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  1. News! - Digital download is available for X-Plane Now you can download the full X-Plane simulator online. Not required anymore is the DVD pack and to insert a DVD (Disk 1) or USB - Unlock key to run the simulator. The digital download is the same app as the DVD version… it just comes with a unlock-CODE (product key number) instead of an unlock-DISC. The X-Plane Simulator software is available Mac, Windows, and Linux. X-Plane will still cost the same at US$59.99 same as the DVD package but less the postage costs. But you have to factor in the download cost of the 60GB download of the default mesh scenery, you however don't have to download the scenery in one go, but on an as need to install basis. But you will need to download a basic starter set of scenery to fly in X-Plane. You can use your digital download product key to add scenery to X-Plane at any time by re-running the installer, picking “Add and Remove Scenery” and entering your digital download product key; you will need an internet connection to get additional scenery from the Laminar Research server. If you already use X-Plane10, you can get the product key number to replace the DVD and USB lock codes, which makes X-Plane10 easier to use without lugging around a disk drive or having a USB clogging up a slot. Full information here : X-Plane Digital Download Stephen Dutton Copyright : 22nd July 2015 X-Plane Reviews
  2. Laminar Research releases beta 10.40b6 Beta 10.40b6 is now available on your X-Plane Installers. The beta 10.40b6 is not really a beta update at all except for a few small fixes (below), but an update to allow the new X-Plane Digital Download to be active in the simulator. 10.40b6 notes are: Fixes for Beta 6 Screen saver disabled on Linux – user contributed code.Restored exporting parts as objects one-at-a-time in Plane-Maker.Improved time to load Quick Flight dialog box.Removed bogus OpenGL driver warnings on OS X that were scaring users.Run the installer and have the beta checkbox ticked to update to 10.40b6 (Steam users cannot update betas). X-Plane Developers Blog : http://developer.x-plane.com/ X-Plane Reviews : 21st July 2015
  3. Laminar Research : New approach-capable GPS navigator in X-Plane 10.30 One of the biggest items in common use on the X-Plane simulator is the Garmin GNS430 instrument. But only it wasn't really useful. Overall it was just really used to cover the VOR 1 and VOR 2 functions and that was about the length of its usefulness. That will all change with the coming 10.30beta. Philipp Munzel (of FlightFactor fame) has updated this very important instrument to its rightful position of the main navigation tool in most Small and General Aviation aircraft. The results are simply fantastic. To note Philipp: "X-Plane has been lacking a decent navigation solution for general aviation aircraft for a long time. The built-in GNS430 instrument could only do direct-to navigation and not use X-Plane’s FMS plans, making long IFR flights inconvenient. In X-Plane 10.30 we are introducing a new generation of the X-Plane 430 GPS navigator, modeled more closely after the Garmin 430W that is very popular in general aviation aircraft. The 430W is a popular aftermarket GPS replacement in many older general aviation aircraft, because it is approved for WAAS approaches and thus an easy upgrade to allow flying instrument approaches at lots of smaller airports without ILS." Philipp goes on to note the functions of the new Garmin instrument: The new X-Plane unit can create and fly multi-leg flightplans in addition to the direct-to function: You can create directs or flight plans using a worldwide database of airports, fixes and navaids: Loading or saving the route works using the X-Plane FMS format. Many online services for virtual flight planning are compatible with that: You can then navigate along your flight plan using one of different map views that provide situational awareness: While flying under VFR, stay alert to any Bravo, Charlie, Delta or special use airspace in the United states (open database, user-expandable): You will be warned when you are about to violate an airspace: using the nearest airport function you always know your nearest alternatives for landing (though we all know X-Avion does a much better job at that!) With a little help from your friend, knowing when to start your descend becomes easy: Before landing, always know who to call: For IFR approaches, load precision and non-precision approaches from a world-wide, updatable database: Review approach transitions and initial approach fixes: and then load any approach and transition into your flight plan: Under ATC (read: when flying online) the vector-to-final function will often be used instead of a transition: The X-Plane 430 is there to help you stay alert to common errors in approach navigation: The GPS is capable of flying non-precision GPS-approaches with a localizer-like guidance and varying CDI sensitivity: If you don’t see the runway at the