FlightGear Newsletter July 2020

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July 2020

We would like to emphasize that the monthly newsletter can not live without the contributions of FlightGear users and developers. Everyone with a wiki account (free to register) is welcome to contribute to the newsletter. If you know about any FlightGear related news or projects such as for example updated scenery or aircraft, please do feel invited to add such news to the newsletter.

Development news

Early CompositeViewer Experiments

1rightarrow.png See CompositeViewer Support for the main article about this subject.

Julian just made some progress on CompositeViewer integration actually.He set things up so that one can 'clone' the current view using akey-press. This creates a new top-level view window with its own copyof the current view's camera projection matrix etc. The view is addedto the CompositeViewer so it sees the same scene.For now at least, cloned views' projection matrices don't change so thecloned views are completely independent from movement of the aircraft orchanges to the main view. Eventually he'd like to make them behave moredynamically, e.g. follow the aircraft if cloned from Helicopter View.At the moment most of the scenery doesn't show up and the backgroundcolours are wrong, but this screen shot shows it working

For the time being, FlightGear only supports one view position at a time. Multiple independent view positions (e.g. one screen for the tower view and a second screen for the plane) would complicate a "locked to cache" flag quite a lot...[1].

Aircraft can define their own views and so on. But only one view can be active at a time. So no matter how many windows and cameras you define in Defaults.xml, they all are relative to the current view in FG (i.e. cockpit, tower...). [2]

People requiring multiple independent views on the same scenery, e.g. cockpit and tower view [...] these each need their own camera groups and so require OSG's CompositeViewer.[3]

And that's not really supported by the current architecture, neither by the tile cache nor by osgViewer::Viewer. We would need to move to a CompositeViewer model, which supports several scene graphs, and rely completely on the osg database paging machinery.[4]

That would require a change in current fg architecture to use a CompositeViewer instead of a single Viewer, but we're contemplating that anyway.[5]


Julian Smith reported some success by changing flightgear's FGRenderer's osgViewer::Viewer to an osgViewer::CompositeViewer with a single osgViewer::View, and patching up all the calling code so it compiles.

It all builds ok, and he now got fgfs mostly working with CompositeViewer and the usual single View.[6]

CompositeViewer is not a build-time option any more. It is disabled by default, and enabled on startup with a new --composite-viewer=1 option.[7]

Julian made the use of CompositeViewer configurable at runtime, which might simplify getting involved in testing/further development - the same binary can now be used for normal use and for investigating CompositeViewer behaviour.

To execute the patched binary with the compositeviewer enabled, use: fgfs --composite-viewer=1 [8]

New software tools and projects

FGCom-mumble: Load tests successful, RDF implemented, Live-Status page added

The last issue mentioned the work on a new mumble based FGCom implementation.

The development is discussed in the FGCom-mumble topic on the forum This is a link to the FlightGear forum..
Releases can be downloaded from github.

This prototype was recently completed and load tests showed very promising results (>100 users!). Also advanced features like 910.00 Echotest, ATIS recording and a live status website were implemented. RDF detection support was the latest addition and ATC-Pie already has good support for FGCom-mumble based radios with RDF in a development branch.

The plugin now also supports several client sessions within a single mumble session. Clients are distinguished using the client port number of the UDP input packets.

Basicly i think this is ready for public testing now. Testers still need to wait for mumbles official 1.4 release (if you don't want to compile yourself, or on linux want to use my precompiled binarys). Also open is the question on which hardware this might run on (just needs mumble server, luajit 5.1 and php for the bots and status page). It would also be very good if some experienced developers could review the code for hidden issues (I'm new to C++ and lua).

In the hangar

Help wanted

Post LTS work

After the 2020.2 release, some work lies ahead to improve the LTS - any help would be greatly appreciated.

This may for example include:

Please get in touch via the developers mailing list to learn more. See Post FlightGear 2020.2 LTS changes for more details.

World Scenery 3.0

The FlightGear project is in the process of exploring how Virtual Planet Builder can be adopted. For details, see: World Scenery 3.0 roadmap

Aerial (drone) photos for Terrain textures

Wanted: good top-down aerial photos to create textures from to use with the procedural Regional Texturing system. Drones This is a link to a Wikipedia article with cameras are ideal. People with access to drones are in a good position to take high-quality photographs.

A particular need as of 2020 is photos of agriculture (farm lands) from different parts of the world.

Good GPLv2 compatible photos suitable for textures are hard to find, and an easy way is for people to take photos of their region. Flightgear's procedural systems can do a lot with less art content, so photo contributions can strongly improve visuals.

See: How to: take photos of terrain for textures. For examples of final textures: see /data/Textures/Terrain. e.g. UK countryside.

You can get in touch via the Scenery forum or the flightgear-devel mailing list

Photos of trees for textures

Wanted: good quality photos of different trees and vegetation from various parts of the world. Flightgear's vegetation system can handle multiple layers of trees and bushes.

Strong shadows should be avoided. Each tree should be against a background of a different colour: sky (preferably) , clouds , or buildings. This allows the tree to be separated from the background in a photo-editor like GIMP.

See: How to: take photos of vegetation. For examples of final textures: see /data/Textures/Trees. e.g. Coniferous.

You can get in touch via the Scenery forum or the flightgear-devel mailing list.

Submissions of default settings for GPUs

Wanted: Reasonable default scenery and graphics settings for different graphics cards, to use with the new GPU profile system. See this forum thread to submit defaults for your GPU.

