Working with FlightGear

#3
Hi Arno and Jon,

What FlightGear needs is developers with the skills of people like you two, who can come up with tools that are both powerful and easy to use!

To make an airport in FlightGear requires two programs, TaxiDraw and TerraGear. To use TerraGear you need to download the SRTM data for the airport etc. etc. Compare this to using a single tool like Airport Design Editor and how quickly you can create an airport with it.

I agree with you that finding time is the big concern. It takes time for people like me to learn how to use new tools in a new environment, but what is really time consuming is to create these tools and then provide updates for functionality and the inevitable bug fixes.

I can't thank you gentlemen enough for providing tools like ADE and ModelConverterX that make the job of creating airports and the models that populate them, such a breeze! :twocents:
 

scruffyduck

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#6
Don't get too excited too soon folks. There may be more hurdles than just finding time to mod our code.
 
#7
FlightGear is not only a different flight simulator from what we are used to with Microsoft Flight Simulator, but also a whole different outlook on how you can release your own scenery, models or tools.

For instance, all my scenery projects that I have uploaded to AVSIM and FlightSim.Com are released as freeware with limited distribution. With FlightGear I don't know if that is possible. I would imagine trying to release a payware package would be even more difficult, not to mention the much smaller user base that would probably not generate enough revenue to even bother.
 

scruffyduck

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#8
I moved these posts from the announcement in News since they are not comments on the announcement but a discussion on working with FlightGear.
 

scruffyduck

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#9
FlightGear is not only a different flight simulator from what we are used to with Microsoft Flight Simulator, but also a whole different outlook on how you can release your own scenery, models or tools.

For instance, all my scenery projects that I have uploaded to AVSIM and FlightSim.Com are released as freeware with limited distribution. With FlightGear I don't know if that is possible. I would imagine trying to release a payware package would be even more difficult, not to mention the much smaller user base that would probably not generate enough revenue to even bother.
You need to understand the GNU GPL that FG is released under. This is a viral license so anything using any code licensed under it also has to comply with it and be open source as well. I personally do not like it and I think there are better open source license options. But that is my own personal opinion. I have no problem with folks show use the license. I think it is a good thing that people do develop in this way and make the code open to all. I have no issue with that license being applied to FG but it does raise matters that need careful thinking about. I have not considered whether the licence includes the output of code covered by the license. If it does then it give rise to some interesting thoughts. I assume that the file format is not covered since it is used by XPlane and that is not open source.

There is also the matter of cross platform. Since we all use MSFS then we are used to working with Windows. Many FG users are probably non Windows based. I have no knowledge or skills in working with anything other than windows. I use C# and would have to switch to Mono to make my code cross platform. Since it is retty much rooted in Windows and FS it would end up a completely different tool. Plenty to chew on ;)

There are folks who have released 'commercial' sims based on FG. They can do this under the license provided they make the code available. Again I dislike this immensely. The major effort in the product is by folks giving of their time and I am not particularly enamoured of those who profit from it even if they can do so. In those terms you could release a paid for package I would expect provided that it met the terms of the GNU GPL license as well......

Anyway I would not look at FG as a source of income :)
 
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#10
Interesting that if you want you can use the complete FlightGear program, change the name to whatever you think sounds good, and then sell it! This is of course what Flight Pro Sim and Pro Flight Simulator have done and it is completely legal under the GPL that FlightGear is released under.

Although it is legal it most certainly isn't very ethical.
 

arno

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#11
Hi Jon,

My tools are also made with C#, but recently I switched to building them with Mono (so that I could run the automatic build on my Linux server). But I haven't tried if the tool itself actually works on Linux as well. Last time I tried that I had some issues with one of the DLL files I use.
 

scruffyduck

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#12
Hi Jon,

My tools are also made with C#, but recently I switched to building them with Mono (so that I could run the automatic build on my Linux server). But I haven't tried if the tool itself actually works on Linux as well. Last time I tried that I had some issues with one of the DLL files I use.
I suspect I would have more problems. I do not have Linux anywhere but I will look at Mono
 

arno

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#13
Hi Jon,

I just tried it with my latest build and ...... it crashes on Linux :). It seems the DLL I use for OpenGL uses some kernel functions from Windows that are not on Linux. I am tempted to see if I can figure out how to fix this, just for the fun of having it running on Linux as well :).
 

scruffyduck

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#14
Hi Jon,

I just tried it with my latest build and ...... it crashes on Linux :). It seems the DLL I use for OpenGL uses some kernel functions from Windows that are not on Linux. I am tempted to see if I can figure out how to fix this, just for the fun of having it running on Linux as well :).
I will be interested in how you get on. for me I have so many NET dlls that it would be a major re-build. If I am to make any tools for FG then I suspect they will be Windows only....
 

arno

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#15
Hi Jon,

Most of my DLL are also .NET. Mono should take care of that. I think the problem is when they call specific windows features from the DLL. But I'll keep you updated about my progress.
 

scruffyduck

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#16
Hi Jon,

Most of my DLL are also .NET. Mono should take care of that. I think the problem is when they call specific windows features from the DLL. But I'll keep you updated about my progress.
Yes that is what I suspect and in the case of ADE it uses quite a lot of native code and GDI+/DirectX for graphics. It would need to be changed to OpenGL I suspect.
 

arno

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#17
Hi Jon,

I don't think OpenGL is the magic solution here, for my tools it is the OpenGL library that gives the crashes :).
 

scruffyduck

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#18
Hi Jon,

I don't think OpenGL is the magic solution here, for my tools it is the OpenGL library that gives the crashes :).
Ah! Well I have gotten the Mono IDE and will set up a VM for Linux. Then we shall see :cool:
 
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