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Update from PMDG

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3 hours ago, Kilo60 said:

Japan scenery as a priority that’s what happened!

I doubt they moved all their resources just to improve the scenery but even if they did people have been asking for that as well.  As shocking as this may be they can work on more then one thing at a time.

Edited by pjs37
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10 hours ago, Schwarzgruber said:

You say that 1 year is actually 2 years?

Judging on their past releases it seems like that to many of us.


Harry Woodrow

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Yes I am  sure Cobolt was taught in college if it had any science course.  Interesting COBOL is still used fairly extnsively in bank back systems and I am sure in many other places.


Harry Woodrow

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7 hours ago, Chock said:

I suspect this was the thin end of the wedge, with the hope that they'd be able to get away with keeping prices at that level in the further hope that customers would accept it as the normal price for stuff other than P3D. Personally, I think they'll be in for a shock if they think it's that easy to pull the wool over people's eyes.

I was thinking that last night, just before dropping off to sleep. If anyone using P3D had the impudence to complain about pricing the rebuttal would be this is supposed to be professional/training level, oh dear did you bend the knee, tell the "white lie" and get access when you shouldn't?! :)

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11 hours ago, Keirtt said:

If you're referring to the new NG3 being free, this is incorrect. You receive a rebate of $99 towards the price of the NG3 which is expected to be $139. See quote below:

"...In other words, the NGXu for Prepar3D v4 is available right now for $99.99 USD. Buyers of the NGXu before 31DEC19 will receive a $99.99 USD rebate on their purchase of the NG3 once it is released. Randazzo further explained that the anticipated market price of the NG3 will be $139.99 USD."

Cited link: https://fselite.net/news/pmdg-clarifies-ng3-pricing-and-ngxu-policy/

You are correct

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12 hours ago, Steve Halpern said:

The bridge between technologies is so wide (C++ and FSX-P3D vs FS2020 and WASM).

This reads as if there's a big difference between C++ and WASM - but in fact, WASM is specifically designed as a way of running C++ code.

Quote

There is a real "null zone" created in the industry and navigating a path is more difficult. At some point there may be some bottlenecks with WASM also. My understanding is that even though WASM is byte code (not text like pure javascript), it still has to be "interpreted"... like your browser interpreting Javascript.

WASM isn't interpreted, it's compiled to machine code. In fact, the same is true when running JavaScript in a modern JavaScript VM, but you can typically generate much more efficient machine code for WASM than JavaScript. A big reason for this is JavaScript's dynamic typing and its type system in general.

Quote

For aircraft that may use over 100,000 lines of C++ code, will WASM be viable? WASM is faster than Javascript, but slower than C++ from what I understand.

Yes, WASM is viable for projects of this size. I have worked on similar size projects in NaCl, a forerunner of WASM.

WASM doesn't reach quite the same performance as compiling C++ directly to machine code, but it's close (factor of two or less). JavaScript is much slower.

Quote

This article is quite complex but it may shed some light: https://www.usenix.org/system/files/atc19-jangda.pdf

If Xbox is the only reason to abandon C++ then that is unfortunate.

I'm not sure if Asobo have stated their reasons, but from my point of view, while Xbox may a reason, there are at least two other reasons to go with WASM:

1. It integrates well with JavaScript.

2. It provides a way to sandbox an addon's code. This means that a crashing addon doesn't bring down the whole sim, and it also makes it easy to identify what the culprit for a crash is.

Quote

PC is the core enthusiast group for study level simulators, even if a study level sim worked on Xbox (but who knows what the future of computing will entail).

I do not mean to twist this thread in a different path. PMDG's announcement does say many things, and it is not limited to PMDG. It mirrors a lot of what is going on with many companies, including our company. Just because WASM is newer that does not mean it is better. It may be a great technology in many regards, but it may not be the best fit in other areas. The new FS2020 is AMAZING in many regards. If it allowed C++, maybe with a different rendering API, it could possibly be even more amazing!

As noted above, it does allow C++. My understanding is that, currently, the main issue that developers are having with WASM in MSFS is not WASM per se but the APIs that are available to addons that use WASM, and this is what needs to be worked on.

