Auto-generate XGoFlight configuration files & notes on community adoption

Since its inception, XGoFlight has utilized JSON-based configuration files.  The JSON format is extremely popular on the web and can be edited in any text editor, but is rarely used as a configuration file on personal computers.  Compounding the learning curve is the complexity involved in configuring the plugin to work with specific custom aircraft.  While intermediate and expert level X-Plane users will have no problems on either end, novice users may struggle.

To alleviate any learning curve or potential confusion with XGoFlight configuration, I have begun creating an web-based application that will allow users to easily generate a configuration file without having expert knowledge of JSON or X-Plane.  Even if the user is an expert, (s)he will benefit from the interface being built.  I hope to have it released by the end of the month, so please stay tuned!

Notes on XGoFlight community adoption

Currently, there are a number of barriers to more widespread adoption of the XGoFlight plugin.  First, I only support four of the 12 GoFlight modules.  For those with only a few modules that’s probably not a big deal.  For those people who own a home cockpit filled with GoFlight modules, it poses a problem.  Right now there is a tradeoff required between the custom aircraft functionality and flexibility provided by XGoFlight, and the full range of module support provided by Sandy Barbour’s plugin.  It seems as though people primarily want support for the WP-6, GF-166, and GF-46 modules.  As I’ve said in community conversations, I fully plan to support these modules; however, support is wholly dependent upon my ability to obtain said modules.

Another barrier to more widespread adoption is cross-platform compatibility.  While I provide a 32-bit and 64-bit version of XGoFlight for Windows, I do not provide any solution for Mac or Linux users.  Currently all of my computers run on Windows 7/8 x64, so I cannot test the plugin on Linux or Mac.  If someone knows how to compile the plugin for all platforms from Windows, I’m all ears.  The other option is to have another X-Plane-GoFlight-Visual C++-Mac-Linux user compile the Linux and Mac versions for inclusion with every release.  Either option works for me.

Until next time!

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