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Developer Snapshot Releases

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Developer Snapshot Releases

Postby curt » Tue Dec 21, 2010 5:39 pm

Some of you might know that James and Gene have spent a lot of time assembling a "nightly build server" for the FlightGear project. This monitors the git repository for any source code changes and then spawns builds for windows, linux, and the mac.

http://flightgear.simpits.org:8080/

This is really great work and a huge contribution to the FlightGear project.

Unfortunately, to run a nightly build from the build server, you still have to pull the latest data tree from the git repository. That's not all that hard once you work through the details, but it's a bit "fiddly" for some folks.

So I have been playing around with creating a developer's snapshot release which would be similar to our official release. It's one big setup.exe that includes all the programs and the data. I am hopeful that this will eventually make the current development version of FlightGear more accessible for "joe average" users which would then in term hopefully give us more feedback and bug reports ahead of our official release.

None of this would be possible without the "hudson" build server that Gene and James setup.

There are a couple things I've done with this snapshot package:

- I've assigned a unique app name of the form: FlightGear YYYYMMDD so you can have multiple versions installed concurrently and they don't step on each other and don't step on the official release. If people maintain multiple snapshots installed on their systems, that might help narrow down when a bug was introduced.

- I've included oalinst.exe (openal installer) and vcredist_x86.exe ... neither of these may be required in the long term if we can just ship the needed dll's, but that probably needs further testing.

- I've dipped my toe in the world of "open-candy". This is a software recommendation system that I'm sure will generate some discussion on it's own. With all this mess going on lately with pro-flight-sim doing ad blitzes around the internet I'd like to take a look at open-candy as a possible revenue source to fund our own advertising so we can battle back with a positive message. Perhaps if there are overwhelming voices of opposition to this idea, we could provide an alternate open-candy free version of the installer as an option for anyone who can't accept the open-candy usage terms. Personally I don't have a problem with open-candy, but I understand that others might. Anyway, I don't even know yet if this will generate enough revenue to even be useful, but I'd like to test it out and see what happens.

I've pushed out the setup image to the ftp mirrors. Here is a direct link if you want to go start downloading now. I haven't linked this from the main web site yet ... I'd like to get some feedback first from folks if they try it.

http://mirrors.ibiblio.org/pub/mirrors/ ... 101219.exe

Does it basically work? Are there any major packaging blunders? Please note, FlightGear bugs and feature request should still be handled through normal channels. But I am interested in packaging issues right now.

Thanks!

Curt.
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Re: Developer Snapshot Releases

Postby redneck » Tue Dec 21, 2010 5:56 pm

So, let me get this straight. This is basically a Git snapshot, which I should be able to install just like any other official release, right? I got a new computer waiting for me at home to put it to the test, and I don't want to have to deal with any complicated stuff. Just double-click an icon, hit next a couple times, then install, then be done, and ready to fly.
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Re: Developer Snapshot Releases

Postby curt » Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:25 pm

Redneck: yup that's exactly it (or what I have intended). It's a big chunk to download which is the downside to this approach, but saves you all the fiddly stuff of messing with git, pulling pieces off the hudson server, moving stuff around on your local PC, etc.) And in the end you get a ready to run git snapshot that is somewhere between a few hours to a few days old.

I still need to work on some automation issues and feeling my way through the process, but my initial goal is to upload a new snapshot on a weekly basis.

Thanks,

Curt.
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Re: Developer Snapshot Releases

Postby MaverickAlex » Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:55 am

Since my HD crashed losing everything, this is an ideal time for you to bring this out Curt :),i'm d/l as i type.
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Re: Developer Snapshot Releases

Postby chris_blues » Wed Dec 22, 2010 11:10 am

Nicely done! One file, idk maybe 6 times next, and up you go! Worked quite fine on Win7 64! (Although, will there be a 64bit version?) 8)

And do I understand that right? Next time I get a new snapshot and install it, it will git up my installation? Or will it install besides the installation I just made?

Thx anyway!
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Re: Developer Snapshot Releases

Postby ot-666 » Wed Dec 22, 2010 3:33 pm

Hi curt

I was used to grab the files needed (win32/win64 overlay) to keep my win 64bit GIT fgfs up to date from the ftp server.

Since the Hudson is up and no more new versions has been uploaded on the ftp by fred,
I was wondering which files do I have to download from Hudson to replace the files I was used to get form the ftp?

