Hey, I hope you’re all well?
I wanted to post up another update post to let you all know about more updates and changes to FsHub again this month.
Following the recent user survey, I have taken on board your requests and feedback and am pleased to announce and demonstrate various new features that have been released in the last couple of weeks and are accessible now.
I guess *most* features have now been added into FsHub/LRM client as the number of responses to the User Survey this time around was significantly lower than the last two user surveys – I guess I should take this as a sign that generally users are happy/content with the features that now exist (have been added in the last year) but remember – if you think we are missing a feature or want to make a suggestion, please contact us!
Anyway, on with the list of updates and improvements that have been made over the last couple of weeks…
MSFS 2020 airport database update
As of today, I have now “merged” our existing airport database of which has been a labour of love since I originally started FsHub back in 2016 with the latest airports that can be found in MSFS2020 and which didn’t already exist in our database – this has been a requested feature/improvement that was voiced in the user survey recently.
I’m so pleased this process is over – this was one feature/improvement that I was not looking forward to (as I know how much time it consumes to do it properly) and to say that I have spent MANY hours working on these new merge scripts and testing would be an understatement 😉
With the merge now completed, this now sees the inclusion of an additional 10,709 airports and 23,350 runways – Wow, I honestly didn’t think there would be so many new airports!!
Going forwards, this should be much easier now as I have now developed a new “import processor” that will enable me to partially automate the “merging” of new airports every few months to ensure that our database remains up to date with those airports that appear in MSFS 2020!
In case you’re wondering what this means if you use XP11, P3D or another simulator… it simply means that our database supports more airports and this certainly will not break the experience for other users that are not using MSFS2020 so please don’t worry this won’t impact your experience and if anything will actually make it better!
LRM Client v4.3.2 is now released!
Earlier this month I released LRM Client 4.3.1 which came with a whole host of new features and performance optimisations but whilst this was released and passed our internal testing (and testing by our community of “Test Pilots” over on our Discord Server) it appeared that *some* users experienced issues with this release.
We initially found it hard to pinpoint what these issues were that affected a handful of our users but eventually (through the use of email and their bug reports) I was able to identify the issue as being a “regional setting” issue – essentially, it would seem that users in countries such as France (and other countries that Microsoft Windows would default decimal characters to a comma (,) instead of a dot/full-stop (.) would prevent the client from starting on their computers.
I have since added a fix for this situation that affects those users and as a result, have released LRM Client v4.3.2 which is available to download now from the LRM Client website.
There also appeared to be some users that experienced other issues with the client not running but these appear to have been resolved by the user adding an exception to their anti-virus system as their computer must have detected a false positive – this generally happens when new installers “hit the internet” that are not digitally signed (something that I don’t do due to cost implications) but over time, these non-signed applications are accepted by automated systems and Windows Defender/anti-virus systems then acknowledge them as being safe.
Ability to filter your logbook flights by country (not just ICAO code)
You may recall that recently I added the ability for pilots to filter their logbook entries and whilst users could choose a specific to/from ICAO airport code there wasn’t an easy way to filter all flights to or from a specific country (encompassing all airports in that country) well, that has now been added.
The logbook filter now supports the ability to search for flights to/from specific countries in addition to being able to specify specific airport ICAO codes 🙂 – I hope you enjoy this new feature!
Countries visited page now enables you to click on a flag…
As per the above new feature, by me implementing the new logbook filter option to filter flights by country it was then relatively easy for me to add the ability for users to now click on a “visited” flag from the “Countries visited” page to then automatically take them to a filtered list of the airports that they have visited.
Therefore, it is now possible when viewing the “Countries visited” page to click on a flag which will then automatically show a list of the airports visited within that country!
LRM Client website updates!
It’s been a while since the LRM Client website received much love from me… probably mainly due to the fact that LRM Client (v4.0.0) was stable for several years and changes that I had been making to FsHub didn’t require any LRM client changes but given all the recent new features (based on user suggestions or feedback) meant that I had to release newer versions of the client with more advanced features.
Up until now, however, the website remained with the same old screenshots from several years ago which didn’t accurately reflect all the new and advanced features that have been added to LRM and FsHub in recent months.
I have therefore updated all of the screenshots (and added more) as well as updated the list of features on the website too.
Feel free to check out the screenshots and page updates to see what’s now possible with LRM Client and FsHub – Personally, some of my new favourite features is the ability for Virtual Airlines to customise the LRM Client GUI interface (with their own colour scheme and logo) as well as being able to add “optional” flight route information either manually, imported from a “Virtual Airline Company Route” or from SimBrief and even LittleNavMap!
