Before I comment on anything, let me mention that what Argh is talking about is seriously useful. 99% of the problems of Freelancer modding come down to changing/fixing pieces of text, and using tools that are designed specifically for mass-processing text can make you into an uber-bugslayer.
Well, actually the biggest request that I have, I've already made, and that's for encoding FL files after editing them.
In which sense do you mean "FL files"?
If you mean savegame/character files ending with .fl such as "01-23ab45cd.fl" this is pretty easy to do. I don't see a major need or value to it directly, but I can put together the code for it.
If you mean for re-compressing Freelancer INI files to their BINI format, that's more difficult - although it has some potential value to it. I recall hearing about some issues the standard bini tools have with recompressing files, but I believe Bas Westerbaan has actually written some good code for recompression (using .NET as well).
I'd try it myself, but I'm still just trying to figure out how to get the editor setup so that it can be the default editor for certain files (I don't know how to get it to accept command line arguments that tell it to open a certain file... IE when you click on a file and want it to open in the editor without having to open the editor first then open the file in it... Did that make sense?).
Yes it makes very good sense, although I'm not sure where in the process your problem occurs. The following may help. I assume you're doing this in .NET.
The number 1 problem people have with opening files this way is that the shell isn't passing them as arguments to the program or is doing it inappropriately.
For example, if the registry association is messed up and doesn't include quote marks around arguments, the shell automatically treats spaces as argument separators. This is BIG problem for all Freelancer files since all of them are in paths with space. Without appropriate quoting, the file "C:\Documents and Settings\SomePerson\My Documents\My Games\Freelancer\Accts\MultiPlayer\99-abcdef11\01-23ab45cd.fl", will be interpreted as 5 separate arguments, the following:
To test this, insert some debugging code in your program to display all of the arguments given to the program immediately after start. In .NET, you can get a concatenated set of arguments given to your program by looking at System.Diagnostics.ProcessStartInfo.Arguments. If the arguments echoed back don't include your filename at all, it isn't even being passed to the program. If they DO include the filename but it has spaces in it and is not surrounded with quotes, then you're seeing several arguments, not a single filename argument.
If you want a tester for anything, let me know. Also, if you're interested in taking a look at my editor, let me know too I'd be happy to provide it and the source code for anyone who's curious, just please send me any changes you make so that I can keep up (maybe I'll learn more about coding in the process)
Stay tuned, when I have time to get back into this I will be posting more work. I'm actually beginning to work on top of code done by Bas Westerbaan in .NET now.
It would be interesting to see what you're doing. In fact, I would strongly encourage you to post your code and information about what you're doing here; the only way I've been able to do what I did with the Tlr.Freelancer classes is the material several people prior to me made available. For the "crunchy" parts - really technical problems you're having - you will probably find it helpful to post in the .NET newsgroups on the free Microsoft news server (news.microsoft.com). If you feel hesitant about doing that because you think you don't know enough, you REALLY want to post and show code. Some people will rip it apart, but active criticism by bunches of casual experts can move you along incredibly fast.