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Re: Developer Snapshot Releases

Postby curt » Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:28 pm

Hi Oliver,

If you are fetching things yourself, you need the latest 3rdParty packages:

ftp://ftp.ihg.uni-duisburg.de/FlightGear/Win32/MSVC/

You need the latest archives from the hudson server:

http://flightgear.simpits.org:8080/job/ ... rchive.zip
http://flightgear.simpits.org:8080/job/ ... rchive.zip
http://flightgear.simpits.org:8080/job/ ... rchive.zip

The latest openal installer:

http://connect.creativelabs.com/openal/ ... alinst.zip

And the latest MSVC redist for VC8

http://download.microsoft.com/download/ ... st_x86.exe

Then you need the most recent fgdata from git ... and then finally all assembled in the correct directory layout on your system.

If you work through it once and take notes, then you can update yourself whenever you like with minimal downloads. And it's really not all that hard (just a bit fiddly the first few times through until you learn the drill.)

The whole point of my developer snapshot release is for those that don't want to do all these steps manually ... just download one big setup.exe, click next a few times, and you are ready to run the latest git version (for Win32 right now).
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Re: Developer Snapshot Releases

Postby curt » Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:32 pm

chris_blues wrote:Nicely done! One file, idk maybe 6 times next, and up you go! Worked quite fine on Win7 64! (Although, will there be a 64bit version?) 8)

And do I understand that right? Next time I get a new snapshot and install it, it will git up my installation? Or will it install besides the installation I just made?

Thx anyway!


Hi Chris,

So the next time you want to do an update, you just download the newest snapshot and install it. You can decide if you want to keep any of the previous snapshots installed or remove them individually. Each new snapshot is a separate application installed on your system and they can all coexist at the same time. You might want to keep previous versions around if a new version has critical bugs ... remember these are just snapshots, they aren't reviewed or tested releases. But if lots of people download and test these, hopefully we can sniff out and fix more bugs before our official release.

If things work out well with the 32 bit version, then definitely I'll also add a 64bit version and maybe explore the possibility of doing this also for the mac.

Thanks,

Curt.
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Re: Developer Snapshot Releases

Postby Farmboy » Wed Dec 22, 2010 5:10 pm

Even though I use a Mac and therefore have to wait for Tat's releases (and snapshots), I think this is wonderful for all the Windows users, new and old. Ease of installation utilizing a hot-off-the-press FlightGear is an excellent way to further growth, in addition to testing new features.

Nice job Curt.

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Re: Developer Snapshot Releases

Postby chris_blues » Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:06 pm

Farmboy wrote:Nice job Curt.

Indeed! Quite great! 8)
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Re: Developer Snapshot Releases

Postby ot-666 » Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:29 pm

Thanks for the good explanation and for the nice work on Hudson. :D

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Re: Developer Snapshot Releases

Postby zakalawe » Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:43 am

Farmboy wrote:Even though I use a Mac and therefore have to wait for Tat's releases (and snapshots)


http://wiki.flightgear.org/index.php/FlightGear_Build_Server

This isn't quite the same as Curt's release - you need Git fgdata, and there's no launcher unlike Tat's releases, but if you can live with those issues, it works very well. As soon as fgdata is split to make the size manageable, I'll roll the core parts into the installers.

On Windows, we also have a 'all the code, just the code' installer - if you follow the Windows link in the above URL, you'll get a installer for FGRun + FlightGear. Again you need to have Git fgdata downloaded somewhere, but FGRun makes it easy to select this. But no need to download vcredist.exe or the 3rdparty-libs package - that's all handled by the installer. The archive.zip on Hudson was never really intended for distribution, so I'd prefer it people used the installer - though ultimately it's the same FLightGear binary.
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Re: Developer Snapshot Releases

Postby Farmboy » Thu Dec 23, 2010 1:51 pm

Hey James, thanks for that info, I didn't know someone was doing that as well. While I enjoy tweaking as a novice, I still fall back to the known entities of application launchers instead of learning to use the Terminal. As justification to myself, much of what I would really enjoy to use currently (scenery shaders, weather, etc) kills a useable frame rate, so I'm not missing out too much until I upgrade my hardware.

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Re: Developer Snapshot Releases

Postby curt » Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:26 pm

If any one is interested I've uploaded a new snapshot as of 22 Dec, 2010:

http://mirrors.ibiblio.org/pub/mirrors/ ... 101222.exe

I'm going offline (or maybe minimum presence mode) for the next couple days, but after the holidays I'll put up some links on the web site download area so these are always easy to find and download.

I've seen that a few people have downloaded the first 19 Dec 2010 snapshot and no one has reported any major breakage so that's encouraging. :-)

Thanks,

Curt.
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Re: Developer Snapshot Releases

Postby redneck » Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:57 pm

The 12/19 version is absolutely beautiful. So far, the only thing I don't like is that there is no Property Browser. Or, at least I can't find it.
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