trejan
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:30 am

ankith26 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:23 am
This is a nice to have feature(may be very difficult to implement), but how about a forum app that comes pre-installed on the raspberry pi.
Wouldn't a link to the forum on the desktop be easier? Actually making a dedicated app for the forum seems like a lot of work for little gain when you can just use the browser.

jamesh
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:39 am

ankith26 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:23 am
This is a nice to have feature(may be very difficult to implement), but how about a forum app that comes pre-installed on the raspberry pi. This way, pi users get exposed to the forum automatically and they get their questions cleared. The interface should be fairly easy to use, just like browser version and users must be encouraged to sign up on the forum. Even the moderating job should be easy for you guys on this platform.
Agree that a desktop URL to the Pi website would be more appropriate. Not sure the moderating job would change if using an app vs the website!
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Technocolour
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:54 am

One dumb Idea I had was an "auto burn" feature.

You have a new SD card and a network connection. If this option is set, the Pi finds a server with the latest Raspian and preps the SD card and burns the OS image. Then it boots from the SD card and you do the regular work with settings and so on.

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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:11 pm

Technocolour wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:54 am
One dumb Idea I had was an "auto burn" feature.

You have a new SD card and a network connection. If this option is set, the Pi finds a server with the latest Raspian and preps the SD card and burns the OS image. Then it boots from the SD card and you do the regular work with settings and so on.
Nice idea, will put it on the list of things to consider!
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:16 pm

ankith26 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:23 am
This is a nice to have feature(may be very difficult to implement), but how about a forum app that comes pre-installed on the raspberry pi. This way, pi users get exposed to the forum automatically and they get their questions cleared. The interface should be fairly easy to use, just like browser version and users must be encouraged to sign up on the forum. Even the moderating job should be easy for you guys on this platform.
The NOOBS pre-boot system has a help button, which opens a browser to http://www.raspberrypi.org/help - from there you can click forums,
IIRC it used to go directly to the forums
Technocolour wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:54 am
One dumb Idea I had was an "auto burn" feature.

You have a new SD card and a network connection. If this option is set, the Pi finds a server with the latest Raspian and preps the SD card and burns the OS image. Then it boots from the SD card and you do the regular work with settings and so on.
NOOBS does have an auto-install option, and it will download the latest version if newer than the file in the os/ folder.
https://github.com/raspberrypi/noobs#advanced-usage
How to Automatically Install an OS
edit recovery.cmdline file in the root NOOBS directory and append silentinstall
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:25 pm

Hmmm.
Then I guess a desktop link that takes directly to raspberry website and forums is more sensible than having to create a whole new app. The idea behind this is that many pi users are not aware that such a forum exists ( I joined this forum 7 months after getting a pi, I wasn’t aware till then)
I sat thinking for 5 minutes on what to put here. Finally I put something like this.
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:27 pm

ankith26 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:25 pm
Hmmm.
Then I guess a desktop link that takes directly to raspberry website and forums is more sensible than having to create a whole new app. The idea behind this is that many pi users are not aware that such a forum exists ( I joined this forum 7 months after getting a pi, I wasn’t aware till then)
Can I ask why you didn't find the forum? It's fairly prominent on the main website (in the top bar next to help), and most google searches end up here.
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:35 pm

At that time, I got the pi and saw a vid on how to set it up, there was a link which directly took me to NOOBS installation page in this website. I never looked much in the website, directly downloaded NOOBS and left.
I did some projects with python on my own and followed some tutorials on apache web server and that was it. Finally when I was searching something on the pi, I got a link of a question asked in this forum. That’s when I realised that such a thing even existed.
I sat thinking for 5 minutes on what to put here. Finally I put something like this.
Check out my github page @ https://github.com/ankith26

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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:36 pm

rpdom wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:21 am
A more standard GPIO library would be good.

I tend to use my own code to poke things via /dev/gpiomem but that won't let me access PWM and other functions. If that could be extended, or some other /dev/ interface created that would be nice.
That's why I suggested a comprehensive mechanism. Where GPIO, PWM, UART, I2C, SPI and everything else can be accessed without using multiple libraries and without having to use 'sudo'. And extensible, with device support, so people can simply specify some sort of I2C Eeprom or SPI ADC for example then simply configure, read and write to that. A single 'whole I/O' mechanism. WiringPi is probably the closest we got to that.

