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FlightGear Newsletter October 2016

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{{draft|newsletter|Please feel free to add content that you think will be of interest to the FlightGear community.<br>You can read the latest newsletter at [[FlightGear Newsletter September 2016]].}}
{{Newsletter-header|October 2016}}
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{{Newsletter-cover-header|Development news}}<br>
[[#Next default airport|Next default airport]]<br>
[[#Git multimail script updated|Git multimail script updated]]<br>
[[#Local apt.dat versions support|Local apt.dat versions support]]<br>
[[#Standalone Canvas NavDisplay dialog|Standalone Canvas NavDisplay dialog]]<br>
[[#Benchmarking Canvas path performance|Benchmarking Canvas path performance]]<br>
[[#Streaming a Canvas via HTTP|Streaming a Canvas via HTTP]]<br>
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{{Newsletter-cover-header|In the hangar}}<br>
[[#MBB/Kawasaki BK 117| valign="top" width="33%" MBB/Kawasaki BK 117]]<br>[[#2016 Camaro SS|2016 Camaro SS]]<br>
{{Newsletter-cover-header|Scenery Corner}}<br>
[[#Scenery/LOD experimentsNew experimental terrain engine|Scenery/LOD experimentsNew experimental terrain engine]]<br>{{Newsletter-cover-header|Community News}}<br>
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== Development news ==
=== Next default airport ===[[LSZHZurich airport|Zürich Airport]] (ZürichLSZH) has been chosen as the default airport for the next FlightGear version, v2016.4 .<ref>{{cite web|url = https://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=30541&p=295599#p296045|title = Re: Please vote for the next default airport|author = chris_blues|date = Oct 4th, 2016}}</ref> Some details about the airport can be found [https://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?p=295274#p295274 here].
=== Git multimail script updated ===
For all git Git repositories on SourceForge, Edward d'Auvergne has updated the git-multimail repository hook script to 1.5-dev (the current master branch) from 1.2-dev, with a few customisations/simplifications for our commitlogs ML [1,2]. If you see any error messages when committing, please report these. A failure of the git-multimail Python script will only result in a failure of the sending of an email to the ML, as this is a post-receive hook - the commit will have been successfully pushed/etc.<ref>{{cite web |url = https://sourceforge.net/p/flightgear/mailman/message/35435904/ |title = <nowiki> Re: [Flightgear-devel] Git-multimail repository hook script merge-request bug (was Re: apt.dat - add local version ?) </nowiki> |author = <nowiki> Edward d'Auvergne </nowiki> |date = Oct 18th, 2016 |added = Oct 18th, 2016 |script_version = 0.40 }}</ref> 
=== Local apt.dat versions support ===
Thanks to work by Florent Rougon, multiple apt.dat files (which contain airport data) can now supports be loaded, rather than the single <tt>''[[$FG_ROOT]]/Airports/apt.dat.gz''</tt>.<ref>{{cite web|url = https://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?p=296919#p296919|title = apt.dat - local versionsversion(s)|author = Alant|date = Oct 18th, 2016|added = Oct 18th, 2016|script_version = 0.40}}</ref> These files (either <tt>*.dat</tt> or <tt>*.dat.gz</tt>) can be loaded from <tt>'''''Scenery path'''/NavData/apt/''</tt>, where '''Scenery path''' is any path specified by the <code>--fg-scenery</code> command line option. These will take precedence over the default one (<tt>''[[$FG_ROOT]]/Airports/apt.dat.gz''</tt>). Note that any change to apt.dat files should continue to be submitted to the [https://gateway.x-plane.com/ X-Plane gateway] so that they will eventually be included in the main distribution.
