Release: Airport Selection Criteria

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Intro

Cquote1.png As we have never changed our default startup before, we should have some time for preparing the data. Would it be possible to have a decision by end of March? That would give us 6 weeks until the next release date, mid of May.
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Cquote1.png If we want to name the next release after a different airport, we should decide now what airport this is going to be, get the airport in shape, get maybe the relevant manual pages written and get prepared. The way I see it, it'd be a terrific way for scenery developers to showcase their efforts - you've worked long and hard to make an airport and its surroundings shine - use it to impress everyone who fires up FG for the first time! The procedure I would suggest is that we first spread the word, then that airport developers (or anyone else who wants to attract users to his region of the world) makes a proposal with 2-3 screenshots outlining how the airport and the scenery look, and then we can vote (or Curt can pick one if we're too lay to vote, or I can pick one,...) I've seen Hamza's work - so we could pick a startup in the Middle East for a change. In the forum there's work on Heathrow - Jonathan, are you interested? There's been some compelling work on Rio as well. Anyone else? Please speak now, and you may be the one naming the next release :-)
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Cquote1.png I think the proposal/vote might be good to run on the forum. I expect there are various scenery developers who don't monitor the -devel mailing list and the wider user-base of the forum may know of "hidden gems" those on this list might miss. It would also perhaps encourage a wider group of people to participate in improving the scenery. Regarding manual updates, I'm not sure there's massive value in re-writing the tutorials etc. for each new location. It would a lot of work, and the San Francisco scenery is just a download/terrasync away. Of course, it would be nice to have a well documented VFR tutorial flight as part of the release, if only to introduce virtual fliers to the area. But that can be done as an additon to The Manual, or on the wiki or main website.
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Status

Cquote1.png The plan is to query the community for a new default location, to be determined within the next three weeks.

...then the devel community tries to make it work from there (or not)

...then we need user feedback on what doesn't work

...then we can do lessons learned

and then we start it all over - or not. So please don't discuss the process right now - such discussions won't do anything right now because we have no data either way - just focus on finding a location.
— Thorsten (Feb 20th, 2016). Re: Help us find the next default airport!.
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Background

Cquote1.png part of the discussion was also that the release will be known as 'San Francisco' for the default airport. And that we will change the default airport (and the name) for subsequent releases.
— Thorsten Renk (Feb 10th, 2016). Re: [Flightgear-devel] i think 2016.x.x is a bad name.
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Cquote1.png I think (anyone please chime in if this is incomplete) this'd need:
  • an airport well-supplied with 3d models for terminals
  • an appealing regional texture scheme around
  • possibly definitions for AI traffic (?) - I'm not a user myself...
  • someone to add some instructions to 'The Manual' which right now refers to KSFO (?)
I hope we can really base the future versioning scheme on scenery object contributor's proposal to showcase their projects. So i 2016.x.x sounds like a bad name, how does 'FG 2016 Jeddah' sound?
— Thorsten Renk (Feb 10th, 2016). Re: [Flightgear-devel] i think 2016.x.x is a bad name.
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XML based Default Airport

Cquote1.png I do agree that it should be xml based;

nevertheless, in a seperate file perhaps, called init.preferences.xml (with warnings not to change it at your own risk!)

Since this job will have to be done every 3 months or so it makes sense to do it via one file, instead of

'working through this mess'.
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Default Starting Position with no airport or lat/lon

Consider starting at a parking position on the ramp, not on a runway or the center of the field! Even if 3 planes start on top of each other, it is easy to disconnect MP and taxi.

Checklist

Roadmap

  • Update multiplayer defaults, settings and instructions
  • Update tutorials (possibly in a scripted/automated fashion)
  • Update AI scenarios
  • Update preferences.xml
  • Update the manual
  • Update the wiki
  • Develop airport procedures (SID/STAR), as appropriate
  • Submit missing fixes around the airport, especially RNAV approach fixes
  • Add parking positions
  • Check local radio frequencies (ATIS, VOR, NDB, ILS)
  • Verify ILS parameters (heading, glideslope, lat/lon)

Lessons learnt