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Guest Chris Wallace

Fly! Legacy

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I hadn't planned on making this announcement coincidentally with the AVSIM conference, but it's certainly as good a time as any...while fans of the "other sim" are partying in San Diego, I'd like to let the Fly! community know that there is at least a potential future path for further development on our favourite sim platform. Fly! Legacy is a new, open-source flight sim platform designed from the outset for complete compatibility with Fly! II aircraft, scenery, and other add-ons. Whether we are ultimately able to achieve 100% compatibility on everything remains to be seen, but at least that is the design goal, and so far, so good.The project is now hosted on SourceForge, from which you can download the source code (such as it is), ask any development related questions in the forums and download documentation as I have time to upload it. The project web page is http://www.sf.net/projects/flylegacy. I've also created a very basic web page which you can get to from the SF project site or directly at http://flylegacy.sf.net.There are more details on the "Development Status" page of the web site, but keep in mind that this project is nowhere near any kind of usable full release. In fact, I would not recommend that you try to download and run the code unless you are quite experienced at building open-source packages on Windows. There are many dependent libraries that you will have to also download or compile yourself, and after all is said and done the implementation is not nearly far enough to be usable as a flight sim. Over time, of course, as the project matures, pre-compiled binaries will be made available and the source code tree will be made easier for folks to download and build themselves.The whole thing started a couple of years ago as I was going through odds and ends of code that I'd written for various defunct Fly! and Fly! II projects. From there it just turned into a vehicle for my hobby programming, as I started experimenting with sky simulations and terrain systems, and then eventually started adding specific Fly! functionality like panels and aircraft systems. Since the birth of my second daughter just over a year ago, though, the time I've had available to continue on it has declined to practically zero, so I figure that the time has come to make what I have available up on SourceForge and maybe get some other developers onboard to get the implementation moving again. While I will stay involved to some extent, my direct contributions to the implementation are likely to be very infrequent and sporadic.I'd like to quickly thank Colin Sare-Soar for his help and encouragement on the project so far, he has been invaluable as a sounding board for ideas and for terrain and navigation stuff in particular, and he was a huge help in figuring out some of the undocumented Fly! II terrain related files. Of course Alex Amigorina, Laurent Claudet and everyone at ROTW and F2FD as well for their support, Wayne Roberts and the many many other independent content contributors that have been keeping this community going over the years.I'll try to update this forum when I make updates to the site, but it wouldn't hurt to check both the SF project site and the Fly! Legacy web page itself for updates from time to time if you are interested...Cheers,Chris WallaceOttawa, Canada

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Greate news Chris. I'm very excited with the possibility of having an open source that supports Fly!II. We have a lot of very good programming skilled fellows and the future of our favorite sim can now have a wide open door.Thanks for the news..I'll be following progress on the project.Best regardsJJ Lobo

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Hello Chris,Many thanks for sharing this GREAT news.This is a breakthrough for the Fly community.Cheers,FrankEBKT:-scatterPS,Looking forward for compatibility between Winamp and Fly! Legacy.

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G'day Chris,Ahha So this is your "ulterior" motive! I was wondering what you could possibly be referring to. Now all is revealed.I think it's a great idea. There have been several posts about collectively buying Fly! II code but that is out of the question but making an open source sim that's compatible with Fly! II and would allow the sim to be updated with features would surely be tremendous.There are some very capable programers on the forum so I will certainly follow this concept with interest. I'm no programmer but if you want any aircraft made for the open source sim then I'd be happy to helpThanks to your s3d converter I'm having a great time with Truespace which is a much simpler (and affordable :-) ) 3d package for aircraft construction.Cheers,Roger

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Roger,Yes, basically I have always wanted to continue to encourage third party add-ons since, besides the obvious first-order effects for the existing community, they would also be available for Fly! Legacy when/if it ever amounted to anything. So really you are making aircraft for Legacy when you make it for Fly! II. Same goes for Wayne's airport sceneries, etc. I haven't yet determined whether compiled third-party DLLs will be directly usable in Legacy, but other than that, it does look feasible to have a very high level of compatibility.Chris WallaceOttawa, Canada

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Donny AKA ShalomarFly 2 ROCKS!!!It's terrific news, and I am more and more convinced "open source" is the wave of the future. Having trouble gettting a bigger HD going in ME even with an ATA cable/card, but I intend to get Flightgear going to get some experience with open source. I am still pretty illiterate when it comes to setting stuff up so I'll stick to FLY II for a while yet.Best Regards, Donny:-wave

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Hi Chris,what I saw on your site was really breathtaking, getting all this to a point where you already have a lot of functionallity, beeing able to "fly" with an aircraft and get terrain rendered - great coding skills, high motivation, much time that got into that project. :-) As a father of 2 children I can only say that it is a big luck for you that you have got another focus in your life than our common hobby - spending much time together with the family and watching your kids grow up is something you *never* should omit, it is the most important thing in life (after my opinion).On the other side I can only hope that there are people who take up your part of work and go on giving FLY! another chance.But, have you ever thought of not inventing all things again but making up this sim as a "branch" of FlightGear? If you are licensing your code under GPL this should be possible. It could save a lot of coding and developing work (flightmodel, weather, navigation, autopilot, atc, ai, scripting language, replay, multiplayer, ethernet, basic functions), make things easier to realize in the main points (Terrain, Objects, Panels/functionality, Aircraft/outside views , ..) and one could profit from all upcoming development of FG and implement it. Ok, one had also to make some compromizes and adaptions (GUI, using non Terminal Reality flightmodel ..) but after all, this could really be done within 1 or 2 years!As only a relative small group of people would be interested in this "branch" (those who have access to all this copyprotected stuff from Terminal Reality which is needed as art-work, scenery- and data-files, etc) one cannot expect activity from the FG developers (at maximum some help and hints for implementation) the work had to be done by C++ knowing FLY! developers.This was an idea I had without knowing about your project the last months after I got deeper into FlightGear stuff and realized the amazing analogy of concept between FLY!II and FlightGear as FLY! also has a very open structure with many free readable descriptive files.I am watching this project further on and if at any time there would be a decision to go a way like described I would be glad if you could contact me via email.Anyway, all the best to you, Chris, your family and this outstanding FLY! project. However you will push it forward, it is a big chance for all FLY!ers.RegardsGeorg EDDW

