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Frequently Asked Questions

General

  1. What is a340gc?
  2. Can I freely download and use a340gc?
  3. Why is a340gc free software (Open Source)?
  4. Why don't I have to pay for a340gc like I have to for other flightsim tools?
  5. I'm a developer how can I contribute to a340gc?
  6. I'm an A340 expert/pilot and I noticed an error in a340gc!
  7. How do I feed my simulator' data to a340gc?
  8. Why doesn't a340gc support the WideFS protocol?
  9. Is using a340gc commercially illegal?

Downloading

  1. Where can I download a340gc?
  2. What else is needed besides a340gc?
  3. What do I need the .tgz, .tar.gz, or the .rpm?
  4. I'm using windows how can I extract a .tgz or .tar.gz file?

Compiling

  1. How do I compile a340gc under Unix/Linux?
  2. How do I compile a340gc under Windows?
  3. I get ':command not found'
  4. I get 'configure: error: *** SDL version 1.1.0 not found!'
  5. I installed SDL but configure still complains!
  6. I get 'configure: error: The glass cockpit library libGC was not found'

Running

  1. a340gc is really slow under Linux why?
  2. a340gc reports it cannot find a file!
  3. a340gc complains it has no available video device.

General

1. What is a340gc?

a340gc is an Open Source (Free Software) Airbus A340 glass cockpit simulation. which is not only meant for entertainment purposes but also for scientific and educational usage.

2. Can I freely download and use a340gc?

Yes the developers behind a340gc beleave in the user' rights. Therefore a340gc is released under the GNU General Public License version 2 (GPL2). You can read more about our philosophies behind this choise at our website http://a340gc.iradis.org/.

3. Why is a340gc free software (Open Source)?

a340gc is free software because its authors believe in the rights the user of a computer program should have. Without the rights we give to the users of a340gc; a340gc could not be the open platform we want it to be; when used in a research simulator the end result would only benefit that specific simulator not simulator as a whole; users would not have the opportunity to extend a340gc or to integrate it seamlessly.

4. Why don't I have to pay for a340gc like I have to for other flightsim tools?

You don't have to pay us for a340gc because a340gc its developers see developing it as their hobby; their contribution to the flightsimulator world; they make their money with their regular daytime job; and they don't see money as a reward but as something you just need in this society. However you are always free to donate the work of the IRADIS foundation. Not because we demand you to, but because you want to let us know you appreciate our work and want to support us.

5. I'm a developer how can I contribute to a340gc?

People who want to support us or want to contribute are always welcome to join our efforts. Please sent an email to the project administrator and main coder Laura Bottelier.

6. I'm an A340 expert/pilot and I noticed an error in a340gc!

If you find any error in either look, colours, sizes, or behaviour of a340gc please report it to us through our bug tracker at SourceForge.net.

7. How do I feed my simulator' data to a340gc?

Currently you can feed a340gc with data from FlightSimulator 98, 2000, and 2002. This can be done with the latest release of FSLink that is sceduled for release. There are plans to implement support for other protocols and flight simulator software.

8. Why doesn't a340gc support the WideFS protocol?

To be precise a340gc doesn't support any flight data transfer protocol. Instead it tries to get its flight data from a 'pool' (a kind of tupel space.) This 'pool' is filled by a protocol specific module. Currently only one module is provided. This module implements the RDDP protocol. This is a very open protocol unlike for instance WideFS which is specific to Microsoft Flight Simulator. When a340gc would use such a flight simulator specific protocol you would be limited to only the data known by the protocol author. For each new data a new version of the protocol must be requested. Whith an open protocol like RDDP new data can be instroduced by anyone at any given time. With only the currently supported screen we already have about 5 to 8 times more data than supported by protocols as WideFS!

As the end user you have two possibilities: use FS-Link v3.0, or use a RDDP to WideFS bridge. The program FS-Link is similar to WideFS but can talk RDDP. This version is currently not available but will be in a few weeks. A RDDP to WideFS bridge brings more overhead and duplicate network traffic but gives you compatibility with your existing software. Also such a bridge is not yet available but may be in a few weeks.

A third alternative would be a WideFS specific module. However you will lose most functionality and your simulator would not be anything like Airbus A340. To compensate for this a340gc could make use of both protocols at the same time. And although surely not impossible it poses both synchronisation and data consistency problems.

Is using a340gc commercially illegal?

Yes it most probably is!