minimum descend altitude, continue to the missed approach point and the flight plan sequencing will go into suspend. At the missed approach point, if you still don’t see the runway, begin your missed approach: If you don’t see the runway at the minimum descend altitude, continue to the missed approach point and the flight plan sequencing will go into suspend. At the missed approach point, if you still don’t see the runway, begin your missed approach: The new GNS430 is a drop-in replacement for the old one, so every X-Plane aircraft equipped with the GNS430 automagically becomes more IFR-capable with the 10.30 update. We also provide an additional instrument in style of the bigger GNS530, that designers can use in their aircraft starting with Plane-Maker 10.30. It also allows for dual installations that can either use separate flight plans or cross-fill. "The interaction of the GPS with the rest of the panel, especially the CDI and the autopilot, has been improved, offering a few more options for aircraft designers. Two additional posts explaining the new options in Plane-Maker will follow shortly. The database from which approaches are loaded is provided by Aerosoft. A current database will be provided once with X-Plane 10.30, and further updates will be available on a subscription basis. You might have noticed stupid COM frequencies in some screenshots. This is not a bug, but a feature: X-Plane 10.30 supports 8.33kHz channel spacing, that is now mandatory in the European upper airspace and will become more important over the next few years. This does not cover all functions of the real unit, but it covers what the pilot absolutely needs every day." (Philipp Munzul) (All of above in text and images are courtesy of Laminar Research) So not only do you get a hugely significantly upgraded Garmin GNS430, but the GNS530 version as well with the same features. No doubt this new feature will have a significant effect on our X-Plane simulation flying capablities and brings the smaller avionic suites up into the world of the larger FMS systems that have come into the cockpits of the heavies. Excited... Yes I am, and I can't wait to try all of these new Garmin systems out... Of course X-Plane Reviews will review the whole system when 10.30beta is released. For more information go to the Laminar Research Development Blog. Stephen Dutton 30th March 2014 Copyright©2014 : X-Plane Reviews
  4. Beta 10.22 Beta 10.22 is final.. Finally and now that is all done then quickly all speculation will start on the next beta... 10.30. In fact the speculation on b10.30 started a long time before beta 10.22 was even close to final. Because the few b10.20's dragged on and on. At the start of the 64bit change over it looked like it would be over in a matter of weeks, but instead the small gremlins got a hold and kept everyone scratching their heads for months. In the deepest part of it all was that it went to the very heart of everything that was not on the simulator itself, but what contributed to the simulator in scenery and aircraft. However in all of that it had the most impact as well, in the fact that unless the product plugin had been updated it didn't work in the simulator. A few worked fine with Plane-Maker origins, but the good money out of your pocket payware didn't. Developers took several tacks on this, many would update the plugins as soon as anything was ready (In which did work quite well), but a few waited till the situation was absolutely concrete before changing anything. The main work fell back on the plugin developers and as SASL (or as its real name is called in "Scriptable Avionics Simulation Library" was the most popular plugin that developers used, and it was up to Alexander Babichev to come up with the goods. Certainly it was a collaborative effort with everyone helping Alex from the various developers and Laminar Research to fix the coding and then work their way through the issues. Then once that done they then found out that the LuaIT plugin was running out of memory (in other words the aircraft crashed and so did your simulation) or simply when the Lua plugin ran out of its assigned low memory count from X-Plane (10) it just crashed. Ben Supnik (Laminar Research's top Guru) took the hard decision to fix the Lua issue now and then and cause a little pain, than try to cover it later and cause more pain and changes. Once the Lua was finally fixed and done then X-Plane version 10.22 was final. And that is where we all are sitting now. But the change to 64bit had dragged on longer than even Laminar Research had wanted it to, in fact the change to 64bit was never a priority for X-Plane version 10 at all, and was expected to come in another version rollover in maybe XP11 or XP12 and even XP13. But scenery and aircraft developers noted that with the extra memory allocated by 64bit would take many of the limitations away and the simulator would not be held prisoner anymore to the 32bit 3gb memory limit - but then to use how much memory you actually have installed