taxi sign editor

That’s the new taxi sign editor in WED.

Signs in the hierarchy are shown as a rendered preview of what the sign will look like.

When you click on it (as if it was text) you get a WYSIWYG editor with two “text” fields where signs can be directly typed, and a palette where signs can be added by clicking.

About Ben Supnik

Ben is a software engineer who works on X-Plane; he spends most of his days drinking coffee and swearing at the computer -- sometimes at the same time.

42 comments on “Coming to WED 1.5: WYSIWYG Taxi Sign Editing

      1. That you are sir! Quick finger poke…So maybe for a future WED having the ability to drag texture inside of draped polygon that is unchecked “use texture map” also possibility to rotate by hand would be awesome. I really adore the x plane draped polygon system and something like this would keep me from ever using ground .objs …Pretty please!

  1. Awesome. Only problem is…… You’re taking some of the fun and sport out of creating airports.
    Looking forward to the new WED.

    1. If you really, really, really want to write sign code you can:
      1. Keep around one intentionally screwed up sign – you see the code if the code has errors.
      2. Copy that sign around to make new signs.
      3. Close your eyes as you type so you can have the joy of waiting until C-Plane tells you your sign is screwed up.


  2. coding the taxi signs was fun, but this is brilliant.

    on a side topic, is there any light on joystick & assignment rework? more and more people have throttle quadrants at home like me, and it would be nice to use the flap and speed brake levers that come with them. thanks!

      1. I know about the flap and speed brake assignment on the axis page, but this is pretty much unusable Ben. They keep deploying from nowhere, you can set flaps to 17.34 degree or whatever. It needs to evolve, support detents, notches, nullzones. If you look a bit at the forums nobody use them and the developers actually recommend not to use axis for flaps/spdbrake they cause too many issues as is. I do not want to go far on this, thanks anyway.

        1. Agreed re: null zones, that’s on our road map. For flaps and speed brakes, please post a link to the forum discussion and your hardware.

  3. If I am not correct that great idea should stop all those badly created signs that show up in your log.txt and bad scenery. Is it possible to use it as an editor to fix them up? SD

    1. With the new editor you -cannot- create an invalid sign – the editor knows the syntax rules.

      If the sign is already invalid, you see the pure text. You can simply delete the offending part (or all of it) and redo it. The validator will tell you where your typo is.

  4. Ohhh great news Ben!

    Two questions:
    1) Some expected release date?
    2) Rendering .lin in wed?

    Thank you and keep great work!

  5. Actually, X-Plane is the best among Flight Simulations and Craft and Hobby Industry. Congrats and thanks.

  6. Outstanding! There seem to be far too many authors, some of them top of the line, who fail to Validate their airports in WED prior to uploading. By far the most common errors are taxi sign errors either from “handwriting” code or using a 3rd party editor that violates the syntax X-Plane 10 is looking for.

    I always check log.txt and “fix” the errors, but this should go a long way to completely eliminating these careless syntax errors.

    1. Hi Mike,

      This is definitely not the case – because the gateway upload validates the airport for you and won’t upload if it doesn’t pass. 🙂 🙂

      However, there has been a problem in the past that the validator did not catch every taxi sign error that X-Plane would complain about, so that auto-validation didn’t do much to help. Combine that with the difficulty of hand-writing signs and it’s a recipe for chaos.

      I -think- the validator in 1.5 matches X-Plane…but then I thought the sign validator in 1.4.1 matches X-Plane.

      Suffice it to say, anyone who sees a sign that passes WED validation (or is made by the new editor) but is NOT valid in x-plane should file a bug.

  7. That’s good stuff! BTW, since we’re talking about WED…is there an easy way to search for an object you added in the right pane, sort of like the left pane for searching the object libraries? Every now and then, I’ll have an item locked in the wrong group and spend unnecessary time trying to find where it is (because I can’t click on it). Also would be nice to add all new items to some non-group bucket and when done working on that area, allow the author then to drag/drop those items to their appropriate groups as normal. The last clicked group being the default is irritating…especially when groups get large. I’ll add something and then it’s mysteriously locked…and then time is spent trying to find it or repeated UNDO’s to just back it out and start over. Maybe there’s easy ways to handle this I’m not familiar with. Anyhow….thanks for the continued improvements!

