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What's the best way I can contribute to FlightGear?

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What's the best way I can contribute to FlightGear?

Postby MasteroftheSKIES » Sun Oct 19, 2014 11:30 am

At this point, what is the best way (not too hard, yet still very helpful towards the community) to contribute to the FlightGear project? If you can come up with one, can you also show me some resources to start? I'm not really familiar with the back-end system of FG. Thanks. I'd be very happy to contribute.
I would use FSX but I use FlightGear because it's a project with goals.

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Re: What's the best way I can contribute to FlightGear?

Postby elgaton » Sun Oct 19, 2014 1:35 pm

It depends on your area of expertise/the one you want to contribute to.

First, you should have a look at the Portal:Developer Wiki page, there are a number of preliminary resources in the right column (i.e. the "Getting Started" and "General" sections). After that, you may choose one or more of these areas:
  • aircraft modeling - you can either model new planes, or (even better since you're beginning to contribute and there are many aircraft in need of an overhaul) improve existing ones. You'll need to have good 3D modeling skills (with AC3D/Blender) and/or programming/scripting skills (FG uses a scripting language called Nasal, there are some tutorials on the FG wiki, so good scripting skills are the only prerequisite);
  • scenery/airport modeling - in my opinion, this is the easiest area. Apart from setting up TerraGear (the scenery generator) for the first time, improving an existing airport is very easy: you use WorldEditor to model it visually, using OpenStreetMap imagery as a guide (there's even a script that converts OSM data to a WorldEditor apt.dat file, though I prefer manual modeling as the result is more satisfying), then run it through TerraGear to generate the new scenery. It's also rewarding as automatically generated airports look quite "raw" in comparison to the manually modeled versions;
  • core development - you must know C++ quite well for that. The Developer portal has a list of currently active subprojects and feature requests;
  • other FlightGear-related projects (e.g. OpenRadar).
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Re: What's the best way I can contribute to FlightGear?

Postby Hooray » Sun Oct 19, 2014 3:30 pm

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: What's the best way I can contribute to FlightGear?

Postby Johan G » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:57 pm

In addition to improving airports by editing the layouts, many airports can be improved by adding objects with the UFO. In difficulty level this is to editing the layouts what creating liveries are to making an aircraft. :wink:

Apart from these more direct ways to contribute, do not forget the indirect ways, like being around the forum or IRC trying to find users with problems you can help or improving the help for beginners. I am pleased to see that you already have a wiki account (and a few edits). :D
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Re: What's the best way I can contribute to FlightGear?

Postby Hooray » Tue Oct 21, 2014 8:54 am

there's really no "best way" unfortunately - it depends too much on individual factors like, spare time, interests, previous experience, professional/educational background and so on. Overall, you could probably put anybody to good use, regardless of their background - it really depends primarily on time and interests/motivation - there are countless ways for getting involved without having to do any fancy coding, and without having to be a scenery/aircraft developer.
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: What's the best way I can contribute to FlightGear?

Postby onox » Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:37 am

Johan G wrote in Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:57 pm:In addition to improving airports by editing the layouts, many airports can be improved


Improving airports would be nice yes, especially taxi signs that are wrongly positioned (in the middle on a taxiway) and the lack of nice lighting. Perhaps you could start with trying to add the Rembrandt lights of the custom LOWI scenery (it should look like this http://wiki.flightgear.org/File:LOWI_wi ... lights.jpg) to other major airports. Basically all airports in FlightGear are pitch dark with zero background (glow, polution) lighting, so I always fly with time at noon.
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Re: What's the best way I can contribute to FlightGear?

Postby MasteroftheSKIES » Tue Oct 21, 2014 11:21 am

I'd be glad to help. Do you have any,resources to start? I really don't know anything about,anything
I would use FSX but I use FlightGear because it's a project with goals.

Windows 7; Processor: 8 core 4 GHz; 8GB RAM; Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 (a pretty good graphics card if you're wondering)
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Re: What's the best way I can contribute to FlightGear?

Postby onox » Tue Oct 21, 2014 12:22 pm

I don't know anything about 3D modelling, but I found this:

http://wiki.flightgear.org/Howto:Make_an_airport
http://wiki.flightgear.org/Howto:Add_de ... ur_airport
http://scenemodels.flightgear.org/

Try to install WorldEditor and play with it. Use the UFO to place objects. Perhaps you could try to replace the tower of TNCS (Saba, a very small airport) with one that looks more like the one in real life. Try to place some cars. (You can get them from the 3rd link. EDDM has some cars as well IIRC) Perhaps extend the runway a little like you can see on youtube or google maps. Fix the terrain near rwy 12 if that's possible (I really don't know how).

Maybe the best thing is to just PM some 3D modellers on the forum and ask them how to do something :)
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Re: What's the best way I can contribute to FlightGear?

Postby Hooray » Tue Oct 21, 2014 3:23 pm

Another helpful way for getting involved would be helping us update the wiki according to what people discuss on the forum - for instance, see this discussion: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=24366

This could be easily summarized, and the corresponding wiki article updated: http://wiki.flightgear.org/Hardware_Recommendations
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: What's the best way I can contribute to FlightGear?

Postby MasteroftheSKIES » Tue Oct 21, 2014 8:00 pm

Hooray, that'll be updated by tonight! :)
I would use FSX but I use FlightGear because it's a project with goals.

Windows 7; Processor: 8 core 4 GHz; 8GB RAM; Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 (a pretty good graphics card if you're wondering)
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Re: What's the best way I can contribute to FlightGear?

Postby Hooray » Tue Oct 21, 2014 8:30 pm

sounds like a plan - besides, you should be able to find a number of other good threads, look for responses made by hvengel who tends to write postings in way such that they can be directly copied over to the wiki: search.php?st=0&sk=t&sd=d&sr=posts&keywords=recommendations+hardware

For instance, see: viewtopic.php?f=24&t=21559&
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
Help write next month's newsletter !
pui2canvas | MapStructure | Canvas Development | Programming resources
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