Tips on Testing

If you want to help me testing the plugin, here are some tips

Testing Goals

I'd appreciate help especially in the following areas:

  • X-Plane 11 usage. While I do have X-Plane 11 most development was done with X-Plane 10 simply for performance reasons. So I feel confident with X-Plane 10 but X-Plane 11 needs some more attention.

  • Various environments: I have what I have. Others prefer other stuff. All of that is not supposed to have any impact...but in reality there often is.

    • Plugins

    • Complex aircraft, which in turn have plugins

    • Scenery

  • If you run a complex setup with many plugins (please do!) and you find issues with LiveTraffic take the time to test these issues with no plugins / no scenery and then add plugins / scenery in a controlled way (I'm not saying one-by-one, a half-by-half approach is good as well, I just say: controlled) that allows you to pin-point the trouble makers.

  • Use while flying different aircraft yourself. This project left me with very limited time for actual flying...so surprisingly I have limited experience how LiveTraffic does while sitting in a cockpit.

  • Endurance, Resilience: LiveTraffic shall not crash the simulator during short final after an 8 hours trip across the Atlantic. Quite some effort has been made to catch errors and exceptions. Aircraft might disappear if data becomes bogus, channels might disconnect if received data contains too many errors, the entire plugin might re-initialize. But it tries hard not to crash. (There's one issue open.) Sometimes I do long-time tests with the sim sitting at a busy airport drawing live planes all night long. Maybe you could afford such a test, too? Even better: Take LiveTraffic across the Atlantic (not the limited coverage there, though) or along an all-capitals tour in Europe.

  • TCAS I don't guarantee TCAS to work, but hope it does. Would love it to work... Let's figure out under which circumstances which TCAS implementation does work. I envision kind of a "compatibility" table. Thinks to take into account:

    • the xplanemp "TCAS hack" bases on configured AI aircraft. So be sure to configure 'number of other aircraft's (documentation: X-Plane 10, X-Plane 11). The higher the more TCAS ticks.

    • At least for X-Plane 10 there is a bug in xplanemp (which apparently the X-IvAp guys fixed...but I don't know where yet), which leads to TCAS not working after startup, but only after disable/enable the plugin (see TCAS).

    • Generally...it is the same implementation XSquawkBox and X-IvAp base on. Similar tips and tricks, bugs and features should apply.

  • World coverage I have tested with German airports (cause I live there) and US airports (because when I find time for programming/debugging they are the busy ones ;)). Maybe traffic in other parts of the world behaves differently? I'd ask you to whatch traffic at airports like EDDL, EDM or KLGA, KEWR for a while, just to get a feel what LiveTraffic can do. Because, see limitations, simulation of reality has its limits. For example, it is quite 'normal' that planes miss the runway. LiveTraffic has no knowing of runways (maybe something for Release 4...) but follows flight data. Maybe we find better ways of interpreting available live data (then follow the detail positional debug information, see below), maybe we just have to live with the data as it is.

General Setup

  • Configuration in Settings

    • Set logging level to be Debug all the time (Advanced Settings). This will fill up your Log.txt but is valuable in case of analysis.

    • Activate Log a/c positions (Debug Settings) to produce additional very detailed position debug information in the log file for the 'selected' aircraft, which is

      • the last aircraft selected in any A/C Info Window, or

      • the aircraft selected in Filter for transponder hex code.

    • In some situations, especially when dealing with unexpected aircraft behaviour, even temporarily activate Log raw network flight data to have actual network requests and received responses written into LTRawFD.log.

  • Open X-Plane's log file Log.txt in a terminal window and keep an eye on it while running X-Plane:

    • Open a terminal (Mac) or a PowerShell window (Windows)

    • cd to your X-Plane main directory

    • tail -f Log.txt (Mac) or Get-Content .\Log.txt -Wait -Tail 30 (Windows)