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jcomm

Bring it out of FSX, or P3D, or X-Plane...

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Since I started using Aerowinx PSX my experience with X-Plane 10 and FSX, mostly FSX:SE since that was the platform I ended up adopting for visuals of PSX, has changed drastically.

 

Presently I have FSX:SE Scenery settings set to minimums ( full left sliders ) on Scenery Complexity and Autogen Density, because that is what gives me the smoother ride, and high FPS ( which keeps more or less at a fixed 72 fps at these settings, and 72 fps is the max display rate in PSX ), without stutters.

 

I'm glad I invested in ORBX FTX Global because its textures, even in the absence of autogen objects, still give me some very plausible terrain, including city areas, as if it was photo scenery ( an I am now even considering FTX Global Vector...).

 

But the aim of this thread is to bring the idea of a new kind of add-ons, running completely out of FSX or XP10 in as far as flight dynamics and weather goes, but allowing the use of those sim platforms for the visuals. 

 

Depending on how you run it, and I am running all in a single machine, and not really a top one, while many use multiple computers, or at least multiple displays, this can bring a whole new World of experiences, and overcome all of the limitations imposed by  FSX or X-Plane or P3D in as far as weather and flight modeling go.

 

I know the Majestic Q400 partially uses this sort of approach, but it still depends on many internal factors, namely those related to weather, which is limited in FSX/P3D, and even more in X-Plane...

 

Having the chance to "fly" a masterpiece like the Aerowinx PSX and at the same time be able to use most of what I have invested in FSX:SE, at least scenery wise, gave me the idea that this can be a whole new chance for developers...

 

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To go that route would become very, very expensive.

 

In fact, I don't think most of the sim community could afford to purchase more than one or two simulations. The one you mention is $400. So for $450 you get one aircraft.

 

I notice Aerowinx uses Java, which has been 'blocked' in Windows for a while now due to security risks. I'm curious how they address that?

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Aerowinx runs fine in Windows since it doesn't use / depend on a browser :-)

 

It's easily ported to different platforms ( Apple, Linux ), and can run in server / client basis in up to 4 computers in the same area with a single license, plus multiple displays, which is Paradise for cockpit makers... Satellite applications  like VisualPSX and XView allow FSX / P3D and XP10 users to make use of those sims just for the scenery and weather rendering, with the option of weather being injected from PSX into those sims, or using their own preferred weather injector  ( for realtime flights I use ASN with FSX:SE ).

 

Then it all depends on the importance you place in the fidelity of the simulation itself, and the main advantage for me is that I can reuse my scenery and weather rendering software for FSX, while using a superior flight, systems and weather modeling platform...

 

I don't think all sims would have to be so complex / detailed as Aerowinx is. The important thing would be that they could have their own, higher quality flight dynamics and weather systems, to become totally independent of the limitations imposed by FSX, P3D and XP10...

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PSX is great if you are using it in a hardware cockpit, but for an average user without a VC, on screen, it just feels like I'm flying a panel, not a plane.

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PSX is great if you are using it in a hardware cockpit, but for an average user without a VC, on screen, it just feels like I'm flying a panel, not a plane.

 

I understand your point, although even without a full cockpit you can still use multiple monitors / PCs, to run various panels / touch panels...

 

But the spirit of the original post was not necessarily only about Aeroinx PSX, although it converged towards it because IMO it is, probably with the Majestic Q400, the only worth mentioning example of a complex aircraft modeled totally ( not in the Q400 ) outside of FSX / P3D when it comes to systems, weather and flight dynamics.

 

My point is, the future for those who want to keep their investment in platforms like FSX, P3D and X-Plane ( lot's of scenery enhancements and the burden of having installed and fine tuned it all ) and at the same time are looking after closest to the real thing modeling, might well be on this type of products, should the companies who develop flight simulation modules adhere to the idea...

 

In the professional market of FNPTs ELITE is a good example of a company using P3D for visuals and their own flight and systems modeling totally outside of it for GA aircraft and helicopter FNPTs...

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To go that route would become very, very expensive.

 

In fact, I don't think most of the sim community could afford to purchase more than one or two simulations. The one you mention is $400. So for $450 you get one aircraft.