    1. Search of the hierarchy is on the todo list but is likely to -not- make 1.5 (just to get 1.5 out the door) – it is a highly desired feature though.

      In terms of object creation, I’ve had requests for that from others, what we’d need is a clear creation location policy that doesn’t require users to have specail knowledge just to “make stuff”.

        1. It would not be too much to ask. It’s not going to make 1.5. I think there is already an open feature request for this. The long term goal is WYSIWYG for all art assets, more or less.

  8. Can we have a preview of facades including the non-airport facades in World Editor? It would be helpful in creating airports for things like hospital helipads where you want to concentrate on tall buildings near the helipad. Right now there are so many building facades with non-intuitive naming conventions so discovering which facade is the right one to use is an exercise in trial and error (mostly error.)

    1. That’s on the list of features we’d like to have some day but it definitely won’t be in 1.5. The logic to turn a facade into a render is rather complex and there is no prior code in the WED code base.

  9. I haven’t done much with X-Plane or WED in what feels like years, but I do keep my eyes on the blogs just in case something compelling comes around. This entry gave me a little smile.

    Nice job! Coding taxi signs was always a royal pain, and this will certainly make it better for all those WED users out there.

  10. Any improvements to WED are very much welcome, I’m pretty sure I spend more hours in WED than in XP proper!

    Are there any plans to add more ‘group’ editing functionality? Although you have the ability to select multiple items in WED and do such things as move or delete or duplicate, I feel that there could be more that might improve quality of life for WED users.

    An extremely useful example would be to to be able to define the ‘Show with’ property for a selected group of objects. Right now, if one doesn’t think ahead, it becomes a very tiresome task to go back through possibly hundreds of objects and set the property one item at a time. (I strongly feel it’s a responsible authoring practice to care about it!)

    Another useful group editing feature might be to rotate the texture heading on a selected group of ground polys, or to set a heading on a group of objects.

    1. All WED properties can be bulk edited by making a multiple selection and then option-changing or alt-changing one item – the entire selection is affected.

      1. I just experimented with this, and the functionality is there, albeit a bit different than using ALT (on windows).

        When multiple objects are selected, you can indeed hold the ALT key and click on things like the ‘Locked’ or ‘Hidden’ sections, and all items will change.

        But you actually need to use the CTRL key to make changes to things like the visibility or heading of multiple items. Even then, using those two (important) items as examples, the functionality of the CTRL key is different – if changing the visibility, you have to hold down CTRL first and then click the dropdown and the desired setting. But to change the heading on multiple items, you enter the heading on one item, and the use CTRL+ENTER to save that heading entry to all selected items.

        That said, I’m sooooo glad you pointed me in the right direction. It’s tricky, and I’m not sure I would of ever found that functionality on my own, but man…. I’m one happy camper now! Thanks Ben!

        1. Ah – right. The original intention was:
          option/alt when picking everything except a text-field and
          option-alt when hitting enter to close a text field.

          But on Windows the alt key would do random stuff. So we made control key do the same thing.

  11. Ben:

    Awww – it’s a shame – I have already burnt into my brain a parser for taxiway sign codes!

    But it looks nice. What I would *really* like to see is designers using the taxiway signs for customized distance remaining signs – a feature mostly ignored, for some reason. Easy to do – check them out at KSEA. If you all do this, don’t forget to switch ‘off’ the auto-generated signs on the runway data.

  12. A VERY nice feature, and very intuitive. I believe this will result in an up-tick in submissions to the Gateway, especially the larger complex airports. The task of building several hundred signs with the old method was somewhat overwhelming.

  13. That it so great, most of the scenary error are on the taxi sign

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