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ATC-pie $rwy selection not so obvious??  Topic is solved

ATC-pie is a radar air traffic control simulation program for the FlightGear multi-player network.

ATC-pie $rwy selection not so obvious??

Postby jaxsin » Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:36 pm

I was wondering why it is when I select a pre-made msg to send with $rwy in it I have that edit box pop-up which essentially tells me I haven't selected a runway. The only way I can seemingly get the $rwy variable to work is by issuing direct instructions from the instruction pain which is not viewable by default. That behavior makes me think I am missing something obvious or this might be another bug. So I thought I'd ask.

thanks again mickey
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Re: ATC-pie $rwy selection not so obvious??

Postby PINTO » Mon Feb 22, 2016 7:02 pm

Have you selected active landing and departure runways via the dialogue box? I haven't had a problem with $rwy before.
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Re: ATC-pie $rwy selection not so obvious??  

Postby mickybadia » Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:30 pm

Thank you for your question there ;-)
No bug here, just perhaps only a small bad choice for defaults, on my behalf, which you will understand.

jaxsin wrote in Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:36 pm:I was wondering why it is when I select a pre-made msg to send with $rwy in it I have that edit box pop-up which essentially tells me I haven't selected a runway.

Have a look at the "quick reference" in the help menu, which will help you understand what ATC-pie with text aliases. Any dollar-prefixed token (like "$rwy") triggers a search for a replacement value, and the pop-up comes only if none was found. The search goes as follows:
1. if the alias is one of the predefined list that you find in the quick ref, the substitution is the one described; if not, it is a custom alias (feel the power?) and we carry on to 2...
2. look for a line of the form "alias=blah blah value with spaces allowed" in the general notes (notepad dock); $alias is substituted with what follows the '='
3. look for such line in the local notepad
4. look for such line in the currently selected strip comments for an aircraft-specific value

This gives you the force to create any alias you would like on all three world (2), airport/centre (3), and radar contact (4) levels. EDIT: you can test all this without spamming the real network by holding the mouse down on the "Msg" button and selecting "check before send"---or whatever it is called exactly :-p

Now you'll notice that $rwy is NOT one of the predefined ones [!! EDIT: This has become incorrect, please read forward in this thread. $rwy was introduced after runway boxes. !!], so it was rather proposed as a custom alias in the default presets, which is where my choice might not have been a perfect one. But you can change all that to suit your needs.

The idea behind my proposition was that people who wanted to assign RWYs and use text for clearances could add a line like "rwy=25L" to the ACFT strip. Or, if there is only one active runway for arrivals, why not write the line on your local notepad and you would have a generic text preset with an alias that would work for all ACFT without having to assign individually. Though in this case $rwyarr can do the job (see below).

PINTO wrote in Mon Feb 22, 2016 7:02 pm:Have you selected active landing and departure runways via the dialogue box? I haven't had a problem with $rwy before.

Allow me to correct: the runway selection dialog has an effect on three aliases, namely $rwyarr, $rwydep and $runways. But not on $rwy, which as I said is not a predefined substitution.

jaxsin wrote in Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:36 pm:The only way I can seemingly get the $rwy variable to work is by issuing direct instructions from the instruction pain

Not sure what you mean, since other than "Expect RWY ...", the instructions should not be filling a runway for you. It will in solo games though, once they know what RWY to expect.

jaxsin wrote in Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:36 pm:which is not viewable by default.

Perhaps not on first run, but ATC-pie normally saves your window state, so if you like the instruction dock and have it visible when you close, it should open again on a subsequent run.
Last edited by mickybadia on Fri Apr 07, 2017 8:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ATC-pie $rwy selection not so obvious??

Postby jaxsin » Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:51 pm

The idea behind my proposition was that people who wanted to assign RWYs and use text for clearances could add a line like "rwy=25L" to the ACFT strip. Or, if there is only one active runway for arrivals, why not write the line on your local notepad and you would have a generic text preset with an alias that would work for all ACFT without having to assign individually


That explains quite a bit.

Not sure what you mean, since other than "Expect RWY ...", the instructions should not be filling a runway for you. It will in solo games though, once they know what RWY to expect.


yes, this was the instruction I was referring to.
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Re: ATC-pie $rwy selection not so obvious??

Postby mickybadia » Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:14 am

I had one of those brilliant ideas. Since we now have runway boxes to drop strips in to manage runway occupation and assignment, why not turn $rwy into a predefined alias for the box of the current strip selection?
This should make text chat easier while encouraging better use of those placeholders.
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Re: ATC-pie $rwy selection not so obvious??

Postby mickybadia » Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:52 am

Done. Will be merged into the next numbered version.
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Re: ATC-pie $rwy selection not so obvious??

Postby GammaDeltaII » Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:20 pm

mickybadia wrote in Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:14 am:I had one of those brilliant ideas. Since we now have runway boxes to drop strips in to manage runway occupation and assignment, why not turn $rwy into a predefined alias for the box of the current strip selection?
This should make text chat easier while encouraging better use of those placeholders.

There is still a small inconvenience, because a runway box can only be occupied by one strip at a time. For a clearance delivery you'd have to put the strip in the runway box for the $rwy alias to work — even though the traffic is not actually using the runway at that moment — but this may not be possible because the runway box may already be occupied by another strip belonging to traffic that actually does use the runway (lining up, taking off, landing). A similar situation arises, for example, when a conditional clearance is given ("line up and wait behind landing traffic") or with multiple line-ups (same runway, at different entries). So, there are some situations in which multiple aircraft are assigned to the same runway at the same time.

Perhaps it would be an idea to allow some sort of stack in the runway box? (And for example highlight the runway in a different colour when traffic is selected that is not number 1 in the runway stack, to show that other traffic is still using the runway.)
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Runway boxes and mouse d&d gestures

Postby mickybadia » Wed May 03, 2017 10:21 pm

Hi there,

Thank you for bringing up the issue. Here are my thoughts.

I am reluctant to allow stacking in runway boxes because their purpose and standard use is to materialise a runway status, not to "assign" a runway to a strip. If you have a departure queue of aircraft ready near a runway threshold or entries, then what you want is in fact a rack, precisely to manage such queues (sequences).

However, I understand (and had thought of) the inconvenience of having no mouse gesture for such "line up and wait behind" clearances. In real life, controllers can perform quick manual strip swaps, pushing one out with another, whereas the current implementation forces to serialise gestures in the reverse order (free box first, then fill again). I will think more about this, but could allow dropping on a non-empty box, with the effect of retaining the strips in place, flagging the dropped one to fill the box immediately it is freed. You would then see it called into the box automatically when moving the boxed one out. This would allow a more natural and quicker two-drag swap: drag the line-up-behind strip, drop on the box and press button again to initiate the drag-out of the landing/departing strip, drop it on its next rack.

In any case this would only apply to one strip, no chain flagging. Again, if what you are doing is sequencing, then rack instead. Good practice is, never consider the runway cleared for two aircraft; do not mind being ahead of things with a roll-off already racked as departed. Handover sooner than later, etc.

Besides, I can rename $rwy --> $rwybox is it is less misleading.
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