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Flight Gear Development Process - Freeze an older version

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Flight Gear Development Process - Freeze an older version

Postby openflight » Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:36 am

As a would-be contributor to Flight Gear I want to run this by the forum for comments.
The Flight Gear development follows this process - an existing version is taken, modified, tested and launched with many new features.
Of course the aircraft for each version should work with the next version. This is done by testing each aircraft with the next version, I presume.

Because of recent problems with FG 1.9.1 (Win 32 exe installed on Ubuntu 12 and WINE) such as program hangs for a few seconds when changing mouse pointer from joystick/control/view modes, FG does not even show in Ubuntu repository, No shadows after 1.0, 2.6 does not install in my version of WINE, I have abandoned using newer versions for now.

Since I plan to use FG for educational use, personal research and aircraft design, I cannot be installing new versions and correcting errors if any from time to time.

Therefore my current process is as follows:

    Use FG 1.0 for another 5 years or so
    Download and use aircraft for 1.0
    Modify aircraft to work with FG 1.0
    Modify Instrument panels
    Repaint Aircraft
    Host revised aircraft and repaints for download
    Review Aircraft

To contribute to newer versions:
    Install newer versions (With a flavour of Linux that runs it)
    Upload aircraft and modifications developed in 1.0
    Review current version and recent version aircraft and add to Wiki pages

When 5 years is over, use a more recent version, say 2.0 for development.

The idea is to do the experimentation in a more robust, stable , lower version and then migrate these up to a newer version when done.

I plan to call the project "Flight Gear One" and host a separate website.2
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Re: Flight Gear Development Process - Freeze an older versio

Postby bugman » Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:55 am

Hi,

Such development issues should ideally be discussed on the FG development mailing list (see the FG policy document for the mailing list policy). But you first need to decide if you would like to contribute to the official FGAddon aircraft repository, in which case you really should discuss on the mailing list. Or if you wish to host these aircraft in a private hangar, which will be the easier and cleaner option, as FGAddon aircraft are currently developed purely for FG-next. A backport system is not yet in place (I do have ideas in how to organise this, but no one has expressed any interest in backports on the devel list). You also need to specify if you will be making backports of currently existing FGAddon aircraft for FG 1.x, or if you will be creating new aircraft for FG 1.x and then forward porting to FG-next.

Regards,

Edward
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Re: Flight Gear Development Process - Freeze an older versio

Postby Hooray » Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:57 am

Honestly, your thinking is unfortunately flawed. A while ago, you started a similar thread about "backporting aircraft" to older versions of FlightGear.

However, what you are proposing here is simply not feasible, and you are obviously coming up with a solution for a problem that you misunderstood in the first place.

Assuming that your main issue is that you can no longer run recent FlightGear versions with your hardware/OS, it would be better to get involved in the troubleshooting/bug fixing process to identify remaining issues that prevent FG from running correctly for you.

Seriously, the number of improvements that were implemented during the last couple of years is remarkable, and it simply doesn't make sense to run outdated FG versions.

Your feedback could be really valuable, and it would also help others with similar hardware. But you should stop finding solutions for self-invented problems.

FlightGear does have certain issues, backward compatibility being one of them - but that can only improve once/if people like you get involved in the testing/troubleshooting process, and once they report back what is broken. So that certain features can either be made better customizable, or entirely optional.

None of that is rocket science, disabling subsystems/features is fairly simple in most cases, and a number of core developers have been working towards this, specifically with the goal to improve backward compatibility and to allow automated regression testing.

For instance, look at these ongoing efforts, discussed by core developers and other contributors:

http://wiki.flightgear.org/Reset_%26_re-init (James Turner)
http://wiki.flightgear.org/FlightGear_Headless (James Turner)
http://wiki.flightgear.org/Feature_Scaling (Rebecca Palmer)
http://wiki.flightgear.org/FlightGear_Benchmark
http://wiki.flightgear.org/FlightGear_and_old_Hardware

In other words, we really want to ensure that FG continues to work even on old hardware, analogous to how you can install a Linux 3.0 kernel on hardware from the mid 1990s - but for that to happen, and succeed, we need people -like you- with access to the hardware, and with the willingness/perseverance to actually test things and provide feedback - ideally by using the issue tracker.

A number of major issues in the code base were recently fixed, including a significant memory leak, as well as another bug that would leak thousands of listeners - these things are next to impossible to identify on powerful hardware, without using certain tools/techniques, because they may go unnoticed for months.

