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Model Matching & Substitution

Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:57 pm
by jtwillia

I am finding it cumbersome to perform aircraft model substitution and think this is an area where JoinFS might be improved.

When I do a scan I am getting 2800+ objects found. Yes I have a pretty good sized hanger with lots of paints. :) When I select a user aircraft to substitute I am presented with a very long list of possibilities and it is frequently not clear to me where I should be looking. :?

As an example, last week we were flying the A2A Lockheed Constellation and I needed to perform a substitution because someone was flying a paint I did not have. Where to look for this in the list: A2A (no), Lockheed (no), Constellation (no), L049 (yes).

The P3D aircraft selection search allows you to free form text search multiple aircraft cfg entries which makes narrowing down the options pretty easy. I don't know how hard this would be to implement but I think it is worth consideration.

Thank you again for this wonderful program.

Jeff Williams

Re: Model Matching & Substitution

Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 5:06 pm
by Peter
Thanks, Jeff, that's a fair point. I also sometimes struggle to quickly find the correct aircraft type from that list. I'll look at adding a text filter box to narrow down the selection.


Re: Model Matching & Substitution

Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:08 pm
by Dan-TXHills

The flexibility for matching is great, but in some situations (e.g., the Christmas event) when there are many 'unmatched' aircraft it becomes a bit of a chore to go through many substitutions. Setting aside that any exact match already substitutes the correct aircraft (whatever logic you have used there), two ideas that might give you some things to consider - (and the fields from the aircraft.cfg file may not be the exact ones you currently use but I use the ones shown for the sake of the example):

Idea #1:

If ui_type matches but ui_variation does not, then pick the user’s first variation in the matching ui_type, else
If ui_type does not match then use the ui_typerole substitution (that is specified by the user).

In each aircraft.cfg file (and it is the same for every ui_variation) there is a line called ui_typerole= ... and the things that follow are things like: "Single Engine Prop; "Regional Jet"; "Commercial Airliner"; "Twin Engine Turboprop"; "Twin Engine Jet" (the last one is the one used for the default Lear 45 as well as some payware and freeware corporate jets so presumably this distinguishes them from aircraft like the 737 and CRJ-700 but not the FA-18 which is also classified as a "Twin Engine Jet").

So for example:

If I am flying the default Baron 58 with the Elite PremAir texture then those without that texture would see me as a Baron 58 White/Blue Stripes version (or whatever the [flightsim.0] texture is for that person if they have changed the default ordering).

If someone is flying a Dornier 328 and I do not have that aircraft but I have specified for ui_typerole=”Twin Engine Turboprop” use the King Air 350 then it would be substituted as the KA 350 (and presumably I can also define the texture to use). I see no problem with doing this as a one-time thing since the number of ui_typerole categories is limited.

Idea #2 - Credit goes to Professor 'Colorado Al' for this one:

Allow each person to specify what would be substituted if others do not have a match. Possibly to include some sort of auto-fill logic to help folks like Jeff out since I doubt if he would be very excited about going through his 2800+ objects to do that or maybe just left blank and follow the logic described later in this paragraph. But, this could be a way around having someone's payware F-16 substituted by the default Lear 45 or someone's add-on P-51 (ui_typerole="Single Engine Prop") being substituted by a Cessna 172. As mentioned, instead of an auto-fill maybe this would be an additional logic check - so if ui_type does not match then check for a "substitution defined by pilot * (the person flying the aircraft that others do not have a match for) and if that has not been defined then use the default substitution based on what has been defined (by the person viewing the unmatched aircraft) as a substitute for that ui_typerole as described above.

Keeping with the View | Aircraft '(S)' designation the user could easily identify what aircraft have been matched as a substitution and could presumably change that (either the texture or the aircraft itself) if desired. Failing any match at all (no match at the ui_typerole level) things would go back to the default substitution - the '(D)' designation.

These are all just ideas. We don't want you to feel like you are in that farmyard discussion between the chicken and the pig about a ham and egg breakfast (to us chickens all of this sounds like a great idea, to you it's a total commitment). But maybe some of this will spark an idea for you - and maybe if this can be done at all something that could be done in small steps. AND - with that in mind maybe the first (hopefully simple) step would simply include the ui_typerole in the Substitute / Edit Model Matching dialogue box along with the "This is the model to be replaced" description. Most of the time you have an idea of what the aircraft is but every once in a while (like my Dornier 328 example since some folks may not be familiar with that aircraft) it might provide some guidance.


Re: Model Matching & Substitution

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 12:45 pm
by Peter
Hi Dan,

some good ideas here, thanks.

It should be quite easy to automatically pick an alternative variation for a type that you already have. This situation happens a lot. I'm always seeing custom paints that I don't have for an aircraft that I do have installed. So, yes, I can do that.

I like the type role idea. I think it will be quite good to have a default for each type role. So rather than just setting 'Default', you set

Default Single Engine Prop = ...
Default Twin Engine Prop = ...
Default Single Engine Jet = ...
Default Twin Engine Jet = ...
Default Commercial Airliner = ...
Default Rotorcraft = ...

That should avoid most of the ridiculous matches that often occur.

I'll add a new suffix for the aircraft list so that:

(D) = A default model has been selected.
(A) = An automatic substitution has been made.
(S) = A personal substitution.

I'll still add the filter box to narrow down the lists, for example, enter "Boeing 737" to only list anything related to those words.

I'm not sure about being able to select an alternative model to show on other people's simulators. That sounds like it might get a bit complicated.


Re: Model Matching & Substitution

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 1:52 pm
by sgraypgh
Not to make the substitution options lengthy, but we have seen boats substituted as aircraft as well. Maybe a couple of other option for boats and ground vehicles if possible.

Re: Model Matching & Substitution

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:43 pm
by Dan-TXHills

Thanks very much - hopefully this is not adding too much to your work. I believe that this will go a long way towards making JoinFS more acceptable to a broader audience. The idea of a adding a couple of categories to cover boats and ground vehicles as per @sgraypgh would round out the substitution functionality and likely take care of most any substitution issue. That makes the (current) substitution function one of just tweaking the occasional match - and the final step if needed for those looking for a "perfect substitution" scenario.

Looks like boats and vehicles have a Category= in the sim.cfg file so hopefully that will work like the type role specifier.

Excellent work as always! I am hearing a good bit of praise from the flight sim community and based on the number of hubs I see on line it looks like your popularity is spreading quickly.