Up until now, VATSIM's dataserver has been written with a counterintuitive colon-delimited datafile which has been hard to understand for new developers. We have listened to your feedback, and as such, we have rewritten the dataserver which comes with a brand new JSON file that includes a 1:1 field mapping with the colon-delimited file. Documentation for this new file can be found here. This is officially v1.0 and is now considered in production.
We are also doing our best to embrace open-source and community involvement with our technology, so you can find the code for the new dataserver on our GitHub, here. Please feel free to create issues and open pull requests.
Please note that this does not mean we are deprecating the old file! We will continue to maintain that file for years to come to ensure that all of the current VATSIM tools you know and love continue to function properly.
Stay up to date and in the loop of VATSIM Techical development by visiting the VATSIM Services section on the VATSIM.net forums.
Thanks for reading, and we hope you enjoy!