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Cross Country Tutorial II - a VFR guide

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Re: Cross Country Tutorial II - a VFR guide

Postby de profundis » Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:42 am

Hello again!

It suprized me to see action in this thread after all this time.
The opening post has been edited and updated and the link to the document is now good.

As we were discussing six years ago, I had done the things I was advised by key people in this community to make the document eligible to be included in the FG ditribution.
Back then, I had sent the Word file and all the images to a person (Hooray I think). These are still available to anyone who would like to improve it.

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Cross Country Tutorial II - a VFR guide all that's VFR and more...!
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Re: Cross Country Tutorial II - a VFR guide

Postby jharris1993 » Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:49 am

Would you please clarify the copyright status of both version 2 and version 3? (Yes, I know, the version 3 has an entire page of GPL text. . .)

These people are afraid that some of the content - certain pictures/illustrations - are not freely distributable.
What say ye?

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Some see things as they are, and ask "Why?"
I dream things that never were, and ask "Why Not".

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Re: Cross Country Tutorial II - a VFR guide

Postby de profundis » Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:20 pm

Hi Jim!
Let's just forget the older versions and stay with the most recent one, 3.0, which is available from the link in the opening post.
The GPL describes the copyleft status of the document. Maybe I could update the license to a better / more recent one but I don't know enough for these. Advice would be welcome.
One could scroll through the images I used and check if there is proper sourcing and attribution.
It would be nice to make this document easier to be found by the members of the FG community. The people involved could request that I provide anything that would help in this direction.
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Re: Cross Country Tutorial II - a VFR guide

Postby Hooray » Thu Jul 02, 2020 2:43 pm

de profundis wrote in Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:42 am:As we were discussing six years ago, I had done the things I was advised by key people in this community to make the document eligible to be included in the FG ditribution.
Back then, I had sent the Word file and all the images to a person (Hooray I think). These are still available to anyone who would like to improve it.


I do remember your tutorial, but I don't remember the details. All I can say with certainty is that it wasn't me, but I believe you did talk to Stuart and/or Gijs back then, who were involved in the manual, I guess a forum search/PM could clarify the situation.

To be honest, it would probably make sense to convert the file to a LaTex file and get it committed to fgdata/docs
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Re: Cross Country Tutorial II - a VFR guide

Postby jharris1993 » Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:08 pm

I was looking at stuff like that awhile back and I discovered two things:

1. Converting anything else to LaTeX is about as easy as negotiating a lasting peace in the middle east.

2. Programming Writing using LaTeX is about as appealing as rewriting all of Windows-10 in raw 64-bit assembly language.

I'm wondering if things have changed in the last five or ten years to make LaTeX less like programming and more appealing as something to write with - especially on non-Linux platforms.

IMHO, since it is already in a non-LaTeX format, I'd leave well enough alone. That is unless someone like yourself, (who is an acknowleged expert in LaTeX), has the considerable time to invest in converting this excellent document into LaTeX without utterly destroying it.

Which asks my original question from ten-or-so years ago: Why does EVERYTHING have to be in LaTeX?

If someone else is proficient in a different writing tool, and is willing to invest the considerable amount of time that someone like deProfundis did in creating this EXCELLENT doccument, why force them to bend over backwards to learn a totally different tool?

We are not in Palestine or the Ukraine. Different tools and methods should be able to coexist peacefully here - especially if they contribute as much to people's enjoyment as this document has.
What say ye?

Jim (JR)

Some see things as they are, and ask "Why?"
I dream things that never were, and ask "Why Not".

Robert F. Kennedy

“Impossible” is only found in the dictionary of a fool.
Old Chinese Proverb
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Re: Cross Country Tutorial II - a VFR guide

Postby chris_blues » Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:26 pm

I suspect it has to do with the graphical frontends producing bloated source code. I mean Word produces a special XML format, which would be easily trackable by git or sth like that. But being a web-developer, I would compare that with writing HTML by hand and let Magicx (or any other HTML generator) generate it for me. The difference is the exact same content and style in the browser, but the generated HTML is about 10 times bigger than my handwritten HTML. I think, that might give you an idea, why WYSIWYG isn't a very proficient way of producing code. It might be faster to get your goals accomplished, but it's very ugly in most cases...

If you have seen some XML files before, than I would recommend you open a docx file in a text editor and see for yourself... The bloat to content ratio is terrible. Without really knowing, I would guess, that LaTex is much more efficient in that respect.

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Re: Cross Country Tutorial II - a VFR guide

Postby Hooray » Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:48 pm

I don't disagree, but I believe you can copy/paste a word document into a LaTex editor like Lyx and it will not look like gibberish. I don't remember the details, but I think there is the equivalent of a clipboard that retains formatting so that the LaTex editor can transparently it directly.

We wrote the "Nasal-internals.pdf" using a really tiny subset of LaTex only: https://sourceforge.net/p/flightgear/fg ... al-doc.tex

The final output can be seen here: https://sourceforge.net/p/flightgear/fg ... force=True

I think the main point is that LaTex is "future safe", i.e. it's a "timeless" way to ensure that a document can be easily updated, without requiring any particular software, and it can be easily managed via the source code management system, and could also be added to the build server to be automatically updated/included in future releases.