in your computer. In other words it opened all the windows to let the sunshine in. The effects now with 64bit are simply amazing, 32bit is still there, but who uses that, a few still do. But now most of all the add-ons are now 64bit v2.0 compatible and life is now back to the same as it was before b10.20 and all the changes are now almost complete. Beta 10.30 Laminar Research have not announced what will be in Beta 10.30. On the forums the main topic was "seasons". In fact the majority of users want this as the main contender for b10.30. Nothing would make me more happier than having snow and ice to fly blindly into some Northern Winter, In fact the simulator should have a feature as important as this now. Howdy did a great job in X-Plane9 with "WinterWorld", I loved it, it wasn't perfect - but at least you could fly from a hot and bothered Dubai to a cold and dull shivering London... up to this date "WinterWorld" has not appeared for X-Plane10 - but the reality is we need for seasons to really good, blowing snow, real hail and mist that closes airports and sends insurance company managers jumping off bridges. summer heat haze and the colours of autumn and spring. So the reality is "seasons" won't come in b10.30, in fact it won't come until another version release of X-Plane and then be noted a new feature, so my guess is that it will come with X-Plane11. The main reason is that the tiles themselves will need to changed for seasons to work efficiently, in fact they would have to be integrated into the very core of the simulator. And you can't do that with out large files and very large files will still come on disks. My personal issue is the high flight level viewpoint. Go above twenty thousand feet and your view turns into a Commodore 64 pixel quality... Pretty it isn't and it needs to be fixed, but again are new tiles required or some clever coding to raise the quality of the distance. The good news is you have a lot of frame-rate headroom up there to cover the extra nautical mile area... but again can that be changed with out the required DVD disks? So what should be really expected in b10.30 or even in a few more betas until Laminar Research turn their attention to the next version of X-Plane11. If you look at the original X-Plane10 features then the answers are sitting right there. ATC will certainly be at the top of the list for attention, The ATC works, but it is painful and not very forgiving... A shame because if you do use it a lot, and understand it - it is very good, but the rules are far too tight for it to be really effective and realistic. And the fall out from the ATC is spoiling over to into other areas that is not making its use effective at airports even if it you choose to use the ATC or not. Clouds need work as well, they have great potential to be really effective in being gathered better for storms (Cloudbursts) and light drizzle, the moment you get near a cloud your world goes grey until you come out, or you are shaken violently by an angry cloud puff. The basic Idea of the clouds is very sound but it all needs a lot of refining to be really effective. The "Plausible World" needs more refinement as well, you have huge skyscrapers towering over the approaches of runways, and caravan parks in Abu Dhabi. The night textures are coming anyway so that is a given, but the gaps are still to big as the green patches still show that the idea is still not complete or even close to being finished. The point made was that more default autogen couldn't be rolled out until 64bit could handle it, now it can and the focus is now needed. Under the hood of X-Plane10 is harder to see. The new Multi-Core flight model is in there and so are the new systems for Jet Engines, Trim, Starter, Clutch, Hydraulic Pressure, Electrical and better dynamics... coming also is Philipp Münzel's various engine dynamics. The point will come when Laminar Research will start to focus on X-Plane11,(2014?) and the updates and betas will then start to taper off. Knowing Ben Supnik he will always throw something in there that we will not be expecting ( a code grenade!) and send us all in to a frenzy of love and devotion for our simulator of choice. But the main objectives have to be delivering and refining what was promised for this version of X-Plane before adding in new features that can be in reality assigned to the next version. That doesn't mean that the beta development will slow down. There is a lot items listed to get through and the changes will be very exciting and will add enormously to our current experience of the simulator, above all we need some stable time to refine our simulator to be more efficient and be more crash-proof and that is just as important as the dazzling new features. So hail the final of beta 10.22 and bring on beta 10.30. WED 1.2 Final Laminar Research's focus this year has not been totally on the 64bit change over, In fact most of the attention has been on WED (World EDitor) to make it a powerhouse in creating not only an .apt layout