XMIOS Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Which computers and operating systems will XMIOS run on?
  2. How does XMIOS communicate and share data with the simulator load?
  3. How many displays does XMIOS support?
  4. Does XMIOS support touchscreen input and other types of input (keyboard, mouse, trackball)?
  5. How long does it take for XMIOS to load and come online?
  6. Can I create, edit, and test my IOS pages online?
  7. The current IOS pages we are using represent a large investment in engineering time (years) and cost. Howcan these pages be replaced without incurring an equal amount of re-engineering?
  8. Why does XMIOS use a scripting language as opposed to a graphical editor?
  9. Can I put code, including calculations, on XMIOS instructor pages?
  10. How many buttons and editboxes may be placed on any one IOS page?
  11. How many pages may be displayed concurrently?
  12. How many different colors and fonts does XMIOS allow?
  13. Can XMIOS buttons
    A) contain multiple lines of text,
    B) Be shaped other than rectangular,
    C) contain static or dynamic pictures?
  14. Our engineering staff has already developed a set of compiler pages using a popular graphical tool. Can these pages be utilized by XMIOS or must they are thrown out and rebuilt using the XMIOS page language?
  15. How long does a typical XMIOS installation take?

Question One: Which computers and operating systems will XMIOS run on?

Answer: XMIOS has been successfully run on a wide range of Unix and Unix-clone systems including:

RETURN TO TOP


Question Two: How does XMIOS communicate and share data with the simulator load?

Answer: There are two methods:

Shared Memory Communication: When XMIOS is run on the simulator's host computer, one or more shared memory areas are used. This methodology can also be used on satellite computers by having reflective memory between the systems. We can also process the conversions between different memory architecture, such as SEL vs. IEEE floating points, and big-endian vs. little-endian.

Remote Communication: When running on a satellite computer, XMIOS uses any of the following methods: RS-232, Ethernet, HSD, or DR-11W. When using Ethernet communication, XMIOS's UDP emulator/driver is installed on the host, which communicates via the UDP/IP protocol thereby eliminating the need for a TCP/IP software environment to be installed on the host.

Whichever method is used, both XMIOS and its page compiler PGC require online

and offline access to the design and architecture of the simulator's global memory. For both methods, we use dictionaries like the DATAPOOL dictionaries to access individual variables, and all the conversions and communications are totally transparent from the page code. It is easy to install XMIOS on a satellite computer, and later move it to the host computer, or the other way around, as desired by our customers.

RETURN TO TOP


Question Three: How many displays does XMIOS support?

Answer: There is essentially no limit. Any X-server-controlled color monitor (VGA, SVGA, or better) connected to a computer on the same network as the IOS computer can be used as an IOS display. One copy of XMIOS controls all monitors simultaneously and permits a button presses on one monitor to bring up a page on another monitor. There is no limit to the types of pages, which can be displayed on any of the monitors. The following syntax is typically used to attach XMIOS to multiple monitors. In this example, there are three X-server displays whose computers have network names "sneezy", "grumpy", and "sleepy".

xmios -display sneezy:0 -display grumpy:0 -display sleepy:0

RETURN TO TOP


Question Four: Does XMIOS support touchscreen input and other types of input (keyboard, mouse, trackball)?

Hardware Answer: Yes. Any touchscreen currently supported by X-Servers such as Metrolink, X/Inside, Tektronix, HDS, NCD, etc. may be used. A typical configuration for XMIOS display hardware is to place multiple Matrox video cards into one PC chassis running Linux and the Metrolink X-server. In this arrangement, a mouse or trackball may be used simultaneously with each monitor's touchscreen. The mouse or trackball moves across all screens seamlessly.

Software Answer: Yes. Our software is designed with touch screens in mind. We have multi-line text on buttons, which allows the proper spacing and sizing of buttons. We also have pop up numeric keypads and alpha keyboards, to allow full functionality in absence of a keyboard.

RETURN TO TOP


Question Five: How long does it take for XMIOS to load and come online?

Answer: It will take less than a minute on slow systems, and will typically be about 10 seconds.

RETURN TO TOP


Question Six: Can I create, edit, and test my IOS pages online?

Answer: Yes. One click of the mouse brings up a page edit session (in maintenance mode only). The page is then edited, compiled, and re-displayed immediately. This process may also be done online while attached to the simulator.

RETURN TO TOP


Question Seven: The current IOS pages we are using represent a large investment in engineering time (years) and cost. How can these pages be replaced without incurring an equal amount of reengineering?

Answer: We have written several page source translators which greatly reduce the time to have all current pages fully functional under XMIOS. Examples: XMIOS replaced a Rediffusion MAGGS system on a B-767 simulator in just a couple of months using a MAGGS page translator. There were several hundred IOS pages translated on this job. In addition, We demonstrated to NASA how 1600 shuttle IOS pages (created by Link for Aydin displays) could be translated in about thirty (30) seconds each, with no subsequent modification required. The initial NASA estimate was 60 man-years to complete the conversions using a commercial graphical editing tool. Other translators include Reflectone UCOMPOSE, Link AST (Graphic-7 IOS), Link MST (Sun IOS), and Sperry (Graphic-7 IOS).

RETURN TO TOP


Question Eight: Why does XMIOS use a scripting language as opposed to a graphical editor?

Answer: Coding a graphics page is more like coding software than like drawing pictures. Unlike art programs, graphics pages need to be updated by many different people over many years of use. For example, if a graphical editor is used and a small pushbutton is placed behind a large push button, it will probably never be found. These problems are avoided by using properly commented code that is easily maintained over the life of the simulators.

RETURN TO TOP


Question Nine: Can I put code, including calculations, on XMIOS instructor pages?

Answer: Yes.

RETURN TO TOP


Question Ten: How many buttons and editboxes may be placed on any one IOS page?

Answer: Over 30,000 buttons is the current limit.

RETURN TO TOP


Question Eleven: How many pages may be displayed concurrently?

Answer: Unlimited.

RETURN TO TOP


Question Twelve: How many different colors and fonts does XMIOS allow?

Answer: XMIOS works with 8 bit, 16 bit, 24 bit, and 32 bit color depths per CRT. XMIOS currently supports 10 different fonts per CRT and can be expanded.

RETURN TO TOP


Question Thirteen: Can XMIOS buttons A) contain multiple lines of text, B) Be shaped other than rectangular, C) contain static or dynamic pictures?

Answer: XMIOS pushbuttons can have multiple lines, and shape desired, and can even display static or dynamic images.

RETURN TO TOP


Question Fourteen: Our engineering staff has already developed a set of compiler pages using a popular graphical tool. Can these pages be utilized by XMIOS or must they are thrown out and rebuilt using the XMIOS page language?

Answer: The procedure depends upon the type of tool used for your development. Text output is often provided by traditional tools and can be translated. In the unlikely event text output is not provided, we can normally translate large portions even from object code.

RETURN TO TOP


Question Fifteen: How long does a typical XMIOS installation take?

Answer: Due to the complexity of each system, installations can take between 30 days and six months. New page layouts and design can also affect this time line.

If you have any further questions please contact us at: TechSV@xmios.com

RETURN TO TOP