 

I notice Aerowinx uses Java, which has been 'blocked' in Windows for a while now due to security risks. I'm curious how they address that?

Windows has not provided native Java support for quite some time (other than JavaScript in the browser), but this simply means that Microsoft does not include any Java components as part of a default Win7/8 installation.

 

However, it is not "blocked" insofar as being prevented from running. For PSX one simply has to download and install the free Java runtime environment from Oracle.

 

One advantage of using Java in this instance is that PSX (like X-Plane) will run "out of the box" on three platforms: Windows, OSX, and Linux.

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The important thing would be that they could have their own, higher quality flight dynamics and weather systems, to become totally independent of the limitations imposed by FSX, P3D and XP10...

 

Not sure I understand ... there are no limitations for FSX/P3D in terms of flight dynamics ... if aircraft content providers want to make their own flight dynamics for FSX/P3D they can, there is no limit.

 

I never understood the Multi-platform quest, especially when it comes to complex environments like Flight Simulation as it requires such a highly optimized approach to processing data/visuals that compromising the product so it can work on several different platforms just seems counter intuitive for what is a smallish consumer market.

 

If I want to run multiple OS's on a PC that is relatively easy to do ... yes even OSX can be made to work on non-Apple hardware (which is all Intel based and the same chipset/GPUs as we have for windows desktops).  This further enforces the question mark around coding flight simulators for multiple platforms ... I never understood this ... the hardware costs are almost identical, the OS costs these days are negligible ... pic a platform and make the best of it, people will come if you build it well regardless of what you build it on/for.

 

Cheers, Rob.

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Rob,

 

I personally see no advantage in PSX being multi-platform, since I only use it in Windows, but it can be tempting for those who prefer the available alternatives.

 

And yes I know both FSX and P3D are built ( ESP was built... ) to allow for external flight dynamics ( long used by some commercial companies, like ELITE to give just an example... )

 

The post is about there being a lot of interesting things that can be done outside of the limitations of the core FSX/P3D and X-Plane flight, systems and weather modeling. Developers could work on their own external simulations, and use this sims just as visuals generators, as I do with PSX... which runs completely outside of FSX ( using it's own flight, systems and weather models ), but can use FSX ( or X-Plane 10 ) in one ore multiple windows to give you the external views...

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The new PSX was built from the ground up with cockpit builders in mind, with multiple instances of the software being able to run on multiple computers, all perfectly synchronized via TCP/IP. Definite advantages to "platform neutrality" in this case, as those running large scale hardware cockpits with multiple computers driving different systems/displays would benefit by not being locked into a specific OS for every computer.

 

For the typical single- computer desktop simmer, it isn't so important to have the multi-OS support, but it is available in any case.

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Definite advantages to "platform neutrality" in this case, as those running large scale hardware cockpits with multiple computers driving different systems/displays would benefit by not being locked into a specific OS for every computer.

 

But why?  The OS costs is irrelevant relative so a "builder" wouldn't really care as all the other component costs would far out weight the cost (if any) of the OS.  OSX, Linux, Windows ... they all run on x64 based CPUs and support motherboards and GPUs so the hardware components are all the same.  Finding drivers for Windows will be considerable easier than finding a driver for OSX or Linux.

 

I'm all for choice ... but when you're dealing with an even smaller market like PSX that multi-platform support doesn't make any sense to me and just uses up development resources for no real benefit ... resources that could be used to drive the product forward not side ways.

 

Cheers, Rob.

 

 

and use this sims just as visuals generators

 

That's sorta already there with FSX/P3D ... I think a evolution of SimConnect could encompass all that is needed.

 

Cheers, Rob.

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resources that could be used to drive the product forward not side ways.

 

In as far as PSX goes, it couldn't be further ahead ( of any other thing ) than it already is ( regarding simulation of the 744 including ALL of it's systems, plus a UNIQUE and most advanced Global Weather model )... Now, your observation is probably valid for valid for X-Plane, or any other simulation platform that can offer multi-platform installs....

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it couldn't be further ahead ( of any other thing ) than it already is

 

Sorry, I'll never believe that ... more resources at a minimum would mean fewer bugs, but there is ALWAYS more ways to move forward than side ways.  

