Sign in to follow this  
Guest

FS STANDARDS - Announcing quality services

Recommended Posts

Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

Hi Alexos,this sounds interesting but why don't you prefer following the conversation in here, with the unvaluable forum users feeback? Are you in fact starting an interesting discussion about the concept of "sealed / approved" software for the demanding simmer, or are you making the preliminary announcement of a business offer? If the later is the case, do you gear the innitiative to freeware offers or both to freeware and "payware" offers? if that is the case, are you already in contact with potential "partners" to support your innitiative?Sounds interesting, tell us more!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

nice thoughts, but I for one don't totally agree. While it is frustrating at times to have a problem with an installation, incompatability with a gauge and an OS, or dissapointment because a d/l isn't what you expected, that is what makes this a great hobby, always evolving. If you try to set a 'standards" scale, it will always be changing and therefore invalid most of the time. Everytime we get an innovative aircraft or utility, you get a million simmers that EXPECT that quality from now on, and the few idiots that feel the need to email the author of one that doesn't meet those "stadards" and tell him about it (in not so pleasent terms), seems this type of standards thing makes people spoiled, I don't know and any other game/sim that has this many free files available to the public, and yet we seem to overlook that and start expecting it.I will be the first to say I need the extreme quality and the eyecandy, but I also try to find something good about everything I d/l and usually do. I have been looking for a good Socata TBM 700 and found an obscure file that looked promising, although no vc, no opening doors, very basic textures, the design was great, emailed the author to let him know how nice I thought his design was and to thank him, got a new version in the mail today with a nice DVC and a glimpse of a vir compartment, I am thrilled!!!I remember when I started with FS (CFS2) over 2 years ago, couldn't install a d/l aircraft to save my life. I now am playing with the scenery SDKs and have quite a few files uploaded and I learn something new about FS all the time. I would have rather had this road, than to have it all 'given" to me at the beginning, just my 2 cents! ;-)Regards, Michaelhttp://mysite.verizon.net/res052cd/mybannercva1.jpgCalVirAir International VAwww.calvirair.comCougar Mountain Helicopters & Aviationwww.cgrmtnhelos.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The reviews on web conferences (such as here)including both individual messages and AVSIM posted reviews give enough motivation for authors to provide a quality product. It is up to the user to do alittle research with web based or forum based searches. For commercial products individual forums and commercial product review forums are available. As an example of freeware reviews see "Bear's Picks".The numerous users and suppliers participating in the forum based community make up effectively one of the toughest "quality standards boards" around. The products get tested under a variety of software and hardware environments giving a broad base of testing.If you get into a "seal of approval" base of testers, it would be a significant challenge to meet the wide variety of environments to provide the needed testing. If you get into an "ISO" system test setup, you might get into a more limited experience and a lot of the community of users could be left out.Last, like anything else, you do need to absorb the documents included with a product if only to browse to see if there is anything you are not familiar with. Products are very different in many cases requiring special installation and operations such as complex instrument panels to make the effect real. The variety of what they do can result in required special installations. Where possible, I could see a standardized installation where appropriate such as including folders in a compressed distribution file such as panels and aircraft. The other side of this is that if the user chooses to follow the aurthor's "automated" install, it could in some cases overwrite files in FS folders causing failures of other products. The user should at least look at the installation structure before proceeding.I do agree with you that in a product's description it should follow a routine outline in specifying the operating systems compatibilities, FS versions required, and any special needs up front. This would make the users evaluation before download more appropriate.Perhaps you can contribute in this area by suggesting a standards based download description format and minimum review outline for those wishing to author reviews.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have three beefs with the way ppl package up there offerings(not that I am not appreciative of what they do!)1) Missing files, ie, you need to download such and such a package to be have all the necessary files(dependence on another authors files)2) Files spilt into 100 pieces. You need to download 100 seperate zip files, at 100 kb a piece. And then, you have to install them in a certain order........:-83) Packaging the files so that I can't just 'unzip into the main fs dir'.If those issues could be resolved, I would be a totally satisfied simmer. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On a technical front, I think a standards set could be a good idea, but would need to be approved by a standards body of technical folks who then publish (free) a series of implementation guides. Some areas this (might) apply to is dxt3 mipmapping, installer use, aircraft.cfg methodologies, etc. What it wouldnt address is the shear artistic talent required. EDI etc is a pure technical exercise. This stuff is largely art. I can tell you other than how to compile a suitable bmp file for use in MSFS, theres not a lot thats standard in skinning. It comes down to the artwork. Skill in creating models seems the same, as well as the values in an air file. Soo...it would seem that a file set could be created that met every technical standard but would still be garbage artistically. One has to question on that basis whether the art meets form conversation merits a standards org.Eric

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm all for a standard plan for installing addons. Either a .zip file setup to simply unzip into the main FS directory, or an auto-installer to install into the main FS directory (without modifying the FS directory registry entry for those that prefer to "install" to a temporary directory and install manually from there). While I'm no computer illiterate and am fully able to follow directions no matter how nitpicky, I do find it obnoxious to have one addon install this way, the next addon install that way, addon 3 requiring 5 download files for the basic package alone plus another seperate package or two.However, if such a system were implemented and all designers decided to use it, I can guarantee that there will be arguments between the people that like the easy-to-use auto-installers and the people that won't touch them with a 50-foot pole. We've already had threads posted here complaining about the use of auto-installers, trying to have them abolished...... :)Therefore, any standardized method of packaging and installation should be able to cater to both crowds. Should be able to install directly into FS for casual and lazy simmers, and should be able to extract the files to a temporary directory for the "expert" to copy the files over to FS manually. Perhaps an auto-installer that supports an "expert extraction to temporary directory".. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Setting the standard is one thing.Getting people to follow and adhere to it is a quite something else.Regards.Ernie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tend to accept freeware 'as is'. It's free. It costs me nothing. I get the benefit of somebody's hard work and free time for nothing. Something I charge for as a self employed person. I don't feel I have the right to impose any conditions on these people. I think these forums act as a good guide as to what is good and what isn't, as does my own opinion.As for payware, I think good business sense acts as a quality control. When something new comes out I read the forums and reviews, take my time and then buy if I like what I read. Even if something had an ISO stamp on it, I'd still wait to see what the general opinion was before paying for it.I don't mean any offence. I just don't really see the point.Best regards!Gavin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would think that you can expect the larger add-on companies will comply to ISO standards sooner or later. For a customer that at least guarantees the company itself is getting more organised. There is no reason to think that basically a company like JustFlight, Aerosoft or LAGO is any different then any other company. Quality standards in production, customer support, after sales service are universal.LAGO is certainly in the process of getting ISO certified. It's a long (most people at LAGO absolutely HATE the ISO meetings:-) and costly process but in the end it will help the company and the customer. But besides ISO there are other standards, standards already used by most major companies;- the installers must find the FS directory and install all files in the correct location without user intervention- scenery.cfg file needs to be automatically updated with the correct information- the installer needs to be Microsoft 'Windows compatible' meaning that they are build according to the MS published standards. This ensures correct installing and de-installing- whenever possible do not dump files in default gauges (sounds/gauges etc) but create your own dirs so customers know what files belong to what product- all updates must update the product to the LATEST version, no update upon update- never, never never overwrite a default FS files (sole exception the traffic files, but only after warning the user, making backups and warning the user again)- test all addons with FSUIPC and other online flight standard files- whenever possible get FS add-ons started from within FS, additional started products often confuse new users.Mathijs KokLAGO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this