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Suggestions for the Flightgear design

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Suggestions for the Flightgear design

Postby Steve78 » Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:49 pm

It took me a number of tries to download version 2.8. Many times during a download of the main program, I experienced an internet connection drop out. I could be 70% into the download when the internet connection drop out occurred and I had to start all over again. By the way, anyone knows why the internet drop outs occurred and how to fix it?

The version 2.8 download is more than 600 MB. Is it possible to make the main program download as small as possible. How many percent of the more than 600MB is files for aircraft. If you include only one aircraft in the main program download, how much can you reduce the main program size to? To test whether the main program download and installation are successful, one only needs one aircraft. If people want to download more aircraft after the main program installation, they can download more aircraft individually. Keeping the main program file as small as possible will make it easier for people to download.

Flightgear has a number of views. You can choose the different views by pushing the V key. Those views are available by default. I don't need the airport view when I am away from the airport. Is it possible to turn off the views you don't need.That will reduce the graphics processing and keep the computer running a little cooler. Can you only turn on the chase view and turn off the other views? When you are approaching an airport, can you switch the airport view from the departure airport to the arrival airport?
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Re: Suggestions for the Flightgear design

Postby Gijs » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:17 pm

Welcome Steve!

Some people have proposed to include only one aircraft in the base package. Or maybe two (one "normal" aircraft and the ufo). This is certainly something that is taken into condiseration by the core team, but as far as I know the upcoming release will still have a couple of aircraft to choose from.

I'm not at my Flightgear PC right now, but I think that might safe you some 100 mb. If I recall correctly, the AI traffic is the heaviest part these days (some 300 mb). It might be useful to offer that as an optional package...

Is it possible to turn off the views you don't need.That will reduce the graphics processing and keep the computer running a little cooler.

Yes, you can do so in the View > View Options menu. It won't have any impact on your performance though, because the views are only rendered when you actually view them. So inactive views are just that, inactive.

When you are approaching an airport, can you switch the airport view from the departure airport to the arrival airport?

Location > Tower Position allows you to pick any airport for the tower view.

Cheers,
Gijs
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Re: Suggestions for the Flightgear design

Postby Kabuki » Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:39 am

Gijs wrote in Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:17 pm:Welcome Steve!

Some people have proposed to include only one aircraft in the base package. Or maybe two (one "normal" aircraft and the ufo). This is certainly something that is taken into condiseration by the core team, but as far as I know the upcoming release will still have a couple of aircraft to choose from.

I'm not at my Flightgear PC right now, but I think that might safe you some 100 mb. If I recall correctly, the AI traffic is the heaviest part these days (some 300 mb). It might be useful to offer that as an optional package...


Holy Cow! AI/traffic weighs in at 137 MB. That's quite a lot for something that I keep turned off. AI is 273 MB, but it includes stuff that's (IMHO) more important -- the (hopefully) smaller models of aircraft for MP use.

I see my Aircraft directory is currently around 800 MB, and could be a LOT bigger. One area I think FG could really use a cleanup is with the AI aircraft models. There is a minefield of scenarios that call for AI models that aren't included, and AI models that simply point to .ac files which are "ass"umed to be installed as flyable models. Widows and orphans, etc.
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Re: Suggestions for the Flightgear design

Postby Thorsten » Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:28 am

It took me a number of tries to download version 2.8. Many times during a download of the main program, I experienced an internet connection drop out. I could be 70% into the download when the internet connection drop out occurred and I had to start all over again.


Any decent download client should allow you to resume an interrupted download (it so happens that I did my FG for Windows download on our home GSM connection in bad weather, and I had to resume it about 7 times...). So I'd suggest to get a decent client for the download - that should fix your problems much better.

Is it possible to make the main program download as small as possible.


It is possible but frankly unlikely that the base package size will shrink in the future - as graphics capabilities get better, models and terrain texturing gets better, so we ship more and more textures with higher resolution. Dropping aircraft from the base package will not compensate for that in the end. Given that broadband internet access is increasingly widespread, download size is a minority problem and reducing it is not a design goal (see for instance the discussion about the GIT FGdata split - FGData GIT is something like 6GB to download, and the majority sees no point in reducing its size).
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Re: Suggestions for the Flightgear design

Postby Kabuki » Mon Dec 31, 2012 7:36 pm

I don't have an issue with the selection of planes, but I think there's some dead weight in the distro. The flightplans are excessive. I usually fly with AI traffic turned off, so they're pretty much unused, yet take up a large amount of space on the disk. Way more than appropriate, IMHO.

Also, there are AI scenarios that require aircraft and/or scenery which is not present. What's the point of that? They don't work, and they only frustrate the user. They're dead weight.

I don't know, one more cigarette won't kill me, another megabyte of download won't either. /irony. (I don't smoke)
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Re: Suggestions for the Flightgear design

Postby Thorsten » Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am

Also, there are AI scenarios that require aircraft and/or scenery which is not present. What's the point of that? They don't work, and they only frustrate the user. They're dead weight.


Well, you don't take into account deverloper's time - how much time does it cost to identify 10 MB worth of dead weight, to be *really sure* that it isn't used or assumed to be there by some other rarely used part of FG and to remove it? You might find out that this amounts in the end to a completely unreasonable time. If you ask something to be removed, you're usually required to provide compelling evidence that it isn't needed by anything else, which requires solid long-term testing with different scenarios.

An AI scenario may require an aircraft which is not in the base package, but how else is the user supposed to acquire it (or even know of it) once he has the aircraft? Does it seem economical to you to provide separately packaged AI scenarios listing all the dependencies? Who will maintain the server and document the dependencies? What's your counter-proposal?

I usually fly with AI traffic turned off, so they're pretty much unused, yet take up a large amount of space on the disk


Well, that's just you - so what you're asking here is 'Why isn't Flightgear packaged to include only what I like? Why do I download things others may use?' The answer would seem fairly obvious to me.

So in the end - how much effort is reasonable to save a few MB of download in the age where many people load DVD-sized movies from the internet on a regular basis or store all their data on the cloud?
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