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X-Plane.org

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I really wish there was someway of getting the word out that x-plane.org is not the official forums of X-Plane. Was just reading this thread and was disgusted by the snarky comment from one of the well known mods. The two X-Plane newbies who post beneath are both suprised and upset by the comments and seem to believe that the forum is x-plane official. Real shame, as this sort of attitude is what is losing X-Plane and ironically the .org business.

 

http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?showtopic=72391

 

Hope I am not breaking any rules with this, please delete if I have

 

 

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Eh. That's not necessarily just an org issue. You can find that sort of comment anywhere. That being said, the site is mistaken by many to be an official site, and yes, new people getting such a brush-off (from a mod no-less) are at risk of being soured for some time to come. When I was very new back to the hobby, I asked a simple question at the REX site and was torn a new one by somebody who seemed to be speaking for the site. I asked for an immediate refund at that point and would have never gone near the place again if Timestamp999 had not shown up to smooth things down.

 

Much later I started a thread thanking the site for their customer service.

 

Attitude does matter. (unless you just don't need customers)

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This is the problem though, very often people who do try to smooth things over and calm it down at ,org get banned. For a top level mod to say "get over it" to an innocent and relevant question is disgusting. We, as an X-Plane community are trying to attract new users and there has never been a better time than now to do this. 

Another classic example is their refusal to allow discussion of products outside of .org itself. With them being perceived as the official arm of x-plane.com newcomers are missing out on fantastic products such as the LES Saab and of course John Spahns fantastic SkyMaxx Pro.

Its a real shame.

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I really wish there was someway of getting the word out that x-plane.org is not the official forums of X-Plane. 

 

Hope I am not breaking any rules with this, please delete if I have

 

Interesting.  I'm one who thought they were the official X-Plane site.  I noticed a difference the manuals and linked in X-Plane pointed to a .com, but I thought they were the same... like microsoft.com and microsoft.org using both to protect their name.

 

By the way, the tone of the .org administrators sounds as if they are officially speaking for X-Plane from the perspective of how they allocate their development time and resources.

 

Thanks for the valuable information.  I believe the forum providers provide a great resource to the community.  But again, it's nice to know they are not officially speaking for X-Plane the various feature requests might not be as bleak as being as being presented.

 

-- L. James

 

-- 

L. D. James

ljames@apollo3.com

www.apollo3.com/~ljames

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It's a shame.

 

I feel like X-plane.org forums are really holding back the sim from expanding and incorporating new users.

 

Also what is with that overbearing Christmas theme?  I love the holidays as much as anyone, but this is an international community and not everyone celebrates Christmas.

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I confess I have been very critic about most things regarding X-plane, since I joined their forum, in 2002 = 11 yrs ago, and although I seldom post there, most of the time it is for one of my picky complaints about X-Plane's limitations.

 

Never got banned or insulted, and quite on the contrary, have had the chance to exchange ideas with Andy Glodstein, Brett, and others.

 

Many years ago, I did get into some "hot" arguments with Austin himself, who used to be very active there...

 

So, if I feel my simmer home is AVSIM, since a long time too, although I interrupted between 2008 and 2011, I have no problems visiting the .org, if not for other reasons to get

support for some of the products I bought at their store.

 

This doesn't mean that I do not ackonwledge that others have had problems there, and I respect and can only be sorry for that - we are all a community gathered due

to our common passion for aviation and flight simulation! - but I had to say this, because it's true...

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Well, you do have AVSIM to call home for all things X-Plane. We have been trying to encourage the X-Plane community for years to do so, and it always concerned me that because of the *.org confusion, that we were not a location to attend, because we were not the "official" X-Plane site. I would just repeat what I have asked for in the past; if you are an X-Plane fan and would like to have a home alternative, then please encourage your fellow X-Plane enthusiasts help to expand that community here.

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In the past year or so, the X-Plane forum here has become a much livelier much better place to be than certain other forums. There are arguments, there are people that step over the mark but that is just passion, elsewhere, the passion has become arrogance and unfortunately it's that arrogance that many first timers to X-Plane stumble upon. Let's be honest, if you have a problem with X-Plane, your first choice of words in a Google Search will almost certainly bring you to the .org. 

The more that we can post, ask and answer questions here, the more AVSIM will feature in Google searches and the more likely newcomers will bypass the other site.

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Well, you do have AVSIM to call home for all things X-Plane. We have been trying to encourage the X-Plane community for years to do so,

 

Since I've been here at AVSIM ever before thinking about X-Plane, it was the first place I go/went because it was "home". I use the AVSIM library for uploading X-Planey things. More to come, secret though :P

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Since I've been here at AVSIM ever before thinking about X-Plane, it was the first place I go/went because it was "home". I use the AVSIM library for uploading X-Planey things. More to come, secret though :P

 

The more X-Plane uploads the better Jesse! Bring 'em on! :Applause:

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I think Avsim is a great place for X-Plane enthusiasts. Their door has always been open and you know you can ask questions here...and get friendly answers.

