FlightGear Newsletter August 2013
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) can edit the newsletter and every contribution is welcome. So 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. Core developers are encouraged to add news about their latest work to the newsletter's development section and the changelog of the upcoming release. At the end of each month, it's generally a good idea to get in touch with other contributors to ask them to add news about their contributions to the newsletter.
Note to all contributors: Please also copy your newsletter additions to the changelog for the upcoming release: Next Changelog.
FlightGear 2.12 holding
Due to real life constraints and the low number of active core developers, we've hit a fluctuation where pretty much everyone is occupied with something else at the moment. As everybody seems to be caught in some real life trouble, we can't see a better way to get the release out than delaying it for a while. Also, it seems that it will take longer than usual to address any issues found in the RCs. Thus, we have agreed to postpone the upcoming FlightGear 2.12 release by a month, to provide sufficient time to handle release candidates and process end-user feedback. 
Thanks to recent work done by James Turner, we now have automatically generated installers / files for:
Get them from here (updated automatically): http://fgfs.goneabitbursar.com/releases/
The server can handle plenty of people downloading (unlike Jenkins itself). Please file bugs in the tracker or report them here.
Independent Ramp Marshall
Omega95 has been working on a Nasal-based Ramp Marshall script. That was a prototype only to test the general script and the animations. He's now working on a larger system similar to the animated jetways to generalize this and make the animations independent.
Continue reading at Ramp Marshall...
FGCom has been integrated into FlightGear this month. The feature requires a lot of testing and everyone using development version of FlightGear is invited to communicate every bug found. A new server has been created (fgcom.flightgear.org) who is designed for testing up to FG 3.0
Integrated FGCom provides new features like:
- Dynamic range calculation depending on altitude of aircraft
- Server selectable at runtime
- Recordable ATIS messages
- 25KHz frequency support
A number of Mac users have been reporting issues related to running Project Rembrandt (deferred rendering/shadows) on Mac OSX with ATI/AMD GPUS, we are now looking for Mac users to provide feedback on running Rembrandt on Mac OSX, required information includes errors and warnings shown during startup/runtime, but also screen shots showing any issues. Please see: Project Rembrandt#Mac Issues.
Getting involved as a programmer
Unfortunately, most of the active FG developers are currently very overstretched in terms of the areas that they have ownership of, which is affecting how much can actually be done. Fundamentally we need more core devs.
If you are interested in contributing as a core developer, please see Howto:Start core development.
This section lists changes committed this month that will be available in the next release, these will be copied to the release changelog shortly before a release (for each month), so that we hopefully get a comprehensive list of new features.
|The FlightGear Wiki still needs help for translating it into various languages. If you are interested in making the FlightGear Wiki multi-language then start at Help:Translate.|
|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 doch mit Help:Übersetzen an.|
|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.|
|La FlightGear wiki todavía necesita ayuda para traducirla a varios lenguajes. Si estás interesado en hacer la FlightGear wiki multilingüe, entonces comienza en Help:Traducir.|
In the hangar
All the way back in May 2011, we addopted a new status-rating system for aircraft. So far, only a few have actually been rated, as can be seen in the list 'hockenberry' set up at Google Docs. If you're an aircraft developer and your aircraft is/are not on the list, please consider rating their status. All you'll need to know/do is described at Formalizing Aircraft Status. If you'd just like to get started contributing to FlightGear, this would also seem like an excellent way to get started.
Bendix King KT76A
Recently transponder over network has been implemented bringing more realism during ATC session. A new transponder has been added to the shared Aircraft/Instruments-3d folder with following features:
- Transponder over network
- Tootip information
- Knob animation
- Custom texture
- Mode A/C
Among others, there is a new livery by Frank Göldner for the DC-3/C-47 operated from October 1970 until November 1972 for the British Kestrel Airways. Download it at the FlightGear Livery Database also check the forum thread of DC-3/C-47 Liveries where there are a lot of new entries.
Scenery model update forms
After a few (but long) months of waiting, it is finally possible to update the existing 3D scenery models using the webforms! The form can be found there: Update a model
This means that from now, you are able to improve the models, such as adding details, fixing wrong scale, or even making them lighter and improve FlightGear performance! Some models indeed had some unseen vertices/faces/meshes or had useless two-sided faces, and fixing this mistakes won't affect overall details BUT will certainly improve performance!
Your changes will then be updated to Terrasync.
Web tools for ATC sessions extended to entire World
- It is now possible to schedule an ATC session anywhere in the World.
- ATCs can now ask to receive an email when a flightplan is filed to or from his airport.
- Filed flightplans are now listed at the end of the page.
In addition to that filling in flight plans have been simplified and there is now also an API for filing flight plans which, when registered for an individual API key, allows filing flight plans though HTTP GET requests (in essence through an URL with lots of parameters).
And finally ...
One of the regular thoughts expressed on the FlightGear forums is "I'd like to contribute but I don't know how to program, and I don't have the time". Unfortunately, there is a common mis-conception that contributing requires programming and lots of free time. In fact, there are a huge range of ways to contribute to the project without needing to write code or spending days working on something.
For ideas on starting to contribute to FlightGear, you may want to check out: Volunteer.
Call for volunteers
- The Flightgear On Android team is looking for testers
- The Target4Today team is looking for volunteers to help improving FlightGear's combat support
- The FGFSPM (FlightGear Package Manager) is looking for a new maintainer.