It both depends on how your product uses a340gc and the way your product is organised. A product that wants to make use of aa340gc can fit into two categories: a free software product, or a proprietary product.

Free software product:
When your product is licensed under GPL2 or later there is no problem as long as you meet the requirements of the GPL2 for your own product. When your product is licensed using another license (for instance the BSD license) make sure the requirements of the GPL2 do not conflict with tour license. The free software foundation can be helpful in determining is its Ok. If not thread your product as being proprietary.
Propietry product:
A Propietry product may not be based on the source code of a340gc (or libGC) nor may it be integrated either on source or at binary level with a340gc (or libGC). It may not use any of the libraries, DLLs, or shared objects of a340gc (or libGC). However a340gc may be used along side with your own programs as long as; they do not interact with each other; they do interact with each by means of using your own implementation of one of the supported protocols (like rddp) as long as it is not based on the sources of a340gc (or libGC); they do interact using your own libGC DIOM-DL that is released under the GPL license. And above all the product MUST mention the usage of a340gc in a way that your customers are aware of the using of a340gc.

Downloading

1. Where can I download a340gc?

You can freely download the source code of a340gc and pre-compiled binaries from our website http://a340gc.iradis.org/.

2. What else is needed besides a340gc?

You also need to have libGC and SDL installed in order to use a340gc. libGC can be downloaded from our website http://a340gc.iradis.org/ and SDL from http://www.libsdl.org.

3. What do I need the .tgz, .tar.gz, or the .rpm?

The .tgz files contain pre-compiled binaries. For instance the file a340gc-0.1-1-win32.tgz contains a precompiled version of a340gc for windows. The .tar.gz files contain the sources of a340gc, and the .rpm files contain pre-compiled binaries for Linux systems using the RedHat package manager.

4. I'm using windows how can I extract a .tgz or .tar.gz file?

Both the .tgz and .tar.gz files be be extracted on a Windows system using the widely used program Winzip.


Compiling

1. How do I compile a340gc under Unix/Linux?

$tar xzf libGC-0.3-1.tar.gz
$cd libGC-0.3
$./configure
$make all install
$cd ..
$tar xzf a340gc-0.3-1.tar.gz
$cd a340gc-0.3
$./configure
$make all install

2. How do I compile a340gc under Windows?

You can use CygWin, DJGPP, Borland C++, or Visual Studio to compile a340gc on a Windows system. When using CygWin or DJGPP follow the procedure as descibed for Unix / Linux systems. Project files for both Borland C++ and Visual studio are contained in the src/ directory of the a340gc and libGC source distributions. You can open these project files and press build.

3. I get ':command not found'

This error is reported on Unix/Linux systems when the configuration scipts are not in the Unix file format. This is probebly caused by unpacking the .tar.gz on a Windos system. Use tar xzf filename.tar.gz to prevent this.

4. I get 'configure: error: *** SDL version 1.1.0 not found!'

Either SDL is not installed on your system or the SDL development header files and libraries are not present on your system. Go to http://www.libsdl.org and download both SDL and the development support files.

I installed SDL but configure still complains!

Either you only installed the runtime library of SDL and not the development libraries and header file, or the installed version of SDL is too old. a340gc requires at least SDL version 1.1.

5. I get 'configure: error: The glass cockpit library libGC was not found'

Either libGC or the development headers or libraries are not installed on your system. Please download libGC at http://a340gc.iradis.org/.


Running

1. A340GC is really slow under Linux why?

Most videocard drivers included with XFree86 have no 3D hardware acceleration, mostly they only provide only 2D acceleration to speed up the rendering of your windows and icons. For many graphic cards the chipset manufacturer also has a XFree86 driver that has full acceleration. XFree86 doesn't include these drivers because they aren't Open Source and sometimes have a license that forbits packaging with XFree86. Please checkout the website of either your graphics card or graphics chipset for an 3D accelerated version of the XFree86 driver.

2. a340gc reports it cannot find a file!

Under windows a340gc looks for its files in the current directory normally this is automatically set by windows to the directory where you've got a340gc installed. Under Linux a340gc looks for its files in the directory $(prefix)/share/a340gc where prefix is specified by the configure script during compilation. For the rpm distribution this is the /usr/share/a340gc directory.

3. a340gc complains it has no available video device.

Under Linux a340gc must know which XServer to use. Normally you've only 1 XServer running. To let programs be aware of this the environment variable DISPLAY must be set:

$export DISPLAY=0:0