Improved FsHub homepage
It has been fun updating the FsHub homepage this last week, the homepage in recent years has been neglected a little as my time has been better spent adding and improving actual features of FsHub but I’m pleased to announce that I have made a few homepage updates recently and added video backgrounds.
The new FsHub homepage now has three random videos (one from each of us) that will play when you visit the site – ok, maybe not so interesting for you guys but I personally think the homepage now looks pretty awesome in comparison to the older static image 🙂
New “Flights by Simulator” stats on the platform stats page
This is an interesting new statistic that I’ve added today too – From the platform stats page, scroll to the bottom and you can now see the number of flights by simulator version (eg. MSFS2020, XP11, P3D, FSX etc).
This is a really good statistic (especially for me) as I can see how flights are flown with which simulators and as such will be able to help me make informed decisions and improvements in future 🙂
New exclusive features for FsHub donators
In addition to the above features, there are also some new “non-essential” features that I have added that are enabled for “supporters” of FsHub as my way of saying “thank you” to those people who help me out personally by helping me cover the hosting costs of running such a service.
The new features that are exclusively available to “Supporters” of FsHub are as follows:
- Supporters can export/download their entire logbook to a CSV/Excel file (from the Pilot Logbook screen) enabling them have an offline copy or use their own Excel (or Google Sheets) knowledge to generate charts and other such cool features! – Remember that if you’re not a supporter you can still use our API to download your logbook but this is a far easier way of grabbing the data and takes only a few seconds!
- The ability to update the landing rate (FPM and G-Force) for their flights using the “Edit flight” button on the flight report page.
- A new private Discord room for providing priority support and guidance (if you would like access to this room and have already donated please Contact Us with your Discord username and we’ll send the invite)
I’m sure you will all agree that whilst these features are “nice to haves” and that they certainly do not limit your experience of using FsHub (as a “free” user) and I am keen to ensure that the bulk of features are and remain free to all users but I wanted to provide some additional functionality to those who really do help me personally by ensuring that I don’t have to keep footing the hosting bills each month out of my own pocket!
I will also be adding some other small features for “Supporters” of FsHub overtime (when I can think of non-essential but worthwhile features that I think they would benefit from) but don’t worry – this is not a sign of things to come I just wanted to provide the very kind people that help me out with a few extra perks to make it more worth their while and to show my appreciation!
As a reminder, if you would like to help out and become a “supporter” of FsHub, you can find more details on the donations page.
Survery question: Why do we use FSUIPC?
One question that I want to address here as the original question was asked/feedback to me in the recent user survey was “Why do you still use FSUIPC and why not switch to SimConnect now that MSFS 2020 is out” and yet, the user (all submissions on the Google Forms are anonymous) did no voluntarily provide his or her email address for me to respond back to but, I can confirm as follows:
I continue to use FSUIPC in the LRM client software simply due to the fact that FsHub (and LRM client) aims to support and work with all major flight simulators – As you can see from the new “simulator” stats section on our “Platform Stats” page, there is a large number of X-Plane users too and X-Plane is a platform that I too love and want to ensure is supported for our community. If LRM client solely used SimConnect this would not be compatible with the likes of X-Plane and other users running older versions of FSX, FSX:SE and P3D could also be affected and, in my opinion, would give most people (except those running MSFS2020) a headache trying to install SimConnect correctly.
Whilst I could write separate clients for MSFS and X-Plane based clients and whilst this is something that I *may* do in future that will leverage their own APIs (eg. MSFS2020 would use SimConnect) and X-Plane would use the X-Plane DataRefs the truth of the matter is, is that I am the sole developer working on FsHub and LRM client and ensures that I do not have to maintain multiple versions of a client which would take my attention away from improving the core functionality of FsHub.
Reiterating that I will be keeping things simple and platform performance is the key!
Another thing that was evident from the user survey is that users of FsHub, whilst are enjoying the new features voiced their opinion that, one of the main reasons why they love FsHub is the simple and non-cluttered interface and experience that it provides to users.
This is something that I have always been keen on keeping and I want to reassure users that simplicity (from a users’ perspective at least) and speed and stability of the platform is my top priority and so you guys need not worry!
Scheduled outage for FsHub Forums and the Blog this week!
On Wednesday 27th October between the hours of 08:00 and 16:00 (UK time) I will be performing maintenance on the servers that host the FsHub forums and blog site, this process could take up to 8 hours.
The main FsHub platform, LRM client website and our discord servers will remain online during this process and will not be affected – it’s just the blog and forums that will be affected during this time window.
Remember that all outages planned or not are always reflected on our Status page.
Would you like to feedback on anything or ask questions regarding this update?
If you would like to provide feedback or ask any questions with regards to this update specifically and instead of me opening up another Google Forms survey, I have created a new thread in our official forums which you can reply to – I will then read and respond accordingly 🙂