FlightGear Newsletter January 2018
- 1 Development news
- 2 New software tools and projects
- 3 In the hangar
- 4 AI
- 5 Scenery corner
- 6 Community news
- 7 Multiplayer events
- 8 Contributing
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) is welcome to contribute to the newsletter. 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.
Some of you may already know that the current tool to generate the dialogs (PUI) is going to disappear in the mid-future. After some (partially controversial) discussion, there seems now to be some support for the idea that canvas is a good tool to generate aircraft-specific dialogs in the future (as it allows to tailor the dialog closely to the plane and also, canvas being canvas, the UI can smoothly mesh with the 3d models, so you can project a canvas checklist onto a 3d model in sim for instance rather than a popup window).
Thorsten would very much like to claim to be pioneering this approach, but in fact he believes the Extra-500 team is - look at the failure dialog of that plane where you can click the components you want to fail and you see what he means!
Anyway, Thorsten has started to roll out a few designs of his own and try to keep the tools fairly general so that they can be re-used by others- so here's the revised version of the Shuttle propellant dialog.
The general idea is to use semi-transparent 'content gauges' on a background raster image to show where the tank is located and how full it currently is - double-clicking any tank will bring up a detail window which allows to set the content (here propellant and oxidier separately, this is rocket fuel...) and also shows the current tank pressures and temperatures. The whole thing can readily be applied on top of a different raster image with a different number of tanks - you just instance and position the labels and 'gauges' you need - in fact placement is probably what's going to take longest (at least for me). The whole thing is currently in flux  If anyone wants to follow the development or use the code, it's here: https://sourceforge.net/p/fgspaceshuttledev/code/ci/development/tree/Nasal/canvas/canvas_dialogs.nas
Stuart has been doing some further work on the FG1000 implementation over the christmas break 2017. Key changes are:
- Using Richard's Emesary IPC frame to link between the MFD and underlying simulation state. This should make it easy to run the MFD on a separate FG instance, and provides a good demarkation between the individual aircraft systems and the FG1000 itself.
- Create various underlying classes to support UI features - highlighting, editing. The idea here is that one can create the UI as an SVG file, and these are used to control it. For an example of this in use, see the Airport Information page. Press the CRSR knob to create a cursor on the ICAO airport ID, then use the inside FMS knob to start editing the ID. This should make creating most of the rest of the pages far easier. See Canvas MFD Framework for details of the elements now supported.
There's still a huge number of pages to write, and the pages around route planning will likely be particular "fun", but it should be far faster now these blocks are in place.
The FG1000 wiki page shows the pages that have been created so far (4 out of 28!). Stuart is pretty happy with the overall architecture now, so if anyone wants to create some of the pages they are very welcome to do so!
You can access it from the Debug menu. All the buttons and knobs are set up, though some of them don't actually do anything! See the Garmin website for documentation, but for a quick cheat's guide:
- Use the outer FMS knob (shift-mouse wheel on the FMS knob on the bottom right) to navigate through the page groups.
- Use the inner FMS knob (mouse wheel on the FMS knob on the bottom right) to navigate through the pages within the group.
- To moved around the page, click on the FMS knob, and then use the FMS knob to navigate around the page.
- Press ENT when any frequency is highlighted to load it into the standby frequency of the NAV/COM.
Learn more at FG1000 ...
New software tools and projects
Sidi has updated the iOS version of FGYoke and make it available on AppStore recently. For details, check Yoke_for_FlightGear
In the hangar
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