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Donny,Getting FlightGear running from source code is a great idea to get an idea of open source development. It is a much more mature project, so the source is stable and there is a good support system of users. For the record, I have taken a couple of bits and pieces of FlightGear code and put them in Fly! Legacy, and at one time was looking at contributing all of this stuff to their project rather than starting my own. But there were just too many fundamental differences between the way Fly! works and FGFS, so I found it easier and closer to the spirit of the project to start essentially from scratch.Chris WallaceOttawa, Canada

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Georg,You're absolutely right about having to prioritize where your time is spent...and there is nothing that provides more enjoyment or satisfaction than spending time with the kids; everything else takes a distant second place!I had considered starting a branch from FlightGear, but as I began looking seriously at the code, there were just too many fundamental differences between how the two sims work. There are some similarities to be sure, particularly in the systems modelling (FGFS' properties system vs. Fly! messaging are not all that far apart) but all in all, my opinion was that I would be essentially writing a complete parallel sim without being able to capitalize too much on the prior achievements of FGFS. Of course since everything is GPL'd I have felt free to re-use some bits of code (such as the celestial object ephemeris code) in Fly! Legacy...hopefully that will be the best of both worlds.Chris WallaceOttawa, Canada

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Chris,Thank for this new development. Since download of USGS data is not available anymore for Fly2, Fly Legacy open source development perhaps will help address this area where up to date geographical data from available source can be used. Thanks again for your hardwork.chris_CA

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Chris I was stunned when I read your thread. In fact this is the best thing that can happen to the Fly! serie. An open source Fly!!Great idea to try and keep sceneries and planes compatible. Nothing is wrong with adding new possibilities in the future, but that will give some time to progress from what we have so far. That must be a big work however.I agree that Flightgear has great potential. One thing I particularly like is the elevation system, which is not constrained to a grid. That's an example of something Fly! Legacy could include in the future. Now we can see the power and reusability of GLPed code. Without it, the work would be too huge for the few programmers here!Apart from Flightgear, Crystal Space is an open source 3d engine which seems to have big developpment. It seems to be used more for standard games (I tried Planeshift, a MMORPG) than for rendering landscapes, but it has the ability to do it, and maybe you can find it useful:http://community.crystalspace3d.org/tiki-index.phpI'm not a programmer, but I'll follow with interest the developpment of Fly! Legacy.Greetings!Pascal

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Chris, as some of us have written on simvol forum, ROTW is ready to work with you on this important project.Regards,Ren

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Many thanks, Chris.It's an exciting future we're facing now with Fly! and Fly!Legacy ...Many great sceneries, airports, aircraft (and maybe plugins ?) will have a new repository home for those of us who haven't the Fly! original ... the community should grow again now ! Hurray !laurentC (rotw)

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Donny AKA ShalomarFly 2 ROCKS!!!If as the project matures the same route is taken as with the addon DVD- name the donation, I'll double it. And if it is all compatible- I always wished ROTW would give the original DVD the same exposure (front page) as the ATR-42-500.Best Regards, Donny:-wave

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As a past Fly! user, I occasionally check the forums for any news or further developments of the simulator. I've got to say, this is probably the most inspiring news to come out of the community since I read one of the developers allude to the possibility of Fly!3 not long after Richard's untimely passing. Sadly, I'm just a lowly web developer... I have no skills in object oriented programming or the like and doubt there would be much I could contribute, but for moral support I offer every encouragement and well-wish that I could come up with! This is a monumental task, and I'm extraordinarily proud to see it begin.I've tried to use FlightGear in the past, but in the end it's simply generations behind the other flight simulators. Even our old friend Fly! has the advantage on it in many ways, and in many ways the developers really don't seem to care. I hope the passion that the Fly! fans have for it will carry over into this, and produce a high quality, open source flight simulator. I would absolutely love to see eventual progress into the arena of AI traffic, air traffic control, and 3D virtual cockpits, but just to have the framework of Fly! open is a gem.I know it is noted on the site that no monetary contibutions are accepted, but I realize that it must be expensive to run and maintain this project. If there's any way contributions will help organize the project, purchase terrain data, or fund the development of high quality textures, I would encourage a PayPal button!I'm about to go dig out my old Fly! 2 disk and fire it up. The community's passion has inspired me!

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I Think this is a very important achievement for the Fly! community.I hope sincerely that we can make this sim a real jewel, let's turn it into the sim that Rich always wanted to have. But it is not just enough for us to develop this within our own community. We need to get the word out and make sure everyone who loves flight simulators knows about this. We have such great potential here, let's make the most of this wonderful opportunity!Regards,Cory

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