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The more X-Plane uploads the better Jesse! Bring 'em on! :Applause:

Well, the situation over at Flightsim.com with the X-Plane mesh upload, has upset their apple cart in regards to server access. A lot of unhappy campers! I've always used the AVSIM library and server(s) as the download speeds far exceed those over there.

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Well, the situation over at Flightsim.com with the X-Plane mesh upload, has upset their apple cart in regards to server access. A lot of unhappy campers! I've always used the AVSIM library and server(s) as the download speeds far exceed those over there.

 

How big are the mesh sceneries?

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55GB total download for all tiles (I think)

Correct. Which reminds me to reactivate my torrents when I don't have something to watch on twitch.

I think they had really bad luck. They obviously didn't expect that the new mesh could be such a mile stone that finally proves where X-Plane stands with 64 bits, Together with SkyMAXX Pro  this really produces screenshots  that are on another level and add to this the added publicity from places like froogle and you have a lot of people who want to try this alternative. And this spells a gigantic volume of data whcih you can only manage with server farms or torrents.

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And just for clarification, Andras said he DOESN'T MIND the torrents. He just can't offer support for them.  But they are definitely a lot faster.  

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Torrrents are the best way to get and share them. I have the east coast US hosted, but central is lacking. The torrent links are on the main site.

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That mesh is horrendously big (bit over 55 Gbytes, with some zip files over 2 Gbytes on their own - 73 files all together), and i still - and continuously - askeverybody to show a little more respect and understanding in the direction of flightsim.com as this is not some "easy peasy" stuff to deal with. This is an entirely different ball park. And don't forget: flightsim.com helped to feed the first users with data ... without that, there would not have been torrents ... And stable sources like flightsim.com (or which ever other site) are here to stay even if the last seeder has stopped his bittorrent client (or has removed the files from seeding).

 

By the way, as far as I know, flightsim.com also did invest a lot of work to improve the situation, like they have stated in this last "press release" (its also "interesting" to read the comments on it ... ):

http://www.flightsim.com/vbfs/content.php?14420-Slow-Downloads-Unprecedented-Demand

(latest user reports show, that the situation has really improved now)

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Well, you do have AVSIM to call home for all things X-Plane. We have been trying to encourage the X-Plane community for years to do so, and it always concerned me that because of the *.org confusion, that we were not a location to attend, because we were not the "official" X-Plane site. I would just repeat what I have asked for in the past; if you are an X-Plane fan and would like to have a home alternative, then please encourage your fellow X-Plane enthusiasts help to expand that community here.

You bet, over and out! :)

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There is a lot of confusion about the nature of the X-Plane.org community, and it would be good to clarify these things upfront.  As far as I can tell, there are some steps taken in the right direction, to help people understand what's going on.  (See the new link on the top right of the Shout Box, added just recently at the .org under "Forum FAQ").  

 

 

Yes, there are some mis-understandings about the nature of different forums.  Yes, the ".org" suffix and the reference to X-Plane.org in X-Plane's splash screen contribute to this confusion.  Yes, it may be a step in the right direction to change this, and it may be something to raise in discussion with Austin or those who are in a position to change this.  But several things are of note in the case of the .org, which if people knew them, it might help in understanding the situation better.

 

The .org was purchased for a price, and since this transaction, the character has somewhat changed.  While it may have STARTED as a community of enthusiasts, and was funded as such, its reach quickly became evident as having business potential, due to its growing audience (which means, exposure), and the opportunity of a payware add-on market for X-Plane.  The .org technically should not be seen as a "playground for ALL things X-Plane", because of the fact that it now is an online user community that is being sponsored and maintained by the .org store, and is, as such, an intricate part of a business venture.  It has a large amount of coverage, and that coverage is one of the aspects that causes problems, due to the fact that exposure is worth something to businesses. (Why else would we see so many ads all over YouTube, FaceBook, etc?)

 

The .org has grown spectacularly over the past few years, also due to the fact that there have been concerted efforts to carry more products, offer more free downloads and tutorials and other educational material, and to keep improving the site's back-end to handle the bigger volume.  Other X-Plane sites have done this as well.  I tend to think of this as being the result of someone having seen the potential for business and making the most of it.  And, with growth, also comes the challenge of managing such a site better, investing in infrastructure, and making sure it's a good place to build a community, and knowing how to deal with unsavoury situations and dynamics.  That things won't automatically work as everyone demands or expects should come as no surprise, and for the businessman who considered the purchase of that site and domain worth the up-front costs, they will attempt their very best to make the most out of their investment.  There are growing pains, and there are challenges along the way; there will be over-stepping of boundaries, and there will be those who don't understand that boundaries have been over stepped, and they'll do it again, if they don't understand what's going on.

