Switching tabs stops download timer from counting down now, please revert back

  • Before you used to be able to have multiple pages and switch between tabs and the download timer before actually downloading would still continue counting down. I don't understand if this is a bug or intentionally put in for "bandwidth" but as someone who sometimes downloads multiple addons at a time and goes back to the addon page to read information while downloading it'd be great to have the download go instead of wasting extra time just for the timer to finish and then download. Especially for people with slower internet speeds I can see how this can get annoying if they just want to finish their downloads.

    I wouldn't mind as much if it were 5 seconds though it probably will never go back to being that short to manage server bandwidth which I can understand, but the 15-20 second waiting time ontop of not being able to switch back tabs does seem like overkill with the amount of addons to get on here.

  • I doubt it's a bug, and it's called forced "in-focus". It's purpose is typically to either throttle/spread out downloads to save on bandwidth, force you to spend time on a page looking at ads, or in this case it seems, both. And while I totally understand the economics of running a website like this (constant website coding/updates, not just for users but admins as well, including 24x7x365 security to protect the site, scanning all the uploads to assure safety for users, and since this site is primarily used for file downloads, the costs can get sky high for bandwidth/CDN's, replication/backup, and the list goes on) there are better ways to handle these issues.


    Forcing "in-focus" download counters that can range from several seconds to at least 20-30+ seconds gets REALLY old and frustrating to many of us that have come to depend on this site for most, if not all, of our mods for MSFS2020. Considering that, in some circumstances, updating just one mod can mean downloading 10+ dependencies, you can spend more time each day updating your mods than flying, not to mention the time spent figuring out which work with what, and which crash the sim.


    I'm sorry guys, but this is the site you built and the "habit" you got many of us into. I personally don't mind the countdowns on their own, and understand their usefulness. But the forced in-focus coding, even for those with ad blockers turned off for your benefit, is just BS considering that YOU asked for this in the first place! This is the site you built and if this monster you unleashed is too much for you then ASK YOUR DAMN USERS FOR HELP instead of forcing this on everyone.


    Yeah, I also get people don't "donate" like they probably should but it's death by a thousand cuts to help every single developer of every mod you use and unless I'm mistaken, the whole point of the site is FREEWARE right? But that doesn't mean YOU can't try to get help with the costs, if that is in fact what you need, by offering to let those who wish to download without this crap, the option to buyout for a one time donation to you, or even possibly a subscription for those that really appreciate the intent of this site and WANT to help!


    This in-focus countdown is just dishonest in my opinion...you guys are making this site harder and harder to use. Be honest with your needs, trust your faithful users and don't just spring crap like this on your hard-earned fans. You might find a lot of us more willing to help you than you think!


    Just my 2 cents...erm, maybe it's 25c now with inflation?!?!?

  • Yeah that really sucks. I came here to complain about it. That's pretty sh*tty of them imo. The captions were bad enough. It makes me not want to download anything now. Also, jacked the wait time to 18 seconds for each file. Heh. I'm 52 years old. I don't really want to waste time looking at a screen doing nothing.

  • Thanks for explaining this a LOT better than I would and it seems I'm not the only one noticing this change. Honestly the amount of UI and download changes is confusing each time they update it, and I remember a previous post where they explained these updates as they're "just testing out what works", but reordering and adding in these sneaky features to force users to relearn how to navigate this site (mainly just referring to the homepage and addon pages) after leaving it the same for so many months is just making it overcomplicated. I'm surprised there isn't more backlash on these "features" and I honestly don't mind change for the better, but this feels like they're taking steps backward and losing some of the magic that came with finally having a free to use site better than flyawaysimulation.

  • From the user chrīs who's a team member on the Discord


    "We want to prevent parallel downloads and would prefer if only one file is downloaded at a time. But you can still download multiple files at once, with a ~ 5-20 seconds delay inbetween, which shouldn‘t be much pain. On the other hand it reduces the pain of slow downloads, and it helps us to cover server fees, as we can show more ads to the user."


