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FlightGear Development Push

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Re: FlightGear Development Push

Postby Thorsten » Thu Nov 26, 2015 5:37 pm

Then again, you will also see that long-timers expressed very much the same concerns over time, just more politely.


That's unfortunately a rather selective view. You will also be able to see the opinion that introducing Nasal was bad for the project from long timers. That the way the effect system is implemented made FG go downhill. And a nice mixture of other concerns.

I'm sorry, but I just don't see it.

You go on about the same three cases which weren't merged - the sports thing (whatever this was, it predates my time), the radio propagation and OSGEarth.

The last two I witnessed - and there's common themes to them:

* substantial patches arrive without warning
* the patches do get discussed and reviewed - and are ultimately rejected with technical reasons stated
* the authors of the patches drop it at this point

As indicated before in this thread, there's an inherent danger in not testing the waters and doing half a year or more of work without discussing with anyone. Maybe that has something to do with the problem.

In contrast, canvas (the example you yourself cite) did make it in and gave someone new commit rights. So it's not that the procedure never works - sometimes patches go through, sometimes not. Sometimes people are more persistent, sometimes they drop it after the first 'no'.

Whether this is a huge problem depends on what you consider important. If you consider Nasal as such a huge problem, I guess you'll have no trouble finding people who think giving me commit rights to FGData was a mistake. If you believe in deferred rendering, you'll find people who think ALS derailed the future of the FG project.

So at the end of the day, the crisis really is that FG didn't develop the way you (someone else,...) preferred. But we could tell the crisis story completely differently - I'm guessing it could also be told (=I'm pretty certain it is told) in a way that too many people got commit rights already, thus muddling with a clear and straightforward vision how the optimal FG code should be and so ruining the sim.

At the end of the day, it's your impression that encouraging OSGEarth & Co would have been vital for the future and losing them by asking for technical changes was a fatal mistake vs. the impression that the way these patches were structured would have been bad for the project.

At the end of the day, it's your impression that attracting developers is more important than looking at how potential developers interact with the rest of the project - and suddenly presenting a huge patch isn't perhaps the best interaction.

At the end of the day, it's your opinion that the people being reviewed are superiorly skilled in comparison to their reviewers.

I think that what Curt objects to - you're entitled to your impression of what is important, but you're cherry-picking quotes and incidents to give the impression that this would be a widely shared view and you're just the only one who talks about it. And that I don't believe it is. The sentiments you quote have been expressed by some - but I've also seen plenty of the exact opposite. I've also had my exchanges with some of the patch authors you mention, and at least in one case I did not get the impression that I am talking to someone who even tries to be a team player.

So there's that.
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Re: FlightGear Development Push

Postby bugman » Thu Nov 26, 2015 6:28 pm

Lydiot wrote in Thu Nov 26, 2015 5:22 pm:
bugman wrote in Thu Nov 26, 2015 4:16 pm:Secondly, I disagree that opening the flood gates to the official repositories and granting anyone and everyone access without first performing any pre-screening is a good idea.


Just curious, but who made the above suggestion? I read Hooray's novel-length post while pooping, and I didn't see him propose that. Don't recall seeing that elsewhere in the thread either...


This is a long running argument that Hooray has been making. For example the suggestion of voting for granting access to new developers. I.e. that the current system of people proving themselves before being granted commit access is broken. But this is how open source projects work. And that we need to change the system to allow someone with a large feature developed outside of the project to be able to push it directly into the code repositories against the wishes of the core developers and without review to see if it breaks other parts.

Hooray wrote in Thu Nov 26, 2015 4:54 pm:As can be seen by the handful of "topic branches" discussed in the scope of this thread, we are seeing an increasing number of "topic branches" that -realistically- will never get merged back into FlightGear, at which point this is highly unfortunate for the FlightGear project, but also all the people who spent hundreds of hours modifying FlightGear source code.


If the developer is not willing to take constructive criticism and improve their contribution to make it fit and play well with the rest of the FlightGear system, why should that feature be accepted?

