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ATC client for Flightgear

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ATC client for Flightgear

Postby pepribal » Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:13 am

Hi all,

I would be interested in either taking the role of mantaining OpenRadar, or creating a new radar client in C++ (I've never used Java) for FG multiplayer servers.

Any one could help?

Thx.
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Re: ATC client for Flightgear

Postby Hooray » Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:16 pm

A couple of months ago, we started writing down all ideas and plans - you may want to have a look: http://wiki.flightgear.org/index.php/St ... evelopment
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: ATC client for Flightgear

Postby pepribal » Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:42 pm

Nice!

Is there a way that I can jump in the project? Is there an active development already? Is there any chat/forum/mail list discussion besides the wiki page?

I would really like to help out.
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Re: ATC client for Flightgear

Postby Hooray » Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:08 pm

depends on your area of interest and your expertise. If you are mostly interested in Java programming, OpenRADAR is probably a pretty good pointer.
On the other hand, the discussion from September was mostly focused on reusing atlas and customizing it to make it usable as a virtual ATC client.
We have exchanged quite a number of messages and ideas offsite. This included a handful of people.

So it's really a matter of what you are interested in working on. For the time being, the wiki is a good starting point.
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: ATC client for Flightgear

Postby pepribal » Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:32 am

I would like to take part in the active development of a radar client. I was a member of the software development team of the IVAO network, and at that time I started building a client application (with C++, wxWidgets, and the IVAO connection library) that read/wrote data between the Flightgear instance and the IVAO servers, using their proprietary protocol (library). The idea was to have FG into the approved IVAO simulators.

Unfortunately, I stopped having spare time for professional reasons.

Now I have that time again, and I'd rather not continue with that old project, as I think it's way better to develop a radar client specific to FG, and free software, so we don't have to stick to the rules of a proprietary network like IVAO or VATSIM. I also think that this is more efficient and convenient. This will pose the need to change the MP protocol itself, but as we are in the free software world, it can be done.

I have been using for years the (excellent) radar client that IVAO guys developed (IvAc), and I have my ideas about how a radar client should work.

I also thought about starting a new client in C++, perhaps reusing code from OpenRadar (which I don't know).

Well, if you wish to get me in, I'll be glad to give a hand.

Cheers,

Pep.
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Re: ATC client for Flightgear

Postby Hooray » Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:14 pm

There are really many people interested in this aspect of FlightGear.
Unfortunately, pretty much every single person has a different vision and different ideas on how to improve FlightGear's virtual ATC support.
The wiki page I pointed you to, is an attempt to streamline the whole process.
Besides, some people who kicked this off a couple of weeks ago, now also have to deal with real life obligations.

All people interested in this also have different areas of expertise and different interests. While that is generally a good thing, it also makes the whole thing challenging.
The programmers interested in this have had discussions on different programming languages, GUI toolkits, feature sets and lots of other things.
So there are definitely many ideas, possibly even too many ...

If you are interested in these, I would be glad to forward these to you.

So far, the general consensus has been that it would be easiest to customize the atlas moving map tool, by making it more configurable: http://wiki.flightgear.org/index.php/Atlas
http://sourceforge.net/projects/atlas/

Image

This is because atlas is already implemented in C++, and because it is already a fairly established and mature code base.
Atlas uses internally PLIB's PUI library (as FlightGear does), but there are plans to replace it eventually with FLTK.

The idea is to extend an existing program, rather than creating something completely from scratch.

Brian, the atlas lead developer is also registered here on the forums (bjschack) and Brian has been very supportive of the whole idea.
We have sketched out specific steps on making atlas usable as a virtual ATC client. The initial work will be mostly focused on making some UI elements optional, and adding a handful of others.

So in the beginning, some of the hard-coded defaults, would need to become more configurable - e.g. by using configuration files instead of "magic numbers"


One major milestone would obviously be adding multiplayer support to atlas eventually. Brian mentioned already this would be on the roadmap for atlas.


If you are not yet familiar with atlas, my suggestion would be to download it and see for yourself how it is working, and maybe how it could be changed to become a radar client.
The wiki lists already some things that we discussed, see specifically: http://wiki.flightgear.org/index.php/St ... ATC_client

As you will probably see then, all the hard stuff is already taken care of in atlas (e.g. map projections, rendering and such).

So it really depends on whether you share the impression that atlas could be used here as the underlying platform, instead of coming up with something completely new.

Drop me a message if you are interested in further details.
Also, if you should be interested in getting involved, it would obviously be a good idea to download the atlas source code and set up your build environment to be able to build atlas from source.

We have a dedicated atlas sub forum here: viewforum.php?f=31
But there is also the official atlas mailing list: http://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/foru ... tlas-devel
You can browse the source tree on line: http://atlas.cvs.sourceforge.net/atlas/
For windows build instructions, some help is available at: http://geoffair.net/fg/fgfs-049.htm

Obviously, it would only make sense to pursue this idea if you manage to build atlas from source... ;-)
On the other hand, OpenRADAR would apparently not need many additions to be directly usable "as is", a competent C++ programmer should have no problem dealing with the Java source code and taking up maintainership. There are a number of FG related projects that are Java based, and there is also lots of code that could thus be borrowed from other projects.

So it really boils down to how you would prefer to spend your time :-)
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: ATC client for Flightgear

Postby pepribal » Tue Nov 30, 2010 6:45 pm

Hi, Hooray, I've just sent you a PM.

Regards.
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Re: ATC client for Flightgear

Postby Avionyx » Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:35 am

Pepribral,

You have a PM, re the ATC Client's.

Alex
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