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FlightGear Policy and Roadmap Documents

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FlightGear Policy and Roadmap Documents

Postby stuart » Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:31 pm

Hi All,

Following on from the recent discussions about git/svn and attribution on the -devellist, and discussions about the structure and the future of the project on the forum, the group of developers who get together on a weekly Google Hangout organized by Curt realized that we would benefit from a more detailed policy document and roadmap than the high level statement available at http://www.flightgear.org/about/.

There is a draft document circulating on the -devel list (http://sourceforge.net/p/flightgear/mailman/message/34183645/). If you'd like to comment and take part in the discussion, please subscriber to the -devel list

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Re: FlightGear Policy and Roadmap Documents

Postby Hooray » Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:54 pm

thanks for doing this, but the point about Qt5 replacing plib is in stark contrast to everything that Torsten and James previously stated whenever people would bring up the point that Qt5 is a signfificant dependency to add, and when they would respond "if/how and when this will happen, will first of all be discussed on the devel list to reach consensus" - for pointers to the corresponding statements, please refer to the quotes linked to from: http://wiki.flightgear.org/Integrated_Qt5_Launcher

Note that I don't have any personal preference/agenda here, but I do share the sentiment that Qt5 is a major dependency to accept into FG, especially given that the UI is just a fairly tiny part of the simulator, and that accepting Qt5 as a dependency could easily make much of the existing infrastructure onsolete (think slots/signals, SGThread, SGAtomic etc).

So if any/all of you should indeed have arrived at this "consensus" behind the scenes without first discussing this on the devel list, it would be good to update the wiki accordingly - and maybe add a list of names of those who're supportive of this move, so that people are kept in the loop - especially those working on overlapping efforts, some of which are also explicitly prioritized by other senior developers (e.g. the Canvas Aircraft Center by Curt):

http://sourceforge.net/p/flightgear/mai ... /33451055/
Curt wrote:As we move forward with FlightGear development and future versions, we will be expanding the "in app" aircraft center. This dialog inside flightgear
lets you select, download, and switch to any of the aircraft in the library.


Then again, I realize that this is generally a good thing to do, and I do applaud the effort - but I am getting the impression that recent developments and the focus of manpower focus are merely being documented now, without that necessarily being in line with statements previously made on the devel list (or even just the degree of Qt5 related commits and level of integration we've been seeing lately).

Again, I am certainly not opposed to any of this (and I don't have the time to take part in any of these discussions)- but I would hope that people literally "commit" to this specifically, and not change plans 9+ months from now (which kinda is what happened apparently to James' statements about the Canvas GUI, or F-JJTH's effort to re-implement fgrun/launcher functionality on top of native SG/FG APIs using Nasal/Canvas).

Admittedly, we've been seeing lots of manpower being wasted recently, despite matching the modus operandi laid out in the document above - including efforts like "FG/osgEarth", which has been lingering around for months now...

So I would politely suggest that those "long-term goals" end up being representative even without certain key contributors necessarily having to be around, or you're really just documenting priorities of those currently/actively involved, but not overall project goals.
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Re: FlightGear Policy and Roadmap Documents

Postby Johan G » Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:56 pm

stuart wrote in Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:31 pm:...the group of developers who get together on a weekly Google Hangout organized by Curt...[/url]

So there is a conspiracy after all. ;) :lol:

stuart wrote in Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:31 pm:There is a draft document circulating on the -devel list (http://sourceforge.net/p/flightgear/mailman/message/34183645/).

Thanks for posting the link.

stuart wrote in Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:31 pm:If you'd like to comment and take part in the discussion, please subscriber to the -devel list

Good. The discussion will be easier to follow when it initially and explicitly is asked to be kept in one place. :)

P.S. You might want to make this a sticky. I would do it myself if I could. :wink:


Edit: @hooray: Umm. I think the intention was to keep the discussion on the developer mailing list... :wink:
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Re: FlightGear Policy and Roadmap Documents

Postby hamzaalloush » Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:34 pm

well this is intresting, as per Hooray, it seems as if not only the PLIB api is put on the side, Simgear functions are also going to the side. where the main motivation for continued support for Simgear is to act an updated API for new FG features if i understand correctly. hence the OSG-earth SG-patches and Throsten( i think) introduced patches there too for some new features.
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Re: FlightGear Policy and Roadmap Documents

Postby wkitty42 » Tue Jun 09, 2015 3:00 am

hamza... one or both or us is reading something not stated, AFAICT...

where did you get your information??? i've not seen it stated like that on the dev list or in these forums...
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Re: FlightGear Policy and Roadmap Documents

Postby Hooray » Tue Jun 09, 2015 8:48 am

Johan G wrote in Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:56 pm:@hooray: Umm. I think the intention was to keep the discussion on the developer mailing list... :wink:


Like I said, I don't have much to add beyond pointing out that this document is contradiciting statements made by a number of senior core developers, and that the repeatedly expressed concern about Qt5 being a major dependency, shouldn't be taken lightly - especially given the low number of active core developers, and the significant barrier to entry for those wanting to get involved - in fact, this could be compared to the migration from plib SG to OSG, which also wasn't too well embraced back in ~2006 - yet, you will see that adding Qt as a lib has been brough up by a number of contributors over the last decade, and there were a number of strong arguments made against doing so - for the record, I used to belong to the camp of people suggesting this, too - but I have to admit, that many arguments still hold true today. I have no intention to have this discussion here - as usual, "roadmaps" are more about documenting priorities of those involved, not of the overall effort/project.

And like hamzaalloush mentioned, phasing out PUI/PLIB is another long-standing goal of those involved (especially Zakalawe, see the devel list/forum for countless statements on PLIB/PUI) - so accepting a more modern, and actively maintained, dependency is a worthy thing to strive for.

To people familiar with core development, and those who have professionally used FlightGear, it is becoming pretty obvious that much of the existing SimGear funtionality could be easily made obsolete fairly quickly once Qt5 is accepted as an official, and required, build-time dependency (think I/O, networking, logging, property tree, UI etc).

This isn't necessarily a bad thing though - it is just a little surprising that a "google hangout" session among a closed circle of core developers was apparently sufficient to rule out all arguments previously made by other contributors against "requiring" Qt5, including people like Andy Ross (YASim/Nasal) and David Megginson (Property tree, SGSubsystem etc) back in the day - or more recently, Rebecca Palmer (again, refer to the wiki article linked to above, for the specific postings/statements).

Again, I am not affected by this, I do have a working build environment with Qt5 support available - but I guess that doesn't necessarily apply to many others, and given that Qt5 isn't exactly a trivial dependency, I would have suggested to tread more carefully than has been the case here apparently.

Either way, I am convinced that should this remain the "consensus", that FG will significantly improve over the next 5-10 years due to this decision, not unlike the migration to OSG has been a technology enabler, too. It may just be more inconvenient than many/most of you realize currently....
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Re: FlightGear Policy and Roadmap Documents

Postby Torsten » Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:11 pm

Just to make this clear: the hangout session is by no means a conspiracy meeting or a closed circle.
Curt has actively announced the meeting on the mailing list and invited everybody to join:
http://comments.gmane.org/gmane.games.f ... evel/76620

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Re: FlightGear Policy and Roadmap Documents

Postby stuart » Wed Jun 10, 2015 7:57 am

Hi All,

Just a quick reminder that if you have any comments or questions about this, they should be posted to the -devel list. We need to keep the discussion in one place.

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