Thorsten wrote in Thu Nov 26, 2015 5:37 pm:At the end of the day, it's your impression that encouraging OSGEarth & Co would have been vital for the future and losing them by asking for technical changes was a fatal mistake vs. the impression that the way these patches were structured would have been bad for the project.


Note that, as I mentioned earlier, Jeff is still working on osgEarth integration so this is can be taken off the list of 3 "topic branches".

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Re: FlightGear Development Push

Postby Hooray » Thu Nov 26, 2015 6:58 pm

bugman, I am increasingly enjoying how I am being treated like a rookie, but would greatly appreciate if you could at least try to get /some/ of your facts straight, especially when claiming that I have stated something elsewhere (feel free to post the corresponding quotes, if you can find them).

In the context of core developer nominations/polls, I stated specifically that it would make sense to formalize the underlying process, by making that part of the release plan and/or the weekly/montly Google Hangouts - and the corresponding polls would obviously still be conducted among active core developers, not outsiders or forum users.

The sole idea was to formalize and establish this as a process, to ensure that all the inertia the FlightGear project is facing, can be dealt with. Just like the release plan has helped to streamline things that were otherwise only dealt with sporadically.

Regarding osgEarth, I appreciate your enthusiasm, but like I told you previously -in private- you could check your facts easily by getting in touch with poweroftwo, instead of referring to postings that were indeed triggered by your's truly (Curt may in fact remember, that I specifically asked him to raise this on the devel list, long before this thread took shape).

Overall, I guess most people appreciate what you are trying to do here, but for someone who's allegedly by "monitoring the project since its inception", I would hope that we could try to get our facts straight or we are really just adding to the amusement of others by belittling our involvement and telling each other "how open source works".

Thorsten was at least so fair to say clearly if something predates his own involvement, you seem to be rather blunt about just defending the status quo, without looking at the surrounding context.

Note, like I said, I have done that myself, but we are doing a disservice to the project by just coming up with the knee-jerk reaction that simply is no problem at all, and it all boils down to having read 2 books, and applying what we read - especially because this is one of the most common themes that can be found in the devel list archives, and it seems to come up whenever "project management" and "funding" is involved.

Anyway, thank you for trying to protect the FlightGear project :mrgreen:
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Re: FlightGear Development Push

Postby curt » Thu Nov 26, 2015 7:11 pm

Speaking of Boeing and Honeywell ... Tony worked for Boeing at the time he contributed substantially to JSBSim, Jon worked for NASA during the same period. I'm not aware of anyone at Honeywell using FlightGear or offering changes back to the project. I met with a Honeywell person just this week on a different subject. I currently work with a former Boeing employee and a former NASA person. I am am also involved with a project that includes former Lockheed Martin employees. I used to work with a small flight sim company and a huge volume of my efforts from those projects rolled back into FlightGear.

Hooray, you are working too hard to create and expand and reinforce your specific story line. Somehow you have appointed yourself to be the voice of FlightGear, the reigning expert, the guider and director, the first responder to all policy questions that are posted on the forum, and it seems like much of your frustration comes from the fact that the cats aren't staying in a tight herd like you hope and expect, or the cats are simply refusing to move in the direction you think is best. A gap between expectations and reality always leads to frustration, so I can understand that you are frustrated.

I have never seen you disclose the specifics of your commercial interest in FlightGear. (I could have easily missed it because I don't read the forum word for word.) Can I ask what company you work for? What way are you using FlightGear. Can you describe your project? Are there others that have been on the forum or mailing list (now or previously) that are part of the same company? What are the specific commercial needs/goals as far as your FlightGear usage is concerned? I feel like you are frustrated that FlightGear is not suiting your needs, but you also seem to carefully avoid saying anything specific about what you are working on. That creates a situation that very likely leaves us arguing two different things.