Edit: That's not to say that adding the required APIs will be an easy task. Robert Randazzo's post doesn't go into specifics, but what I'm reading between the lines is that Asobo was surprised at the scope of functionality they need to provide through APIs for PMDG and similar addons. (Added this edit because I reread my original post and realized it sounded as if I was saying there wasnt a problem with the current SDK.)

Edited by martinboehme
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Hi Martin,

4 hours ago, martinboehme said:

WASM isn't interpreted, it's compiled to machine code.

As I understand it, there is still a level of required interpretation... and that C++ compiled code is still measurably faster than WASM. From https://wiki.osdev.org/WebAssembly:

"The truth is, the name WebAssembly (or WASM in short) is quite misleading, as it's a very well specified bytecode format with a minimal interpreting environment, which does not require any Web-related technologies at all."

I agree with you on the Sandbox. But this is starting to move into another thread altogether over the discussion of sandboxing. But for high-level professional use, for example, with Prepar3D in a professional training environment, this does not mix. I do not know what to exactly say about it, but I have mixed feeling about going the sandbox route. As we try to get every frame possible and add every feature possible, the sandbox may make this a lot more difficult as we need to rely on the parent application for access to almost every element (read PMDG), rather than having the developer the freedom of Windows to develop. I mean, what is special about Flight Simulator that requires a sandbox, vs other Windows applications (after removing the Xbox factor)?


Thanks,

 

Steve Halpern

Flight One Software

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After setting up MSFS and learning the current TBM930/G3000 I've tried to use P3D again, but alas I seem to have lost the will!  I inititally marveled at folks who went ahead and quickly uninstalled P3D after getting their feet wet in MSFS, but now I'm beginning to understand. I do all of the same IFR flights I've always done in P3D after years n years, and sure who wouldn't miss the quality and detail in the PMDG stuff, but again, just seem to have lost the desire.  I guess it's a good part been there done that for years n years 24+ hourrs per week, and also the T930 is decent in its own right already.  

Before I would give LM another nickel I'd need to see the same or better scenery and atmospherics we have today already, and at incredibly good performance BEFORE DX12 is implemented.  PMDG will do very well to put all their resources into working w/ Asobo to get what they need out of an SDK as the user base for P3D will absolutely shrink bigtime and i"m sure already is.

Edited by Noel
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11 hours ago, harrry said:

Yes I am  sure Cobolt was taught in college if it had any science course.  Interesting COBOL is still used fairly extnsively in bank back systems and I am sure in many other places.

Our whole host legacy system is COBOL-based. And this is for a 85.000 people company. Steering production in 80 factories all over the world.


Stefan Wiesmayer

My second hobby: BMW F87 M2 LCI

Core i7 6700K | Asus Z170-A | beQuiet! Power Zone 850w | Arctic Liquid Freezer 240 | Asus PA328Q 4K IPS | Asus Strix1080 ti | 32 GB DDR4 G.SKill 3200 | Samsung SM951 M.2 SSD | Beyerdynamic DT 990 Edition

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I've read through the entire 14 pages, and it's no wonder why we have "fake news".

I have never seen such muddle headed "analysis" from self appointed experts who try to "infer" the hidden nuances from the statement made by PMDG.

Here's an idea, instead of inserting your own bias, good or bad, you take the statement at face value.  Plain and simple.  Is that so difficult?

Depending on your tilt, you "could" take the statement to infer that PMDG see's MSFS as a dumpster fire, and won't go near it, or that it is THE future of Flight Simulation and will be the only viable player within 1 years time.

Neither statement is most likely true.  PMDG wants to make money, like every company.  They understand the potential of MSFS, but they're not going to destroy their existing income stream prior to having a product ready for MSFS.  They will continue to develop for whatever platform continues to supply their income stream.  Plain and simple.  They don't have Xbox vs Playstation fan boi arguments that some here love to participate in.  They want to make money, and they will make it where the income stream is.  Period.

The fact that PMDG didn't have a resource available at launch means nothing.  It took an extended period of time for PMDG to release it's first asset for FSX as well.

The SDK is not mature yet, that is not news.  Both Asobo and their partners have explained that they are working on baking it more.  Again, no surprise.

So let's enjoy what we have and let the REAL experts do their jobs, instead of trying to read tea leaves and predicting the future by attempting to "read inbetween the lines".  