 

 

Now, when people seek to tap into the exposure that the x-plane.org site (which is run and maintained as a business) provides, one should not be surprised to see that this could cause some conflicts… UNLESS one still sees that place as a public "park", free for all, maintained by the community, and with no direct ties to a business.  However, that site IS maintained in large part by a business, and thus, it seems reasonable to me that they should be able to create the rules and parameters they choose.  (Seeing as they have now taken steps to make these rules more visible and easy to understand, one can only hope that these types of tensions may see a reduction in their frequency and/or severity). And even if it WEREN'T run by a business, the very fact that there are people running and maintaining the site, updating it, moderating it, and investing in ever more powerful servers and security and usability features, gives those people certain say over how things should be run.  Everyone who joins this community, and many other online communities gets presented with an agreement, outlining what constitutes appropriate behaviour, and what does not… and the act of joining the community makes abiding by these rules compulsory.  One can always refer back to that, when in doubt… and if something is unclear, one could always seek to clarify it in a private, civil manner.

 

So, for instance, if someone wishes to take advantage of the vast exposure available on any forum, they can enter into a business deal with the owner of said forum, and reach an agreement about how to best go about advertising their products, which are not sold at that outlet.  The exposure that site has should be worth something to the one seeking the exposure, and so, this should warrant the ability to negotiate an ad deal that works for both parties.  This has been done in the past, so what we see are paid ads, that point to products available on other online outlets.  That seems fair to me.

 

 

 

Now, when people make assumptions or even demands as to the nature of those forums, what SHOULD or SHOULDN'T be allowed, how it should or shouldn't be run or maintained, and feel it is within their rights to redirect traffic from that site to a different, competing site, without adequate arrangements, that is where things start becoming dicey.  Especially when the offender, who is being flagged for inappropriate behaviour, is not given an adequate explanation for the overstepping of boundaries.  And if this happens repeatedly, and these misunderstandings get out of hand, or even abusive, the tendency of such a forum may well be, to become overly heavy-handed, increasing the amount of potential grievances and people getting hurt, not understanding why they were being treated so harshly.  This, I think, is DEFINITELY part of the dynamic that's caused grievances in the past about the .org forums, and it has unfortunately played into the hands of those perpetrating past abuses.

 

I think it's great that people can meet here on Avsim and discuss everything X-plane-related without seeing their posts or thoughts overtly subjected to the dynamics of business dealings, branding, politics and allegiances, but that may well change in the near future as well.  Even for me to come in and attempt to share my insights about these dynamics may end up causing a dynamic on THIS forum that is entirely unintended, and may need to be dealt with by those who run this forum.  What they choose to do is up to them, since this site is run and maintained and moderated by them, so I had best listen to what they tell me, if I want to be part of this community.  I don't THINK I'm overstepping any Avsim forum rules, at least not how I've come to understand them, but then again, if I AM, I'd be more than open to correction and reconciliation wherever possible.  (I just read over the Avsim forum rules, and I think by what I'm writing here, I'm actually underlining, expanding on, explaining, and affirming what is already being said there… in fact, this forum functions under many of the exact same guidelines that others abide by).

 

An attempt to create a TRULY neutral space for a group of like-minded enthusiasts to discuss their hobby, will most likely eventually result in having to figure out a way to move forward, once the growth is beyond the ability of the hosts to cover the costs incurred… so such a site may end up asking for community-based donations, to keep it open and free from business pressures (such is the case with Wikipedia, for instance), or they may move towards considering carrying payware products or paraphernalia, and using those proceeds to continue growing and maintaining the forums.  But as soon as this new, formerly neutral forum is subjected to this change, these tensions and pressures will arise again, and it will probably be up to the sponsors of such a site to figure out the best way of dealing with such tensions and pressures.  I'd venture to say that only extremely gifted, tactful, wise, and insightful managers may have the ability to rein in such dynamics with minimal fallout, although it also largely depends on the community and their response and understanding regarding the changes that are taking place in the background.