 

And like I said, at this price level of simulation the OS is completely irrelevant to the end users wanting to go this route ... typically you don't get OS (hate to use the word) "fan boys" at this level.  Pick one, build it, they will come to whatever platform is targeted.   I do have a favorite OS ... it's OSX, but it doesn't factor into my simulation desires or decision process at all.

 

Cheers, Rob.

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But why? The OS costs is irrelevant relative so a "builder" wouldn't really care as all the other component costs would far out weight the cost (if any) of the OS. OSX, Linux, Windows ... they all run on x64 based CPUs and support motherboards and GPUs so the hardware components are all the same. Finding drivers for Windows will be considerable easier than finding a driver for OSX or Linux.

 

I'm all for choice ... but when you're dealing with an even smaller market like PSX that multi-platform support doesn't make any sense to me and just uses up development resources for no real benefit ... resources that could be used to drive the product forward not side ways.

 

In the case of PSX, because it is written to run under the Java VM, there are NO "additional development resources" required. There is just a single JAR executable (with associated data files) that runs exactly the same on ANY OS that supports Java. It requires absolutely no additional time or effort on the part of the developer. Though the majority of PSX end-users are probably using Windows, the developer wrote the software on a Mac.

 

In my own case, a I run 4 instances of the software - the main panels run on two Win 7 machines, (One of which also runs P3D for external visuals) I run the overhead panel on a MacBook Pro - mainly because I already owned the computer - (saved me the trouble of having to buy another dedicated Win32 laptop). I run the "Instructor Station" portion of the software on another older laptop I already owned that happens to have Ubuntu Linux on it. This laptop does not have enough graphics "horsepower" to run the main panels, but does fine with the Instructor station which consists primarily of static menus to configure the main program, handle weather injection, situation saving and loading etc.

 

Again, due to the nature of Java, it requires no additional time or effort on the part of the developer. X-Plane is a bit different in that regard. Although there may be a common code base, it does have to be individually compiled for each target platform - Win32, OSX and Linux every time the software is updated.

 

Not everyone is "married" to Win32. I'm sure that there are many X-Plane users who have never run the sim on only platform other than OSX, because Apple is their platform of choice.

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While not everyone is "married" to Windows, it still holds a 91% market share compared to 5% for OSX and 4% for 'other' which would include Linux based systems.

 

In short, the only advantage to using Java is that it uses it's own operating environment to run. However, I would not consider Java the best language of choice and I suspect it was chosen because that's what they either knew or had access to.

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While not everyone is "married" to Windows, it still holds a 91% market share compared to 5% for OSX and 4% for 'other' which would include Linux based systems.

 

In short, the only advantage to using Java is that it uses it's own operating environment to run. However, I would not consider Java the best language of choice and I suspect it was chosen because that's what they either knew or had access to.

 

The first version of the Aerowinx Simulator ( PS1 ) was written in PASCAL. That was the language Hardy Heinlin chose to implement the initial DOS version, latter ported to Windows.

 

Hardy started his search for the right language / platform to implement PSX long before development, and Java was his choice. He had to learn Java from scratch, and eventually adopted and found out it was the best choice.

 

As a user I can't but be glad with his option - PSX is a Masterpiece, just as PS1 was, runs smooth as silk, and, should I be rich and be able to buy several PCs and monitors, I could easily assemble a home cockpit :-)

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Oh PASCAL ... that brings me back ... I loved PASCAL as a language.  Personally I can't stand C/C++/C# ... it's only from necessity that I've coded with it but I avoid it as much as possible ... sure it's one of those syntax that one has to "get used to" but ask yourself "why - it's just syntax?".  In this day and age of compilers and development tools, curly brackets, and a host of other non-nonsensical symbols to present a construct just isn't needed.

 

If I want a "macho" language I'll code assembly language for real men ... haha

 

Anyway, PSX is Java for JVM?  I don't have anything against VM, but for absolute performance I can't say I'd choose to run under a VM as it's an abstraction layer with overhead and limits.  It also has lots of leeway in interpretation/implementation so it's not likely to be "exactly" the same across Windows, OSX, Linux, etc. ... there will be exceptions that need to be coded for and/or adjusted for.

