Please let me respond to a couple of these points ...

Paul Surgeon wrote:

First we need to get away from "single line taxiways".
At the moment taxiways are handled like runways which limits them to rectangular shapes.

We only support these kind of taxiways because that is the only kind of data we have available. If someone wanted to push forward with better taxiways, let's talk ... it's probably not too hard to add support to the genapts util, and hopefully not too hard to add something to taxidraw.

In short we need a vastly improved TaxiDraw or a new replacement.
The only hassle is that genairports cannot handle any new types of data so that would need modifying too.

Sure, these tools would have to be developed in tandom ... that would be a natural way to do it. It doesn't necessarily make sense to support a bunch of formats in genapts that no one can create and for which no data exists. Similarly it doesn't make sense to be able to create data if it can't be used when building airports ... these things have to happen together.

Ideally the taxiways, aprons, gates, etc should be able to be inserted into the scenery without the need to rebuild the scenery ....

There are advantages and disadvantages to every approach ... to do a good job of inserting airports into the scenery, you need to know things about the airport. If these things change, it makes sense to rebuild the scenery around it. But, for airport designers, there's not necessarily immediate feedback. In the short term you can regenerate the airport model and copy it over the old one and that works, but if the apt outline changes at all there will be a border mismatch until the surrounding terrain is rebuilt.

which as I understand it is nearly impossible unless you own a super computer with gigs of RAM.
(See Jason Cox's hassles where he cannot even make a 1x1 degree tile with 700+ MB or RAM)

I don't know ... I happily build the world on two 512Mb machines ... and the only place where I wished I had more RAM was when I split up the global shore line database into FG tiles, but that is already done so I don't have to do it again.

Unfortunately all the 3D geometry and logic involved is time consuming and not trivial (at least not for my brain).

Exactly ... it's non-trivial stuff. The basics aren't all that hard, but the details get tough ... edge matching tiles, working around and avoiding degenerate situations, etc.

In short the setup we have now sucks and there will be no near term solution.
One day someone will have a stab at it ... one day when the need becomes more pressing and someone is bored. :)
I'm sure David would write us an excellent, feature filled TaxiDraw if he was paid to do it full time.

Useful code contributions are rarely rejected ...



Curtis Olson
HumanFIRST Program
FlightGear Project
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