Re: [Flightgear-devel] Partially Offtopic: Help open up the FSDprotocol

2003-02-03 Thread Bert Driehuis
On Tue, 28 Jan 2003, Mathew McBride wrote:

 I have some more info on this in a seperate thread:

My message is probably fully off-topic here, but then again; maybe

I'm a rookie here. Don't want to know the virtual damage I've done to
the virtual planes I flew. I'd like to throw in a few observations based
on comments you made, and some of my own.

 1) IVAO. This is more of a european network, but with much better
 connections in other parts of the world (Australia). I belive they use their
 own server, and you can download it from I use this network

They've got a nice assortment of info in addition to the virtual live
world. But it once again struck me that there is no open (as in, at
least GPL/LGPL, or BSD styled) repository of aviation related data. I've
pieced together some databases myself (country registration prefixes,
airline data, aircraft data, ACARS codes), but I rate this collection
Personal Use because of unclear licensing of the base data gleaned from
web sites (and the way data is presented, such as on the IVAO web site,
makes it pretty obvious that you're not supposed to feed that data into
your personal database).

Is there any web site that has a meta-database of available info, that
specifies license restrictions? Am I overlooking any sources of data?
Would a Sourceforge project dedicated just to avdata make sense to

It's all window dressing as far as I'm concerned, but it is nice to be
able to augment
  PH-HZF HV0992 H1 #M1BPRG/FNHV0992/DTEHAM,19R,77,014711,29C98F
  B737-8K2 delivered 06/11/99
  Flight: Transavia 992
  Destination: Schiphol Apt, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  Runway: 19R
  ETA: 01:47:11
without having to perform a gazillion of web lookups, followed by
parsing the HTML response.

 Some other FG comms stuff on my long term radar:
 1) ACARS. Hey, aircfaft don't communicate over voice completely. They do use
 Text comms some times.

In my copious spare time, I've been playing the sorcerors apprentice at
DSP coding and come up with a Unix tool to decode ACARS from a radio
receiver with a sound card. It sort of works (I'm not really impressed
with the number of packets I decode successfully, but when working from
recorded chirps my code seems to beat SkySweeper, and it certainly beats
WACARS and KRACARS that I never got to work properly :-)

Given how sparse ACARS info is, I think that free-text is the only
viable part of ACARS to emulate. Even something as simple as a position
report comes with many options to represent the data (some conflicting
with observed practice; possibly as a result of comms error on board,
but not showing up through parity error or CRC failure).

As an illustration of just how perilous parsing ACARS data is without
access to the airline specs, I've seen WACARS decode a weather report
for traffic enroute to EGLL into Wanxian - China simply because WXN
was in the string.

The biggest brick wall I run into is lack of redistributable reference
data; and, of course, lack of documentation on the data that travels

My personal impression is that most people collecting and publishing
such data got bitten by con artists taking off with the fruits of their
labor; a practice that seems common in the MSFS and MSTS communities; in
that sense (as well as many others), FlightGear is a breath of fresh

Anyway, I'm looking for guidance on how to approach this ACARS toy
project of mine. It's easy enough to register the thing on SourceForge
and put some code out, but it's a different thing altogether to bundle
it with enough data to make sense of the packets, and not run afoul of
licensing issues. The DSP bits probably make more sense in the HAM
community, but the ACARS data components drag if firmly back into the
realm of the aviation emulators (how's about the AI Tower Controller
warning you about conflicting traffic that actually is overhead of where
you're playing FlightGear, or even warning that TransAvia flight that
there is a rogue Cessna in the pattern and would the Cessna turn left


-- Bert
Bert Driehuis -- [EMAIL PROTECTED] -- +31-20-3116119
If the only tool you've got is an axe, every problem looks like fun!

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Re: [Flightgear-devel] Partially Offtopic: Help open up the FSDprotocol

2003-01-27 Thread Arnt Karlsen
On Mon, 27 Jan 2003 20:28:38 +1100, 
Mathew McBride [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote in message 

  Basically they are making this protocol proprietary so no one can
  develop crap clients.

...and in the process, _junks_ any and all open source licensed crap 
linux and unix developers experience and skill and codebase, for good.

  I wish to send a joint letter (on behalf on the FGFS community and
  me) to the ProtoDev Development group as a request to open up the FSD
  protocol. What are they talking about security. Hey, anyone can get
  access to the protocol docs of the MSN, ICQ and (especially) Jabber
  IM networks, and to a whole lot more protocols.

..uhmmm, agreed, however _also_ chk each document's license terms, 
some _are_ draconian.  ;-)

  If this fails, I will either :
  a) reverse engineer the protocol. Considering trying to block any
  clients I develop based on my work will be hard
  b) create a brand new one.

..I like b), harder to prove it as pirated, if it _aint_.  ;-)

  I wish to collect as many views and names I can. DO NOT send
  messenges personally to the representatives above. Send them to my
  address with [FSD petition] somewhere in the subject line.

..futile if you wanna keep this an unrecorded secret, reasonable and
right if you wanna win them over to the open source way of doing things.
FG mail list archives are available online to prove it.

  Remember: FlightGear has no agent to communicate with other Flight  ;-)

  Sim's. If we developed a FSD client, I _swear_ some interest will
  come to FlightGear.


-- vennlig hilsen = with Kind Regards from Arnt... ;-)
...with a number of polar bear hunters in his ancestry...
  Scenarios always come in sets of three: 
  best case, worst case, and just in case.

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