    Imo, as a sim racer, they should do something like what RaceDepartment does and offer a premium membership for x amount of time for x amount of money. If this site offers something like that, i'll sign up instantly.

  • From the user chrīs who's a team member on the Discord


    "We want to prevent parallel downloads and would prefer if only one file is downloaded at a time. But you can still download multiple files at once, with a ~ 5-20 seconds delay inbetween, which shouldn‘t be much pain. On the other hand it reduces the pain of slow downloads, and it helps us to cover server fees, as we can show more ads to the user."

    Yeah, that was BEFORE they put in the "in-focus" BS. Like I said in my first post, I don't really mind the countdowns by themselves. It's the forced in-focus addition they put in AFTER the countdown addition that got me.


    If it's the parallel/simultaneous downloads they're worried about, then do incremental download countdowns...1st download = no timer, 2nd download = 5 second delay, 3rd download = 10 second delay, and so on when someone initiates multiple downloads at the same time. At least we wouldn't have to sit here keeping each one in focus for 15-30 seconds but I don't think the parallel downloads are the issue. It's all about money and keeping users focused on a single page for 15-30 seconds.

    Imo, as a sim racer, they should do something like what RaceDepartment does and offer a premium membership for x amount of time for x amount of money. If this site offers something like that, i'll sign up instantly.

    I totally agree. There's no incentive to donate to the site itself when they keep making it harder and harder to download mods. Hell, they don't even have to do a subscription system...just add the option to donate a minimum amount for users that want to turn off the in-focus crap. They can keep the countdowns, just give us a way to get around the shady in-focus BS they sneaked in (seriously guys, that was a really bogus move!).


    Add a donation option that has a minimum charge, whatever that may be, and add a flag to accounts that buy-in. They'd make more money off of it than forcing us to sit there for X amount of seconds so they can rack up revenue with ads. Heck, if the minimum was $10-$20 USD, I'd have easily put in an extra $30-$50 just to help out, especially if they'd been honest about what they're doing. As it is, donating isn't providing the user with any benefit, especially when they're making money off of ads already.


    We do not know paid subscriptions, and we do not throttle downloads - more time for you to enjoy your game!

    Totally NOT TRUE...they might not throttle the actual bandwidth for downloads, but they are SEVERLY throttling users ability to download files and with the in-focus requirement. The "more time for you to enjoy your game" statement is complete BULLS**T now!


    To the guys running this site (if you're even reading/listening):


    When I first got here I totally appreciated your original concept. But you are no longer being honest with your users. You got all of us here because the site was fairly easy to navigate and a pleasure to use. I can't speak for anyone else, but I used to LOVE coming here and honestly couldn't wait to see if a favorite mod or livery was updated and check out all the new stuff all these talented creators came up with next!


    Now, I DREAD looking at my "Downloads" page and seeing updates that I'm gonna have to spend way more time than I used to download....and I can tell you that I've seen a TON of new mods I'd love to have but instead, just pass over them now because it's such a pain to download.


    There are better solutions and you should ask your users for input/help instead of just making it harder and harder.

  • No, I'm not one of the guys running this site - I don't even know who they are, but here is my 2c worth.

    I've been coming here since the site was in its early days, and have seen many changes since then - many of them small, some of them big - but the absolute BIGGEST change that I've seen is in the number of addons, and the number of users, who use the site.

    The amount of traffic that is going in and out of this site must be quite staggering, given the resource base of the "owners", who, I assume, are ordinary simmers like you and I.

    Do I have complaints, or rather, suggestions for improvements - yes, of course I do, and quite often if I present a good argument for a change, and if the "team" has the resources to make a change, they will make it.

    My satisfaction level is still up there where it was when there was just a handful of addons posted.

    Now, to your issues, or as I would prefer, the opportunities for improvement that you have pointed out.

    First - the time it takes to update all the addons that you have downloaded

    Interesting. I have downloaded in excess of 550 addons, and by checking back daily, I can't remember a single day when I've found that I have to update more that 8 or perhaps 9 addons that I've already downloaded. So, I take the easy way out, and open each addon to update in a separate tab BEFORE I start downloading any of them. That takes about a minute for all of them.

