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EC130-B4: major update

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Re: EC130-B4: major update

Postby Richard » Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:06 pm

mhab wrote in Wed Mar 02, 2016 7:39 pm:What really seems unclear to me is how an improved EC130B4 will ever be compatible with an old version.
e.g. I added new optional strobes on the horizontal stabilizer with all the rembrandt light volumes, etc. Also new multiplayer props are necessary for that.


1. Understand that the older model will still be used on older versions of FG that happen to be in use in multiplayer. Not everyone will have the new version. Some users may not even know where to get a new version from. They also may not be able to upgrade their FG; so backwards compatibility is important.
2. Any new items should be additions - i.e. leave all of the original multiplay/generic in the same place, the old model will look as good (or bad) as it always did.
3. Keep the model name the same; do not rename the aircraft directory.

Test it; you can do this by starting two instances of FG on the same machine.

I've previously made the mistake of changing what the multiplay/generic properties mean versions of the F-15 and the result is that strange things happen with the animations; so I had to put them all back.
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Re: EC130-B4: major update

Postby Hooray » Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:08 pm

it may make sense to document such "best practices" and move this over to the wiki, so that others can learn from it, and add their own advice to it over time
Please don't send support requests by PM, instead post your questions on the forum so that all users can contribute and benefit
Thanks & all the best,
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Re: EC130-B4: major update

Postby Thorsten » Thu Mar 03, 2016 6:49 am

FG versions are in general not compatible over MP - you can try to solve it case by case, but you'll end up feeling like Sisyphos.

* if a user runs old terrain and a second new terrain, one might see the other taxiing in the air, while the other sees a plane taxiing underground

* if the assignment of animation to properties is re-structured (as in the case of the C-172p where they wanted to transmit damage animations), people running the old version of the plane suddenly saw damaged planes flying about

* if the model structure is revamped, you see what's in the thread

Backward compatibility is fine, but I understand that the number of properties available to be transmitted over MP is rather limited, so initially an aircraft developer may use them liberally, but as the plane gets more refined, the need to encode more information in a transmitted state may arise. FG in general does not have a strong backward compatibility policy - usually planes for the current version won't even run on older versions, and there's not much support given for older versions, so by and large it is assumed that users upgrade to the newest version or deal with problems arising from not doing this themselves.

So my advice would be to break when you have to, but only when you have to. Changing to an encoding scheme to transmit twice the information you could previously sounds like a justified case to me, changing a filename because the new one looks more neat does perhaps not.

As for not being able to upgrade, I've just seen this.

I find it amazing that FlightGear 2016 even runs on my old 2008, OpenGL 1.5, Vista laptop.
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Re: EC130-B4: major update

Postby Richard » Thu Mar 03, 2016 7:40 am

Thorsten wrote in Thu Mar 03, 2016 6:49 am:So my advice would be to break when you have to, but only when you have to. Changing to an encoding scheme to transmit twice the information you could previously sounds like a justified case to me, changing a filename because the new one looks more neat does perhaps not.


That's exactly what I was trying to convey.

Changes to MP that aren't for a good reason that break older release are to be discouraged. There is no reason to break it because a filename changed (to include a version number), or because it seemed more sensible to have the multiplay properties in alphabetical order.

IMHO it's totally fine to change things when there is a need to change to make the current version better and that cannot be achieved without breaking older releases.
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Re: EC130-B4: major update

Postby mhab » Thu Mar 03, 2016 11:01 pm

Hello

Thanks for all the feedback.
I went through some trials and did a solution meanwhile, which may not be the most academic, but for me the most reasonable one.

Background:
I have designed the ec130b4 vs. ec130t2 variants in an way that all differences are controlled by a property setting.
All model parts, even redundant ones are kept in the same ac file.
Remark: I need redundant model parts due to limitations in effect definitions which do not allow conditions!

Solution:
When I tried to split this up into a b4,t2 and common part I found myself in such a mess of dependencies, incomplete 3d models and
all kinds of problems with animations and effects all over the place in the wrong XML file.

So I cut this approach and did minimum adjustments in order to solve the incompatibility.
The price I paid for this is that I now have two identical copies of the main XML file with different names. ec130b4.xml and ec130t2.xml

I found it easier to copy this file each time I change it, than to end up searching in which file which piece might be and worse having incomplete 3d models.
B.T.W. I am already used to copying the XML file for the wingman definition, so the damage is limited.

Conclusion:
I think MP should work for older versions now too and it is available in gitlab already ;-)

Mike-DE
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Re: EC130-B4: major update

Postby Thorsten » Fri Mar 04, 2016 6:46 am

Remark: I need redundant model parts due to limitations in effect definitions which do not allow conditions!


