Public Beta #1 Complete

A review of AFV beta 1.

Posted by The BoG - May 17, 2019

Last Friday, we reached a significant milestone as we invited the first 100 VATSIM members who had signed up for the Audio for VATSIM public beta to join us for an evening of testing.

100 pilots and controllers descended on an area of the UK to ‘stress test’ the system – ensuring that the infrastructure was up to the task, and looking for any bugs in the new software. We were particularly excited to offer one of the first iterations of vPilot with Audio for VATSIM natively built into the pilot client – thanks to Ross Carlson for making this possible.

We reported some great results from the test, with the server performing better than expected, which means that our infrastructure will not only be stable, but future proofed for expansion, when the whole VATSIM network switches over. Several bugs were reported with over 60% of those reported already fixed.

Gary and the team are working hard to fix the minor bugs reported to keep us on trajectory to release to the whole VATSIM community very soon. If you have signed up for the public beta but haven’t yet been called up, keep your eyes on your email as we will be advertising our next, bigger, test in days rather than weeks.

A reminder from previous blog posts that our public beta testing takes place on a dedicated server; the reason for this is simply that the old and new voice systems are not compatible (pilots with the new system would not be able to hear those with the old system, and vice versa). This is because the architecture has been completely rewritten to bring us into the 21st century. This all brings a logistical challenge, because it means that VATSIM will undergo a ‘hard launch’ of the new voice codec overnight, with all users having to update their clients before connecting. We’ve been working hard to prepare for this and will be ready once the Audio for VATSIM team declare themselves ready to go live.

With new technology comes the necessity to retire old technology to maintain compatibility. In preparation for the launch of Audio for VATSIM, the Board of Governors recently voted unanimously to remove the following seldom-used clients from the approved clients list:

  • Squawkbox
  • Squawkbox747
  • Squawkbox for Fly!
  • XConnect
  • FSInn
  • ASRC
  • SPARC

Please note that xSquawkbox will continue to be supported.

As these clients are no longer actively developed, they will cease to work properly once Audio for VATSIM goes live. We’ll give plenty of notice for when these changes take effect and will be reaching out to users to inform them of the change.

As always, thanks to Gary and the team who are working so hard to deliver this fantastic development for the network. I’m really looking forward to seeing the final result!

Gunnar Lindahl

VATSIM President