Submissions of labels for craft

Wanted: Submissions of labels (tags) giving a rough description of aircraft - Metadata tags. A quick read of a craft's Wikipedia page will normally be enough to set labels. This info will be searchable from the launcher GUI. For example, filtering craft by propulsion like single-propeller or 4-engine jet craft, or by a manufacturer like Airbus or Grumman, or by speed like supersonic craft, or craft by era like WW2. A list of tags is here - more can be added if needed. To add tags to craft yourself, the tags are stored in the set-xml file.

A list of FGAddon craft needing tags is here. See this forum thread to submit tags. The flightgear-devel mailing list or the craft's maintainer can also be contacted.

Windows Package Maintainer

The core team needs help from Windows users able to maintain a good working Window build. This process already exists to support our Nightly and Release builds, but we are seeking additional help to keep it in good working order. The ability to compile FG from source and some Windows batch scripting is a required skill. If you are willing and able to take up this role, please reach out to James Turner (mailing list), or get in touch via the forum [9]

  1. http://www.mail-archive.com/flightgear-devel@lists.sourceforge.net/msg28864.html
  2. http://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?p=146136#p146136
  3. https://sourceforge.net/p/flightgear/mailman/message/37059117/
  4. http://www.mail-archive.com/flightgear-devel@lists.sourceforge.net/msg28869.html
  5. http://www.mail-archive.com/flightgear-devel@lists.sourceforge.net/msg17263.html
  6. https://sourceforge.net/p/flightgear/mailman/flightgear-devel/
  7. https://sourceforge.net/p/flightgear/mailman/message/37075130/
  8. https://sourceforge.net/u/cgdae/flightgear/ci/059cf073c74d43a57c11f363cae6c9271772d869
  9. https://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=37155

AI

The AI team makes FlightGear more realistic, colorful and lively every month. You can support the important development of Interactive Traffic and contribute at the FlightGear AI subforum This is a link to the FlightGear forum..


Scenery corner

Community news

Flightgear Community Survey

merspieler has created a community survey so see, what systems we develop for and what the expectations of the community are. The results will be published on the forum. You can take the survey here



FlightGear on Facebook

Since early December 2010, FlightGear has an official Facebook page. If you have a Facebook account please feel free to join the page.

FlightGear on Instagram

In January 2018 the @flightgear_sim Instagram account was brought back to life. If you've got nice screenshots to be featured, feel free to contact the maintainer This is a link to the FlightGear forum..

FlightGear on FlightSim.com

Flightgear has also a sub-forum on flightsim.com - just like the commercial flightsims. It is an opportunity to showcase what FG can do, get people curious and answer any questions they may have with regard to the software or the project.

Multiplayer events

Contributing

Translators needed

En.gif The FlightGear Wiki still needs help for translating it into various languages. If you are interested in making the FlightGear Wiki multilingual, you can start by looking at Help:Translate.
Fr.gif Le wiki de FlightGear a toujours besoin d'aide pour être traduit en différentes langues. Si vous êtes intéressé par le rendre multilingue, commencez par lire Help:Traduire.
De.gif Das FlightGear Wiki benötigt immer noch Hilfe bei der Übersetzung in verschiedene Sprachen. Wenn Du Interesse daran hast, das FlightGear Wiki mehrsprachig zu machen, dann fang mit dem Help:Übersetzen an.
Nl.gif De FlightGear Wiki kan nog steed hulp gebruiken bij het vertalen van artikelen. Als je interesse hebt om de wiki meertalig te maken, raden we je aan om een kijkje te nemen bij Help:Vertalen.
Es.gif La wiki de FlightGear todavía necesita ayuda para traducirla a varios lenguajes. Si estás interesado en hacer la FlightGear wiki multilingüe, entonces comienza en Help:Traducir.
Cat.gif La wiki de FlightGear encara necessita ajuda per traduir-la a diverses llengües. Si esteu interessat en fer la wiki de FlightGear multilingüe, llavors comenceu a Help:Traduir.
Pt.gif A wiki de FlightGear ainda necessita de ajuda para traduzi-la em vários idiomas. Se estás interessado em tornar a wiki de FlightGear multi-lingual, por favor começa em Help:Traduzir.
Zh.gif FlightGear 百科仍然需要志愿者将其翻译为各种语言。如果你有兴趣让FlightGear百科支持更多语言, 你可以查看 Help:Translate.

FlightGear logos

If you want some graphic elements for your FlightGear-related site (such as a hangar or YouTube channel), please feel free to visit FlightGear logos for a repository of logos. And if you have some art skills, please don't hesitate to contribute with your own design creations.

Screenshots

The FlightGear project always needs screenshots, which show features that were added since the last release. These should be of good quality, especially in content and technical image properties. It is therefore recommended to use the best viable filter settings (anti-aliasing, texture sharpening, etc.). More info at Howto:Make nice screenshots.

Screenshot of the Month

If you want to participate in the screenshot contest , you can submit your candidate to this subforum This is a link to the FlightGear forum.. Be sure to see the first post for participation rules. For purposes of convenience and organization, after all the entries have been submitted, a new forum topic will be started containing all shots in an easy-to-view layout. The voting will then take place there. Once the voting has finished, the best screenshot will be presented in the Newsletter.

Thanks for reading FlightGear Newsletter July 2020!

References