The end of an era, or R.I.P. OGLAClient

Artlav

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Sometimes you look back and realize it's been a while.

It's been a while since i really did anything with, for, or in Orbiter.
I used it a time or two to explain orbital mechanics, and that's about it.

I kept thinking about doing this or that, or porting some new or interesting Spaceway idea back to Orbiter or OGLAClient.
Year after year, to no effect.

So why is today any different then?

OGLA engine, the graphics engine used in both Spaceway and OGLAClient, is quite a Frankenstein's monster.
It was based on Orbiter data structures, with another layer of abstraction added above them to make them more like pascal-friendly structures of Spaceway, and then a lot of Spaceway-only growth around that.

It still supports features i dreamed up 7 years ago, like streaming the scene over network, or saving it to a file.
It still supports Orbiter data formats for planetary textures, which have changed in the latter betas to something rather new.
The formats that are fundamentally incompatible with how i do things in Spaceway and Orulex, down to the choice of planet texture mapping projection.
It still supports the stuff from Orulex of 8 years ago, the hacks and definitions to make the terrain Orbiter-friendly and Meshland-compatible.

All that ended today.
In one swoop i removed all the legacy stuff, dropped the intermediate layers of abstraction and functions that weren't called in years, checks for files in the directories that no longer exist, handlers and converters for the now-alien formats.

The pros is that Spaceway can now do full 75 FPS in Oculus Rift at max graphic settings, instead of 10-15.
The cons is that there is no way back to Orbiter any more.

Old skin was shed, with all it's fat and clutter.

In a sense, it feels like a final break.
Decoupling from Orbiter, never to return.
With large swathes of code now open to change and refactoring, the gap will only be getting wider.

This is the code that is entangled in many other projects that were never finished - Orbiter Shipyard, Station Shipyard, SC3 converter, Meshland, UAP, maybe others i no longer remember.
All of that is now officially dead.

It's an end of an era for me.
Orbiter defined my interests in many ways, it was the Jupiter that slingshot me to a trajectory i might never have taken without it.
And now i'm at the escape velocity, heading only stars know where.
Whether it's to the new frontiers, or to get lost in space - only time will tell.

In any case, thanks to everyone who rode along, and everyone who had (or tried to have) fun with what i made.

This is by no means a farewell, i'm still around to talk, show off, and maybe even fix and help every now and then.
But Orbiter is no longer a serious creativity target for me, so it is a farewell for any expectations to be had.
 

Donamy

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Thanks for all your work. I've used and will be using alot of them for along time.
 

IronRain

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Thank you for your work. I've used it countless times for most of my missions, and I'm still planning to use it on my future flights.
Please keep us posted of your future projects.
 

jedidia

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Your work has been an inspiration for me in many ways, so it's a bit sad to see the orbiter part of it die.
...While the developer in me thinks that it's about time. I occasionally wondered how much code the "common frontend" needed.
 

Face

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Thanks for all your inspiring work. I think your decision to finally break away from Orbiter was a good one. Looking forward to see what you will make of SpaceWay now!
 

Spacethingy

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Well Artlav, thanks. All the stuff you've made has been epic and useful/usable, even if you always seem to be under the impression its a mere work-in-progress.

Hopefully now you've "lost some weight" you can have even more fun with Spaceway! It'll be interesting to see how it goes with your full attention.

All the best! :thumbup:
 

Urwumpe

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Well, how was the old song... Everything dies that's a fact. Everything that dies some day comes back.

Its an understandable decision to quit the limitations of having to support a deprecated API, but I sure hope to see you here again. Let's hope your escape trajectory takes less than 250 million years until the next rendezvous with sol.cfg
 

Mandella

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Funny, I think I've ran some of your "unfinished" addons longer than I've ran many completed ones.

But thinking of a silver lining to this cloud, sounds like it's time for me to check out Spaceways again...

Thanks again for everything you've contributed to the Orbiter community Artlav!
 

Linguofreak

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Kind of sad: I've kept telling myself I'll get more intensively involved with Orbiter again some day, but with OGLAClient being the one OpenGL graphics client available for Orbiter and my primary platform being Linux, I may very well end up on a similar escape trajectory to your own.
 

francisdrake

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Thanks for all your work! I will always remember having great fun with Meshland, sliding with the LM down like a bobsled the mountain ridges near Brighton Beach! :)
 

Artlav

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Thanks everyone for the kind words. :)
For the people interested in Spaceway, i just posted a progress report - http://thespaceway.org/page.php?id=1024

jedidia;bt5916 said:
I occasionally wondered how much code the "common frontend" needed.
Not much, but it's all where it hurts.
One big thing was that the terrain is rotated to always face the vessel.
Like, the entire 300`000 or whatever polygons are all transformed at every kilometer you fly.
That was a mandatory hack to get it working in Orbiter, but stand-alone it was a pointless mess that can be fixed with one matrix transform on the GPU side.

Then, the texture projections - Orbiter is rectangular-on-a-sphere, mine is inflated-cube-sphere. Made for very slow loading on planet approaches, as the textures were converted from the function essentially into a tex file in memory that was then parsed.

Plus a bunch of other things i mentioned in the progress report, that aren't Orbiter-related.

Urwumpe;bt5919 said:
Everything dies that's a fact. Everything that dies some day comes back.
Won't be too surprised if it does.
I long since noticed that i tend to hop between projects with all sorts of gap length in between. Might very well come back one day, who knows.

I remember some of my add-ons were pretty much someone posting "that's impossible" about something, and i think "huh, that's easy to make", and by the end if the evening an add-on was posted. Telescope MFD was like that, for example.
Might happen again.

Linguofreak;bt5922 said:
Kind of sad: I've kept telling myself I'll get more intensively involved with Orbiter again some day, but with OGLAClient being the one OpenGL graphics client available for Orbiter and my primary platform being Linux,
Well, Wine is getting better every time for one.
For two, OpenGL client is now fair game - how about making a new one?
There is a plenty of good developers in the community, just toss the idea out there.

And there is no need to go the hard way like i did, more or less all it takes to get a proof of concept is to translate the reference code to use OpenGL calls.

francisdrake;bt5923 said:
I will always remember having great fun with Meshland, sliding with the LM down like a bobsled the mountain ridges near Brighton Beach! :)
Yep, that one almost got finished. :)
Kind of weird to realize that was 8.5 years ago...
 

TMac3000

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Came and went, without support for IMFD or Aerobrake MFD, and I STILL love it. OGLAClient single-handedly made Orbiter playable on my Linux machine.

Many thanks for all your hard work, Artlav:)
 

fort

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Many thanks Artlav for all the pleasure taken to experiment, see, fly with all your creations.

Many thanks.

fort
 

Abdullah

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Thanks for your work :D. :thumbup:
Might you consider providing a bit more information on your trajectory, so that I can do some calculations?
 

Matias Saibene

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Thank you for your work and contributions for Orbiter. Spaceway looks great so you are an excellent developer.

UAP is impressive and so is Videnie. Surely you will inspire new developers to follow suit and create similar add-ons for the upcoming versions of Orbiter (I really miss Videnie).

Thank you very much, I wish you good luck, and remember...:hailprobe:
 
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