It is now possible to have one or more local apt.dat files each containing data for one or more airfields. The airfields in the local apt.dat files take precedence over the contents of the apt.dat.g file that is distributed as part of fgdata. - in much the same way as local custom scenery takes preference over terragear scenery.If you are using WED, the apt.dat output by that program is suitable.To use it add a folder NavData/apt in your fg-scenery and place your private files in that folder. <ref>{{cite web |url = https://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?p=296919#p296919 |title = <nowiki> apt.dat - local version(s) </nowiki> |author Standalone Canvas NavDisplay dialog = <nowiki> Alant </nowiki> |date = Oct 18th, 2016 |added = Oct 18th, 2016 |script_version = 0.40 }}</ref>Of course, your apt.dat changes should continue to be submitted to the Xplane gateway so that they will eventually be included in the main distribution.<ref>{{cite web |url = https[[File://forumND-dialog-customizable-size-and-instances.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?p=296919#p296919 png|title = <nowiki> apt.dat - local version(s) </nowiki> thumb|author = <nowiki> Alant </nowiki> |date = Oct 18th, 2016 |added = Oct 18th, 2016 |script_version = 0.40 }}</ref>Screenshot showing the dialog with two independent NavDisplay instances]]
Hooray has been working on a dialog to easily develop, test and prototype new [[NavDisplay]] styles. It is capable of showing multiple NavDisplay instances, which can be controlled and tested independently (using different settings for range, modes, traffic, etc.). The dialog will also reload the styles file (navdisplay.mfd) when it is reopened (or the selected style changed), meaning that FlightGear doesn't have to be restarted every time changes are made.
No need for any command-line option. As I wrote in <https:of 10//sourceforge.net/p/flightgear/mailman/message/35424973/>;2016, you have this is pending review by Gijs and Hyde before it can be committed to put your apt.dat files (any name ending with .dat or .dat.g is OK) in a structure like the following: <pre>Scenery path├── NavData│ ├── apt| | ├── vrmgbase package.dat| | ├── vrmh.dat| | ├── vrmk.dat ├── vrmm.dat ├── vrmo.dat.gz └── vrmt.dat</pre>
where "Scenery path" can be any of you scenery paths (e.g., any component of --fg-scenery/$FG_SCENERY; the path given to --terrasync-dir is also one). The files read are all NavData/apt/*.dat''Continue reading at [.gz[Howto:Prototyping a new NavDisplay Style] files inside each scenery path, followed by the default $FG_ROOT/Airports/apt.dat.gz (last in precedence order, thus allowing your custom sceneries to override airports already present in $FG_ROOT/Airports/apt.dat.gz). In the typical case, just put your apt.dat files(*) in the NavData/apt subdirectory of your custom scenery and they will be picked up automatically. In each of these files, you may include as many airport definitions as you want. (*) Actually, any name ending with .dat or .dat.gz---but the syntax inside, of course, must be valid "apt.dat syntax". And if the file name ends in .gz, of course the contents must be gzipped-compressed. <ref>{{cite web |url = https://sourceforge.net/p/flightgear/mailman/message/35432391/ |title = <nowiki> Re: [Flightgear-devel] apt.dat - add local version ? </nowiki> |author = <nowiki> Florent Rougon </nowiki> |date = Oct 17th, 2016 |added = Oct 17th, 2016 |script_version = 0.40 }}</ref>{{Appendix}}…''
=== A standalone Benchmarking Canvas NavDisplay Dialog path performance === [[File:ND-dialog-customizable-size-and-instancesShuttle avionics meds pfd orbit.png|leftjpg|thumb|Screenshot showing A screenshot of the ADI ball]]As part of the development of the [[Space Shuttle]], Thorsten has added a [[PUICanvas]] dialog with two -based [[NavDisplayShuttle ADI ball|ADI ball]] instances. However, featuring support for customizable resolution/size it is somewhat of a resource hog.<ref>{{cite web|url = https://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?p=297596#p297596|title = Re: Nasal must go|author = Thorsten|date = Oct 28th, 2016|added = Oct 28th, 2016|script_version = 0.40}}</ref> As can be seen from the ND as well as selectable number screenshot of NDs to be shownit, it is very complex and involves a lot of calculations.]]<ref>{{cite web[[File|url = https:ND-Airbus-Style-With-Route//forum.pngflightgear.org/viewtopic.php?p=297665#p297665|thumbtitle = Re: Nasal must go|Screenshot showing Gijs' author = Thorsten|date = Oct 29th, 2016|added = Oct 29th, 2016|script_version = 0.40}}</ref> However, performance tests indicate that the cause of the bottleneck is the huge amount of [[NavDisplayProperty Tree|property]] using manipulation involved during each update, ''after'' the Airbus style created by artix in actual calculations have been completed. This has also been shown to be a [[PUI]] dialog with an embedded [[problem for any very complex Canvas]] widget to render the ND and the corresponding widgets.]]