I do however agree that manually porting the Word file would be tedious, and that an automated machine translation would create a ton of gibberish.

My suggestion would be to export the Word file as XML or plain text and then get that committed, so that it can be incrementally converted, e.g. by including it in a tex file - which is another strategy we use elsewhere: https://sourceforge.net/p/flightgear/fg ... le_docs.py
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Re: Cross Country Tutorial II - a VFR guide

Postby jharris1993 » Thu Jul 02, 2020 5:47 pm

Sounds like a plan.

However, can we "agree to disagree" ( :wink: ) and keep the (gasp!) non-LaTeX file until the "tedious conversion" is complete?

<My two kopeks>
I enjoy writing. I like writing a LOT.

What I don't like is having to arm-wrestle my writing tools to make them do what I want. I really don't like Word, (or the various Word clones), because they produce bloated code and are damn-near impossible to make work the way I want it to.

I started with Word-Star, (and all the in-line "k" codes), graduating to Word Perfect. Since it uses in-line formatting instead of block-level formatting like Word does, it is possible to achieve a granularity of formatting styles that Word cannot touch.

Since it is very granular, I can concentrate on writing, applying the formatting as I go, and since it is a WYSIWYG editor, I don't go writing for three hours before I discover a formatting mistake that's almost impossible to untangle down the line.

Like my trying to abandon Quicken for GnuCash when Quicken pegged the "anal" meter, GnuCash was way too chewey for my needs, and the data conversion effort would have been monumental.

I ended up with another non-free application, (Money Dance), that was a more seemless transition and wouldn't require me to manually re-enter years and years of data.

In my specific case, I tried LaTeX years ago and found it way too chewey for my taste.

Yes, it's a great tool, but I am at a time in my life where I really don't want to have to re-learn all my fundamental tools all over again. I'd rather spend time with my GoPiGo robot, playing with the granddaughters and their giggle-bots, or messing with flight simulators.

If I could find a tool that would allow me to either write in Word Perfect and convert, or a decent WYSIWYG LaTeX front end that wou work in Windows, I'd love to try it.

But that's me.
</My two kopeks>
What say ye?

Jim (JR)

Some see things as they are, and ask "Why?"
I dream things that never were, and ask "Why Not".

Robert F. Kennedy

“Impossible” is only found in the dictionary of a fool.
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Re: Cross Country Tutorial II - a VFR guide

Postby Hooray » Fri Jul 03, 2020 4:17 pm

honestly, it'd be best to simply export each chapter as a plain text file and then use that as the basis for a Latex version - that way, we could even run FG procedurally via tex to update screen shots as needed, i.e. on the build server - using the equivalent of "make docs", which would then load a certain fgfsrc profile, location/airport and aircraft/environment, take a screen shot and insert that into the tex document.
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Re: Cross Country Tutorial II - a VFR guide

Postby jharris1993 » Fri Jul 03, 2020 4:34 pm

How would you get the embedded pictures/text to associate and flow correctly?

Every time you make a change, the page will need to be re-flowed and, (possibly), re-formatted.
What say ye?

Jim (JR)

Some see things as they are, and ask "Why?"
I dream things that never were, and ask "Why Not".

Robert F. Kennedy

“Impossible” is only found in the dictionary of a fool.
Old Chinese Proverb
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Re: Cross Country Tutorial II - a VFR guide

Postby Hooray » Fri Jul 03, 2020 4:58 pm

Welcome to the world of LaTex ;-)
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: Cross Country Tutorial II - a VFR guide

Postby jharris1993 » Sat Jul 04, 2020 7:18 pm

Hooray wrote in Fri Jul 03, 2020 4:58 pm:Welcome to the world of LaTex ;-)


Actually, welcome to the world of document maintenance with any tool. :wink:

You were talking about maintaining the document with an automated build process - and I was curious how you were going to do that without it turning into a pile of Gagh every time you ran an update. . . .
What say ye?

Jim (JR)

Some see things as they are, and ask "Why?"
I dream things that never were, and ask "Why Not".

Robert F. Kennedy

“Impossible” is only found in the dictionary of a fool.
Old Chinese Proverb
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Re: Cross Country Tutorial II - a VFR guide

Postby de profundis » Tue Jul 07, 2020 7:07 am

Hello again,

The word file and the image files are available if you need them.
I checked my PMs. Back then I had sent them to Hooray and Stuart.

If you need anything else, please let me know.
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Re: Cross Country Tutorial II - a VFR guide

Postby openflight » Tue Jul 14, 2020 12:58 am

All

Thanks for the updates of the links!

So it is: all 164 MB of it, on my natively installed Flight Gear 2018 version ( I always run with two versions old and new)

Apparently VFR flying has not been affected by the version change :)
Last edited by openflight on Tue Jul 14, 2020 1:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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