VASL and Windows 11

BigAl737

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Greetings,

I just got a new computer which unfortunately came with Windows 11. I had been using Windows 10. I've found that my old manner in modifying VASL extensions doesn't seem to work under Windows 11. The steps I take are:

  1. Decompress the .vmdx file into a folder using 7.zip (I did not rename the file extension, i.e. it remained .vmdx)
  2. Modify the files in the folder just created.
  3. Zip the files and the images folder using the "send to" - "compressed (zipped) folder" windows command.
  4. Rename the file if required and change the extension from .zip to .vmdx
That used to work with Windows 10. With Windows 11 it doesn't. VASL doesn't recognize the file and gives me a pop up window that says "Not a valid extension" when I try to open it within VASSAL.

This may not be a Windows 11 problem but the coincidence is too, well, coincidental.

Any ideas? Need more info from me? Thanks for your help. I'd like to get this solved for obvious reasons.

Al

EDIT: UPDATE; After a deep dive researching this issue I learned the issue was not caused by switching to Windows 11. There was an image in the image folder with an invalid character in the mage file name. The name contained an accented “i” ( í ). I renamed the image, removing the í and the unzip/modify/rezip process worked as expected. The switch to Windows 11 at the time of discovering this issue was purely coincidental.

This thread is available for others to post any other potential Windows 11/VASL issues.
 
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PresterJohn

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Is it that "show file name extensions" is not turned on? View -> Show -> in file manager.
On my surface it is off by default for recognised file types.
 

BigAl737

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Is it that "show file name extensions" is not turned on? View -> Show -> in file manager.
On my surface it is off by default for recognised file types.
Good idea but it’s on. The file extension is displayed after the file name.
 

apbills

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Why not just use the Extension Editor that is built into VASSAL? It is very easy to use. That is how I do all my extensions.
 

uckelman

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Check that you're getting the directory structure inside the extension correct. People frequently inadvertently introduce an extra level of directories when creating ZIP archives.
 

DougRim

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Not yet on Win 11 so can't be of much help.

For existing extensions, try this:

  1. change .vmdx to .zip
  2. In File Explorer, drag and drop new/changed files into the .zip file
  3. change .zip to .vmdx
 

BigAl737

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Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll try them out today and will report back.

@apbills : I use this technique when editing the images in the images folder. Much quicker than changing each image individually within the extension editor. I’m open to other methods though. May end up having to do this until I figure out what’s changed with Windows 11. Thanks for the suggestion.
 

zgrose

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Doug has the easiest way. That's the way I do it.
 

apbills

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I am not familiar with 7.zip. I always just use the built in .zip capability of Windows (like Doug is suggesting). although the only time I attempt editing the file directly is when I am moving something from one extension to another, like a complicated prototype. Even then I have gotten used to just editing the old extension in the editor, deleting everything except what I want and then saving it as something new.
 

DougRim

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7Zip is a free compression utility. I find it useful for moving files around inside a .zip file between different directories. Sometimes Windows does not like to do that. I was using it quite a bit about a year or two ago. I don't find I need it as much now. Basically, I use the Windows capability until it doesn't work and then go and try 7Zip. Between the two there is usually a way.

That being said, Win 11 is certainly having an impact. Users need to be more careful about where they install VASSAL and VASL and in particular where they locate their boards directory and their extensions directory. It would not surprise me if certain file operations such as described in Al's OP are also being impacted.
 