In the last couple of days, we have created a new dialog that can be used Some ways to easily prototype new help reduce bottlenecks include using {{func link|getprop()}}/{{func link|setprop()}} instead of [[NavDisplayNasal library/props|props.nas APIs]] styles, showing multiple ND instances for each pilot, which can be controlled/tested independently (and using different settings for range, modes, traffic etc)variables instead of properties where possible. Once the dialog is closed<ref>{{cite web|url = https:/reopened, the underlying navdisplay/sourceforge.mfdnet/styles files are also automatically reloaded from disk, so that you don't need to existp/restart fgfs to test your changesflightgear/mailman/message/30724363/ |title = <nowiki>Re: [Flightgear-devel] Nasal props API relative path support</nowiki>|author = Thorsten Renk|date = Apr 15th, 2013|added = Apr 15th, 2013|script_version = 0.40}}</ref>
Under the hood, this is a conventoinal PUI/XML dialog with multiple embedded CanvasWidget areas that instantiate independent ND instances using a subset of the code commonly found in the aircraft specific ND.nas file, adapted to use the embedded ''Continue reading at [[Howto:Canvas region for rendering multiple NDs and GUI buttons/widgets added to control the whole thing without necessarily requiring a fully developed cockpit.Path Benchmarking]]…''
Thus=== Streaming a Canvas via HTTP ===[[File:Canvas-ND-live-streaming-via-httpd.png|thumb|Screenshot showing a [[NavDisplay]]) streamed to Mozilla Firefox]]ThomasS has created a patch for FlightGear for downloading any [[Canvas]] image from a running FlightGear process via HTTP.<ref>{{cite web|url = https://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?p=296627#p296627|title = Re: Canvas remote drawing|author = ThomasS|date = Oct 10th, this 2016|added = Oct 10th, 2016|script_version = 0.40}}</ref> This is also useful for situations such as displaying instruments on a great tool separate monitor. This should be considered as merely the groundwork needed for people flying aircraft that may not even have access to n NDmore sophisticated use-cases and a corresponding implementation.
Obviously, this is particularly useful for rapid prototyping ("RAD"), i.e. quickly testing additions and changes without having to exit/restart fgfs and without having a full aircraft developed yet. This is currently pending review by Gijs and Hyde before it can be committed to the base package. Continue reading at [[Howto:Prototyping a new NavDisplay Style]]... === Benchmarking Canvas Path Performance === Thorsten has done a few performance tests, and the [[Shuttle ADI ball]] at full glory is a resource hog (mainly property throughput, canvas isn't good at that kind of problem...).<ref>{{cite web |url = https://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?p=289447#p289447 |title = <nowiki> Re: Space Shuttle </nowiki> |author = <nowiki> Thorsten </nowiki |date = Aug 26th, 2016 |added = Aug 26th, 2016 |script_version = 0.40 }}</ref> The bottleneck is rendering the ADI-created property IO when this is at high quality if the GPU is fast enough.<ref>{{cite web |url = https://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?p=293165#p293165 |title = <nowiki> Re: Space Shuttle </nowiki> |author = <nowiki> Thorsten </nowiki> |date = Aug 26th, 2016 |added = Aug 26th, 2016 |script_version = 0.40 }}</ref> [[File:Shuttle avionics meds pfd orbit.jpg|left|thumb|The center portion of the ADI ball consists of the line grid which is generated by projecting a pattern of meridians and coordinate circles on a sphere into 2d space and then clipping the central portion out of it.