I finally found some time to complete the database import function in Courseplanner.
The database can be created with data from FSX and FS9. I must admit that I am a bit disappointed with the result, it seems that Microsoft flight simulator relies on graphics a lot more than I thought, the data on the .bgl files is not enough to display nice clean airports.
But I am working on ways of building proper curves in taxipath, (and I am also working on improving the general look of surfaces).
I am very busy at work and sadly I cannot work on Courseplanner as much as I would like. But once most of the bugs have been ironed out of the import function I will be able to continue working on various other bugs/features that have been reported on the forum.
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.