On 9/17/07, Ralf Gerlich wrote:
> Holger Wirtz wrote:
> > But they asked me if I want to write something like a VATSIM-proxy for
> > FG to get arround the GPL problem. This proxy has to be closed-source.
> Hrm, so they are interested in getting FlightGear users into the boat,
> but they are not willing to open their protocol? How big can that
> interest in FlightGear users be relative to the interest in keeping
> their protocol obscured? Might that be some security-by-obscurity thing?

Here are a couple of my thoughts ...

1. Closed protocols can be a pain, but if that's the way they want to do
things, we have to honor their wishes.  I'm not in the fanatical open-source
camp that insists that all software and all protocols should be 100% open.
People have to be able to put food on the table and pay their bills.  I
agree that keeping the protocol closed only gives you a false sense of
security, and probably slows development and improvements ...

2. In terms of who does the interfacing work, us or them.  I think that
boils down to who benefits.  I suspect that the FlightGear users will have a
bigger benefit from getting access to the vatsim world than visa versa.
Based on what I've seen on the multiplayer servers, we might only add a
dozen or so users to the vatsim world at any one time.  So if we benefit
more than them, we can't get too uptight about who does the actual work, and
it probably makes sense for one of our developers to do the honors.

3. I'll just toss in this unrelated item ... a week ago I got to fly on a
NWA A330.  This aircraft had individual movie/music/game/map displays for
each seat.  I managed to hang/lock mine up ... apparently because the map
wasn't working on this flight for some reason.  So I asked the flight
attendent to reset the display and when she did, it booted Linux of all
things!  I thought that was interesting.


Curtis Olson - University of Minnesota - FlightGear Project
http://baron.flightgear.org/~curt/  http://www.humanfirst.umn.edu/
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