<ref>{{cite web |url = https://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?p=297665#p297665 |title = <nowiki> Re: Nasal must go </nowiki> |author = <nowiki> Thorsten </nowiki> |date = Oct 29th, 2016 |added = Oct 29th, 2016 |script_version = 0.40 }}</ref>]]  The actual bottleneck is the ADI ball canvas code, because all needs to be done in the same frame, and the ADI should be updating reasonably fast. Also, getting the properties to display is not the issue, setting the points for canvas is. For the MFDs... let's go through the numbers. We have 40 pages by now, each displays on average something like 50 properties. That's 2000 getprop calls for the data provider to manage. At 3 Hz, and 30 fps, that's 200 requests per frame. Now, if these 40, no more than 9 different ones can actually be on at any given time - so that's 450 getprop calls if you do it without data provider.<ref>{{cite web |url = https://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?p=297596#p297596 |title = <nowiki> Re: Nasal must go </nowiki> |author = <nowiki> Thorsten </nowiki> |date = Oct 28th, 2016 |added = Oct 28th, 2016 |script_version = 0.40 }}</ref> Assembling a property path by string manipulation may be in theory less appealing, but it is in practice 3 to 10 times faster than using the props module (implemented in scripting space)- Thorsten has made several benchmark tests, all leading to the same result. Large-scale property manipulation from Nasal is performance hungry and should be avoided if possible by using Nasal-internal variables instead, and if it needs to be done, getprop() /setprop() offer significantly superior performance. If you dig a bit in the mailing list archive, there should be a post with the actual benchmark test results.<ref>{{cite web |url = https://sourceforge.net/p/flightgear/mailman/message/30724363/ |title = <nowiki> Re: [Flightgear-devel] Nasal props API relative path support </nowiki> |author = <nowiki> Renk Thorsten </nowiki> |date = Apr 15th, 2013 |added = Apr 15th, 2013 |script_version = 0.40 }}</ref> In the second case the property tree is being walked trough by the C++ code while in the first case it's done in Nasal. <ref>{{cite web |url = https://sourceforge.net/p/flightgear/mailman/message/26170047/ |title = <nowiki> Re: [Flightgear-devel] Musings on optimizing Nasal code </nowiki> |author = <nowiki> Erik Hofman </nowiki> |date = Sep 15th, 2010 |added = Sep 15th, 2010 |script_version = 0.40 }}</ref> [[File:Canvas-path-benchmarking.png|thumb|Screenshot showing a Canvas GUI dialog with 3000 random OpenVG paths (line segments) drawn (for benchmarking purposes) <ref>https://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?f=71&t=30864&hilit=removeAllChildren</ref>]]  Continue reading at [[Howto:Canvas Path Benchmarking]] ... === Live-Streaming a Canvas via HTTP === [[File:Canvas-ND-live-streaming-via-httpd.png|left|thumb|Screenshot showing a single Canvas texture ([[NavDisplay]]) streamed to firefox via httpd at 2hz <ref>https://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?f=71&t=30642&p=297716#p297716</ref>]] There are situations, e.g., for home cockpit builders <ref>{{cite web |url = https://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?p=296448#p296448 |title = <nowiki> Canvas remote drawing </nowiki> |author = <nowiki> ThomasS </nowiki> |date = Oct 10th, 2016 |added = Oct 10th, 2016 |script_version = 0.40 }}</ref>, where it is useful to display instruments like a [[PFD]], [[ND]], EICAS or any [[MFD]] externally from the FlightGear 3D main window in a separate window or on a separate monitor, computer or a mobile device <ref>{{cite web |url = https://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?p=214980#p214980 |title = <nowiki> Need to Create a Standalone PFD </nowiki> |author = <nowiki> deena102 </nowiki> |date = Jul 18th, 2014 |added = Jul 18th, 2014 |script_version = 0.40 }}</ref> <ref>{{cite web |url = https://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?p=199428#p199428 |title = <nowiki> Re: TQ/Panel for FG made with Kivy </nowiki> |author = <nowiki> pommesschranke </nowiki> |date = Jan 31st, 2014 |added = Jan 31st, 2014 |script_version = 0.40 }}</ref> <ref>{{cite web |url = https://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?p=169150#p169150 |title = <nowiki> Re: using FGpanel to display various instruments and electri </nowiki> |author = <nowiki> someguy </nowiki> |date = Oct 23rd, 2012 |added = Oct 23rd, 2012 |script_version = 0.40 }}</ref>. Many of these avionics/graphics are created by FlightGear's 2D drawing [[Canvas]] system internally.   In addition there, are a number of other use-cases where being able to obtain a Canvas from fgfs using a network protocol like http may be desirable (e.g. imagine getting a tilemap based on actual scenery from FlightGear <ref>{{cite web |url = https://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?p=203495#p203495 |title = <nowiki> Re: Atlas still in use ? </nowiki> |author = <nowiki> Torsten </nowiki> |date = Mar 17th, 2014 |added = Mar 17th, 2014 |script_version = 0.40 }}</ref>) <ref>{{cite web |url = https://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?p=192817#p192817 |title = <nowiki> How to simulate capturing an image using a camera </nowiki> |author = <nowiki> roy111 </nowiki> |date = Oct 29th, 2013 |added = Oct 29th, 2013 |script_version = 0.40 }}</ref><ref>{{cite web |url = https://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?p=219105#p219105 |title = <nowiki> FGWebPanel aka FGPanel 2.0 or: FGPanel goes html </nowiki> |author = <nowiki> Torsten </nowiki> |date = Sep 22nd, 2014 |added = Sep 22nd, 2014 |script_version = 0.40 }}</ref>.  ThomasS has created a patch for FlightGear for downloading any canvas image from a running FlightGear process by HTTP by serializing it to a raster image and serving that via the built-in mongoose based httpd server created by Torsten <ref>{{cite web |url = https://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?p=213146#p213146 |title = <nowiki> Serializing a </nowiki> |author = <nowiki> Hooray </nowiki> |date = Jun 22nd, 2014 |added = Jun 22nd, 2014 |script_version = 0.40 }}</ref> <ref>{{cite web |url = https://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?p=203550#p203550 |title = <nowiki> Re: Atlas still in use ? </nowiki> |author = <nowiki> Hooray </nowiki> |date = Mar 18th, 2014 |added = Mar 18th, 2014 |script_version = 0.40 }}</ref>. This could be considered the groundwork needed for more sophisticated use-cases such as e.g. actually streaming a live video of a certain MFD to a browser.  Continue reading at [[Read canvas image by HTTP]]…''
== In the hangar ==
=== MBB BK117 /Kawasaki BK 117 ===[[User:HHS{{usr|HHS]]}}, the author of the [[Eurocopter EC135|Eurocopter EC 135 EC135 P2]], [[EC130|EC 130 Eurocopter EC130 B4]] and [[Cessna 182S|Cessna 182 S182S Skylane]] will try again is trying to get the '''[[MBB Bk 117|MBB /Kawasaki BK 117]] model ready for FGAddon''' into FlightGear. Unfortunately time is limited, so he will need help.
When you have some spare time left, are interested in heliopters helicopters, and always wished to improve things, you might want to apply to for this job. More informations Find out more on: the [[MBB Bk 117|MBB Bk 117 wiki-page]].
=== 2016 Camaro SS and more ===Auskunst is currently seeking help to improve the handling of his '''2016 Camaro SS ''' and another future automobile project. If you have experience of in tweaking YASIM [[YASim]] [[FDM]]s, you can apply the job by clicking find out more [https://bulldogrs.wordpress.com/2016/10/16/help-request-1-0-yasim-fdm-expert/ here].
