Welcome back to this week’s blog post. Last time, we played catch-up and let you know about the spring 2024 feedback form we posted. This week I want to cover a few things, so this post may be a little longer than normal. We are going to cover preview builds, Talking flight monitor updates, project priorities, project restructuring, a new partnership, and results from the spring 2024 feedback form. So, let’s get started!
It has been a little over a year since we posted a preview build. Since then, Talking flight monitor has been going through growing pains in the form of a complete conversion from dotnet 4.8 to dotnet 8.0. We also started converting the windows and dialogs in Talking flight monitor over to a newer, more accessible user interface library. The conversion is going well. However, many people have been anxious, wanting to know when the next preview would be posted. We then posted a poll late last week, asking whether or not we should bring back the preview builds before the conversion was complete. The pole indicated that 99.9% of the respondents wanted the preview builds to return, even if the conversion wasn’t complete. In response to this interest, we brought back the preview builds. Preview 2024.1.503 is available for downloaded, and can be found on this website under the preview releases link. Make sure you read the entire release notes before downloading and using. By using the preview builds, you agree that Talking flight monitor and all of its associates, developers, and partners aren’t responsible for damage caused by the preview. The preview will be released around the 15th of each month.
After the preview release, the only updates are that the PMDG 737 overhead/anti-ice panel and the main area of the overhead panel are complete.
The BVI pilots communities have been talking about Talking flight monitor project priorities over the past week or so. It has come to our attention that a projected feature, ‘flows and checklists’ be implemented as soon as possible. This is because many of the community members feel that they would lose access to a first officer feature (provided by another developer) if we don’t act fast. Our official position is that we need to finish the PMDG 737 panels before attempting to create flows and checklists for it. Among other things, we are in the middle of a conversion/restructuring project at this time and might find it difficult to respond to the request quickly.
Project restructuring and new partnership
While we go through the conversion process, we will also go through and implement a modular approach to Talking flight monitor development. This means that when portions of source code can be isolated from the rest of the codebase, it should then be isolated and packaged so it can be reused in other projects. Doing this will make the software faster and more reliable. It also gives users the ability to download components or modules they are interested in using. For example, why force everyone to download Talking flight monitor with PMDG 747/777 support when they will never use it? So, while we work through the conversion process and other items on the table, we will work on the modular design for the project. This modular redesign will not require a redesign of what is already finished or planned, so no worries there.
On the restructuring side of things, I recently started a software development company that focuses on supporting other software developers in their journey of becoming a professional software developer, student, or other professional in the field. It develops accessible software tools for those students/professionals so they can independently complete their work tasks. Inspiragon (my company) and Talking flight monitor agreed to a partnership. The terms of the agreement are Inspiragon will provide me at no cost as a three-quarter time contractor to work on Talking flight monitor. It will also cover Talking flight monitor’s development related expenses, if any, in exchange for revenue on paid addons. This also means that Talking flight monitor’s website will change throughout the rest of this year. Inspiragon will add a new feature request form, a new contact form, and potentially a new bug tracker. This way, there is no need to create an account on GitHub. Just fill out the form and submit it, and you are done. Now, coming out of this partnership is the requirement that Talking flight monitor develop paid addons to be sold on Inspiragon’s website. So, at some point in the future, we will start working on those paid addons. At this point, I don’t know much about the paid addons, other than they will be on a monthly or yearly subscription rate. When the time comes, we will release more details. You can visit Inspiragon’s website at www.inspiragon.com. At the time of writing, the website is nearly empty. It is just getting started. Bare with us as we go through growing pains together.
Spring 2024 feedback form results
In the spring 2024 feedback form, we got some interesting results. Some we were expecting, others were a surprise. To start, Most participants use P3D. However, most of them also voted for us to drop support for it. Next, everyone used payware aircraft and voted to consolidate features, preserve the state of the trim toggle, and convert the automatic detection of aircraft into a manual selection process. Finally, most of the participants voted to have the left and right bracket (command keys) separated from the TFM virtual keyboard while providing a way to turn them on and off without affecting the TFM keyboard. There may be follow up polls or feedback forms throughout the year to further narrow down the interest of the communities that use Talking flight monitor.
This has been a long post, so I will end it now. Keep watching YouTube for new videos, the website for new content, and the TFM communities for support in your flying adventures. Until next time…