FlightGear Newsletter September 2020

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September 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

New software tools and projects

FGCom-mumble

FGCom-Mumble aims to provide a mumble based FGCom implementation. This will simulate radio communications in a seamless frequency spectrum.

The project aims to be easy to use: Pilots just install the plugin, open mumble, join a channel on a mumble server and start using their radio stack in Flightgear.

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 GitHubgithub.

Current state

As the development of the mumble plugin framework goes into its final phase, it introduced lots of changes to the API, so the FGCom-mumble release 0.4.0 does not work with recent compiles of mumble and murmur anymore.

After the 0.4.0 release, work still did go on for FGCom-mumble. The new API changes were implemented, bugs were again found and fixed and some new features introduced and contained in the 0.5.0 release:

  • There is better support for distributed setup of the server side
  • Callsign and frequencies are now reported to the users mumble comment, so its easier to detect if the client has all needed data, and also to match callsigns to mumble user names
  • The plugin now can be configured using an optional ini file
  • The detection of the "special channel" is now configurable, the default value matches all channels starting with "fgcom-mumble"; so a single server can host several "worlds" now
  • A new optional "raw" mode in the Statuspage can display JSON encoded user info, that can easily be digested by third party applications (mp online map?)
  • The Statuspage optionally displays a highscore now (when was the last user peak, and how much users where connected?).
  • Usage statistics can now generated by the Statusbot, which can also be displayed graphically trough the Statuspage (using gnuplot)
  • The plugin updater was reworked so it works more reliable
  • The audio effects have been tuned a bit

Open tasks

The plugin is principally functional with the latest API. As the mumble project introduces further changes to the API, i will integrate them.

To conduct further and broader testing, we probably need to wait for mumble 1.4.0. As this is probably still a long time out, early testing under linux is welcome. Also, I still have no idea if the windows plugin loads, so someone with a windows build environment is most appreciated to compile mumble and try the plugin.

The issue tracker still lists some points, but those are either minor ones or are not implementable at the current time. Nonetheless, please see trough the items, maybe you can lend a hand. Also, some code review is welcome! Especially the memory management needs some more eyes as there still may be memory leaks.

Trying it out yourself

As mumble 1.4.0 is still in the pipeline, you need a self compiled mumble (and murmur) from the Krzmbrzl:plugin-API branch to test this out. If you additionally want to run the server side bots, you also need lua-mumble. Detailed installation descriptions are laid out in the readmes.

It would be cool if someone with a public server could try to setup that, so I can verify the readme files are correct and we get an online test bed.


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 [1]

  1. 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

Scenery development news

montagdude has released custom scenery covering the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey as well as New York City in the United States. This scenery includes custom terrain, materials, and Osm2city. Please see the forum thread This is a link to the FlightGear forum. for instructions on how to download and install it. Some screenshots are below.

Berlin

On Oct 31st, 2020 Berlin's new main airport "Berlin Brandenburg" (BER/EDDB) is estimated to open. Schoenefeld (ex. SXF/EDDB) will become terminal 5 of the new airport and Tegel (TGL/EDDT) will shut down service in near future. With regard to this event the Berlin custom scenery by Ger272 and D-ECHO is available again (see forum thread This is a link to the FlightGear forum.)

Make sure you pay it a visit!





Community news

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 flight sims. 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 September 2020!

References