On the subject of osgearth (since that seems to be the one example we can grab onto here.) I did raise the subject on the devel list after the patches had languished for a while, and that is when Jeff wrote back that the ball was in his court and he was working on fixing and updating things. As far as I know, Jeff has not completed his updates and resubmitted patches. You have created an issue and built an entire negative world view around something that is just going through the natural process of people working on things. At best, your perpetual citing of this situation as evidence of your negative world view, just sours everyone. At worst, you are misinforming everyone on the mailing list, mis-characterizing people's efforts and points of view. That hardly seems like a constructive contribution to the FlightGear project. It just seems like you have a personal agenda or a personal ax to grind and you are taking it out on people here ... which confuses me as to why a person would invest so much of their personal time into something, and use most of that effort to just paint the project as hopeless and dissuade others from contributing or being involved.
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Re: FlightGear Development Push

Postby Hooray » Thu Nov 26, 2015 7:20 pm

like I said to bugman when asked, the company names I came up with were hypothetical, so you not being aware of any of those companies working with/without FlightGear is not addressing the challenge FlightGear is facing, i.e. major contributions not making it back into the project.

(In fact, you yourself already announced on the devel list, that the MKVIII/GPWS code would not make it for pretty much the reasons I stated)

FlightGear is licensed under the GPL, one of the most beneficial licenses there is when it comes to open source, yet, the number of contributions making it back into the project is surprisingly low.

We can debate this all day long, but there is more than just the 3 "forks" we have been talking about in the scope of this discussion.

So there is no "story line" at all. Either we care about the GPL and use it to benefit the project, or we don't care.
Personally, I am not the slightest bit affected by FlightGear having support for osgEarth/radio propagation or the sports-model stuff.
I can use git, and I can rebase patches, if needed, also with manual intervention.

So there is no reason for me to be frustrated, because none of the code that people put up for review, was written by myself.

But all this was triggered specifically by the question if FlightGear development would benefit would "funding", I came up with a number of examples of why I think that this is not the case.

Subsequently, people disagreed on tons of things, but nobody really disagreed on my fundamental statement.

I don't know if any of you are interested in doing FlightGear related development professionally, in a sponsored fashion. But if that's the case, you should work out how to make that happen.

I volunteer to split this thread and move all forking related postings to separate thread.

Otherwise, I take it that, people are -as usual- more interested in disagreeing than finding common ground.
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Re: FlightGear Development Push

Postby Torsten » Thu Nov 26, 2015 9:09 pm

So, we are looking for somebody hacking flightgear for money?

We probably want somebody who
- is an expert with at least C++, real time simulation, OpenGL, OSG, CMake
- knowledge of HLA/RTI is a huge plus, Qt probably and Jenkins, too. Cross platform development a must.
- some insight into flight dynamics might be a good thing to have

Timeframe (for a complete flightgear newbee): probably one year
- probably three month to get started and become a flightgear expert
- probably 9 month to implement "something useful", "a major feature" (whatever that may be and who decides this)

If we pay peanuts, we get monkeys. So lets compete with the 25 best paying companies for software engineers
This list starts at approx. 92.000$ and goes all the way up to more than 128.000$. And that is just one year.

Does anybody seriously think "we" can raise that amount of money?
And if the answer is yes, can we start with a funding the operation of the new home for scenemodels, terrasync and the scenery generation tools (approx 3.000$/year), please?

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Re: FlightGear Development Push

Postby legoboyvdlp » Thu Nov 26, 2015 9:33 pm

Dear Torsten, I cannot support the last, $3000 funding with my money, since all my money is in a special bank account, but I will support it with avertising..... I'll make sure to let everyone I virtually know about it.
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Re: FlightGear Development Push

Postby Hooray » Thu Nov 26, 2015 9:40 pm

Torsten wrote in Thu Nov 26, 2015 9:09 pm:Does anybody seriously think "we" can raise that amount of money?
And if the answer is yes, can we start with a funding the operation of the new home for scenemodels, terrasync and the scenery generation tools (approx 3.000$/year), please?


