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brucewtb

RC4 observation re shelf life

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I am following with interest the development of RC4 as it seems to address the major frustrations I have with FS2004 ATC. However there is one little thing that is starting to concern me. I understand RC4 is unlikely to be released before the end of this year. If so then it may only have a few months shelf life before FS2006 comes along and its a whole new ball game. Furthermore, the suggestion that MS may make some radical changes to the FS code base this time round gives me some what more concern than might otherwise be the case. Of course this observation applies to all developers with new products still some months from release. I don't want the product released before it's ready but there does come a point when a potential purchaser has to consider this issue.Bruce

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Unless MS is releasing SDKs to a private few, notice that only recently have many of the FS9 SDKs been released. This has the effect of delaying product compatibility with new versions until said new version is well into its life cycle.You have the opportunity to delay purchasing a new FS until you think you have warn out the full potential of your current version.MS's history shows they have done this in many of their application areas, prereleasing info on some things to developers they choose as "partners" from an application process. This is my personal observation and it may not be correct, but I'm just recalling trade press articles.What I recall being mysteriously posted somewhere is that MS Games is developing a new XML based language for gaming that can be interpreted as common code for a PC based gaming engine and an X-Box or similar MS product gaming engine. This is supposed to make it easier for developers to write code if for both environments if FS shows up in an X-Box version.You can determine the shelf life of your product purchases by simply synchronizing your purchases and your chosen base product retirements.

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there has been no release date or speculation on when it will be released. doug's motto applies today, as it did when we release version 1.x "quality not calendar"but you bring up an interesting point, and i'll see if i make a few keen observations.history - rc gave the fs community realistic atc when there was no atc available from flight simulator. the next version of flight simulator had atc (and that would be a stretch), but our feature list was easily 10 times longer. but we didn't stop. around that time we realized that APLC was not going to be our future programming language, and ms was no longer going to support it. so i rewrote rc in visual basic, and add a ton of new features. that's why it took so long to get v3 out the door. happened to coincide with a ms fs release, which had more atc included. when v3 was released, again the feature set was about 10 to 1 again. now version 4 is going to blow your socks off, but like you said, i will be competing with a future release of flight simulator. i say, bring it on. my hat will be off to them if they can meet the v3 featureset and match v4's. it's possible, that ms atc will be better than v4. if so, then the marketplace will decide.quality - we strive for it. we test and test and test and .... you get the idea. i have a world class group of people testing this stuff, real life controllers from europe as well as the us. v4 will have much more "internationalization" in phraseology. all the little things that are said differently on the runway in london (or anywhere in europe), you will hear in rc. with the adoption of rvsm around the world (well almost), we're ready for that. we (the other testers) test interoperability with the major add on weather programs, traffic utilities, gauges, planes, etc. we can't test them all, but we have fewer surprises after release.support - this forum is alive with people to support your rc experience, and undoubtadly you will find posts by me or doug on almost any question asked here. usually it is answered by one of our many supporters, or beta testers, before i get a chance to answer it.i can't speak to what ms is going to do with their code. but there is one simple fact, if fsuipc doesn't work with fs2006, there is going to be an uproar like you've never seen. you raised some good points, i hope i answered them.jd

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Thank you for your well considered comments on this issue, and I appreciate that developers are having a hard time getting product into the market place with MS playing hardball with late release of SDKs. My concern is not so much that having bought RC4 FS2006 then equals or betters it - history suggests this is unlikey - but the time it may take to get RC4 compatible with FS2006 after possibly just a few months use with FS2004. I fully support your commitment to quality but I only hope we don't all get snookered by the direction MS takes with FS2006. Good luck!Bruce

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