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Is official FlightGear development dead?

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Is official FlightGear development dead?

Postby NewsDude » Fri Jan 10, 2020 5:00 am

I've been going through different FlightGear versions, and it appears to me that any official FlightGear development is dead. I'm making my judgment off of this version directory.

https://sourceforge.net/projects/flightgear/files/

According to that directory, FlightGear hasn't been updated since June. in 2018, 3 versions of FlightGear were released. In 2019, there was only one version released.

I do realize that there have been updates in the Nightly directory, but it's my understanding that directory isn't maintained by official FlightGear developers.

So, I ask again: Is official FlightGear development dead?
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Re: Is official FlightGear development dead?

Postby vanosten » Fri Jan 10, 2020 5:29 am

That statement is wrong. Have a look a the developer maillist archives, and you will see a lot of activity. The next version is just significant in content.
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Re: Is official FlightGear development dead?

Postby sidi762 » Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:08 am

Nighty is indeed maintained by official FG developers.
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Re: Is official FlightGear development dead?

Postby wkitty42 » Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:57 pm

i don't understand how folks can think a project is dead just because there's no updates in a few months or a year... that's crazy...
"You get more air close to the ground," said Angalo. "I read that in a book. You get lots of air low down, and not much when you go up."
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"Dunno. It's frightened of heights, I guess."
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Re: Is official FlightGear development dead?

Postby NewsDude » Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:37 am

sidi762 wrote in Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:08 am:Nighty is indeed maintained by official FG developers.

That I didn't realize, thank you for correcting me.

wkitty42 wrote in Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:57 pm:i don't understand how folks can think a project is dead just because there's no updates in a few months or a year... that's crazy...

As to that: when Apple was first starting out as a Start-up company I think it's fair to say that they were a similar size to FlightGear. They would release something new whether it be software or hardware, every 4 months or so. I don't consider it to be unreasonable to expect the same from FlightGear developers.
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Re: Is official FlightGear development dead?

Postby Isaak » Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:49 am

With the difference that Apple is a company that wanted to become profitable while FlightGear is a hobby for all core developers (be it a time-consuming one) and has no ambition whatsoever to become a profitable organisation. Also 2019.2.0 (the development version) came with some nasty bugs that cost a lot of time and investigation to fix them. I understand your desire for updates, but we are limited to the time people are able to invest next to their jobs. Don't worry though: your patience will be rewarded ;-)
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Re: Is official FlightGear development dead?

Postby Hooray » Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:04 am

To track overall project activity, see: https://www.openhub.net/p/flightgear

See the repository to see the number of commits (code changes), and the devel mailing list to track development related talks
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Re: Is official FlightGear development dead?

Postby Curtis » Tue Apr 07, 2020 6:24 am

wkitty42 wrote in Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:57 pm:i don't understand how folks can think a project is dead just because there's no updates in a few months or a year... that's crazy...


I think he is right, when a software has not been updated for more 6 months (which is already a long period of time) then most of the people will think that there is a problem in the developers team (lack of motivation, of time).

Software need to updated for several reasons :

- maintenance (a change of API in the libraries like openscenegraph --> the source code of flightgear and simgear must be updated, in order to ensure that the source code can always compile with the latest release versions of the libraries,
it's very important for packagers of linux distros, especially rolling release distros as archlinux and gentoo, if a software can not be compiled with latest release libraries version then it will be removed from the official repository of the distro, that's why flightgear is not available on official repo of archlinux since 2 years, except the non official AUR repo :( ),
- correction of bugs reported by the users
- a security flaw in the source code
- new features, better performance

It's ok to wait 6 or 12 months for new features, but for the other updates (basic maintenance, correction of bugs) a time period of 3 months is better.
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Re: Is official FlightGear development dead?

Postby Thorsten » Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:03 am

It's ok to wait 6 or 12 months for new features, but for the other updates (basic maintenance, correction of bugs) a time period of 3 months is better.


Then FG was dead during most of its 'lifetime' (which would make it a zombie) - releases used to be infrequent before the Jenkins server, sometimes a year there would be one, sometimes not.

it's very important for packagers of linux distros,


Yes - but perhaps not to the people who develop FG. So say I'm personally not so into burning all my spare time to make a distro packager happy? Say I prefer to develop whatever software I develop at my own pace? What then? Apparently for you it's not okay - but what bad things happen to me then?

You seem to be missing the fact that this isn't commercial software development where people get paid to keep a schedule. FG developers do this as a hobby, and when real life comes calling (as in my case, schools are closed and I have to home-school my kids) FG gets bumped waaay down the priority list. So... I can well live with you thinking there's a problem with my motivation.
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Re: Is official FlightGear development dead?

Postby Curtis » Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:16 am

I will read the wiki, in order to know how exactly the development of FG works, I remember that there is a kind of "FAQ" about how to contribute to the project, the requirements.
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Re: Is official FlightGear development dead?

Postby Hooray » Fri Apr 10, 2020 3:12 pm

FlightGear development isn't centrally-coordinated - it basically "happens" organically in a distributed fashion. It's constrained primarily by resources like the number of active contributors who are around at any given time, their background/expertise, and their interests, focus, priorities and schedules/roadmaps - every once in a while, challenges are not so much technical ones but primarily social ones.

Judging the progress/status of the project by looking at the release cycle will not be a reliable indicator: for most of the project's lifetime, the project primarily attracted "doers", i.e. people who had to prove that they're able to get/patch and build the source code, to get going (flying).

This usually meant a steep learning curve for newcomers, but at the time there was no such thing as a forum or a multiplayer environment - this meant, that the project primarily had to deal with people who were "potential contributors" rather than "potential users", many of those are indeed still around.

As such, while getting out a release more or less regularly may be a priority among some contributors, it has rarely translated into more manpower/contributors for the project itself.

If you want to know whether FlightGear development is active, refer to the commit logs and the mailing list traffic.

Compared to that, the forum and the multiplayer environment are rather poor indicators, despite being fairly active.
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Re: Is official FlightGear development dead?

Postby G-UNTER » Sun May 03, 2020 8:12 am

2020.1.1 is officially releasing today :D
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