FlightGear Newsletter March 2015

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This newsletter is a draft.

Please feel free to add content you think will be of interest to the FlightGear community.



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Enjoy reading the latest edition!
Please help us write the coming edition!
March 2015

Projects restructuring
Development news
Environment-responsive glass
Cockpit interior light and shadow
New ATC-pie release and OpenRadar interoperability
Variant-of tag added

In the hanger
C172P-detailed project
Scenery Corner
Community News
FlightGear Space Program

Contributing
Translators required
FlightGear logos
Screenshots

Project changes

WIP.png Work in progress
This article or section will be worked on in the upcoming hours or days.
See history for the latest developments.

Due to two recent developments, large parts of the FlightGear project are going to be moving. The first is the announcement that Gitorious.org will shut down in May 2015 (read more) and that Google Code will shut down (read more). This means that all the source code (SimGear and FlightGear), the bug tracker, and TerraSync[clarify] are moving. In addition, just previous to these developments, fgdata was split, see below for details.

SimGear and the FlightGear source have moved to SourceForge.net. No more work should be pushed to the Gitorious repositories any more.[1]


 It has been decided that the source code and bug tracker will be moved to SourceForge.net.  SourceForge was chosen because it makes sense to have as much of the project in the same place, and because it has good maintenance tools.

TerraSync still needs moving, a task which will be worked on soon. [2] will be moved to SourceForge.net. No more work should be committed to the Gitorious repositories.

fgdata split

After lots of hard work by Torsten D, a new, more compact fgdata repository (base package) has now been created. Located at http://sourceforge.net/p/flightgear/fgdata/, this new fgdata has had all aircraft (except for the C172p and UFO) stripped from it, as well as the histories of the Scenery, AI, and Models directories[3]. This has reduced its size to about 1.3 GB[4]. As almost all commit IDs have changed, you will have to get a fresh clone of this new fgdata[3].

To get re-added you will have to do the following steps[3]:

  1. Register a SourceForge.net
  2. Upload your public key.
  3. Send your SourceForge username (optionally with a chocolate bar) to Curt, Clément, James, or Torsten D.

Several (but not all) of the Git related articles have been updated, including FlightGear Git: data developers.

Note  For consistency reasons, fgdata development should now happen on the "next" branch and no longer in "master". "next" should be the default branch[5].
Note  IAHM-COL has preserved the history of all aircraft at https://github.com/FGMEMBERS[6].
Note  See FGAddon for obtaining aircraft other than the C172p and UFO.
  1. Torsten Dreyer (2015-03-12). [Flightgear-devel] [MasterCaution] (ding!) FlightGear is now at SourceForge.
  2. Torsten Dreyer (2015-03-16). [Flightgear-devel] Bugtracker moving to sourceforge.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Torsten Dreyer (2015-03-07). [Flightgear-devel] FGData - The Next Generation is ready..
  4. Anders Gidenstam (2015-03-07). Re: [Flightgear-devel] FGData - The Next Generation is ready..
  5. Torsten Dreyer (2015-03-07). Re: [Flightgear-devel] FGData - The Next Generation is ready..
  6. IAHM-COL (2015-03-07). Re: [Flightgear-devel] FGData - The Next Generation is ready..

FGData split

After lots of hard work by Torsten D, a new, more compact fgdata repository (Base Package) has now been created. Located at http://sourceforge.net/p/flightgear/fgdata/, this new fgdata has had all aircraft (except for the C172p and UFO) stripped from it, as well as the histories of the Scenery, AI, and Models directories[1]. This has reduced its size to about 1.3 GB[2]. As almost all commit IDs have changed, you will have to get a fresh clone of this new fgdata[1].

As of 08/03/2015, most contributors have read-only permission (except for admins), and this will remain the case for a day or two[1]. To get re-added you will have to do the following steps[1]:

  1. Register a SourceForge.net
  2. Upload your public key.
  3. Send your SourceForge username (optionally with a chocolate bar) to Curt, Clément, James, or Torsten D.

FlightGear Git: data developers has been updated to reflect the new repository.

Note  For consistency reasons, fgdata development should now happen on the "next" branch and no longer in "master". "next" should be the default branch[3].
Note  IAHM-COL has preserved the history of all aircraft at https://github.com/FGMEMBERS[4].
Note  See FGAddon for obtaining aircraft other than the C172p and UFO.

Enjoy and keep flying!

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Torsten Dreyer (2015-03-07). [Flightgear-devel] FGData - The Next Generation is ready..
  2. Anders Gidenstam (2015-03-07). Re: [Flightgear-devel] FGData - The Next Generation is ready..
  3. Torsten Dreyer (2015-03-07). Re: [Flightgear-devel] FGData - The Next Generation is ready..
  4. IAHM-COL (2015-03-07). Re: [Flightgear-devel] FGData - The Next Generation is ready..

Development news

A new built-in GUI Launcher for Mac OSX

The aircraft page of the Qt launcher for FlightGear 3.5 as rendered on Windows 7.