Now, some X-Plane users have often expressed confusion and sorrow over the fact that they have to tread so carefully on different forums, and don't have permission to post this here, or that there.  To me, it's actually not that difficult an issue to wrap one's mind around:  

 

If one would take this into a real-life context, and imagine two competing fast food joints, such as McDonald's and Burger King… it would be frowned upon in real-life if someone bought a Whopper at BurgerKing, and then came over to McDonalds, telling everyone how delicious it is, or asking for nutritional information about it to the patrons or staff there, or pointing out that it is "Flame broiled," which, of course, is way better than what McDonald's has to offer… or if they were to distribute BurgerKing flyers at the McDonald's parking lot.  Somehow, it would come as no surprise if the McDonald's manager would ask someone like that to leave the premises.  Of course, the possibility exists that McDonald's WOULD allow for that BurgerKing enthusiast to continue distributing flyers for the competing restaurant, and it would be more of a decision based on image management, which would also be an appropriate business decision on their part. So: if this business chooses to ALLOW for people to talk about competing products or DISCOURAGE or PROHIBIT it, it's really a decision they're within their rights to make, as owners of their facility.  

 

 

If there were a park, run by the government or funded by the neighbourhood, where Big Mac and Whopper enthusiasts met, discussing the merits of their burger of choice, that would be an entirely different scenario, and it would very likely be acceptable to do so, as long as the COMMUNITY and/or the GOVERNMENT deems it appropriate.  (The community, because they are voluntarily coming together to discuss their enthusiasm for burgers, and the government, if they are ultimately responsible for funding and maintaining the premises on which these meetings take place).  Whoever doesn't like it, doesn't have to join in these meetings, and whoever lets their dog poop on the lawn, (breaking a set of norms unrelated to the hobby, but causing grief to those who gather there), when it's against the park rules, would likely be fined, or asked to leave.  No surprise there, either.  (I'm saying, there seems to be no TRUE "free-for-all"… if I want to be part of a community, I darn better familiarize myself with how I ought to behave there).

 

 

Also, something to consider in the analogy of competing burger franchises: Whoppers and Big Macs are products that are sold exclusively at these two competing outlets, and talking about a cup of Coca-Cola or Sprite, or posting big ads for these soft drinks on both outlets'  parking lots, seeing as they're the same product which is carried by both franchises, would hardly cause the same potential for strife.  This stands to reason as well.  

 
 

There's absolutely nothing wrong with doing business, and there's also nothing wrong with competition in the marketplace.  Where I think it gets dicey is, when people play with underhanded, dirty tactics.  I mean, it's OK for someone to unwittingly walk into a McDonald's with a Whopper and rave about how delicious it is… but if they get warned, and come back and defiantly do it again, or if there's a constant stream of people who do this, or if McDonalds were publicly defamed for sending those people away, then suspicions start coming up that this may not be an innocent little mistake, or a one-time oversight.    It would become a problem, that would have to be dealt with as such. McDonalds may very well respond with an initiative to discourage such behaviour, for instance, by putting up a "No outside food or drink" or a "No Loitering" sign, or something like that, and it may feel heavy-handed and disproportionate to some.  This unfortunately causes perceptional shifts and rifts in the community about one or the other competitor, depending on whom they've been in closer contact with, or which business' methods people see themselves able to align themselves with more.  Allegiances are formed very early on, and often depend only on ONE good or bad experience, with one or the other party.

 

 

 

Is there room for improvement on the X-Plane.org forums?  Certainly.  Are other sites and communities better?  Perhaps; very likely yes.  Will a person feel more comfortable here than there, or go somewhere else entirely?  Probably, and they'd be perfectly entitled to do so.  People will make these types of decisions based on a wide array of criteria, and there's nothing to be gained by suggesting people should make decisions based on parameters they care nothing for.    But personally, I think it's relevant for people to be made aware of the potential pitfalls.  For instance, if a pick-pocket is on the loose at a park, it may be in the community's best interest to be informed about that, and be on their guard.  Competing cotton-candy, balloon, ice-cream, or hot-dog vendors wouldn't pose a problem in the public park, and wouldn't be treated as "pitfalls", but if a pick-pocket is on the loose, that may warrant some exposure, in the interest of keeping the entire park safe and pleasant.  Besides, the park would fall into disrepute quickly, if this type of thing wasn't dealt with adequately.  But if suddenly EVERYONE were a pick-pocket suspect, this would be an unfortunate turn of events as well, and play well into the hands of the one REAL pick-pocket, as he will have the chance to continue his nefarious activities in a more camouflaged fashion… he could even join in with the chorus of people expressing grievances about having been treated like a pick-pocket.

 

 

As you may well imagine, it is not always easy to deal with this type of problem, and I don't think it'll just go away by wishing it away.  Every forum I've ever been on has displayed these types of dynamics, and some are far worse than the X-Plane-related forums.  

 

However, I think there IS progress to be made by having an educated community, who understands the business dynamics behind the "playgrounds" they're playing on, because that determines to a large extent what is appropriate behaviour and what is not.

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I really enjoyed how the conversation started to turn into something productive, then someone decided to leave their preferred playground.....so sad.....

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