tool, but a full application to create scenery from scratch. Already it has delivered some spectacular results. And from WED 1.2 final all created WED scenery can now be channeled through Robert Peel's X-Plane airport and navigation data distribution channel to every X-Plane user via their regular X-Plane10 updates, we have yet to see this in action. And my first thoughts is that it is going to be very interesting on how big the downloads are going to be and how they will fill out your custom scenery folder. No doubt we will visit this when the updates start filtering through. The idea is that anyone can now create scenery and have the tools to do so, To be in X-Plane at this point in time is very exciting and to put the talents of users to work to create their own virtual world that everyone can share. Of which is really the heart of what X-Plane is really all about - us the users. Stephen Dutton (note: All information noted here is not from any source or Laminar Research. And are just my own conclusions and past stated facts) 7th August 2013
  5. Robin Peel has updated X-Plane's Airport and Nav-aid data. Robin's notes are : "New data is now available for X-Plane. This is data cycle 2013.10. This data is for X-Plane 9 and for X-Plane 10. This contains many updates. For details of the new additions see the change log on the “Download the Data http://data.x-plane.com/get_data.html” (15-Oct-2013 (AIRAC 2013.10) page of my website for complete details. We are transitioning to a new process for designing, submitting, reviewing and distributing airports, using the new “Global Airports” process. New features in X-Plane's airport editing tool - World Editor (WED) http://developer.x-plane.com/tools/worldeditor/ - now allow buildings and other objects to be defined at an airport, and these can be distributed with the new "Global Scenery" process whenever you perform a routine update of X-Plane. The simulator already includes an example of this - look at KATL in X-Plane and then explore your "Custom Scenery | Global Airports" folder. We will publish details of the submission process as we develop them over the next few weeks. Finally, many of your X-Plane airports will begin to sprout buildings! These files will work under Windows, Mac OS or Linux. If you wait until the next incremental release of X-Plane 10 then this data will be installed automatically if you use the "X-Plane Installer" - this avoids the need to download my files and install the files into the correct folders - this method is highly recommended! As always, this new data for X-Plane 9 and X-Plane 10 is available from my website at: X-Plane Airport & Navigation Data Please join me in thanking those who keep contributing to the X-Plane database. Helpful feedback is always appreciated. Robin Peel" 17th October 2013
  6. Laminar Research have released a new beta cycle in 10.25. If you wish to participate in the beta process then go to your X-Plane installer and press the "beta" checkbox. If you wish to dis-continue using the beta (10.25) you can uncheck the box and rerun the installer to go back to 10.20 (Final). 10.25 is a huge download (1.3gb) with all those submitted (over 250) airports. However it is full of "New Stuff" that marks the advancement of the X-Plane simulator with new urban bases (wet climes only at this point) and the natural terrains have been completely revised and now also represent tropical, subtropical and other landclasses. These urban bases will finally start to cover the "Green" lawn effect. The ones we have now were just a stop gap measure (that worked to a point). but were still very basic in their effect. The main library has also had art and texture updates for more stable (and efficient) rendering of library objects. And the library (with WED 1.2.1) has been simpified. The full Beta release comments are here : 10.25 Beta 1 I X-Plane The full list of the 10.25 beta is here below and the address of X-Plane Beta page : Beta - X-Plane Wiki X-Plane 10.25 Beta 1 updates a number of the art assets in X-Plane, and also ships a few bug fixes. New Stuff: This update contains 3-d buildings for over 250 airports, contributed by the X-Plane community. This is our first update to ship community-built airports using the X-Plane 10 airport building library. We will continue to ship updates to these airports as more contributions come in. A large number of natural terrains are updated. There are 103 new textures (+30%), which now represent tropical, partly subtropical and many other landclasses entirely new. This comes along with a great number of improved, enlarged or changed former textures. V10 has now a consistent look around the globe. New urban base terrain for wet climates. We are working on dry climates and may have them for a future beta, but for the wet climates this should make a nice improvement in views of cities from the air. Airport library and art decals have texture updates. The default libraries have paths marked as deprecated or private where appropriate; when using WED 1.2.1 beta 1, old and private library paths are hidden, simplifying the library. Bug fixes: Fixed network data output to ForeFlight. Fixed scroll wheel operation on Windows. Fixed ACF panel import in Plane-Maker. Datarefs: New datarefs to control the aircraft carrier and frigate with an override. Cinema verite can be set by dataref. Read-only access to whether HDR is on. I will add more notes to this post when I have ran the beta. 18th October 2013
