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Petition and Lock

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Since I wrote the original post which caused this mess, I want to get rid of a few comments.Firstly, I have to congratulate the people here. You've taken a post that was intended to achieve something postive and give some constructive critisism back to M$ and turned it into a post where people just have a go at each other which is even more useless then the recent SDKs. I think there are different opions if a petition would have an effect or not, but the way this discussion headed it's surely just a waste of time and even more useless than any petition.I understand if an avsim moderator locks the thread to avoid possible flames (which aren't of any use), but one has to ask the question if the desired effect has been achieved, if another posts is opened which is one step away from a flame war which could or could not have taken place in the original post. I consider my original post to be different to the previous posts as it was a call for action, or at least a call for some CONSTRUCTIVE suggestions. In my opinion a petition would have been a good move, since at least we would have done something as a united community, and taken some action towards the support we are missing, rather than the continued whinging and starting flame wars about it (which surely is not doing anything). And it may have at least put a lid onto the continued discussion about lacking support, as there would be a feeling that something has been done from our part and there really should be a response from Microsoft coming next.I also understand if avsim doesn't want to get involved into this sort of petition, but at least that could have been said openly, so the community knows where avsim stands.The point has been raised that a petition wouldn't be of any use and M$ reads the forums anyway. Well, if the FS staff is indeed is reading every post in this forum, then it is no wonder that the quality of the SDKs is so poor, because this would take so much time that there would be no time left to do any work. I can imagine that the FS staff is skimming through the post and read the occasional interesting one, but surely not all of them. They probably are aware that we developers aren't really happy, but are they aware of the level of frustration? I am still convinced that a petition which lots of signitures would at least make a point. If it's going to change anything I don't know, but considering the effort I put into cracking source bgls, etc, I'm surely willing to sacrifice a few hours to at least give it a shot. FS staff reading our posts is obviously not changing anything for the better (at least I'm still waiting for this change). In my opinion, the strategy of relying on FS staff reading our post has not done very well in the past.Another point is the comment on how the FS team is busy with CFS3 at the moment, and they couldn't deal with all those email, etc anyway because of lacking resources. That is exactly my point. Other companies have the same work load, even a higher one, and they still offer tools + support. How can this be? Let's take x-plane or FLY! which come with very advanced editors, way better than M$ SDKs, how can they afford doing this. Why is it that they answer personal emails. And let's go even further. Id software has about 10 staff, make games that are sold to many more people, yet they answer personal emails (and they get a BIG bunch of emails), participate in user forums, are willing to help, hired a guy from the community to make a level designer (and top quality, this is the best level designer you can get) for there last game Q3A, and on top of this offer support for this level designer, constantly release patches to improve their games and even take suggestions of the community to incorporate into their games, etc, etc. If this company can afford this, Microsoft should also be able to offer the same amount of support! well, if it's Microsoft's policy to not respond to emails / users forums, then my suggested petition would have been a call that this policy maybe should be reconsidered.Some people may have spotted a contradiction. Above I say Microsoft can't read all the posts and then I demand more support. But there is no contradiction really. The FS team doesn't have to read all the posts at all. All I want is that they reply to SOME of the posts they DO read, if they think it's appropriate, eg it's a common question and only they know the answer. Plus, they maybe have to hire someone to cope with this extra work. Other companies have done that...I want to finish with demonstrating my level of frustation. I have been hacking source bgls for the last year now in the hope that I can at some stage put my 1:25000 vector data into FS2K2. I'm getting closer to this goal, but given the fact how long this took me and how long it would have taken with help from Microsoft, I'm frankly sick of it. Without my efforts there probably would be no landclass scenery out there, nor photoreal mesh scenery (FS2K2 style). I'm also close to do parks / golfcourses / private airstrips, etc FS2K2 style. But I've just about had it. I can see no will at Microsofts side to increase their support and I'm getting convinced that I'm just wasting my time, because by the time, I've figured everything out, there's a new FS version and I can start from scratch again. I came to the conclusion that I will give flightgear a spin again and see how easy it is to make further advances there. All this time I could have spent to bring flightgear up to the same level of FS2K2, and that time would probably have been invested more wisely. In the next few weeks you may see me disappearing from the FS2K2 side, depending on how I go with flightgear.Cheers, Christian

