[jhb_airlines] Re: FPI Demise

  • From: "Alex Barrett" <fpi509267@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2006 16:54:45 +0000


Please excuse the rather clumsy method of reply here but I shall answer your 
paragraphs in Red with my current understandings of how "FPI" will be offering 
a service in the future: 

-----Original message-----
From: "Bones" bones@xxxxxxx
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2006 16:21:46 +0200
To: jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [jhb_airlines] Re: FPI Demise

I guess it will depend on which services are retained after the changeover.
At the moment there are weather, voice, traffic and data servers. Voice and
traffic would be nice to keep, the weather less so as it was never fully

I know that the rights to the software purchased were that of the Voice, 
Traffic and Data servers. I don't think weather was included,although all 
rights to any current FPI software in development have been transferred which 
of course will include the weather. It is simply that we loose our programmer. 
All amendments as are happening at the moment are being paid for and being done 
by a professional programmer as part of a normal contract. 

The real question is just what facilities will be retained in FPILite. The
only clue so far is that it will be an MP server so this infers we'll see
each other. If the ATC software still works then an ATC service can still be
provided. If the translation software is still in place then the ATOC
aircraft are still valid - but with so few users I'm not sure the full
collection is necessary. 

I can't currently comment on the MP traffic side HOWEVER, Martin "Timo" Lubda 
is still producing his MP packages and he has been part of these negotiations 
for the past months (or however long it has beengoing on!) and I wouldn't have 
thought he would waste his time producing them if they weren't going to be used.

The ATC software is still very much part of this network I have heard it 

The current FPI system is going to close but we still don't know exactly in
what form FPILite will continue. I can only make assumptions here but I'll
guess the first change is that the FPI pages may disappear - or be replaced
by a more basic set. Will these include a forum or bookings pages? If not
then FPI users won't have any means of communication to organise themselves.

It is my reckoning that the pages will be dumbed down, booking systems and 
membership stats (such as online hours etc) will be wiped and a forum will be 
retained, I am also imagining we loose the ranking systems

Again, without any regulation, we can'treally predict how FPILite will
evolve. It could well become very popular. We might still be able to
continue with Wednesday nights sessions and see new users appear (how they
get a user ID and password is a puzzle to me right now). If the forum
continues we have the ability to organise ourselves - if not we could create
our own forum or email list to run our own UK operation.

The only thing we would lack is any supervisory control of the system and
so, if it attracted idiots who just wanted to beat our aircraft up then we
would not be able to stop this. We may also return to the situation where
other idiots just join to disrupt the radio with foul language. If these
problems could be overcome i.e. someone still has a supervisory capacity in
FPI to keep things in check, then we basically have an online operation we
can evolve to our own liking. As an example:-

It would be rediculous tosimply allow idiots to run amock on the network, 
especially as we have to keep in mind it is still going to cost someone a hell 
of a lot to run, I would imagine some supervision is going to be active. 

Retain Alex as the head of UK FPI operations and set up a basic web page for
this. Retain the data in the UK VCA and Global Pilot sites so that Alex can
say to visitors "Hi, this is who we are and what we do. For new pilots go to
this link and for new controllers go here." In other words Alex is still
doing the same job but in a freelance capacity rather than in any FPI
management structure.

Will it bring in new users? I can't bet on that but it might. The only way
to do so would be by (like JHB itself) word of mouth contact and a few plugs
in other forums. Knowing the WE were running the UK operation might be more
attractive to, say, users in the VisualFlight and UK2000 forums than a
remote and unknownbody called FPI. Drop a few hints in the VFGM forum that
a new MP server is working and I am sure it would bring pilots in. Whether
they want ATC or not is not material at the beginning - but if they listen
to other users talking to ATC it might fire their curiosity enough to want
to try it.

In fact this would be an interesting combination because it isn't available
on other online ATC systems. FPI could evolve into a partial ATC, partial
freeflight system that could possibly work very well. Again as an example we
could say that all airways have a 5000ft base and that anyone flying below
this doesn't have to call ATC unless entering a Zone - and let them get on
with their multiplayer, formation VFR cross country flying. Anything above
5000ft can call ATC - either for a RAS/RIS outside airways or a full ATC
service within. To my mind this regulated/unregulated traffic mix is
probably the most realistic scenario youget to real life.

Lots of possibilities but we can't do anything short term until we know what
FPILite is going to give us.


One Idea I have been thinking about is possibly setting up a "UK Flight User 
Group" to help organise events on this coming MP network? What would people 
think of this? The main goal would be to give people help and to train people 
in the use of the software, as well as organise events/gatherings. Plus 
anything else anyone can think of. The beauty of this is that it could be a 
true, self regulating, community with no need for rank or form. 
Depending on how people feel it could have its own co-ordination body or simply 
be a "everyone chip in" type affair? although fromexperience this leads to less 
activity as everyone assumes everyone else is chipping in. Hmm...thoughts 

Well all, I shall be online as much as possible this evening and will be on the 
UK ATC channel if anyone has any questions or ideas. Obviously only during 
quiet spells or we'll piss the ATC boys off ;) 

Thank you for all your thoughts Bones, as a man whose thoughts normally go in 
the right direction I'm glad to see that we are thinking in the same way, as 
are, from my understanding, the new FPI blokes. 

I'm sorry if some of my answers seeme veiled, I can assure you I have told 
everything I know bar the names of the people behind the new org. any questions 
you may have will be answered in full! 


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