We have reached our swift version 0.8 milestone. This means that all major components of the swift application ecosystem now basically resemble what we think will be needed for the first release version. But we still have a lot of testing ahead before that can happen. We still can not predict when that first release will be.
The pilot client is not quite ready for public use. But what we would like to do now is invite some people to start trying out our model mapping tool, which was discussed in a previous blog post. This will enable us to learn what we have done well and what we have done poorly, and go about improving some of those poorer aspects and fixing the bugs that people discover. And by providing real data, the testers won’t just be testing, but also improving the model matching of the release version.
We call this phase of testing our “alpha program”. We will be reaching out to potential testers in the next few days and weeks. Please don’t take this post as an invitation to put yourself forward to be a tester. We will have enough names drawn from local regional groups, as too many would overload us. Remember that you won’t be able to fly online with the alpha version. A public beta will come later, when the most egregious bugs have been dealt with.
We have set up our new developer portal where our development will be conducted from now on. This is where our testers will be reporting bugs and missing features. It is also the current home of our user documentation.
We know you have been desperate for news, so here are some of the other things that have been keeping us quiet since our last update:
- Performance optimisation;
- Weather (if enabled, swift uses a smart algorithm mixing VATSIM METAR data with NOAA cloud, precip, and winds aloft data);
- Interim position packets and interpolation (smoothing out aircraft motion);
- Crash reporting tool (if swift crashes, it can “phone home” with the technical details of the crash to help us fix the bug);
- Lots of “behind the scenes” stuff that enables everything to work together.