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rsrandazzo

30AUG13 - PMDG 777-200LR/F Release Plan Update (Important!)

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Captains-

 

(I've been trying to post this since this morning...  Couldn't get the forum to respond...  Sorry for the delay!)

Sometimes, the worst part about being an airline pilot is when you hear ATC call you on the frequency and say, "We have holding instructions for you, advise me when you are ready to copy..."

I will keep this short and sweet- but I wanted to let you know that we currently have had the 777 release in holding for a few days while we tried to sort out a problem that we felt was capable of putting the release "At Risk."  (You will recall I mentioned this in my post from Monday morning...)

The problem turned out to be a bit more complex than we expected, and the fix was not confirmed until our staff meeting this morning at 1300Z.  

The good news, is that the problem has been identified, a fix was found and it was implemented overnight last night.

There really isn't any "bad" news per-se, but we have decided to reset the clock on final testing of the release-build, which puts our release window out into the Monday-Thursday time-frame of next week.

We do not currently have any major items we are working with, and as long as the Tech and Beta teams don't pop up with some new, unseen critical problem, you will be flying the airplane at some point before next weekend!

So here are a few questions some might ask:

1) If we are so confident that product is ready- why not just release now?:  We are absolutely committed to making certain that we have fixed the problem without breaking anything further.  The only way to do this is to take the time to test the product properly.  We have a responsibility to our customers, our testers and our development team to make sure we don't rush this out the door just because everyone is excited to fly...  Just like when flying a real airplane, we want to make sure the fix is correct- and THEN we'll go fly.

2) So what was it that you were looking for and why was it considered "High Risk?":   Late in beta testing, we got a couple of passing reports from one or two members of our testing teams that "occasionally the switches in the cockpit cease being clickable."  They reported to us that it was usually transient... for a few seconds...  We started digging around and found nothing, and decided it was one of those odd "sim'isms" that seem to plague any complex software that runs with FSX.  At PMDG we use many of the same techniques that are used on the flight deck- and our normal process of polling members of the team for "reservations/concerns" caused us to decide that we needed to take one good, long serious look at this little item.  We established a team to dig into the matter, and found that we could replicate it on only one machine, and that replication was random...  Our risk analysis on the item told us that, based on the intermittent nature of the problem it wouldn't necessarily prevent us from releasing- but we were worried because we could not predict the failure, nor could we identify what was causing it or give you instructions on how to avoid it...   That put it into a very serious risk category...  We don't like to have unknowns buried in a release.

3) So did you solve it?:  Yes, Yes we did.      It took four days...  or- 72hrs, depending on how you want to measure it.  Alex, Henning, Michael and Vin worked about 18hrs a day for four straight days to find the problem.  They identified a mistake we made, corrected the mistake, and then spent another 10 hours verifying that the fix cured the condition that we could replicate.   We have now pushed the fix out to our testing team, and we have heard back from one of the four people able to replicate the problem that it has fixed the issue for him.  The other three are testing now... and we anticipate hearing the same from them.

4) So why make us wait until next week? We want it NOOOOOW!  (And you said August!):  Yes, Yes we did.      This is a classic example of the reason we never give release dates.  You guys know the product is about to release and you are excited about it.  We WANT you to be out flying the airplane...   But we want to make sure we are really and truly finished before we release her to you.  That means giving the testing process time to percolate out to a natural conclusion.  I expect you will be flying her by next weekend.

5) Could this happen again next week?  With another delay?:  I do not expect it will.  BUT:  If we find something that will prevent some users from being able to enjoy the product- we will keep holding it until we have that issue resolved.  That is because we care about product quality- and we have made mistakes in the past that we don't think any of us want to repeat.  I recognize that our decision to HOLD until we have the problems fixed is a bit unusual in the modern marketplace, but it is how PMDG operates.

6) Pricing?:  All release details will be published next week!

Okay- so...  

Enjoy your weekend-  we will keep you posted on the testing progress during the weekend with comments (most likely in this thread) and we will see you for the release sometime between Monday and Thursday!

You are really really going to love this airplane...  I promise!
 


Robert S. Randazzo coolcap.gif

PLEASE NOTE THAT PMDG HAS DEPARTED AVSIM

You can find us at:  http://forum.pmdg.com

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Thanks for the update. Would have loved a release today but a few more days wont hurt.

 

We're all eagerly awaiting


"I am the Master of the Fist!" -Akuma
 

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Thanks for the update :)

 

Regards

Michael Atherton


Regards

Michael Atherton

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Thanks for the update!


Mikael Leinonen

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Thanks for the update, we want a quality release... Take your time, this plane needs to be right on the first release! 


- - Tommy - -

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The right way to handle it! Software is an art, not a science, and there is wisdom in letting any changes settle for awhile, to make sure unanticipated interactions don't crop up.

 

This has always been my experience of the important dividing line between great software engineers, and merely good ones.

 

So: strive for greatness, and we will be patient. I know I certainly haven't wrung everything out of my flying the 737NGX, and there are some other great commercial jet simulations out there for the few who have, if they simply cannot wait a little longer for something new.

 

Best of luck!

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Just sit tight - this will be MORE than worth the weight. 


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- Luke Pabari

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Sigh, I knew this would happen. Very frustrating. Was looking forward to flying this after a long stressful work week, now that we have a 4 day weekend. Arghhh. I'm not keeping my hopes up no more. Who knows, when next week comes, there will probably be another delay of some sort that will get the release date push backed another few weeks or months.


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Thanks Rob


João Marcelo
Intel I7 950
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One can't help but love quality work. Keep at it PMDG. Looking forward to it whenever you decide to roll it out of the hangar B)


Sean Franklin 

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I just wanted to ask if pricing has been set yet, and it will just hold until you can create a detailed release information post that covers all the release/purchasing bases? That is the one thing that I really would like to know, and even if you cannot tell us the exact price, is it less then $100 usd (and not something like $99 haha)

 

Best of luck with the finalization, I'm excited!

 

-Tom H

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