    Next, I go to the first tab, and have a look at what is updated, what the update is going to do for me, and Ctrl-click on the View link. I move on to the next one, until I've started the download process for all the downloads that I am updating today.

    I then go back to the first, answer any question related to the version that I want to download, or just wait until it starts to download (minimum - about 5 seconds; maximum about 18 seconds). Once the download has started, I move on to the next one, and repeat the process, until I get the last download kicked off. Once they are all downloaded, I go to the directory and handle them myself from then on.

    Total time, worst case scenario - 9 addons @ 18 seconds each, plus a couple of minutes for the original download setup, and it's cost me about 5, perhaps as much as 10 minutes, for some of the best addons for the sim, that have cost me...absolutely nothing that I haven't actually donated to the developer.

    If anything, I reckon that the site should offer a "first Class" membership for people such as yourself, and use the proceeds to improve the throughput of the site. That should suit you, and save some of your time in downloading addons, and it will also suit me, because it means that the site should stabilize, and if it gets too bad for the second class citizens, i can always consider going to the first class option. I think that given the wealth spread of our membership, being from the very young, through the earning population, and right up the very old, often of limited means, and perhaps tailor a membership scheme for each of these, and perhaps other, category of users.

    JohnG

    From Oz, Flight Simmer since FS1 - seriously since FS95

    Contributed to, and managed a site called ProjectAI for a time

  • No, I'm not one of the guys running this site - I don't even know who they are, but here is my 2c worth.

    I've been coming here since the site was in its early days, and have seen many changes since then - many of them small, some of them big - but the absolute BIGGEST change that I've seen is in the number of addons, and the number of users, who use the site.

    The amount of traffic that is going in and out of this site must be quite staggering, given the resource base of the "owners", who, I assume, are ordinary simmers like you and I.

    Do I have complaints, or rather, suggestions for improvements - yes, of course I do, and quite often if I present a good argument for a change, and if the "team" has the resources to make a change, they will make it.

    My satisfaction level is still up there where it was when there was just a handful of addons posted.

    Hi John G,


    As I tried to make clear in my original post, I am very aware of what it takes to run sites like these, including the massive costs most people take for granted. And as a big fan of FLIGHTSIM.TO, I also want to see it succeed and be around for a LONG time (especially since I'm hooked on it!)


    That said, when "free" sites start implementing strategies like active/in-focus requirements, they USUALLY fall into one of two categories:


    1 - Their intentions are good, but they've grown really fast and/or underestimated the costs to run a beast like this and are scrambling to keep it operating under the "free" terms they've stated, without having to implement subscriptions, etc.


    or


    2 - They knew what they were doing all along and had every intention of monetizing the site to the max.


    I happen to believe that the admins of THIS site either fall into the first category and/or they're "testing" options to keep the site free without bankrupting themselves. Either way, implementing modifications that change the way a visitor uses the site (for monetization purposes) should be made clear so we know what to expect. I don't think anyone would blame FLIGHTSIM.TO if they decided to implement a one-time donation or even a small recurring subscription fee that gives those willing to sign up a few perks like skipping a forced countdown.


    Heck, knowing this community, I think most users would jump in head first just to help keep the site in operation with no perks what so ever. The site itself is a "perk" IMHO and while I have some personal issues that have prevented me from donating yet (two direct hurricane hits in 2020 that destroyed 1/3 of my home, the majority of the rest unlivable, and have been sleeping on my couch since last August 27th, fighting with insurance to get my home fixed) but I intent to make up for lost time on my part as soon as I can with a healthy donation!


    In the meantime, this is my sanity (FS2020 & FLIGHTSIM.TO) so I care deeply about it and just believe they made a mistake by misrepresenting the interface changes they made or, maybe someone just forgot to tick the checkbox that said, "Don't force in-focus" in the CMS.


    Either way, the countdown is no longer forced as of this morning and faith restored in these guys. Kudos to them for doing the right thing but I surely hope if they're in dire need of funds, that they come to the community in time for help. I don't want to lose my sanity!