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04FEB12 Update on SP1c and a few other items...


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#1 rsrandazzo

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 01:13 AM

Captains-I thought I would give you a quick update on some things that are happening in the background so that you have the "latest and greatest" information.(Please note: If I fail to cover any specific topic that is of interest to you in this update- it means there is no new information since the last time I mentioned that topic... :( )NGX SP1c Update got run over by migrating herd of software:================================================As is typical of companies that do what we do- we occasionally upgrade some of the software and tools we use. Since the NGX release in August, we have been quietly upgrading servers, adding functionality and updating the software that we use to run the operation of PMDG. One of those upgrades was scheduled for the end of January and it required taking down the systems we use for code development for a few days. When we scheduled this upgrade a few months ago, we had planned to have the SP1c and SDK already out- but this didn't happen- so the SP1c/SDK release got steamrolled by the server and software migration schedule.We are now working with some new development tools in the background that will ultimately improve our products- but this also means that we have to do a bit more checking and work with SP1c and the SDK to make sure that these changes didn't break anything unexpected. I anticipate this process taking a few days to a few weeks depending upon what we find.As of today it looks as though we caught/fixed the few items that will be a factor- but we are going to make sure.ETOPS, Installshield and never going near the pool without a life vest:=======================================================In the ETOPS environment, it is critical that you never work on "both sides of the airplane" at the same time. This way, even if you make an error on on engine- you won't have opened up the other engine- and the theory goes that you'll make it to your alternate safely in the event something goes wrong...But rather than take this sage advice, we are throwing caution to the wind- and also went ahead with this week's planned update to Installshield 2012. We've been using a six year old version of Installshield- and the update was long overdue.This too, was scheduled to take place AFTER the SP1c/SDK update- but since we got run over by the herd of migrating software we figured we might as well go all out...Converting the NGX installer over is taking a bit of time- but the new version will give us great flexibility and options for installation methods. Once we have the kinks worked out of the installer conversion- we'll be good to go with the SP1c/SDK release!SDK appears to be finished:======================The SDK appears to be finished- and we've had a few folks working with it testing functionality. We corrected a few things that they reported back with- and we feel it is good to go. The SDK is synched to SP1c, so we are goign to hold of pushing it out the door until SP1c also goes out- as you cannot use one without the other.PMDG 777 for FSX:================This project is moving ahead quite nicely- and you will see previews late in first quarter. Given that we have historically taken 3 years or more between major product releases- I think you will be quite pleased to see how far along this project is already! More on this later- and no we will not discuss a release date...PMDG Development for XPlane:=========================As I mentioned in a previous post, we see PMDG developing on multiple platforms in the future. There are a number of business arguments for why this is a good idea- and it has been part of our long term strategic plan for about the past 18 months. As we transition between the NGX and the 777, we have decided that now is a good time to begin the process of developing our first project for the XPlane series.I have seen/read a bunch of hyperbole on this topic of late- so I wanted to make very clear that yes, PMDG is going to develop a product for Xplane10. It is going to be a conversion of either the BAe JS4100, the NGX or the [secret project: censored].We are in the process of evaluating which of these projects will be the conversion project- and while we respect that many folks will have opinions on this topic- I want to make clear that our criteria for this selection has everything to do with easing our own learning process, and allowing us to experiment with the new platform, and unit sales/customer desires are secondary and probably tertiary...We have a fellow who has just joined the team who will be heading up this process for us. We will not be making any announcements about which project gets selected- just in case we change our mind and find it necessary to change direction once the conversion process has begun.Once we know for certain that the conversion project is going to make it to completion- we'll let you know which airplane will be first to depart in the XPlane product line!Personally I am quite excited about this process- as I find that Xplane has some features that absolutely tickle the developer in me. From a marketing perspective- Xplane gives me some concern- as any "healthy" platform for PMDG needs to have lots of scenery and airport designers at work- as well as "competing" designers because in order for PMDG to thrive in a marketplace- the marketplace itself needs to be thriving.PMDG Development for Prepar3d:===========================Thanks to some spry folks here in the forum, we have been in dicsussion with Lockheed Martin, Corp. regarding the current state of, and future development plans for the Prepar3d platform. As I stated in a previous post on this topic, we are currently evaluating which "commercially available" platform we are going to be using for our Commercial Solutions Division.I have seen quite a bit of discussion in this forum and others about whether or not Prepar3d is the replacement platform for FSX, etc etc etc. After my discussion with John Nicol at Lockheed Martin, I feel that I have a very clear picture of what LMCorp has planned for Prepar3d, and equally importantly, *what they do NOT have planned.*From PMDG's perspective, Prepar3d is not going to be a platform into which we push our retail product line. There will never be a consumer version of P3D, and as such it is not reasonable or feasible for us to expect the major market to exist on P3D beyond a small set of folks who don't mind the niche nature and the price tag.Now- that being said- there are some very serious licensing questions that come up when folks start talking about using our existing retail product line within Prepar3d. These are issues that we are going to be working with Lockheed Martin and the Prepar3d platform to resolve- as there is a significant amount of unwanted legal liability placed on our shoulders if an airline or airline employed pilot decides to place one of our retail products into that platform and use it for any purpose. Our legal counsel has weighed in on this topic already- and I anticipate that we are going to be updating our EULA to prohibit the use of our products within the Prepar3d platform- but I also am willing to bet that in the long term we will wind up altering their function so that you can only use a product in Prepar3d if it has been specifically licensed for use in Prepar3d and in a commercial environment.I realize this will disappoint some folks- but the hard reality is that we live in a world where lawyers look for any scapegoat they can find when an airplane has an incident. FSX and our retail products are very clear about the limits of their use- and the fact that Lockheed Martin has made retail products compatible with Prepar3d through the implementation of the FSX version of simconnect means that PMDG has to clearly demonstrate that we will not allow our retail products to be used in a non retail environment... I wish it were otherwise- but since we are talking about real-world liability here- we must act very clearly.(Please- lets not get into a Forum Lawyer debate about EULA's and Liability Mitigation. The only opinions that matter on this topic are the opinions coming from the law firms (yes- plural) that PMDG pays to provide us with guidance on these topics. Thank you for your understanding.)NGX Backup CD Production:======================I almost for forgot this one: Many of you ordered the backup CD for the NGX. Our plan has been to put them into production once we have the SP1 process finished. We didn't really plan on SP1b- and we definitely didn't plan on SP1c... but 1c is the last SP1 update- so they will go into production within days of the SP1c release!Thanks for your patience!Oh- and did I mention 777 preview coming by end of first quarter this year? Posted Image