Some more context on this.
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Re: EC130-B4: major update

Postby rominet » Fri Mar 04, 2016 11:54 pm

Hi,
mhab wrote in Thu Mar 03, 2016 11:01 pm:I think MP should work for older versions now too and it is available in gitlab already ;-)

Well, it sort of works, but looks a bit funky over MP (maybe it's Monty Python's dreadful blanc-mangé...):
Image
Image
Image
(pictures taken from an UFO)

This is with the following commit:
Code: Select all
commit cb09fbb64aeac11d4ed0881fcc7b42c7def1fbd5
Author: mhab <your@address>
Date:   Thu Mar 3 23:42:29 2016 +0100

    enable MP compatibility with older versions
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Re: EC130-B4: major update

Postby mhab » Sat Mar 05, 2016 5:47 pm

Nice screenshots ... I always wanted to do a balloon and disguised it as a heli ;-)

This is one version of what I saw during our test flight. The balloons are the Rembrandt light volume objects, as it seems the ones of the new strobes on the stabilizer.

You took the screenshot in a multiplayer session ?
Can you be a bit more specific about when it looks like this ?
Rembrandt is enabled/disabled ?
The heli was your aircraft or the remote one ?
What version of the ec130 was in the path in this session ?
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Re: EC130-B4: major update

Postby rominet » Sat Mar 05, 2016 7:49 pm

Yeah, at first my nephew thought there was a Zeppelin at the airport. :lol:

Yes, these screenshots were taken in a multiplayer session from the computer where the heli was not loaded (as I said, they were taken from an ufo but previously, my nephew used other aircrafts and saw the same). Rembrandt disabled on both computers (too slow here). As for ALS, I'm not sure. Sometimes I turn it on, sometimes not. If it's important, I can tell how it was on the computer taking the screenshots, because it hasn't been changed since then.

So, the heli was my aircraft but the screenshots were taken from the other computer (let's call it remote as you proposed). The ec130 on my computer was from GitLab with the commit ID specified in my previous post. The remote computer had a GitLab version too, but probably a bit older. Will have to try with the latest version on both computers (the remote computer also had the FGAddon version, but further in the aircraft path order—and the <path-cache> from $FG_HOME/.fgfs/autosave_2016_2.xml on it only references the GitLab version, although I doubt it matters here).

I was about to say that the problem was maybe that the remote computer had a too old version of the ec130 from GitLab, but another person I flew with today confirmed that my ec130 looked funny. No real proof here, but I doubt everyone has the GitLab version installed (that person was flying some SH-60J or UH-60J)...

Edit: tiny typo
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Re: EC130-B4: major update

Postby mhab » Sun Mar 13, 2016 12:36 am

Hello

I think I did what is possible.
See quote below from the resolve comment in Issue #14 in gitlab dev repo

The MP behaviour was completely overhauled.
A lot of animations are now transferred via MP ;-)
The ec130b4 model is compatible to old version in 2016.1.

Limitations:
    - foreign livery of old version will be identical to own livery EDIT: works now
    - in MP ec130t2 cannot be used in mix with old version ec130b4
Attention:
FG aircraft path MUST NOT contain different ec130 versions, as it is NOT predictable what version will be used, This may end up in unpredictable behaviour for the ec130 helicopter model.

Additionally: If you use EC130T2/H130 variant in MP, users of 2016.1 version will see the default sailplane model instead of the H130 ;-)
On your side you will see the default livery of the remote EC130B4 heli, as the old version did NOT transmit the livery for MP ;-) EDIT: works now
For a mix of different new versions the result may be even balloons ;-) as seen in screenshots above ...

Have fun
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Re: EC130-B4: major update

Postby rominet » Sat Mar 19, 2016 4:34 pm

Hi,

I tested MP visibility of the ec130b4 from current FGAddon on one side, and the one from GitLab (commit 9a6e696ca636f0408abf03b98bee14598e2aa358 dated Tuesday, March 15) on the other side. Each side could see the other fine. Thank you!
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Re: EC130-B4: major update

Postby mhab » Sat Mar 19, 2016 5:20 pm

Happy to hear it works.
I learned quite a bit about MP through this.

I am especially happy that in FG 2016.1 you will see the remote aircraft no matter how near you go.
This bug annoyed me for quite a long time and I am very happy it is solved.

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Re: EC130-B4: major update

Postby mhab » Mon Apr 11, 2016 3:28 pm

Hello

A small but useful improvement for MP map (http://mpmap02.flightgear.org/) is active.
The ec130 models are recognized as helicopters and displayed as helis in the map.
Thanks to pigeon, who maintains this for the map display.

Mike-DE
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Re: EC130-B4: major update

Postby D-ECHO » Mon Apr 11, 2016 3:41 pm

Hi, somehow I can't get this heli to work.
I use the version git@gitlab.com:mhab/ec130.git and flightgear version 3.6.0.
I follow the checklist but NG never spools up over 19%.
This is how my cockpit looks like then:
Image
Image
Image
Image
Do you have an idea what the problem could be?
Regards
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Re: EC130-B4: major update

Postby mhab » Mon Apr 11, 2016 4:01 pm

Hello

Thanks you for your patience.
You need fuel as it seems.

I will check the tutorial for an improvement for this.

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