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

From: Chris Gough
Subject: Re: [Paparazzi-devel] Offer from a thankful new user
Date: Mon, 3 May 2010 23:11:51 +1000

On Mon, May 3, 2010 at 10:42 PM, Nathan Aherne <address@hidden> wrote:
> Hi Chris,
> Howdy neighbour! I bet you its cold down there at the moment?

Perhaps by Sydney standards, but there probably won't even be a frost
tomorrow morning.

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

I'm downloading Garth's VirtualBox torrent at the moment - You make a
thumb-drive appliance and I'll try it out too :)

Since upgrading to a modern laptop with more ram than I know what to
do with, virtual machines don't seem  quite as comlicated.

> 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:

They'll get over it :)

> 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".

Sure, some unicorn worshippers just can't think through a problem with
logic - but my point is that even being "a technical person", if you
are missing more than a couple of key concepts (like me) then some
confusion is inevitable; you are going to have to do some work if you
want to understand.

> 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.

Agreed, but why should I care? That's a serious question.

Chris Gough

> Kindest regards,
> Nathan Aherne
> Reddog Technology
> Web:
> 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
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