Changelog 2.12

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Revision as of 19:30, 12 July 2013 by Hooray (Talk | contribs) (Major enhancements in this release)

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This changelog is a draft.

This changelog is currently being written for the next FlightGear release. Feel free to help! If you are aware of any FlightGear related changes, please add them to the changelog.
It's a good idea to check the newsletters since the last release, and the git commit history. To view the changelog for the most recent release, please see Changelog 2.10.


Upcoming FlightGear Changelog

The FlightGear development team is happy to announce the v2.12 release of FlightGear, the free, open-source flight simulator. This new version contains many exciting new features, enhancements and bugfixes. Highlights in this release include improved usability, better terrain rendering and a fully scriptable 2D rendering system.

Founded in 1997, FlightGear is developed by a worldwide group of volunteers, brought together by a shared ambition to create the most realistic flight simulator possible that is free to use, modify and distribute. FlightGear is used all over the world by desktop flight simulator enthusiasts, for research in universities and for interactive exhibits in museums.

FlightGear features more than 400 aircraft, a worldwide scenery database, a multi-player environment, detailed sky modelling, a flexible and open aircraft modelling system, varied networking options, multiple display support, a powerful scripting language and an open architecture. Best of all, being open-source, the simulator is owned by the community and everyone is encouraged to contribute.

Download FlightGear v2.12 for free from FlightGear.org

FlightGear - Fly Free!

Major enhancements in this release

Aircraft Modeling

  • A new tracking animation provides an easy way for aircraft developers to animate complex kinematic systems like gear scissors or landing gear doors attached to struts. The animation can be implemented in Blender and then exported to FlightGear.

Environment

  • Regionalized textures are available for the Middle East, the UK, Greenland, Indonesia, the arctic sea and Madagascar.
  • Deciduous trees shed their foliage if they are above the snowline, creating a convincing winter look.
  • The climatic snow line moves up and down as you fly around the world.

Transponder

The transponder instrument system has been overhauled, making it easier to use from panels, supporting Mode-S altitude encoding, and sending the important properties over multi-player. This will allow more realistic ATC interactions, since id (squawk) codes now matter! See this wiki page for more information on installing / updating the transponder installation in aircraft.

Performance

Many NavCache related startup issues experienced by Windows users (lag) were resolved

Portability

Portability for older systems without GLSL (shaders) support has been restored again, so that FlightGear no longer crashes on such systems.

Improved modularization


Atmospheric Light Scattering


Improved performance, reduced memory occupancy

Usability

  • Tooltips provide feedback that computer pilots have to miss due to an absence of audio or haptic feedback. When you hover your mouse over a switch or lever, a little window tells you the current state of the switch.
  • The checklist feature has been expanded with an option to automatically perform the steps required to complete an item. You can sit back and watch as the virtual co-pilot executes the checklist item.
  • A knob animation generalizes the operation of knobs and switches in the cockpits of various aircraft.

Internationalization

  • The menu and system messages have been translated to Portuguese.

Flight Planning and Route Manager

Canvas System

The "canvas" system is FlightGear's fully scriptable 2D rendering system, which makes it possible for users to easily create new instruments, HUDs and even dialogs and custom GUI widgets using FlightGear's built-in scripting language Nasal (which looks really similar to JavaScript). The Canvas can also be used for the creation of complex glass cockpit displays like navigational displays and other MFDs, none of this requires rebuilding FlightGear from source or writing C++ code.

Canvas improvements in this release include:

  • The style setter system has been reworked, style setters are now only setup once for each element type and not for each element instance as before. A static map holds the setters for each element type. Also an animation type is stored which will later allow to animate properties of Canvas elements without specifying and animation type.
  • The Nasal/cppbind framework has been improved to expose more Canvas internals to Nasal space
  • Canvas textures can now not only be used as a aircraft/cockpit textures (instruments, MFDs) and for the HUD/GUI, but also for scenery objects. Canvas instances can now be placed on scenery objects. This allows for example creating animated signs/monitors. Tom has started to create a Visual Docking Guidance System, which is not fully functionally yet but should be complete enough to be used for a screenshot (eg. azimuth guidance is missing)
  • Enable texture repeat for Canvas images
  • Tom added a decoration engine, and improved the C++ window manager to allow creating shadows and window decoration with a single line of Nasal code. The hope is to provide a basic framework/API for GUI widgets and also keyboard events in the future, which will then lead to a state where the canvas can be considered mostly feature complete.


Nasal Scripting

  • All methods exposed to the Nasal props module now accept an optional first parameter refering to another node by a relative path.
  • Ensure every scenery model has own SGModelData. This makes Nasal unload hooks of scenery objects working again. Previously the same SGModelData instance was used for all objects which never got destroyed and therefore was not able to call any unload callback.
  • SimGear's SGTimer class is now fully exposed to Nasal, see the new maketimer() API, available in FG >= 2.11 List of Nasal extension functions

Rembrandt

  • A growing number of aircraft is compliant with the Rembrandt rendering technique.

AI Improvements

  • A broad range of AI aircraft received a fresh paintjob. The Airbus A320 and A330 have been remodeled, while some other models got improved animations.

Regional Textures

Highlighted new and improved aircraft

  • Mudry CAP 10C
  • Tupolev Tu-154B-2

Other

  • Additional joysticks and rudder pedals are supported out-of-the-box:
    • Genius MetalStrike 3D
    • Microsoft SideWinder Precision Racing Wheel (rudder) pedals

Bug fixes

  • See our bugtracker for an extensive, yet incomplete, list of the bugs fixed in this release.