  7. Laminar Research have released a beta for World EDitor in version 1.2.1 b1. It is noted as a "bug patch", however it is more focused on usability. Details: Locked and hidden items don’t cause clicks to select their parents. The interior of an airport boundary is not selectable – it never should have been. The marquee tool will never select the “world” entry on the hierarchy. The click hot spots of handles don’t shrink at low zoom – they were doing that before, which made clicking hard. The 1.2.1 has also the revised library items ready for beta 10.25 (Noted as coming "real soon now") and the submissions of "Global Airports" to Robin Peel. Ben Supnik noted in The Library: Public, Private and Deprecated that the current WED library system "is a big cluttered mess and it makes it hard to find and use art assets properly." So there is a need for a better filtering system. Currently Ben has three categories for art assets: Public. This is the stuff you should be using to make scenery packs. The lego airport bricks are all public. Private. This is stuff we meant to use as sub-parts of other art assets; they really should not have been exposed in the library. (The right thing to do is to use the parent art asset.) Often the private sub-parts contain fractions of a complete art asset and don’t make any sense on their own. Deprecated. This is stuff that used to be public, but now isn’t a good idea to use. Often the deprecated art assets contain empty stub objects, in place only to keep old scenery packs from crashing. For example, there are actually library paths for X-Plane 7 ENV radio towers – these would be marked as deprecated. These categories are for WED remember and not for X-Plane in private art assets, any private art assets will still work just as well under 10.25 as it did under 10.20. The goal here is to filter the library to find "the good stuff faster" and "not use internals and old stuff by accident" in WorldEditor. So with 1.2.1 it will filter out the private and deprecated library items, and make the library display a lot cleaner and more easier to use. Any bugs in the 1.2.1 beta should be of course reported quickly. For the full post then go to the: X-Plane Developers Blog : WorldEditor 1.2.1 Beta 1 – Ease of Use (for Robin too) WED Downloads are here : WorldEditor I X-Plane Developer Stephen Dutton 12th October 2013
  8. X-Plane 10 : HD Scenery v2 In the matrix that makes up Laminar Research, the scenery is mostly the work of Andras Fabian (AlpilotX) and Albert Laubi who is the texture artist in that with Ben Supnik (main Guru) create the virtual X-Plane world that we use and fly around. The creation of scenery is complex and is methodical in practice to create. In a very basic form it is textures laid over a mesh base. The mesh is created out of irregular sized triangles that hold information. Each of these triangle patches represents one type of terrain and X-Plane is different in the way that the mesh and these textures are all arranged on to the .dsf (Distribution Scenery Format ) tiles that we load continuously as we transverse an area or move across the world. Since X-Plane10 was released the amount of information created on to the .dsf tiles has been significantly increased. The biggest inclusion was the data of the OSM (OpenStreetMap) project that creates all the roads, building placements and the structure that highlights the complex world around us, the bonus of OSM is that it represents the real world data and that gives X-Plane the way to mirror the actual infrastructure and road networks in use in real time, and this is important for a flight simulator in the use of VFR rules (Visual Flight Rules). The main criticism with the release of X-Plane10 was the amount of data in OSM available was only very basic and that the actual textures were also very basic and still related in reality to older X-Plane simulator versions. People point to sceneries created by say ORBIX and other scenery developers and note “Why can’t we have that?”