This whole week I have been busy with my ‘real’ job, and I have not been able to do as much work as I was hoping.
Even this Easter weekend, (a bank holiday on Friday an Monday for us), I was not really able to do much. The wife and I went to visit some friends about a 100 miles from our home, (a good 4 hours round trip at least).
And to make matters worse I also had to do some DIY work around the house, (the shower will never be the same!, I should really stick to programming).
But here I am now, trying to get back to work and finish the map work I have been putting off for far too long.
I have finally started working on the map issue we have been having. The problem is that the map is perfect when it comes to looking far away but it is blurry, (at best when looking at it up close)
In courseplanner version 3 the map was actually a set of points of the world that was drawn. The result was a far from picture perfect image but it worked rather well when zooming in really close, (about as close as an airport for example).
So I am going to re-add the outlining and try to ‘marry’ the NASA photo realistic image with the outline drawing.
Another option is to offer the 600Mb map of the world to the users. Maybe ship it to them via CD or something, (maybe allow a download?) This will partly solve the problem and make the image even more realistic, (the definition is 50M or something like that. So the map should be close to ‘perfect’ I hope.
But, before I do that, let me finish the outline. I see that a few flight planners offer the outline to simplify the view, so let me also try it.
As I am on leave for the next few days I will try and get it all done in 3 or 4 days.
Yesterday I released a new version of Courseplanner, so far the response seems to be positive, but it is still early days.
I still need to make a few changes, especially the map, it is obviously a bigger eyesore than I expected, so I will need to look into it as soon as possible.
As I want to keep Courseplanner as ‘stand-alone’ as possible, (because of future support for X-Plane), I need to think of a simple way to display the map as ‘clearly’ as possible without depending on X-Plane or Flight Simulator.
I think that importing sectional maps might be a good idea, so if people want a ‘high definition’ map of a certain area then they will need to download it from various sites. I might make it flexible enough to upload to this site as well, (so others can download it).
I also want to add support for X-Plane, I am sure it won’t hurt to have more input from such a large comunity.
As alway I am looking for any suggestions/bug reports, anything to improve Courseplanner. So feel free to visit the forum and throw in your suggestions.
I have released a new version of Courseplanner with support for FS9/FS2004 this effectively placed me a month behind the original release date of Courseplanner 4 but a lot of users have been asking for it.
So, feel free to download version 4.0.0(152) and report any problems you might come across.
I will now concentrate on some of the other requests that have been sent to me and to make Courseplanner as stable as possible. Feel fee to send me as many requests as you want.
I am also looking at adding support for X-Plane, I can’t promise anything but seen that it took a month to add FS9 I am guessing it should take about the same amount of time.
What also took a bit of time was re-uploading almost all the missing images that I deleted by mistake, (and I also updated the new version of MediaWiki, (1.14.0), for the online document).
This morning I was about to upload the next version of Courseplanner when I accidentally deleted the entire site, (not the database, only the files themselves).
Effectively this means that I have spent most of the morning uploading/fixing missing files from the backup.
To my suprise, I also noticed that my backup does not include most of the pictures in the document, so I will need to re-upload them all one by one.
Needless to say, I will make sure they are included in the next backup.
3 days behind schdule I have finally released a new version of Courseplanner. This is an important release because all the framework has been layed and now it is only a matter of fixing the remaining bugs.
I know there are still some problems with flight following and the flight plan does not seem to be 100% as I would like it, but those are more ‘cosmetic’ changes than anything.
The module is also working nicely now and I refactored a lot of code in the background to enable suport for multiple version of Flight Simulator. Given that Microsoft has droped their design team, and the fact that most people still seem to prefer FS2004 I think it is in Couseplanners own interest to support FS2004, (at least), as soon as possible.
I also really want to release some open source code so that others can start using the module/dll and design their own add-on.
But I think for now the main worry is to have a stable version that supports FSX.
It looks like the power that be decided to drop the entire development team, (ACES), for the very popular flight simulator franchise.
Personally I think that it is a mistake as I doubt that the Ace team was not showing a profit. I also suspect that they are just using the whole recession to ‘cut some fat’.
Some articles actually claim that Microsoft is only restructuring and that they have no real plans to drop Flight Simulator
On my side this is not really going to slow me down as I enjoy what I do. In fact I am planning on adding support for older versions of Fligth simulator.
I might even add support for x-plane as I have no doubt that if Flight simulator does not make a comeback x-plane will be the next favorite amongst enthusiasts, (plus I think it would be nice to support more than one simulator).
After a week of trying to complete coding for the setup I was able to release a new version of Courseplanner. Nothing is really new apart from a new log tab and the network functionality has been enabled, (technically speaking it was always present but the installer did not offer that option).
I will not be updating anything for a week or so to give a chance to the beta testers to test the networking functionality properly, I then want to ask the bigger forums to help with testing the new beta version before I do a first ‘proper’ release.
In any case, I still have some work to do with loading the Aircraft from the user’s own hangar as well as a problem with flight following. I also want to offer ‘normal’ users the option to download the beta versions if they want to.
As always, updating the documentation has not been that easy. My internet has been down for the past week so I wasn’t really able to do much.
I have finally released the beta version of Courseplanner, this version is open to all.
Because of time constraints this version does not support Networking.
On the other hand the website has been giving me endless headaches, I am hopful that by the end of the week everything will be running smoothly.
I have also been working on the courseplanner documentation, I realize that a lot of work still needs to be done, but I will slowly add more and more information as time goes by.
The courseplanner forum is up and running. I have removed all the old posts as they related to Courseplanner 3.x.
Of course I will still support the old version where I can, but in the meantime I think it is best to start with a brand new forum.
I am also planning to release a beta version before the end of the year. So if you want to be a tester please send me a private message.
Edit: I have also completed the documentation site, but of course there is nothing to see yet. I will try and add a few basic pages as I go along.
I have restricted the wiki to registered users only, in the past this has proven to work well. I would prefer to give full permission to everybody, but unfortunately the wiki is abused by bots faster than I can control it.