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Idea

DC1973 avatar image
DC1973 suggested Paavo commented

Sim Update Changelogs in advance of Sim Update releases

Hi folks,

After a recent chat with Jorg, I wanted to post here an idea that I shared with him regarding Sim Updates and the difficulties faced in understanding the differences between intentional changes within the simulator's structure, and bugs. Currently, there is no information released prior to Sim Updates that outlines what is being done within the simulator by Asobo, even though those updates are always underway months before public beta and release.

As Asobo airplanes are always updated and work with each Sim Update without apparent issue, it seems clear that what has been changed within the simulator is known to the team. I would like this information to be shared with third-party developers prior to each Sim Update launch, so that we can refine our own updates and understand where best to direct our efforts. Reporting non-functional airplanes or other bugs does not produce the information we need to fix those issues, and does not allow us to know in advance whether Asobo has made an error or intends the changes made to the sim that then cause issues with third-party products.

A 48 chapter Changelog is not required - merely a list touching on the changes made with each update. In the case of Sim Update 9, a line notifying us of fuel pressure changes to reheat requirements, and any similar adjustments, would have made it far easier to fix problems with Concorde, instead of many long hours trying to figure out what had been done to cause the issue. We would also then have known it was something we definitely needed to adjust, and not a bug with SU9 that Asobo might fix before the release date.

Hope this all makes sense. If developers have a heads'-up of where changes have been made, we're going to be much better positioned to know where to make our fixes, get them uploaded to the Marketplace team on time, and see much smoother transitions to each new version of the simulator.


Cheers, DC :)

documentation
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6 Comments

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Kaiii3 avatar image
Kaiii3 commented

To add to this idea:

Do not just include airplanes, but changes for all other stuff that is relevant for 3rd party content as well.

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runshotgun avatar image
runshotgun commented

Mind blowing that we have to ask for this really

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SFSimsDev avatar image
SFSimsDev commented

This gets my vote. It would certainly reduce the trepidation associated with each SU (including the betas)... Not knowing if we are going to have a productive day of developing because we're ahead of it all, or a busy day answering customer queries about a new issue (especially difficult when we don't know if it's down to us or the sim).

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HybridNZ avatar image
HybridNZ commented HybridNZ edited

There are two main problems with the way the beta is setup

1.Asobo side testing

It seems that the basics are slipping through the cracks.

EG it seems that things are just not being tested properly. When the beta is shipped for testing it takes us 5 - 10mins to start finding things that are broken.

I would also like to see a proper test script setup. Whether you guys need help in us set you up an open standard test model/project with an open and recognized test script so we can both benefit in the communication.
This will help you understand what we do in the 3rd party world and what you do in the feature development world.



2. Beta testing features locked in mostly

By the time beta testing reaches the developers/public, it seems that fixes are only loaded into the following release, not the release we are testing. An example is the vector place tool. I do get that you are running a schedule using agile methodologies but what it is causing is a long wait for fixes to actually be implemented. This is fine if it's not a sim-breaking bug, but when it affects our 3rd party products and our customers it's become very long in the tooth, Let me just say that our customers aren't in a good mood and there is a lot of trusts lost. This is now the real effect of these issues.
I understand that some things mean a larger re-write to code outside of your area, but I think you guys either need longer test and fix times or need to work something else out because, for the developer community, this isn't working.


I should add, you guys are really doing an amazing job as a whole and the access we have to you is amazing. We do actually appreciate all of this a whole lot. If we can nail a few of these communication and release issues sorted it will be a lot smoother.




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OzWookiee avatar image
OzWookiee commented

PLEASE, if you change something have the documentation READY for the beta testing and NOT 6 months later. This is something that we do in my day job, when releasing an update to the product, the documentation is ready DURING testing so that our testers fully understand what is going on.
In this case you probably are doing that internally however you have an extra complication of supporting third party developers and so you MUST share those changes with us.

I understand that MS is probably driving the bus a little bit with the scheduling, but that means you need to make them aware that this lack of communication and proper documentation is causing a lot of greif umongst your supposedly "supported" developers.

I'm not normally salty and I try to remain balanced in my feedback but this is a LONG burning issue.

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FlyingRaccoon avatar image
FlyingRaccoon commented

Hello everyone.
I think we have moved forward on this.
Do you have any feedback on how SU10 went in that regard so far?
Of course we still need to improve this, make the flighting doc and SDK download more accessible, etc...
Is there anything you want to add? Features or changes that were not listed, critical piece of info that was missing?

Regards,
Sylvain

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Paavo avatar image Paavo commented ·

I strongly recommend moving documentation to public github repo and generating documentation HTML from there, like many Microsoft's products already do, for example:
https://github.com/MicrosoftDocs/win32/blob/docs/desktop-src/desktop-programming.md
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/win32/desktop-programming

This would let us track every small change and submit corrections/clarifications. I often come across small mistakes, omissions, undisclosed caveats and things that are unclear and need testing to find out which interpretation is true.

1 Like 1 ·
runshotgun avatar image runshotgun commented ·

I'm very happy with the progress you guys have made on this!


Very pleased with the level of access, the openness to having us test multiple builds before release and the willingness to delay the update for the good of everyone.


Other than a massive cleanup in the non-working legacy code still present in the documentation, I have nothing to note.


Thank you!
- Keven

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Simbol avatar image Simbol commented ·

As Keven said.. very pleased with the progress on this regard.

One thing that I believe would be useful, is to extent tutorials regarding how to use new technology being implemented by your team, for example, I tried the model attachments and I was struggling a bit to understand why my attachment was not showing, to find out, the attachment LODs are enforced immediately, making the attachment LOD0 disappear straight away after compiling, this is happening despite that the LOD enforcement is not enabled on the LOD debug window, most of the attachments we build, starts with only 1 LOD and as we move forward with the project all the LODs are created.. so this was surprising and took a while to understand...

Also the new SimConnect API for facilities, the example on the documentation is a bit limited, and I am struggling to understand it fully.

Another example is when you guys move things forward with the flight modelling, even if we try to see the Cessna Caravan, King Air, etc. it is very hard to understand what to tweak to get the desired results, for an instance the prop modern, etc.


Regardless of the above, thank you so much for taking our feedback in consideration and allowing 3rd party developers more time to catch up, this is really appreciated and I continue to look forward for more improvements to the platform.

Best,
Raul


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N6722C avatar image N6722C Simbol commented ·

"I tried the model attachments and I was struggling a bit "

You are not the only one. My main issue is my apparent inability to interact with the attachment. / sub model.
If Model attachments / sub models area a work in progress, then more details in the SDK would help, both as to what is currently working, and the design goal for how it will eventually work when completed.


ie At the Moment, I can add a "sub Model" tablet, but I cannot interact with it, or display anything on it.
Is this the know current state of Sub Models, or am I missing something,


It seems that the base model may be need to be exported with the Unique ID bit set , for ist sub models to be fully functional.

So far, I have not seen a single model in MSFS, exported with that Bit set, implying that no existing Models can have interactive sub Models ??

If all this is already working, maybe we could have a simple example, in the SDK ?

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Simbol avatar image Simbol N6722C commented ·

My reference above was regarding model attachments and not sub model merging,. two different technologies, but you post just confirms the point I am raising.

Without more detailed examples all devs are just clueless about how to use these new features in the SDK, and we ran into the danger zone where nobody uses them because is too daunting, so they don't get properly tested and eventually we end up with new features in the SDK that either nobody uses or have limitations given the lack of feedback provided by the 3rd party developing community.

R.

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