Category Archives: about

Status Update

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.

 

Introducing swift project

Dear FlightSim Community,

Welcome to the brand new and official blog about swift – the open source pilot client. In the past we used to release updates about the latest status, development progress, etc. in different forums. This fractured approach is now replaced by this blog…. you will be informed about any news, announcements and progress reports here from now on. So keep an eye on it and visit us regularly if you want to be up to date.

Since this is the first post here, you might be reading this having not read or heard anything about swift before, so here is a brief overview of what we want to achieve:

swift – the open source pilot client – is developed by a small group of VATSIM enthusiasts who want to give back something to the community and also reactivate the stalled client development in VATSIM. The major design goals are:

  • Cross platform support for all important operating systems (Windows, Linux, Mac OS X).
  • Cross simulator support initially for major simulators (FSX, P3D, FS2004, X-Plane).
  • Distributed enviroment: You are completely free to run the client as one executable, as two different executables (Gui and Core) on one computer or even on two different platforms in a network.
  • Extendable via plugins
  • Open Source – everyone will be encouraged to submit bug and feature patches after initial source code release.

Quite challenging goals but the team is very smart and we are optimistic to reach all of them, eventually. Brings us immediately to the point, where have we got to? So here you go, the status is:

A big part of the core functionality is finished and working. This includes:

  • Successful connection and communication to VATSIM FSD servers.
  • Successful connection and communication to VATSIM Voice servers.
  • Simulator plugins in progress: FSX, X-Plane and FS9.

You don’t trust me? Following are some screen shots of the client in action in

FSX:

fsx_traffic

FS9:

fs9_towerview

X-Plane

xplane-traffic

The GUI you can see here is our 1st version and still work in progress.

This was a very brief overview of the overal status. I did not go into detail, because it would be too much. If you want read more about the progress history, check out the forum thread here.

What is still missing to release it?

  • We started with model matching, but it is not yet complete and needs some further development
  • Aircraft synchronisation of gear and flaps etc. – a joined initiative between vPilot and swift is in the final phase and needs to be implemented.
  • Intuitive user GUI
  • Basic weather obtained from the network.
  • There are still bugs and some regions of spaghetti code which need to be fixed and refactored respectively.

All in all we are on track and it is already looking promising.

When will it be released?
This is a very common question which we are asked quite frequently. We would love to give anestimate, but the project is complex (multiple platforms, multiple simulators, distributed environment). Furthermore we all do it in spare time, which is influenced by private life etc. We often hit difficulties, things take longer then expected. As you could see already, we have completed a lot and we are still progressing very well. But any estimate of remaining time would be nonsense. So please patient for the time being. As soon as we know more, we will inform you 🙂

That’s it for this time, stay tuned and always three virtual greens.

Your swift dev team
Mathew, Klaus and Roland