Tuesday, February 14, 2006

But you said that was impossible!

There have been a few cases where we've dismissed a feature request as "impossible" - only to then implement it later. There are a few reasons why this happens:
  1. Sometimes we're just wrong...we didn't understand an algorithm or know of a technology. Later research gives us a clue.
  2. Sometimes the underlying technology we use changes, either OpenGL and the operating system. (The joystick bundle was totally necessary for X-Plane through 832 since it was a CFM application - 840 is Mach-O, allowing us to run bundleless for the first time.)
  3. Sometimes we have to make changes in our own code. A feature that is near impossible in one version could be one line of code in the next. This is because so much of our features depend on underlying systems. We spend a lot of our time working on the underlying systems to make multiple features possible at once.
So please do not be surprised when the impossible becomes the possible; one of the things that makes flight simulation and enjoyable problem to work on is that new technology constantly unlocks new possibilities and lets us make each version of the sim better than the last in ways that would have been impossible.

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