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Old 03-05-2011, 11:24 PM   #1
Grinktis Jalok
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Angry How do I edit .dll files?

I've read that you can only view .dll files with PE. I'm pretty sure their written in C++ but it doesn't seem that anyone can open or edit these files. How do addon developers even create these files in the first place or is it some hoccus poccus magic that is hidden from view.

I am really wanting to fix some bugs in some things I find and also to create my own content but nobody seems to know where the stuff is and addon developers seem to avoid the question altogether by telling askers that you can view files with PE.

I thought that Netbeans or Visual Basic might do the trick, but it doesn't.

Help, please help! I'm tired of looking for the stinkin' scissors to open the taped up box!
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Old 03-05-2011, 11:28 PM   #2
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You need the source code and a compiler suite for that. Most popular here is MS Visual Studio for modifying a DLL or you need to write your own source code for creating a new one.

PE viewers can allow you to debug a few aspects of such DLLs, but you can't change their behaviors with them... you could do that with a hex editor, if you have nothing planning for the rest of your life.

The only working way is getting the source code and essentially change the blueprints to produce a new DLL every time. That is how compilers work.

Visual Basic could theoretically do that, if somebody would produce an API wrapper for that. NetBeans is far out, since it can not produce DLLs.

Also forget using clicky-clicky visual editors for that. Orbiter DLLs require good old programming.

Last edited by Urwumpe; 03-05-2011 at 11:31 PM.
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Old 03-05-2011, 11:31 PM   #3
Woo482
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You can't just open a .dll file and edit them properly, you'd need to edit the sources then recompile the .dll to do that. This thread from a few months ago covers the same problem http://www.orbiter-forum.com/showthread.php?t=17672
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Old 03-05-2011, 11:31 PM   #4
Grinktis Jalok
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So where do I find this source code?
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Old 03-05-2011, 11:31 PM   #5
Nistenf
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You create a .dll by writing programming code and COMPILING it. If you want to fix a bug on a .dll, you have to have access to the source code, fix it, and then compile it again. I think there are some tools to decompile but I don't think it would work very well. You can also dissasembly it but I don't think that's what you want.
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Old 03-05-2011, 11:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grinktis Jalok View Post
 So where do I find this source code?
Often never. These add-ons are closed source, which means the source code is only known to the original developer. Only for open-source add-ons, you can also access the source code without having to ask the original developer for it. In open-source add-ons, you have still the full brunt of copyright and intellectual property - just stealing the code, editing a few things and releasing it as your own add-on is illegal and will usually be punished by the community.
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Old 03-06-2011, 12:15 AM   #7
Grinktis Jalok
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Alright then, how do I make my own then, maybe without a .dll file at all please.

Can the .cfg files become more advanced? eg. Can I specify more with the .cfg file of it?

Also my Shipedit isn't working... something about side-by-side configuration?

Last edited by Grinktis Jalok; 03-06-2011 at 12:18 AM.
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Old 03-06-2011, 12:43 AM   #8
Tommy
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Config based vessels are fairly simple - Orbiter only recognizes certain options in config files, and you can't simply specify more.

Look around for Spacecraft3, by Vinka. (often just called SC3). This uses more advanced config files than the generic Orbiter config system, even supports some animation. He also has an add-on called mutistage for creating multistage rockets with config files (no coding and compiling).

As for creating your own .dlls, you will need to learn how to program in C++. There isn't any easy shortcut.

Check the tutorials section of the forum, you will find quite a few tutorials in the "developers" section that answer all these questions, and more.

Many computer games try to make modding very easy - with Orbiter the focus is on versatility - making more mods possible - and simplicity just doesn't work with that focus. It's as simple as it can be - and as complicated as it needs to be - and still allow the flexibility desired.
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Old 03-06-2011, 12:54 AM   #9
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What bugs? What addons? I've not seen you report any bugs
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