== Scenery corner ==
=== Scenery/LOD experiments New experimental terrain engine ===psadro_gm has been working on an experimental terrain engine. It works by using shaders and raster images to form the normal calculations, nowterrain. Everything is being generated As of 10/2016, it allows for terrain generation on -the -flyand changes in the level of detail (LOD). <ref>{{cite web|url = https://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?p=295882#p295882|title = Re: Next-generation scenery generating?|author = psadro_gm sees very little CPU usage|date = Oct 1st, 2016|added = Oct 1st, 2016|script_version = 0.40Still }}</ref> If the does get integrated fully, it will render [[TerraGear]] obsolete. However, there is still a lot's of development work to do - e.g. need to sample 1 extra pixel The below videos show the change in LOD as one flies closer to the DEM so edges of tiles get correct normals ( you can see the edges )terrain.
Also, psadro_gm hasn't created skirts'To learn more, yet, so there are gaps between levels.see [[Experimental terrain engine]]…''
psadro_gm will add to Mathias' tunables to select grid spacing at each LOD level, to see if we can minimie the popping.Note: the texture is just 1 4096x4096 sheet for the whole planet. It'll be nice to see what we can do with procedural texturing.<ref>{{cite web |url = https://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?p=295882#p295882 |title = <nowiki> Re: Next-generation scenery generating? </nowiki> |author = <nowiki> psadro_gm </nowiki> |date = Oct 1st, 2016 |added = Oct 1st, 2016 |script_version = 0.40 }}</ref> As far as creating ws3.0, let's see how the experimental engine works out. It basically does away with terragear, and uses standard gis tools for all elevation, landclass editing.<ref>{{cite web |url = https://sourceforge.net/p/flightgear/mailman/message/35448526/ |title = <nowiki> Re: [Flightgear-devel] apt.dat - add local version ? </nowiki> |author = <nowiki> Peter Sadrozinski </nowiki> |date = Oct 24th, 2016 |added = Oct 24th, 2016 |script_version = 0.40 }}</ref> Terragear was never meant as a 'users' tool. It was designed to generate world scenery ( the whole planet at once ), not individual custom scenery locations. That said, there have been some ( mostly unsuccessful ) attempts to make it more user friendly. We will see how far the new scenery experiments get us. If it shows enough promise, perhaps it will become the way forward, and terragear will mostly disappear. QGIS or GRASS, along with a few scripts will all that you would need to generate custom scenery, then.<ref>{{cite web |url = https://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?p=296211#p296211 |title = <nowiki> Re: terragear wont build </nowiki> |author = <nowiki> psadro_gm </nowiki> |date = Oct 7th, 2016 |added = Oct 7th, 2016 |script_version = 0.40 }}</ref>   To learn more, see [[Experimental terrain engine]] {{#ev:youtube|-eWEB0-j7zk}} {{#ev:youtube|v9M2La8ZN1U}} == Community news ==
== Contributing ==
==== Screenshot of the Month ====
Entries for this monthFlightGear's best screenshot can be submitted to [https://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=30579 this] forum topic. Be sure to see Screenshot of the month October 2016 is ''C182 takeoff at dawn'' by xcvb[https[File://forumC182 at dawn.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=30579#p295961 first postjpg|900px|center|C182 takeoff at dawn]] 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 on this page.
<!-- FlightGear's Screenshot of the Month May 2016 is ''TITLE'' by AUTHOR
[[File:|900px|center|TITLE]] --> <!-- Uncomment/edit this when the winner is chosen -->
If you want to participate in the screenshot contest of November 2016, you can submit your candidate to [https://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=30902 this] forum topic. Be sure to see the [https://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?p=297955#p297955 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 edition of November 2016.
<!-- If you want to participate in the screenshot contest of *NEXTMONTH*, you can submit your candidate to [ this] forum topic. 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 edition of *NEXTMONTH*. --> <!-- Uncomment/edit this when the SOTM topic for the following month has been created -->{{Appendix}}
[[Category:FlightGear Newsletter|2016 10]]

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