. Initially there was several reasons. One, most of these highly detailed sceneries where only created for a very small area, and with a concentration of a small landscape it is a lot easier to put in every rock and building - and you had to pay for it. Secondly, Is the fact that your computer could not run such highly sized scenery, a small portion yes, but not say a whole state or small country..... certainly not the whole of say, Alaska. On the surface it may look like X-Plane is running at a glacial pace, but that is not really the case. Andras has been putting out significant developments for quite awhile that will now soon start to show the progress that has been achieved. The first development was in HD (High-Definition) that you can download from AlpilotX site : X-Plane 10 HD Scenery Mesh They come in 10×10 degree areas that cover: “European” (9 downloads – each covering different regions) “Alaska and Canada West” (10 downloads) “USA West” (7 downloads – each covering 10×10 degrees, one covering 5×10 degrees) “Madagascar” (1 download) “Hawaii” (1 download) “Canary Island” (1 download) These sceneries are all experimental in context but at least will give up a lift up from the standard base areas that come with X-Plane. The next step was the release of a much higher density scenery that covered New Zealand : X-Plane 10 New Zealand Pro This release showed the potential of the HD when combined with the extremely high resolution base mesh (that is a bit higher than the other HD Scenery Mesh regions) with updated (and more detailed) land-class data (riverbeds, mines and morains which are entirely new – compared to the standard default Global Scenery. If you go to Juneau in Alaska, the current standard X-Plane scenery will look like this... From a distance it looks very good, but looking in closer it does look quite basic in that the textures are stretched and the detailing is quite average. The next step is v2. We got a first preview of the HD v2 scenery in July when Andras posted some scenery from Europe. This HD v2 scenery includes: Increased mesh density Improved forest representation (in Europe, reprocessed/improved raw forest land-class data) All new OSM data (streets, railways, power lines, water) Linear OSM rivers included (Tag:waterway=river) Some – minor – land-class tweaking (like strip mines or riverbeds etc.). Looking more closely you can see there is significantly more detail. The urban areas are far more complex and more natural, mountains and rocks have far more texture and detail, there is a more realistic feel to the scenery. Fields now look like fields and not just patches of green and the different types of textures have been increased significantly. More importantly is that the OSM data is far more denser, the areas look filled in with more autogen (Still too many mobile houses though), but it does look very good to what we have now. Andras has just posted another set of images (16th Sept 2013) and this time the scenery is focused on Canada. If you go back to the current default scenery you can see the difference in the v2 detailing, The images here are amazing in their shading and the far smaller rugged textures. Like Europe the grass areas here in Canada are again significantly different in detail. Overall on both sceneries it is the density of the forests and woodland areas that makes the most impact to the coverage of the landscapes. Instead of a trees you now have the realistic thickness of forests that has been missing from the current scenery. Areas to be covered by the v2 scenery is: Europe (this time, entire Europe) USA (complete) Alaska Canada (possibly not all of it, but definitely the South and West …) So why do we not have v2 scenery right now? There are two reasons. One, we needed 64bit in place to handle the larger sizes of these complex tiles. That job has now been done with the 10.22 (beta) and the 64bit is now stable. Secondly, is that the extra data and elements in new terrain textures are required to be in place to receive this scenery and that will be part of the 10.30 beta. When will the 10.30beta be released?... God Knows! But the work by Andras and Albert (plus some new .dsf cuts) will finally give the scenery the quality that we have hankered for, for so long. For more images of Europe and Canada and for any future release information then go to Andras Fabian’s (AlpilotX) web site: Alpilots l X-Plane Scenery Stephen Dutton 18th September 2013
  9. Ben Supnik has posted on X-Plane's Developers blog that "he is not dead but on Vacation"... Vacations are interesting things to do as they take your mind away from the day to day living and focus on you that you finally have a bit of space in your life... Interestingly for me they allow you to focus on the "bigger" picture on the fact that your are on the outside looking in, and not in the middle of the usual daily grind. Surprisingly I get more work done on holiday that I do everyday. as your mind is freer to look at things in this different outside perspective, I usually turn into a idea machine and set out new plans, goals and projects. More importantly it allows you to notice the bad as well as the good and be able change the things you normally would not usually do. Vacations can also severely ruin your bank balance and bring home the point of why you were doing certain things in the first place anyway (laughs). Ben I feel in this post has reached the same conclusions on X-Plane development, beta cycles are going be longer in six months and more than the usual three months in the past. His point is