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Hi Christian,If you are serious about this, why not make a website yourself. You can include the link in your signature something along the lines of the Following:*********Sign My Petition Here for better support from Microsofthttp://www.signmypetition.com*********You can download a simple guestbook or other freeware programs to accomplish your goal.Then with you posting over 124 times since March, there is a pretty good chance many will see your sig, you will accomplish your goal, and everyone can go on their merry way.Then you can forward your petition to Microsoft. And you can let others use your own sig so that more people will see it. Remember, our sigs are hosted on our own sites for the most part, so this may not be a problem.Just a thought, because I think your heart was in the right place, but maybe a different perspective on the tactic you used.Good Luck,Joe :-wave******************************Picture Gallery of My Flight in a 1945 SNJ-6 on June 1st, 2002Joliet, Illinoishttp://home.attbi.com/~jranos/FrameSet.htm******************************.http://home.attbi.com/~jranos/mysig.jpg http://avsim.com/hangar/air/bfu/logo70.gif

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I've been in this since "greensticks" and would love more support and a few issues, like ATC and that stupid engine startup sound I have to hear even tho I would never step into a plane with the engines already running, but while I would love this, I'm not sure I agree with the neccesity of it.I surely don't want to get flamed; I'm merely trying to inject the oft-ignored other perspective here.Why exactly does MS have to support your personal efforts to re-write their program? Would you make it better? Undeniably. Yet I fail to see any logical or moral motivation to aide you in this goal. I'd love to be able to request an altitude change with ATC, but by what reasoning should MS do this stuff? These are issues which are more in line with the evolution of a program, ie. things expanded or improved in later releases, then in any need to "fix" what is merely a software program released every two years and most certainly much improved.I guess I'm not in the "us against them" mode; I can't understand this ubiquitous feeling that we are "owed" more than what we got in the box. I think Fs2002 has crashed on me once and I've flown daily since last October. Is this a program that needs fixing? Not in my opinion. And obviously not in the opinion of MS, either.Perhaps it's being lucky enough to have seen the enormous efforts to grow this sim with each version. Perhaps it's experience being in business and understanding that the entire existence of this program is based on it's selling and on having something new to add every two years, thus keeping the product line alive.It's almost as if by purchasing one single program, everyone believes, nay demands, that it be tailored to their particular desires, re-coded, reformed, rethought just to suit their particular needs. And what are those needs? For some, IFR stuff. For others, eye-candy. Still some care only about flight models. Others visual models.How on earth can everyone expect that their own particular needs be satisfied for free when only an idiot would fail to see that the "needs" are many fold and choosing one thing over another simply favors one school of user over another.(oh my lord am I actually defending MS??? :D )And lastly, this particular post and other's on SDK's, are issues I understand as a huge devourer of freeware. But not everyone wants this stuff, and it IS proprietary knowledge we are expecting them to just share. Maybe they want to make the same improvements themselves to be able to sell FS2004 -- something which would be greatly hindered if they released info allowing freeware developers to add to the current version exactly what they are planning to add to the next one. And so f'ing what. It's a free market economy. They release it; I buy it. They hold off on features; I buy the next version.So be it.From the greensticks attached pic to what I see now -- I surely don't feel ripped off about anything.michael

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Christian,I fully appreciate where you are coming from, and I too think we have been shortchanged by Microsoft on occasion. I do however stop short of the evil conspiracy view that some other folks seem to throw out (not talking about you). In any case, I can tell you that your petition, while motivated by good intentions, will do exactly squat at Microsoft.Let me try to throw out a few obvservations from the standpoint of someone that does software development for a living (for nearly 30 years). I can tell you for certain that Microsoft is well aware of the problems with FS2002. They pay attention to what's going on and what's being said, believe me. But it absolutely does NOT control their actions. In my office, when I pass over a user request for enhancements, fixes, etc, its not because I don't care. It's because I lack management approval to take that action. A small, privately owned company might do something for no reason other than to generate customer good will, but I can guarantee you that a large corporation can't and won't. We aren't allowed to write one single line of code until our upper management see's a business case, on paper, PROVING that the benefits of doing so, in actual hard dollars will exceed the cost. My customers can write appeals and petitions until doomsday. Now if management sees sales start to drop off and attributes it to the problems, they will be fixed. If marketing convinces them that spending a million to fix it will earn them two million, it will be fixed. But not until then. one of the systems I manage on a daily basis is broken, period. I know it, the company knows it, our customers know it. But a replacement system is being developed and we could never recapture the large investment it would take to fix before it simply goes away. So our customers just have to live with it. It's not nice, but its big business, which mean big dollars, which is the only thing they pay attention to.Mike Stone

