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FlightGear Newsletter May 2012

1,953 bytes added, 14:59, 30 May 2012
Development news: canvas
If your language isn't supported by FlightGear's limited character set yet (i.e. Japanese, Chinese, Russian, ...) then please be patient - a rework of the GUI library, which will also improve support for arbitrary fonts and character sets, is already in progress.
=== Canvas: Improved 2D drawing support ===
[[File:Cessna 172P Canvas Demo.png|380px|thumb|Demonstration of the new Canvas drawing API on the Cessna 172P.]]
Tom is currently working on a 2D drawing API. The basic idea is to draw arbitrary 2D shapes and text to a texture and place this texture on some model in the scene (eg. display, HUD,...). This so called canvas should be controlled only by using the property tree.
Currently it is possible to draw text, transform it, change style and all of this through the property tree. I have also added an experimental
Nasal API which provides an object orientated wrapper around the property tree interface to the canvas.
The code is already include into flightgear/next, but some fixes and the Nasal API are waiting to be merged into flightgear and fgdate respectively.
Tom has already tested many scenarios but it would be great if you can try it out on your own and report bugs or provide some feedback :)
The long term idea is to eventually port some other 2D elements to this backend (eg the HUD and 2D panels) so they use OSG (and osgText) natively, and hence
reduce the amount of C++ code we have for these jobs. (And increase our chances of working with never OpenGL versions that forbid old style GL calls)
Long-term here means 'after 2.8 at least'.
In the meantime the more testing and feedback we can get the better. In particular this system should offer a much more efficient way to build CDU
interfaces than many text animations, but as always it needs people to experiment and report what features are missing to make their life easier.
Creating a 'fgcanvas' client analogous to 'fgpanel' should be doable too, since the canvas simply renders to a single osg-Camera. Unlike fgpanel this will
require OSG instead of raw GL of course, but that's the price we pay for unifying the rendering backend.
Please see [[Canvas Properties]] for more details.
== Interview with a contributor (Jon Berndt) ==

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