I personally would love to see a integrated GNUAIS soundcard AIS input feature.
What to have included and not in the software
itself will of course be a matter of opinion... so take this for what it is... just my opinion.
In our yacht we have a class B transponder and I kind of like the robustness of a dedicated AIS
receiver and also the fact I can actually be seen by others on top on getting the position of other boats.
I think GNUAIS is a nice idea but that it will be comparatively few people that will do the electronic fiddling with an old VHF
receiver and connecting it via a sound card. It is a nice idea but a tad to un-robust for my liking.
My vote is to put it low on the include list.
I have not tried GNUAIS but if it can be set to export the data as an NMEA
string into OpenCPN
then it should be no problem to use OpenCPN
as it is.
If GNUAIS can not do that it would, in my opinion, be better to get GNUAIS to do it as a separate application.
It is very much the same as not including virtual instruments in OpenCPN, there are other solutions for that.
What I would like to have included in OpenCPN is configurable NMEA
export sentences. I have suggested this earlier. This is needed for several different instrumentation systems to present navigation
information on the instruments in the cockpit
such as XTE, DTW and BTW. Different autopilots may use different sentences too, I believe.
My two pennies worth...