 

Edited by wthomas33065
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There is one sentence for me that stands out: " we still remain convinced that MSFS will be the long-term best-platform for simming over the next decade"

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Stefan Wiesmayer

My second hobby: BMW F87 M2 LCI

Core i7 6700K | Asus Z170-A | beQuiet! Power Zone 850w | Arctic Liquid Freezer 240 | Asus PA328Q 4K IPS | Asus Strix1080 ti | 32 GB DDR4 G.SKill 3200 | Samsung SM951 M.2 SSD | Beyerdynamic DT 990 Edition

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I agree with you 100%. But its a forum. so i guess these discussions. no matter how tedious they are (See the Rex one) are a part of its purpose. Everyone has an opinion on something so they are expressing it. What i will do though is just skim ones like this, make an assessment against the original statement, form my own opinion and move on. No need to add to certain discussions unless your'e providing a new angle or info.

The expectations of a few things are high so people are a little more speculative and anxious. Ive been out of the sim scene for quite a while. Had no idea that PMDG is now commanding triple digit price points for their products. I know they are good but that's a lot of money for some folks. Oh well, got lots of time to save up in any case.

Edited by Maxis

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7 minutes ago, Maxis said:

Had no idea that PMDG is now commanding triple digit price points for their products.

They only charge triple digit prices on simulator products themselves that have triple digit prices.  


They figure if you're willing to spend nearly $200.00 on P3d, then your pockets are deep.  Their offerings for FSX and Xplane are much less expensive.

No fools they....

I personally still wish they had the PMDG "lite" stuff.  I had their Beech 1900D for FS9 and it was my favorite aircraft to fly.  Not as "study level" as their other stuff, but perfect for regional flights.  

Edited by wthomas33065
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53 minutes ago, Steve Halpern said:

Hi Martin,

As I understand it, there is still a level of required interpretation... and that C++ compiled code is still measurably faster than WASM. From https://wiki.osdev.org/WebAssembly:

"The truth is, the name WebAssembly (or WASM in short) is quite misleading, as it's a very well specified bytecode format with a minimal interpreting environment, which does not require any Web-related technologies at all."

I think that article is using "interpret" in its general English-language meaning and not in the specific computer science meaning.

WASM definitely gets compiled to machine code. The article you linked to earlier shows machine code compiled from WASM (which in turn was compiled from C++ code) and compares it against machine code compiled directly from the same C++ code (Figure 7 in the article).

But it's certainly true that WASM is slower than machine code compiled directly from C++.

53 minutes ago, Steve Halpern said:

I agree with you on the Sandbox. But this is starting to move into another thread altogether over the discussion of sandboxing. But for high-level professional use, for example, with Prepar3D in a professional training environment, this does not mix. I do not know what to exactly say about it, but I have mixed feeling about going the sandbox route. As we try to get every frame possible and add every feature possible, the sandbox may make this a lot more difficult as we need to rely on the parent application for access to almost every element (read PMDG), rather than having the developer the freedom of Windows to develop. I mean, what is special about Flight Simulator that requires a sandbox, vs other Windows applications (after removing the Xbox factor)?

I think what's special is that Flight Simulator will have a wealth of addons available for it, and those addons are sold directly through an in-game marketplace. I think Microsoft / Asobo would be concerned about two things: How do they make sure an addon doesn't crash the sim, and how do they make sure an addon doesn't do malicious things? If the addon is allowed to run native code directly in the Flight Simulator process (as a DLL), both of these things are impossible to guarantee -- Microsoft / Asobo essentially need to trust the addon developer. In FSX and P3D, at least the former category (addons that crash the sim) are a common annoyance, and worse, it's often hard to pinpoint which addon is to blame.

For the case of a professional training environment that you bring up, both of these points would presumably be moot. You would presumably be developing the addons yourself, and testing them carefully, or you would be sourcing them from trusted parties with whom you have a close working relationship. In this scenario, WASM adds overhead without any benefit. I think it's pretty clear though that this isn't the use case that Microsoft / Asobo are after.

For the case of "study level" addons for enthusiasts from the likes of PMDG, I'm still optimistic that WASM will be viable technology once the required APIs are in place, but it's becoming clear that this will take time. This is what I'm getting from Robert Randazzo's post too -- assuming the post isn't marketing spin (which isn't usually his style), he's enthusiastic about the platform and the potential but cautions that things will take time.

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