keeping the simulator more stable with a longer cycle, but like he notes X-Plane10 is a now very different animal than XP8 or even XP9. X-Plane is getting highly complex and you get things going in here affecting things somewhere out there. He does seem happy with the fact that the simulator has reached the point that the whiteboard of bug quashing is finally getting some blank space areas. So Laminar can now focus more on what Ben notes as "Structured Development" and move X-Plane10 forward in features than just spending months fixing the simulator and getting it to a mature stable phase. In reality you could look at it this way, The first two years was used in getting X-Plane10 to this mature stable point and the the next two years are used in building up on the foundations. The point must be made that X-Plane10 in its main engine is a very different beast than any other version before it, the basic fundamentals were changed and the implantation of the 64Bit memory expansion added to a bigger revolution than we realize. That phase hopefully is now behind us. Looking forward what can we expect. Ben notes : " Some kind of short-beta release to roll out new terrain textures, some of the userr-submitted lego-brick airports, and possibly a few small bug fixes. Then a long-beta release, where we could put a major feature or two, and also ship code that needs more serious testing (e.g. the OpenGL modernization)." The first beta is also required to deliver a few features for the addon developers (FlightFactor Boeing 757?) that are in a holding pattern waiting for the changes to be made, so a small run would have been required there anyway. In the second beta there will be changes (hopefully for the ATC?) and Ben will always surprise us with something totally unique and from far left field. The OpenGL is very interesting as well, It is noted not to be for current computers but to be used with the newer GPU features for X-Plane in the future (No it won't help with your framerate). The general feeling is that we are going to be moving forward again with the "betas", but with a more longer and slow but safe approach than in the past. If X-Plane10 is running well then don't mess with the apple cart and send everything into a runaway mess by tipping it all up. This time the simulator will just move more forward slowly but also carefully... X-Plane Developer Blog : X-Plane Developer Full post text is here: Author - Ben Supnik "Rumors of my death…are greatly exaggerated. I was out of the office last week on vacation (for the first time in 2.5 years) and didn’t bother to post first. Austin and Chris were also out on vacation for at least a week each. We are not dead, we are not out of business, and we are definitely not stopping development of X-Plane 10! Austin has been working on X-Plane since approximately 1637 (well, the 90s at least) and he is not going to stop now. Stuff We’re Working On I am still working with Alpilotx and others on DSF recuts. This work is moving forward, but my side at least is going slowly because I am also working on other features that are pre-release and have not been announced. I also had some time to do some OpenGL modernization over the last two weeks before vacation. This code does not directly improve X-Plane, but it sets us up to improve performance: once we have more modern code we can get access to newer GPU features. Upcoming Releases At this point I am looking at two releases: Some kind of short-beta release to roll out new terrain textures, some of the userr-submitted lego-brick airports, and possibly a few small bug fixes. Then a long-beta release, where we could put a major feature or two, and also ship code that needs more serious testing (e.g. the OpenGL modernization). Over the last few years that I have been working on X-Plane, the time between major patches has been steadily increasing. Back in X-Plane 7 or 8, we might have a major patch every three months; with X-Plane 10 that interval is more like six months. I think this longer time between major betas is good for X-Plane 10: It lets us run longer 8-week betas without being in beta perpetually. This gives third party developers more time test. Fewer larger patches means less work for third parties, since a major patch means retesting add-ons. X-Plane 10 is a much bigger product than X-Plane 6 – it needs a longer development cycle. Still On Fire? The other factor making it seem quiet around here (besides slower major betas and the occasional time off is that we are finally moving out of fire-fighting bug-fix mode into doing structured development. When we were fixing bugs in X-Plane 10.0 as fast as possible, a bug fix was followed by a beta and announcements as quickly as possible. Now that we have a stable 64-bit build out, we’re writing code that looks to build the future of X-Plane, rather than just fixing its past. So the quiet you hear now should hopefully turn into good features in the future." 17th August 2013
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