DougRim

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I am not familiar with 7.zip. I always just use the built in .zip capability of Windows (like Doug is suggesting). although the only time I attempt editing the file directly is when I am moving something from one extension to another, like a complicated prototype. Even then I have gotten used to just editing the old extension in the editor, deleting everything except what I want and then saving it as something new.
The one thing that I find hard (and sometimes impossible) to do from within the module/extension editor in VASSAL is to add new image files to the module/extension. I almost always do that via Win file utility or 7Zip.
 

apbills

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The one thing that I find hard (and sometimes impossible) to do from within the module/extension editor in VASSAL is to add new image files to the module/extension. I almost always do that via Win file utility or 7Zip.
My level of image manipulation is most likely 'beginner'. If I am updating an image for a counter (which is almost all I do), I just double click the current image and then cancel, which makes the current image 'NULL' and then double click again and select the new file from my system. Seems to be very straight forward. Key to that is performing the cancel step as that clears the image. I have had the frustrating experience of not doing that and it just uses the previous version of my image. My process is clearly less efficient if you are updating a lot of images, but I find that I like to work on one thing to conclusion before moving on to the next item I am updating, which usually means multiple iterations of updates depending on how the next revision looks. It also means I can move between working on an image, working on the extension, etc. so that I don't feel like I am actually working.
 

BigAl737

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Not yet on Win 11 so can't be of much help.

For existing extensions, try this:

  1. change .vmdx to .zip
  2. In File Explorer, drag and drop new/changed files into the .zip file
  3. change .zip to .vmdx
Just tried this. Still no joy.

Since I was changing image files, I tried to drop the images file in the zip extension created with step 1. Windows said no as there was already a folder named images in the zip file. It did recommend a solution though and that was to rename the folder I was trying to drop into the zip file and try again. Well that's a no go obviously. The images folder has to be named images. So I tried to delete and replace the image folder without unzipping the zip file. Then changed the file extension to .vmdx as mentioned in step 3. VASSAL/VASL does not recognize it as a valid extension.

It must have something to do with the way Windows is handling zip files. I'm tempted to delete Windows 11 and install Windows 10 on my new computer. I'm not a huge fan of Windows 11 so far. I was more comfortable with 10 but it's only been a few days. I guess that's to be expected.

I never mentioned the VASSAL/VASL versions I'm using. 3.6.7/6.6.5. Also tried 3.6.7 with 6.6.4 but that didn't help.

Everything else with VASSAL/VASL is working great with Windows 11.

I'm gonna re-accomplish steps 1-3 above but not change anything within the extension. I'll see if a simple file extension name change from .vmdx to .zip and back to .vmdx causes the issue. Will report back.

Thanks for the help all. Much appreciated!
 

apbills

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Is there a reason you don't just overwrite the existing image in the 'images' folder within that zip file? When I create a zip file (albeit on Windows 10) and want to update something, I generally delete the existing file within that zip file, and then a copy/paste the new file in from wherever I have it on my file system. that seems to work, although it does cause a weird behavior after I do it, eliminating all the task bar and resetting it after 5-10 seconds. It's almost like File Explorer needs to get reset after it changes the zip folder, perhaps due to it recompressing everything. It does do what it is supposed to do, it just does that reset thing.
 

BigAl737

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Alright, I've had some success...

I first accomplished steps 1-3 but didn't change a thing in the zip file. The extension was recognized by VASSAL/VASL.

For my next attempt, I did step 1, opened the images folder within the zip file, and moved in the modified images to overwrite the old images.

Then I did step 3. VASSAL/VASL recognized the extension. I opened the extension and the new images were in there :)

I then closed VASSAL/VASL and renamed the extension. Reopened VASSAL/VASL and the newly named extension was recognized by VASSAL/VASL.

So it's not a perfect solution, but it works in this case. Luckily, I didn't have to change anything but images. I'll still keep trying to figure out why Windows 11 doesn't zip files/folders into something recognizable by VASSAL/VASL.
 

BigAl737

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@apbills our paths crossed :)

As I just learned, I could change images within the image folder, that worked. I couldn't delete the image folder and move in the new image folder, that didn't work.
 

uckelman

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I'll still keep trying to figure out why Windows 11 doesn't zip files/folders into something recognizable by VASSAL/VASL.
If you upload an example file which isn't working, we could likely tell you what's wrong with it. It's hard to troubleshoot this without seeing the file.
 
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