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Re: [Paparazzi-devel] Offer from a thankful new user

From: Nathan Aherne
Subject: Re: [Paparazzi-devel] Offer from a thankful new user
Date: Mon, 3 May 2010 22:42:43 +1000

Hi Chris,

Howdy neighbour! I bet you its cold down there at the moment?

What about a bootable USB drive? Its simpler than a virtual machine and its 
updatable unlike the CD.

I think some people took what I said as a chip at the developers or me telling 
people how to run the project. This was never my intention. There were a number 
of places I was coming from when I wrote that email:

There is a large learning curve for new people. I think technical people often 
forget how hard it is for non technical people to "get it".

UAVs are a very fast growing sector of the aviation industry (maybe even the 
fastest) and more and more private companies are going to want to use them. 
When the person with the money (usually the manager) looks at a project they do 
not see the code or the possibilities they see a look and feel (what they call 
professionalism). The only thing they have to get that look and feel is the 
Paparazzi website. Ardupilot, Attopilot, Micropilot, MNAV all have websites 
that look much better than the Paparazzi code.

Kindest regards,
Nathan Aherne
Reddog Technology
Email: address@hidden
Mob: 0402 555 080

On 03/05/2010, at 10:21 PM, Chris Gough wrote:

> Nathan,
> Hi there neighbor, I'm just down the road in Canberra; but I'm coming
> from a similar place to you in more ways than one. I'm also a Linux
> veteran with 10+ years in software development. Unlike many Paparazzi
> users, I don't have a background in electronics, aeronautical
> engineering, control theory or embedded systems. My paparazzi journey
> has been a steep learning curve. I don't interpret this as a
> deficiency in the documentation or communications technology, it's
> because it's hard. Just because it's Linux software doesn't make me an
> expert, I enjoy the challenge.
> The paparazzi developers do enough by continuing to improve this great
> free software that works. The debian packaging and documentation are
> convenient for me, and the community provides generous support. I
> couldn't ask for any more from them, thank you!
> If you want to push paparazzi "across the chasm" of technology
> adoption from experts (and determined geeks) to FPV pilots, AP
> enthusiasts and others with less technical capacity, it will take a
> lot more than new wiki features and a some HOWTO documents. Playing
> devil's advocate, why should anyone bother? what's in it for the
> existing Paparazzi community?
> An online training program might help new users up the curve. More
> packaging and distribution work on live CDs or VirtualBox images might
> lower the bar. Done right, those are significant efforts. Why not just
> explain what the user callable routines do in the wiki? Or chuck a few
> shrimps on the barbie and call a meeting of the East Australian
> Paparazzi Fan Club - I'll be there with bells on.
> Chris Gough
> On Mon, May 3, 2010 at 6:05 PM, Nathan Aherne <address@hidden> wrote:
>> Hi All,
>> I am not sure who to offer this to.
>> As a newbie to Paparazzi I have experienced many issues with using 
>> Paparazzi. I am not new to Linux and I am not new to coding but I am new to 
>> the Paparazzi code. The biggest issues I have had with using Paparazzi 
>> (which are the same as almost every newbie) are documentation and 
>> understanding of the Paparazzi autopilot. Even adding a Getting Started 
>> Section where new people can get started would be great. The other things 
>> that would have helped me are better documentation of the underlying code so 
>> I can understand for instance what NavSetGroundReferenceHere() does (and all 
>> other user callable routines) and examples of XML code for flight plans etc. 
>> Something that would have helped me more was a forum instead of a mailing 
>> list to search, because a forum makes more logical sense when reading it. 
>> Having a forum also allows other newbies to help each other.
>> To summarise - The biggest barriers to newbies is the huge learning curve 
>> required to get a working Paparazzi system.
>> I run a technology company in Australia and I would like to offer our 
>> hosting and skills to get a website setup, forums and a real wiki, for 
>> example Dekiwiki. If the devs want to take up my offer, please contact me on 
>> this email address and we can work out the details. Maybe this is not what 
>> you want, if you have any other ideas on how I can say thanks and help you 
>> attract new users, I am all ears.
>> Please don't take the above as criticism of anything. I am offering because 
>> if you had not offered Paparazzi as a free product, then I would have spent 
>> a fortune on a Micropilot and been sorely disappointed, so you saved me from 
>> spending a fortune and being disappointed, but not from being frustrated. I 
>> believe Paparazzi is the best Autopilot available, but the barriers to entry 
>> are so high that people are getting scared away from using it and its such a 
>> terrible travesty when that happens.
>> Kindest regards,
>> Nathan Aherne
>> Reddog Technology
>> Web:
>> Email: address@hidden
>> Mob: 0402 555 080
>> _______________________________________________
>> Paparazzi-devel mailing list
>> address@hidden
> _______________________________________________
> Paparazzi-devel mailing list
> address@hidden

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