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WiringPi to be deprecated?

Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:14 pm

Sad to read that Gordon may soon finish with his excellent WiringPi library here.

Also sad to read how disappointed the WiringPi project has left him, and how he has been taken advantage off.
Instead, he should be proud of his work in supporting the Pi's GPIO pins from the beginnings of the Pi, and get some credit for his work.

Here's hoping that Joan will continue to support the pigpio project.


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Re: WiringPi to be deprecated?

Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:48 pm

I'm not surprised. I've started and been involved with several big projects before and the headaches involved closely mirror what he's experienced. It gets to the point that it just isn't worth it. You can see some of those headaches just on this forum.

I hope Gordon gets the rest he's been needing. Maybe he'll come back later once he's had some time off.

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Re: WiringPi to be deprecated?

Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:19 pm

It's not the fist time a project initiator/maintainer has stepped down. Happens all the time. Maybe they get stressed, or bored or just generally want to move on to other things. See, node.js, Rust, Python and a million other smaller projects.

If the software is useful and popular somebody else may step up and take over the reins as maintainer.

Take care Gordon.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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Re: WiringPi to be deprecated?

Sun Aug 11, 2019 5:05 pm

That is sad to hear.

I'm sure anyone who has posted source code to the web will be able to empathise over the pressure of unreasonable support requests.

Gordon should be proud of wiringPi. I believe a lot of the success of the Raspberry Pi in physical computing is down to having wiringPi to manipulate the GPIO.

Best wishes Gordon.

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Re: WiringPi to be deprecated?

Sun Aug 11, 2019 5:09 pm

Heater wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:19 pm
It's not the fist time a project initiator/maintainer has stepped down. Happens all the time. Maybe they get stressed, or bored or just generally want to move on to other things.
Reading Gordon's post it's quite clear that the problem lies with thoughtless, inconsiderate amd incompetent users who have then complained to Gordon.
That's where the stress has come from.
Discoverer of the PI2 XENON DEATH FLASH!
Interests: C,Python,PIC,Electronics,Ham Radio (G0DZB),1960s British Computers.
"The primary requirement (as we've always seen in your examples) is that the code is readable. " Dougie Lawson

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Re: WiringPi to be deprecated?

Sun Aug 11, 2019 6:08 pm

As is often the case with open source software, the solo maintainer gets older, tired, and fed up. It is unfortunate reality. Thanks Gordon, for a really excellent library that has enabled my home automation efforts with simple command-line statements that required no programming skills. It "just works" and often, just a line or two in a cron file is all that is required. Writing and debugging a python or C script was an unnecessary use of time. I do hope someone picks it up and continues it but continues to give Gordon the credit due for his pioneering efforts.

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Re: WiringPi to be deprecated?

Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:04 am

I would like to add my appreciation for Gordon's efforts on Wiring Pi.

On the few occasions I have contacted him (by email) I have received prompt, helpful replies.

Anyone who has not studied his code should read it; there are a number of witty comments buried within.

I can relate to issues he reports. In the 1970s I (and a partner) wrote software (which we sold for a reasonable price). While we were quite happy to share code it cost money to print manuals and post distribution media. (Things are different in these days with internet, unfortunately the users are worse that the hobbyists of old.)

We provided support, but my wife received abusive telephone calls (often from people who didn't RTFM).

My partner, who provided most of the business support, was forced to cancel his home phone due to abusive callers during an absence on his actual paid employment.

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Re: WiringPi to be deprecated?

Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:13 am

I'd like to say that people like Gordon are special, and I felt so lucky like I won the lottery when he helped me with an issue I was having.

I've read his source code and the comments are telling of his personality, it's a shameful that he was treated this way.

So thank you Gordon for WiringPi, thanks for helping, and thanks for sharing.

I hope you find the joy that these experiences have taken.

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Re: WiringPi to be deprecated?

Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:02 pm

This is one of the sad outcomes of success in the Free Software movement... Things get popular, distribution expands and gets used by people that either don't understand the model or just plain don't care.

As an end user, you are entitled to exactly the support that you paid for. Under many licenses all you have the rights to is access to see the actual source code. I have deployed such software into production environments. Sometimes we decided to support it internally, sometimes we trusted the project had enough momentum to remain viable "in the wild", and sometimes we purchased support through the originator or a third party. I will say in all cases we had better success than with most of our commercial off the shelf software, in that properly articulated bug reports were fixed faster.

Having access to core developers, often to the core developer is a huge advantage, as long as one remains mindful of the support model and what you are asking for.

One of the failings is that consumers do not read or understand support contracts that come with products. They also tend to treat things as monolithic appliances, that either work or are broken, without distinguishing between broken hardware, buggy software, incorrect setup/configuration, or good old user error. This is true in the commercial world as well, the different there is that the calls route to a giant call center instead of to some home phone number.

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Re: WiringPi to be deprecated?

Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:41 pm

A very important piece of software for the Pi indeed. A great contribution deserving great praise.

A public mailing list is much safer than private email for support, for sure. That, plus having no qualms publicly abusing abusers...

I don’t know the gpio utilities landscape that much, but perhaps a small team can coordinate and pick-up maintenance and packaging?
"S'il n'y a pas de solution, c'est qu'il n'y a pas de problème." Les Shadoks, J. Rouxel

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Re: WiringPi to be deprecated?

Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:01 pm

WiringPi has always been a very good inspiration for handling gpio and double check that I understand BCM2835 peripherals correctly. Reading the post from Gordon and I understand completely his reasons to quit, even it is a big loss for Raspberry pi community.

Developping a free project is mainly for fun , and generally should not be a source of stress from users.

Good luck Gordon.


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