February 20, 2005
Project Status

Release Candidate 2 was just released. Barring any problems it looks like the contents of the VIP model set are locked down. There are now 1455 planes included in SquawkBox 3.

Some code has also been added to diagnose some stuttering problems that a small minority of testers have been getting. It's unclear at this point if it's even a SquawkBox problem.

The VATSIM authentication protocol that many people have heard about is now fully incorporated into SquawkBox 3.

So what needs to happen prior to release at this point?
1. A few final protocol adjustments need to be made to ensure maximum compatibility with FSInn and the upcoming release of ASRC. These are minor. Most of the work is with coordinating the changes with others, not actually writing the code.

2. The manual needs to get finalized.

3. The VATSIM code review currently underway needs to be completed.

4. The VATSIM Board of Governors needs to approve SquawkBox 3's use on their network.

It will not be long until release now. Thank you all for your continued support and patience.

Posted by Joel at 11:32 AM
February 09, 2005
"Approval" on IVAO

It has been brought to my attention that SquawkBox 3 is listed on IVAO's website as "approved software". As I mentioned before, no work has gone into making SquawkBox 3 work on IVAO, it has not been reviewed by IVAO staff and as such it is not approved for running on IVAO.

If you want to use SquawkBox 3.0, you're going to have to do so on VATSIM.

Posted by Joel at 09:59 AM
February 07, 2005
Which Networks?

There has been recent speculation on my forum about which networks SB3 will operate on. In order to avoid the usual controversy that this topic seems to generate, I'll set the record straight here.

When I started work on SquawkBox 3, my intention was to have it operate on all online ATC networks. I contacted individuals from both VATSIM and IVAO. At the beginning of that process I was frustrated with the lack of response I received from IVAO. Shortly after that I found out that they were already undertaking development of another pilot client. This further reduced my desire to work with IVAO to get SquawkBox 3 running on their network.

Several months ago, I was approached by several individuals involved in software development at IVAO about getting SquawkBox 3 on their network. They were very helpful in outlining the technical requirements and in beginning the discussion. While this was encouraging to see, I felt it was too late in the process to start on that work. The pressures to get SquawkBox 3 out in some form have been immense. As such anything that could possibly push the release date back is simply not in the cards.

I replied to the individuals from IVAO and have expressed appreciation for their cooperation. I have told them that my first priority is to get SquawkBox 3.0 released. After that time I will make an evaluation of the situation and decide whether to integrate with IVAO for a future release.

The bottom line: SquawkBox 3 will officially support VATSIM only. If you use SquawkBox 3 to connect to IVAO it will probably work but there will be no voice support whatsoever. Other features may also not work or will work incorrectly. Future versions of SquawkBox may officially support IVAO, but that is not decided at this time.

This decision has been mine alone.

Posted by Joel at 04:14 PM
February 06, 2005
Release Candidate!

The RC1 build of SquawkBox was just released to testers. Release candidate builds differ from betas in that no changes will be made unless a further critical error is found during testing. So barring any major problems all that remains is for VATSIM to grant approval to SquawkBox 3 and for me to finish up the final holes in the documentation.

Thank you all for your continued patience--it shouldn't be much longer until release now. Rest assured that everything is being done by all parties involved to get SB3 out as soon as possible.

Posted by Joel at 01:23 AM