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#2 TailDraggerPilot

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 01:16 AM

Thanks

#3 Tabs

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 01:17 AM

Also wanted to mention that I'm trying extremely hard to get Tutorial #2 done for inclusion with SP1c. I believe it'll make it, but as always no guarantees - I'm working on it in my free time between doing support, testing SP1c and other responsibilities... I guarantee you're gonna learn about things you had no idea were there on this one!

#4 PeterJones

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 01:20 AM

Onwards to multicrew :DJust kidding, well done guys. Great to hear. Hopefully getting on the xplane bandwagon will limit the "its a limitation of fsx" responses in the forum.

#5 Tabs

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 01:22 AM

Just kidding, well done guys. Great to hear. Hopefully getting on the xplane bandwagon will limit the "its a limitation of fsx" responses in the forum.

We definitely think it will, we have Austin/Laminar's full support and it'll be a totally different ballgame vs. not being able to ask about FSX internals and stuff like that when we want information.

#6 Jeff_B

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 01:27 AM

Excellent work thanks Ryan, go grab a beer!

#7 VLJ510

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 01:29 AM

I have a question in regards to Xplane as I have hardly used XP9. If all goes as planned on that front will Xplane game engine allow for things FSX can't do with PMDG ambitions?

#8 ricky76

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 01:40 AM

Sounds good guys! T7 seems to be well on its way. Now, if only we can give Bryan York the green light to allow us to hire an FO..........lol

#9 Plate-on-a-Stick

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 01:40 AM

So if the SDK is to be released along with SP1.C can we assume that all the outstanding legal issues regarding the SDK have now been addressed and you have been given the green light to release when you are ready?

#10 Tabs

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 01:42 AM

So if the SDK is to be released along with SP1.C can we assume that all the outstanding legal issues regarding the SDK have now been addressed and you have been given the green light to release when you are ready?

Yes, we're good - there's some limitations in the EULA that are going to be important for anyone making things with the SDK to read though - we'll make those clear.

#11 ricky76

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 01:52 AM

We definitely think it will, we have Austin/Laminar's full support and it'll be a totally different ballgame vs. not being able to ask about FSX internals and stuff like that when we want information.

So does that mean PMDG will be starting to focus more on Xplane? Damn Microsft. I really wish they fixed FSX instead of making Flight. Ahhhh so frustrating. Oh well, at least we got the NGX eh?

#12 fakeflyer737

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 01:53 AM

Meh, this update wasn't what I expected, so let me get this straight?1) 777 is being worked on (knew that already) 2) Sp1 + SDK will be released (knew that already)3) "Probably" not going to develop for PP3D (that's too bad)4) Going to Develop for X-plane (bought X-plane 10, totally disappointed)That pretty much summarizes the update, correct?Nothing about the secret project, Dash 8 or the new 747? O well, thank you for the update and I wish PMDG all the best. I love the NGX, it still suprises me how good it looks/feels.Now, these are my thoughts....feel free to hammer me if you must!Cheers

#13 Tabs

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 02:00 AM

Ron if you constantly look for things to be disappointed by you'll keep finding them, guaranteed.

#14 EGLL77W

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 02:03 AM

Oh- and did I mention 777 preview coming by end of first quarter this year? http://forum.avsim.net/public/style_emot...

CANNOT WAIT! :D

#15 Jezzebell

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 02:14 AM

Thanks for X-Plane Robert. Good news.CheersVadim.



   
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