FlightGear Newsletter March 2010

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Revision as of 15:10, 22 March 2010 by RatOmeter (Talk | contribs) (Map Dialog)

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Welcome to the March 2010 edition of the FlightGear Newsletter.

From the developers

Shader experiments

The experimental urban effect. Notice how the 2D city textures appear to be 3D!

FlightGear developer Fred has been experimenting with the shaders recently. Although he is not yet completely satisfied with the results, the video examples below are worth watching.

Map Dialog

Basic map display

James is working on a GUI navigational map, which shows information from the GPS and navigation/airport database in a dialog box - similar to the map windows in other flight-simulators. The results aren't as beautiful as Atlas, but are useful for quickly finding a nearby airport or VOR, and for graphically showing waypoints from a route. The code is also a test platform for creating in-panel cockpit displays using similar technology in the near future, and it's already possible to switch the map to show the aircraft track (from the GPS) heading 'up' the screen. In the mode the map can be used as simple navigation display, to stay on a route or align with a localizer.

See this wiki page for further information on the current status (and bugs) of the code, and some basic instructions.

Google Summer of Code

GSoC is an effort by Google, Inc. to promote Open Source Software and education by bringing students together with experienced developers as their mentors for the summer (northern hemisphere). Google pays the student a stipend, the student learns by participating in real software development, the project gets code and maybe a new developer who'll stay around and benefit the project into the future.

It seems like each year since GSoC started, someone says "Hey, wouldn't it be great if FG participated?" Then several people agree but all quickly realize it's too close to the application deadline to get anything done. Curt agrees that we should make a serious effort to prepare for the 2011 GSoC well in advance, stating "We need a couple dedicated people to step forward and take charge here. Otherwise we'll be sayin' the same things at this time next year."

Willie has stepped forward in an organizational role, forming a sister IRC channel, #FG-GSoC at irc.flightgear.org, looking around for would-be mentors and working our GSoC wiki page.

In the hangar

Scenery Corner

Wiki News

FlightGear wiki moved to a new server

Many FG wiki users have recently been annoyed by frequent 503 errors when attempting to view a page. The reason for this was the large number of daily visitors to the wiki. Many visitors is a great sign of health for the project, but it was just more than the server could handle. After three months of this, the wiki was moved to a new server on the 10th of March. This appears to have eliminated the 503 errors. Please contact the wiki admin if they or any other problems with the wiki occur.

Community News

Changes in the Forums

Gijs de Rooy has become an administrator at the FlightGear Forums. In addition to moderating the forums (surely a maddening task at times), Gijs has already made some significant improvements to the Forum organization.

Another multiplay server

Thanks to Charles Ingels (cbz026), there is another multiplayer server in France! This brings the total number of servers to 13, of which 10 in Europe, two in North-America and one in Asia.

Again, we would like to emphasize the importance of connecting to the correct server. The multiplayer servers are interconnected, so you do not need to connect to a specific server in order to see other pilots who are on that server. However, since server02 is overloaded (too many people use that one), not all pilots are shared between the servers. For best performance it is very important connect to the server that is geographically closest to you, has the lowest latency (ping time) or is the least busy.

The complete list of servers and more information about multiplayer is available in the Multiplayer howto.