Which is exactly why we need people with older hardware to yell at us whenever something starts performing much worse than it used to be. Which also is the reason for establishing a suite of "benchmarks" that can serve as regression tests, that could at some point be automatically executed by end-users, or even on the build server directly.

Admittedly, there are some remarkably-complex aircraft like the 777 or extra500 which are unlikely to work on certain hardware, but there still is plenty of room for optimizing FlightGear in tons of places, including CPU and GPU level optimizations.
The very instant people like you decide for themselves that they stop using/testing later versions, and instead revert back to a 5-year old version, we are also lacking all the testing, and feedback, that would enable to fix certain bugs.

For starters, you should try to run the standalone osgviewer and fgviewer binaries and see if those work properly for you, those applications both use the same technology stack that the fgfs binary is using, what is preventing you from using fgfs, can certainly be identifed with a little patience.

In general, the "minimal startup profile" detailed on the wiki should even work for people with very underpowered systems, which I have tried myself: Subject: FlightGear/Canvas on dual-core Netbook (Intel GMA graphics)
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,
Hooray
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Re: Flight Gear Development Process - Freeze an older versio

Postby elgaton » Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:05 am

Also, it would be helpful if you could:
  • install the most recent (albeit unstable) FlightGear development version from saiarcot's flightgear-edge PPA on Launchpad (or, if you want to get the latest stable version, get it from here) and run it natively,
  • state which aircraft and scenery (1.0/2.0/TerraSync) you're using, as well as your hardware specifications (graphic card model, drivers - proprietary or open source -, , amount of RAM...)
so that we can start investigating. Thanks!
NIATCA 2nd admin, regular ATC at LIPX and creator of the LIPX custom scenery
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Re: Flight Gear Development Process - Freeze an older versio

Postby Hooray » Fri Sep 25, 2015 1:48 pm

basically, if you have a system with working OpenGL support and the "minimal startup profile" still doesn't work as expected, that would qualify as a bug - and you should ideally post your specs, as well as the log file here (better using the issue tracker though)
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,
Hooray
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Re: Flight Gear Development Process - Freeze an older versio

Postby openflight » Mon Sep 28, 2015 5:40 am

Several responses:

"bugman"

FG Development mailing list - subscribed. I will be hosting a private hangar, most probably pn "Flight Gear One" project page. I plan on backporting airctaft - already backported a pilot by changing the .png texture to .rgb using the GIMP photo editor. Same could be done for aircraft textures.

I intend on creating new aircraft in FG 1.0 and forward porting.
The plan-do-check cylcle is much faster on FG1 and also I do not have to bother about directory permissions since I ma running under WINE.

"Hooray"
I was running FG 2.0 in at one time, however I have problems finding the latest repositories for FG 2.6 and so on for Ubuntu - true, I will have to look around a little and get this working. My machine can run newer versions - HP Pavilion purchased this year. Testing wil ultimately be done in the newest version, however will have to work a to get it set up.

I appreciate the improvements in FG - watched some videos on MS FSX and I can see they are really very realistic, so I would want FG to progress to this level - especially with uncompleted aircraft. The first step is to document the state of aircraft withscreenshots and a review - I am continuing this - in the aircraft Wiki.

The very instant people like you decide for themselves that they stop using/testing later versions, and instead revert back to a 5-year old version, we are also lacking all the testing, and feedback, that would enable to fix certain bugs.


I am all for using later versions, as I explained will attempt to install and get help from forum if there is a problem.

I have never compiled FG.

https://launchpad.net/~saiarcot895/+arc ... flightgear

Will try this, probably have to go to Synaptic instead of Ubuntu Software Centre

Meanwhile, I am reading this interesting set of links listed

"For instance, look at these ongoing efforts, discussed by core developers and other contributors:
"
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Re: Flight Gear Development Process - Freeze an older versio

Postby legoboyvdlp » Mon Sep 28, 2015 3:32 pm

@openflight, while the payware stuff is pretty good (or pretty cr*p, like some), the default FSX is not only expensive (for me, since $1 == 700 BSF) but pretty bad, especially in FDM's and 3D models.

I do love the new A320 currently in development by someone who once worked for PMDG.
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Re: Flight Gear Development Process - Freeze an older versio

Postby openflight » Tue Sep 29, 2015 6:07 am

There is an FSX demo that supposedly runs in WINE. Need some configuration to run.
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