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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: Tue, 4 May 2010 01:08:35 +1000

Hi Chris,

You are also right! There are many ways to look at things and I agree with your 
point. I also disagree with it because what I am proposing is not a big change 
from what Paparazzi is currently doing. Making it more marketable to a less 
skilled person does not change the focus of the project or change its technical 
value, it simply attracts more users who in turn make the project more 
successful (generally).

Why make it difficult just because? It makes no sense.

I made my offer because I thought the project might want people with different 
skills to add to it, whatever those skills are. Paparazzi is not just about 
code and hardware, its about passion for the goal as well as the journey. I am 
passionate about the goal and the journey, but I am never going to be able to 
code a complex routine, so I offered my individual skills and money.

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

On 04/05/2010, at 12:54 AM, Chris Gough wrote:

> More on this...
>> Say for instance one of the Paparazzi users got a job implementing a new UAV 
>> project (lets say his names Simeon). When Simeon goes into a presentation to 
>> his boss to present the available autopilots for their brand new $100,000 
>> UAV, Simeon is going to need as much backup as possible. If the boss chooses 
>> Paparazzi then he has a vested interest in the success of the Paparazzi 
>> software. This means Simeon has time to work on the Paparazzi code so the 
>> Paparazzi community benefits from his code and skills he gain while on the 
>> job. This is why you should care, actually you are probably benefiting from 
>> the commercial use of Paparazzi now.
> You are right of course, but Paparazzi is one ongoing technical
> success who's value is not driven by commerce.
> If you look at the most successful open source companies, they are
> generally in the packaging and distribution business. They might hire
> a few core developers, but that's only to manage risk, control opinion
> leadership and boost their credibility. In the process of tweaking
> value out of existing components, they make the software much more
> appealing to people who make superficial decisions (high impact web
> sites, persuasive spin, scalable training/support, buzz).
> For the most part, the Paparazzi web site looks like it is by and for
> the technical types who actually use it.
> Chris Gough
>> Kindest regards,
>> Nathan Aherne
>> Reddog Technology
>> Web:
>> Email: address@hidden
>> Mob: 0402 555 080
>> On 03/05/2010, at 11:11 PM, Chris Gough wrote:
>>> 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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