There is currently (03/2015) heavy activity towards a new UI. There will be the HTML5 based version (called Phi), TorstenD is currently working on and an internal implementation based on well supported libraries using Qt5 (which James Turner is working on).

The parallel development of HTML and Qt based UI happens by intention and is not the result of missing coordination[1]. Most likely, both will use a common service layer to provide necessary data[2].

James Turner is currently prototyping (at the suggestion/encouragement of Curt, Torsten D & others) a GUI integration for FlightGear based on Qt 5. This would overlap some areas other folks are working on, so we felt it best to make an announcement to avoid anyone expending their time on areas that might be affected[3].

All of this would be a QtQuick 2 GUI, not a Qt widgets GUI. If you don’t know what that terminology means, don’t worry about it, the quick answer is it works the same ways as Canvas does at present (rendering to OpenGL).

To learn more, see Integrated Qt5 Launcher

Atmospheric light scattering

Two new cockpit interior effects have been added to the ALS rendering framework.

Environment-responsive glass

A new glass effect for the cockpit interior brings dynamical rendering of raindrop splashes as well as frost. In future, the effect will also include fogging and windshield wiper support with aircraft-supplied texture masks, all with a realistic interaction with the sunlight, including the enhanced visibility of dirt on glass when looking into the sun due to Mie scattering.

Frost effect Raindrop splashes

Both frost and the correct splash dynamics of the raindrops need to be modeled airplane side, as the shader can not have the required information. See ALS technical notes#ALS glass effect for details.

Cockpit interior light and shadow

Do you like the way shadow and light move across the panel in flight when using Rembrandt? ALS is now able to do the same and more using the new model-interior effect which utilizes a cubemap representing the cockpit layout – at hardly any framerate cost. The effect is able to draw very sharp shadows without flickering, semi-shadows and dirty glass, tinted glass and even render caustics from light refracted on curved glass surfaces:

Colored glass Caustics

All that's needed from aircraft modellers is a pre-computed cube map representing the cockpit. See ALS technical notes#Internal cockpit reflection for more details

New ATC-pie release and OpenRadar interoperability

ATC-pie-logo.png
"the fully multiplayer environment a controller deserves"

Announced as beta in January and released as stable early February, ATC-pie has happily served a few ATC sessions in its first month of existance. In particular, it seems to have found comfortable homes for adoption in EKCH and LFOK already. Meanwhile, progress was made on its development to reach the important milestone of general and continuous ATC coordination on Flightgear with the handover feature, released this month.

Beginning to populate the network with a new program without dividing the MP network (esp. controllers) was a challenge as interesting as necessary. Collaborative work made this possible, enabling both OpenRadar and ATC-pie users to exchange strips in a transparent way, regardless of their software choice.

Variant-of tag added

Aircraft developers can make use of a new tag in the Aircraft-set.xml file. Added to the <sim>, the <variant-of> tag states to the launcher the aircraft type that your aircraft is a variant of. For example, the BAe Sea Harrier FA2 is a variant of the BAe Sea Harrier, and the Cessna 172P - Canvas Demo is a variant of the C172P.

Syntax:

<sim>
    ...
    <variant-of>[aircraft]</variant-of>
    ...
</sim>

Example from $FG_ROOT/Aircraft/777/777-200ER-set.xml (see commit):

<variant-of>777-200</variant-of>

In the hangar

C172P-detailed project

A new, more detailed version of the C172 is currently being worked on by wlbragg, gsagostinho, thevirtualfer, ludomotico, onox and others. It brings amazing new textures, controls, switches, and systems! Check out this forum topic: Cessna 172P detailed

Screenshots of the c172p-detailed project

Scenery Corner

Community News

FlightGear Space Program

FGSP Cosmonaut Badge "The Owl"

Spacetripready.png

Now is your time to become official cosmonaut of The FlightGear Space Program. Just downloading the famous Space Shuttle that has been largely reworked, and select any of the available missions. Report your succesfull orbit flight tracker screenie and you'll receive a custom badge of The FlightGear Space Program.

The Space Shuttle can be downloaded from the GitHub repository in either a ZIP file or by cloning.

As an add-on also you can fly our Special Cargo Transport Missions with the heavily updated An-12, An-22, and An-225 (mission transport variants).

Find out more about space flight in FlightGear at FlightGear space program

Contributing

Translators required

En.gif 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.
De.gif 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.
Nl.gif 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.
Es.gif 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.

FlightGear logos

If you want some graphic elements for your FlightGear-related site (for example hangar or YouTube channel), please feel free to visit FlightGear logos for a repository of logos. And if you have some art skills, please don't hesitate to contribute with your own design creations.

Screenshots

The FlightGear project always needs screenshots for the website, which show features that were added since the last release. These shots should be of good quality, especially in content and technical image properties. It is therefore recommended to use the best viable filter settings (antialiasing, texture sharpening, etc.). More info at Howto:Make nice screenshots.
  1. http://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?p=229445#p229445
  2. http://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?p=229303#p229303
  3. http://sourceforge.net/p/flightgear/mailman/message/33245028/