I'm an avid reader of this forum, soaking up all the gossip, tweaks, previews and, of course, official updates. One thing that consistently amazes me is the frequency of comments from people saying that development progress is slow, or that not enough information is being shared. All I can think is that the people posting these comments have never had any involvement in software development, let alone the complexities of multi-platform game development. I've worked in a software development environment for the last 20 years and I know the time it takes to get things done. I also understand the futility of publishing anything like a road map, as estimating how long it will take to finish a task of unknown complexity is a fool's errand... and will usually lead to disappointment - either initially, if the estimates are generous (realistic!), or later, when delays inevitably arise.
This is a very active forum, with a lot of direct feedback from those close to, or actually working on the product. That's rare and I can't help feel that the speed of response might actually be spoiling some people and increasing their levels of expectation! In the time I've owned FS2 (since the Early Access days), we've seen new planes, new scenery, new features (front-end and behind-the-scenes), new tools in the SDK, etc. etc. Some of that has, of course, been developed by 3rd parties (Orbx, Aerosoft) but that doesn't mean the IPACS development team weren't involved.
So, I think we need to give the team a break. I'm sure (or at least I hope) that when people in this forum say things like "progress is slow" and "don't expect any updates soon", that they don't mean to be insulting, but it makes me wince on IPACS' behalf when I read it! Those who understand a fraction of the work that goes in to making this stuff work appreciate that it all takes time and that development and testing effort is usually measured in months, not days or weeks. Look at how long it took the might of Microsoft to attempt a new flight simulator project (Microsoft Flight) and then see how long that lasted!
We're all looking forward to exciting new toys like ATC, Weather, Helicopters, etc. but we need to be careful not to act like spoiled children at Christmas - ignoring the fantastic toys we already have in the hopes of more to come! We want FS2 to become the world-class, genre-defining product that we've all dreamed of since first taking to the virtual skies on an Apple 2, ZX Spectrum, Atari, Amiga or early PC. That's a huge weight of expectation on this team and everyone needs to be patient. Good things come to those who wait... now, go and play with the toys you already have - they're already really rather remarkable!
Keep up the good work, IPACS... we're behind you all the way.