 

Anyway, not trying to be down on PSX ... if the implement is easy enough across platforms (no gotchas) and performance isn't of the utmost importance, I can see the reason to go that direction ... try to gain as much interest/support across a broad base.

 

Cheers, Rob.

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While looking to see how COBOL is faring these days, which was my primary language back when dinosaurs still roamed the earth, I found an article in which most of today's languages were ranked.

 

Much to my surprise, Java holds first place, followed by C, C++, Pyton, and C#. :Shocked:

 

http://readwrite.com/2014/09/17/cobol-programming-language-hot-or-not

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I started programming with PASCAL, then moved to C, but as a computer science lecturer at Lisbon University, I did teach Eiffel, and even ADA.

 

I hated C++, skiped all sharps, don't like Python, and pretty much consider Java as a very well designed OO language.

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Oh PASCAL ... that brings me back ... I loved PASCAL as a language. Personally I can't stand C/C++/C# ... it's only from necessity that I've coded with it but I avoid it as much as possible ... sure it's one of those syntax that one has to "get used to" but ask yourself "why - it's just syntax?". In this day and age of compilers and development tools, curly brackets, and a host of other non-nonsensical symbols to present a construct just isn't needed.

 

If I want a "macho" language I'll code assembly language for real men ... haha

Then there's ADA, which is Pascal on steroids!

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Jim, I believe you meant Delphi ?  ADA is a totally different approach to programming, while Delphi is one of the variants of Pascal that already included "Objects" and "Classes"...

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Jim, I believe you meant Delphi ? ADA is a totally different approach to programming, while Delphi is one of the variants of Pascal that already included "Objects" and "Classes"...

No, ADA has a very strong Pascal look and feel in its structure and syntax - any experienced Pascal programmer would definitely see the family resemblence, as both languages have a "distant common ancestor" in Algol.

 

Many keywords, looping constructs and general "syntax and grammar" are almost identical between Pascal and Ada.

 

Ada, of course, has many very powerful features not found in generic Pascal, but for anyone learning elementary Ada, having previous Pascal experience would make the process much easier. Kind of like learning Portuguese if you already know Spanish.

 

Indeed, Delphi is a direct outgrowth of Pascal - object oriented, with many features allowing rapid development of graphical user interfaces - in common with most other modern high-level languages.

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I started with (cough, cough) ALGOL, then FORTRAN, PL1, APL (remember that RPN syntax, kind of like XML), but I did most of my hydrodynamic simulation work in Borland Pascal (which I agree was an elegant language) and then C (which I also agree, all its variants are designed to confound effortless programming). We eventually used Visual Basic for a lot of simpler projects. Today, I'd be lucky if I could write a bug-free XML gauge.

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While looking to see how COBOL is faring these days

 

Did you know there is/was COBOL for the PC?  Back in the DOS days I got tricked into working on a COBOL PC project that was supposed to last a month and took me two years to finally rid myself of that project.

 

But if you really think about, all these languages are sorta silly ... or maybe I've just been doing this too long and I need to get out ... my current project is a combination of 7 different languages when it really should just be one ... it's the aftermath of ego, competition for market dominance, and stubborn "mine is better than yours".  I'm all for choice, but how many different ways can we compile down to assembly language which then ends up as machine code?  It's sorta ridiculous and I can't imagine this is good for programmers - I've navigated around the madness and survived 30+ years doing it, but at no point did I ever think that this many languages to produce the same end result was going to be good for me.

 

Cheers, Rob.

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I started with (cough, cough) ALGOL, then FORTRAN, PL1, APL (remember that RPN syntax, kind of like XML), but I did most of my hydrodynamic simulation work in Borland Pascal (which I agree was an elegant language) and then C (which I also agree, all its variants are designed to confound effortless programming). We eventually used Visual Basic for a lot of simpler projects. Today, I'd be lucky if I could write a bug-free XML gauge.

 

Whow!  APL, and those special keyboards :-)

Ok, let's program a new standalone sim in COBOL!!!!  What do you think guys ?  :-)

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