For a change, I do agree.

Personally, I do not believe that $250 US/monthly is something that should be paid by the project or any of its volunteers (it would even be bad to allocate Google AdSense revenue accordingly). We only need to look at the permanent outages that the forum/wiki are seeing, which is why it is not a good idea to add even more self-maintained infrastructure or the corresponding workload resulting from that.

Which is why I suggested previously, to write down all the required server specs (horsepower, bandwidth, traffic) and come up with a peer-reviewed "enquiry" on the wiki/website that people can independently forward to different hosting companies that are known to support open source projects.

And then nominate a "spokesperson" that companies can get in touch with.

In the mid term, it would be good to come up with a CDN-like system where different companies may host mirrors of the system (think rsync), so that there's always sufficient redundancy to deal with outage/downtime or with companies having to discontinue their support of FlightGear.

In the meantime, raising $3k would not seem that far-fetched if done with sufficient promotion (newsletter, changelog, interviews, website, youtube videos etc) - in fact, if people really wanted to try crowd-funding, that may be a good start/try: try to raise $3k, and see by how much the goal is exceeded (or not). I guess, that $5k-$10k would be possible to raise within 6-8 weeks, by creating the corresponding videos/presentations.

PS: You forgot to mention SCM/git skills ... which would be more important than being necessarily familiar with specifics like flight dynamics, because FDMs are well-encapsulated in FG.
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Re: FlightGear Development Push

Postby legoboyvdlp » Thu Nov 26, 2015 11:53 pm

Okay, dles his sound like a plan of action?
1. Start a 60 day Kickstarter or other crowdfunding site
2. Publicize it on Facebook, the webpage, the wiki, twitter, the forums, send an email to every user on the forums (you can do that from the admin CP, right?), official youtube
3. Ask people to furher advertise.
4. Make rewards (like a full dvd of scenery for $50 donated)
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Re: FlightGear Development Push

Postby Thorsten » Fri Nov 27, 2015 7:15 am

We can debate this all day long, but there is more than just the 3 "forks" we have been talking about in the scope of this discussion.


Yeah, but you realize that there's a problem with this?

There's extra information beyond what we read in the mailing list, but we need to contact poweroftwo to get it. There's more cases than just these three forks, but we don't learn what they are. There's many people who are frustrated potential core developers who walk away, but we don't know who they are.

That's no way to run a project and no basis for making decisions.

If someone has a case to make, that case should be made in public. if someone thinks the procedure to get a patch in is broken, he should say so in public and state his reasons. So that things can be discussed. It's nice if some people talk only with some other people, and it sure provides some amount of inside information - but that's not actionable information. As far as my decisionmaking process is concerned, whatever poweroftwo might or might not have said to you in private is irrelevant - what I consider is what he has said in public and what he might have said to me. And there the status is as Edward has said - officially he acknowledged the ball is in his court, I've never seen a public statement to contradict that, end of story. If he told you a different story, it just leaves the question why.

if something is up for discussion, and someone talks to you rather than making his case in the discussion, and the discussion goes bad for that person, it's his problem, plain and simple. I know everyone is fond of invoking the silent majority on his side, but that's the problem with it - it's silent. When a roadmap is up for discussion, and people choose not to express their opinion and rather write PMs to you, that's a problem, but it's not FGs problem.
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Re: FlightGear Development Push

Postby Buckaroo » Fri Nov 27, 2015 10:04 pm

curt wrote in Thu Nov 26, 2015 7:11 pm:Hooray, you are working too hard to create and expand and reinforce your specific story line. Somehow you have appointed yourself to be the voice of FlightGear, the reigning expert, the guider and director, the first responder to all policy questions that are posted on the forum, and it seems like much of your frustration comes from the fact that the cats aren't staying in a tight herd like you hope and expect, or the cats are simply refusing to move in the direction you think is best. A gap between expectations and reality always leads to frustration, so I can understand that you are frustrated.

