Hi.  I made this post a few weeks ago and didn't get much comment as to
whether it was a good or bad idea, so figured I'd try again.  Does this
seem like a good idea?  A lousy idea?  An idea that can be improved by



Begin forwarded message:
> Date: Fri, 2 Jul 2004 16:56:32 -0400
> From: Chris Metzler <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> Subject: Taxiway designations in runways.dat / Robin's apt.dat. 
> Opinions please!
> Hi.  I'd like folks' opinion about this.
> Right now, Robin Peel's apt.dat, which contains the runway and taxiway
> data, comes with xxx in the runway designator field if it's not a runway
> (i.e., is a taxiway, an apron, etc.).  FlightGear's runways.dat, derived
> from same, also lists things this way.
> There are some problems with this. For one thing, when it comes time to
> create the airport in scenery generation, a heuristic is required to
> discriminate between apron and taxiway (e.g. an apron is wider than it
> is long, a taxiway isn't).  If we ever wanted auto-generated
> runway/taxiway signs, the info isn't there on what to call the taxiways.
> Ditto if we ever wanted tower to provide taxi directions.  Those things
> may not happen any time soon (or ever); but if it's not much effort to
> prevent it from being impossible in the future, we might as well.
> And everything is complicated by the tons of very very short taxiways
> one creates in TaxiDraw to create rounded corners, etc.  I was working
> on doing KSQL correctly in TaxiDraw, given that it's the suggested
> "tutorial" airport in some of the user docs accompanying fgfs.  That
> got put aside when the most recent airport info from Robin was missing
> KSQL entirely, but anyway.  When I put it aside, it was up to 124
> taxiways.  How will creating those in the scenery generation get
> handled (centerlines, etc)?  How would automated taxiway signs/taxiing
> directions handle those?  How does taxiway lighting handle the turns
> cleanly?
> Meanwhile, through available charts, information on taxiway designations
> is available -- in some cases (e.g. airnav.com) fairly easily.  My
> thought was:  why not put this info in where we have it?  So I was
> contemplating suggesting to Robin Peel that the runway/taxiway
> designator be expanded from just "xxx = generic runway/apron" to
> something like this:
> xxx = generic runway/apron (to maintain backward compatibility)
> T__ = real-world taxiway, with __ containing the real-world taxiway
>       identifier.  (do they ever come with more than two characters?)
> Txx = taxiway that doesn't correspond to anything in the real-world,
>       and is only present for drawing purposes (e.g. for rounding
>       corners)
> Axx = apron
> This comes up because I was considering writing some utilities in
> python to go back and forth between FlightGear and X-Plane data formats,
> to facilitate submitting corrected airport data (e.g. generated by
> TaxiDraw, which writes in FlightGear format) back up to Robin Peel.
> I can just do it straight, as is; but if there's a chance of
> improving this earlier rather than later, I might as well include
> handling this correctly too.
> Of course, this would require monkeying with TerraGear and fgfs to
> handle the change cleanly, I guess, which I don't know how to do
> since I don't speak C++.  And maybe this is so far down the priority
> list of any coders as to be unimportant.  At first, I'd think it'd
> require nothing more than interpreting T__, Txx, and Axx as if they
> were xxx -- that is, ignoring that they're different from xxx -- so
> that the data could start being corrected immediately without breaking
> scenery creation at present.  And I wouldn't think that'd be too hard
> to do.  But I don't code C++and don't know about TerraGear, so maybe
> I don't know what I'm talking about.
> So, do people think pursuing this is a bad idea?  A good idea?  An
> idea that can be improved?  I wanted to see what people thought
> before asking Robin Peel about it.
> Thanks very much,
> -c

Chris Metzler                   [EMAIL PROTECTED]
                (remove "snip-me." to email)

"As a child I understood how to give; I have forgotten this grace since I
have become civilized." - Chief Luther Standing Bear

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