name with. Also in this format there's a version attribute (now with the value '3').
It beats me to come up with an explanation of why they would create they're own format that's so close to XML, and use the time both to develop and maintain it as well as the tools for it, but my hope is that this format in fact is more common than I'm aware of.