I have never seen you disclose the specifics of your commercial interest in FlightGear. (I could have easily missed it because I don't read the forum word for word.) Can I ask what company you work for? What way are you using FlightGear. Can you describe your project? Are there others that have been on the forum or mailing list (now or previously) that are part of the same company? What are the specific commercial needs/goals as far as your FlightGear usage is concerned? I feel like you are frustrated that FlightGear is not suiting your needs, but you also seem to carefully avoid saying anything specific about what you are working on. That creates a situation that very likely leaves us arguing two different things.



Hooray,

You have some 8000+ posts here, many of them very long. You have been a moderator. You have a signature line that reads as if you are a go-to contact for Nasal, Core development, and Programming resources. You often remark at great length on the state of Flightgear development. And yet you are essentially anonymous.

Most people deeply involved with Flightgear have shown elements of their personal background, interests, or affiliations. We often see faces, names, activities, work, homelands, schools or other affiliations. This is part of what makes a community, what establishes connections between people, and what creates trust.

I don't think you clearly see how this affects your arguments. Personal sharing is certainly not required for participation, yet most people do not participate on the level that you attempt. As Curt wrote, you work very hard to make yourself the de facto voice of Flightgear, and that can be worrisome since this forum and the wiki are often a newcomer's window to the community. An idea does not need a face, but you are asking people with long association and many contributions to this project to give considerable weight to the opinion of someone whose motivations and background are largely unknown. Frankly I think many have been very accomodating, considering.

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Re: FlightGear Development Push

Postby Thorsten » Wed Dec 02, 2015 7:35 am

Okay, dles his sound like a plan of action?


I think trying to come up with 3k/year for infrastructure costs would be a good goal. It will help FG immediately, and it'll serve as a test case - if it's hard to come up with that kind of money, then funding development salaries will be impossible anyway. If this turns out to be easy... well, worth further discussion perhaps.

Is the opinion of a c++ programmer worth more than that of say a web developer


On what to add to the core? Yes.
On whether a system should be written in Nasal or not? Perhaps.
On how to do web interfaces? No.

See, it's about expertise in the area where certain work gets done. While a C++ programmer can readily read GLSL because they're syntactically similar, it doesn't mean he understands why Shaders are written the way they are. I've had someone read through ALS and comment that this is so ugly code, much better done with classes and inheritance. Well - no - it's GLSL, it doesn't work that way - and it's performance-critical code, so if ugly gets it 10% faster I'll do ugly. You need to have worked with it to form an opinion of what is reasonable to do. And even then... So even if a web developer can read through my GLSL code, I don't think he can form a meaningful opinion on what direction development should take without rendering experience.

Conversely, I would never (and do never) voice an opinion what to do with the MP protocol, as this is outside my area of expertise. Even being able to read through the code.

I think that the ugly head is no more and no less that the people who do C++ work and have demonstrated their expertise make decisions on what C++ work is done.

Or maybe I didn't understand the point.
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Re: FlightGear Development Push

Postby wlbragg » Wed Dec 02, 2015 8:43 am

I don't know if this is even feasible but has there ever been any thought to using or implementing some kind of torrent or peer to peer system to distribute FG scenery, models, etc? Potentially even built into the FG source?
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Re: FlightGear Development Push

Postby Thorsten » Wed Dec 02, 2015 9:01 am

I suspect there are torrents for distributing FG (possibly also scenery). A raw storage space/bandwidth problem could be solved. As far as I got the problem, the issue is that the relevant server needs to run a rather special GIS database software - which most of us, including most of the SF/GitXXX sites don't offer.
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Re: FlightGear Development Push

Postby Hooray » Thu Dec 03, 2015 1:44 pm

at some point, we did have volunteers who would take release binaries and package them up as torrents, including the whole fgdata git snapshot - but non of that has recently been updated as far as I can tell.

For some background, see this devel list discussion (scenery related): http://sourceforge.net/p/flightgear/mai ... /25451692/
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