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Christian,I agree with you 100%......The answer to these and many other questions is simply motive. MS sells MASIVE quantities of MS FS 2002. They have nothing to GAIN by providing ANY such support! You and everyone else here is simply getting a patched version of the previous MS FS with a few enhancements when you fork over $70 for the new version every two years. Again, MOTIVE they have nothing to gain FINANCIALY by providing support or patches for their MS FS product. MS FS has been a DYNASTY in the FS market since it's inception. I personally REALLY enjoyed the OLD ATP program that was developed by SubLogic Back in the day. It came with an entire jet routes and navigational maps for the ENTIRE CONTINENTAL US along with a VERY SOLID autopilot system and nice manual. These days MS and many other companies have a big pretty box with a cd jewel case, a registartion card and an advertisement for other company products. Pathetic, in my opion. I just purchased a full version of MS windows XP a few months ago. What type of instruction manual came with this $200 product, a 4 page INSTALLATION flyer! GO FIGURE... And if you want TECHNICAL support you are allowed 1 or 2 free phone consultations. Then you must PAY dearly for support, i beleive it runs at least $60/hour or more for technical support for windows.Bottom line, if Microsoft isn't going to make ANY money off they're efforts they will not raise a finger or the slightest thought. Look at TRI for example. TRI, is the developer of FLY!. Richard Harvey is the program development head, he has BRAIN CANCER (getting chemotherapy and the works) and still is deveoploping patches and ad on features for FLY! and FLY!II in his own free time!!! With NO motive than to perfect his product and provide continual advances for his software. I can't imagine or even phatom the amount of character and heart Richard Harvey has to pursue such endevours. My heart goes out to him and his family.Anyways, the main point I'm getting at is this: The passions and potiential of all FS (MS FS, FLY!, X-Plane, etc.) enthusiasts will never be fully appreciated or utilized simiply because they are not a financial tool that can be effectively utilized anymore than they already are. MS DEPENDS on forums and devolopers to keep MS FS going as do many other sims. However, they WILL NOT provide ANY support other than an installation or compatibilty problem. Your only support will be provided the next time you fork over $70 for the next MS FS patch... titled MS FS 2004..........That's the end of my diatribe.What does everybody else think of this issue?CB

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Well Christian, I'm afraid I must step to the side of the desenters. And I certainly wish you to know that I respect your efforts and dedication. But I tend to look at these matters more from a business perspective.First, keep in mind that the folks who consider themselves dedicated simmers (you and me included) make up a very small percentage of MSFS buyers. While the folks who create this stuff may peruse these forums, Microsoft's marketing emphasis must be the casual user. That's where the sales are. Microsoft has made it clear that there will be no updates, patches, etc. They have adopted the stance that they will offer the serious simmer some SDK's, and that is it. Having learned how much time is required to create a patch, distribute the patch and await feedback, and then continue to deal with some serious simmers who will still be unhappy, they have instead opted to put the best product they can produce on the shelves and then get on with the next iteration.As consumer product developers, Micrsoft is obviously bound by the market economy to listen to our gripes, concerns, and wishes. But they are not bound to providing information they, for whatever their reasons, wish not to share with us. Which leaves us with three possible paths: 1)We walk away from their product, 2)Developers continue to struggle to understand the inner workings of the product only because they have a passion for improving the simming experience, 3)We fly what we have now and await the opportunity to spend another $70.00 or so when the next version is released.FWIW, should you decide to host a petition, I will gladly sign it. Because doing so can't hurt. But I have no delusions, as a business owner, that any petition will rock Microsoft's world.Good luck with your endeavor, and thank you for your passion to make the product better.Regards,

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Mike,You're most likely right. This petition is probably going to hit a brick wall at a big corporation like Microsoft. So why am I still trying?Firstly, it's not that much effort (compared to what I invest into scenery 'cracking'). Secondly, sometimes you can get surprised. Half a year ago I contacted someone at Microsoft in NZ and wrote a small document about the terrain bgls with some questions and a plea the the FS staff would have a quick glance over it and maybe give back some comments / answers. I was taken by surprise, that person offered friendly help, and managed to forward this document through several levels at M$ right to the FS team. And that's where it bounced back. Now I was taken by surprise there, my plea was passed on by the same corporate managers that we accuse of being the reason for the poor support, but rather bounced at the FS team. I'm not judging anyone here, the FS team probably had its reasons to bounce it, and thats fine. The point I want to make is that such a petition may actually move something. Here is a bunch of users complaining in an organised, polite fashion, suggesting improved support. I don't expect a release of first class SDKs / tools overnight, but maybe some substantial changes that may take hold over the next year. If nothing changes, I'll change to a different flightsim.Cheers, Christian

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Thanks Mike. I'm having difficulty justifying my own post relative to my own anger over MS's treatment of Steve Small and his points that it was freeware that helped grow the hobby, thus contributing to the customer base that MS now relies on.Trying to not hit the EDIT button because I don't mind making a bad point now and then :)But I think you clarified what it is that makes me different from the views of Christian et al.I understand the business point of view, even if I don't like it, and it frustrates me to hear others getting so worked up over something that just isn't representative of reality.It doesn't make business sense to invest further in this version of this product.It's a fact. I reluctantly accept that. A petition serves a personal need to vent; it would never actualize into anything.And finally, what I guess I've become scared to say around here (which is sad since it's exactly what gave birth to this place and all others) is that I LOVE SubLogic/Microsoft Flight Simulators. Always have, always will, always so very happy that it makes enough business sense to keep seeing it again and again, better and better. If it was still greensticks, I'd still be playing it!(30 years in software? Aren't you about double the average burnout time??)michael

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This is what I was looking for in my original post. Good ideas! This certainly is one and I may actually do this...However, apart from the odd post (maybe 5 over the last 6 months), I don't post here, but in the scenery and mesh forums, which have a rather limited audience. This is why I raised this issue here, because I will need support (eg other people taking the support page link into their signiture, etc).Cheers, Christian

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I mostly agree, but I just want to get M$ to rethink their strategy. Why is FS2K2 so sucessful? Certainly, the big load of add-ons contribute their part. So what if another flight simulator will grow to a similar number of add-ons? FLY! may have lost the last round, but the thing that really puts me off is the choice of scenery engine, which demands too much storage space. I'm sure, FLY will strike back and when the next FLY comes, M$ may very well loose ground to FLY (or xplane, if the amount of support grows there).Commenting on your options:3 is not an option for me, because I want to add commercial geographic data, which M$ can never do, because that's too expensive.2 has been my option so far, but I'm beginning to wonder if I shouldn't put my efforts into some other flightsim and go with option 1 instead. And I'm sure I'm not the only one. And if one after another developer moves somewhere else, M$ should expect some competition in the years to come...Cheers, Christian

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Who's says I'm not burned out???? :-)After all I design airplanes for fun?!?!?!?

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Well, I guess I'm repeating myself here...I see the money point of view, but it is my opinion that it is deceiving to think support is a luxury and only costs money.Question: Would id software be where they are now if Doom / Quake wouldn't have had the supperb support over the last 10 years?To answer your question about FLY, I think the next version is going to make ground compared to MSFS and in 5 years time it's going to kick MSFS b*tt, if things stay like they are. If only they'd change the scenery engine to how it's done in FS2K2, I'd be playing FLY! instead of FS2K2.Cheers, Christian

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SO....................... after your long "rant" :)..... How come Microsoft released such a superior out of the box simulator ? One that doesn't need massive transfusions just to get it running, or one that's overhauled on a monthly basis like the second "other" sim you mentioned!!MICROSOFT must REALLY CARE afterall!!! :-lol :-lol :-lol L.Adamson ---- getting ready for CFS3 & FS2004--- YIPPPPPIIIEEEE!!EDIT:Capt. Bob-----I add your quote: MS DEPENDS on forums and devolopers to keep MS FS going as do many other sims. However, they WILL NOT provide ANY support other than an installation or compatibilty problem. Your only support will be provided the next time you fork over $70 for the next MS FS patch... titled MS FS 2004..........Now I must ask.................. considering the many 3rd party payware developers out there, which has greatly multiplied in the last couple of years; wouldn't you say that these people need to rely on Microsoft to keep THEM going??

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>To answer your question about FLY, I think the next version >is going to make ground compared to MSFS and in 5 years time >it's going to kick MSFS b*tt, if things stay like they are. >If only they'd change the scenery engine to how it's done in >FS2K2, I'd be playing FLY! instead of FS2K2. >If you're willing to invest about $3,000,000+ into the FLY series, this could all come true!!L.Adamson

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getting ready for CFS3 & FS2004--- YIPPPPPIIIEEEE!! YES this is the most important issue, franchise stability instant of developper team interact in forum and get bashed, like I already see this before :-lol I prefer franshise stability over patch & sdk = CFS3 & FS2004, CFS4 & FS2006, CFS5 & FS2008 ThanksChris Willis[link:fsw.simflight.com/FSWMenuFsSim.html]Clouds And Addons For MsFshttp://fsw.simflight.com/fsw.jpg

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Don't forget how old MSFS is and how old FLY! is. M$ can draw from some old code, use that as a base, and gradually improve. Noone can write a flight simulator like FS2K2 from scratch. Give FLY! some time to evolve.How come MSFS is still using aircraft models that are who knows how old, while xplane takes the actual shape of a plane to calculate 'real time' flight dynamics?I better stop here, otherwise this goes into the good old flame war, we really want to avoid here. So please, no more 'my sim is so much better than your sim', or 'but how come this sim can't do this', or 'that sim crashes all the time'.Let's concentrate on the support issue, constructive opinions and suggestions... Otherwise, this thread will get locked again...My point really is that I personally think that FLY will profit from the user feedback, and will evolve faster than MSFS, until it will overtake... Rather than having wasted my time on MSFS, I hope that M$ will realise this and take action...Cheers, Christian

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