The libgpio mechanism is possibly best for the low-level, but some sort of abstraction layer wrapper will still be required to make things user friendly, easy to use by novices and newbies. It would also save more experienced programmers from having to create their own.

Everyone who wrote their own I/O code, extensions, wrappers and libraries, is probably having to look at altering those to support Pi 4B changes. If it had all 'gone through the OS' in the first place there would be a lot less work required all round.

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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:58 pm

Giving chromium a default homepage of http://www.raspberrypi.org and putting it as a bookmark would be a good idea too.
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:14 pm

mikerr wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:16 pm
Technocolour wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:54 am
One dumb Idea I had was an "auto burn" feature.

You have a new SD card and a network connection. If this option is set, the Pi finds a server with the latest Raspian and preps the SD card and burns the OS image. Then it boots from the SD card and you do the regular work with settings and so on.
NOOBS does have an auto-install option, and it will download the latest version if newer than the file in the os/ folder.
https://github.com/raspberrypi/noobs#advanced-usage
It's not dumb at all and is already available in NOOBS, as mikerr said.

In addition, this feature is enhanced in PINN to allow the latest version of one or more selectable OSes to be auto-silently-installed, from selectable sources ( SD card, USB stick or Network), so you don't even need to mess about with restricting the number of OSes in the /os folder, and it will work with the lite version.
https://github.com/procount/pinn/blob/m ... stall-oses
PINN - NOOBS with the extras... https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=142574

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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:15 pm

ankith26 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:23 am
This is a nice to have feature(may be very difficult to implement), but how about a forum app that comes pre-installed on the raspberry pi. This way, pi users get exposed to the forum automatically and they get their questions cleared. The interface should be fairly easy to use, just like browser version and users must be encouraged to sign up on the forum. Even the moderating job should be easy for you guys on this platform.
Connecting new users with the forums is a nice idea. Even a standard menu of links to open the default browser on key forum stickies and other web resources could be helpful to new users.

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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:38 pm

procount wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:14 pm
mikerr wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:16 pm
Technocolour wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:54 am
One dumb Idea I had was an "auto burn" feature.

You have a new SD card and a network connection. If this option is set, the Pi finds a server with the latest Raspian and preps the SD card and burns the OS image. Then it boots from the SD card and you do the regular work with settings and so on.
NOOBS does have an auto-install option, and it will download the latest version if newer than the file in the os/ folder.
https://github.com/raspberrypi/noobs#advanced-usage
It's not dumb at all and is already available in NOOBS, as mikerr said.

In addition, this feature is enhanced in PINN to allow the latest version of one or more selectable OSes to be auto-silently-installed, from selectable sources ( SD card, USB stick or Network), so you don't even need to mess about with restricting the number of OSes in the /os folder, and it will work with the lite version.
https://github.com/procount/pinn/blob/m ... stall-oses
That is good to know, thank you for that! But it is not what I'm talking about.

I mean, available at boot with no OS running, ie an option that's accessable from firmware.

So a new user with an empty card, an RPi and some way to power it and connect it to the internet can get a system up and running.

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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:49 pm

Technocolour wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:38 pm
procount wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:14 pm
mikerr wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:16 pm

NOOBS does have an auto-install option, and it will download the latest version if newer than the file in the os/ folder.
https://github.com/raspberrypi/noobs#advanced-usage
It's not dumb at all and is already available in NOOBS, as mikerr said.

In addition, this feature is enhanced in PINN to allow the latest version of one or more selectable OSes to be auto-silently-installed, from selectable sources ( SD card, USB stick or Network), so you don't even need to mess about with restricting the number of OSes in the /os folder, and it will work with the lite version.
https://github.com/procount/pinn/blob/m ... stall-oses
That is good to know, thank you for that! But it is not what I'm talking about.

I mean, available at boot with no OS running, ie an option that's accessable from firmware.

So a new user with an empty card, an RPi and some way to power it and connect it to the internet can get a system up and running.
Yes, that's what I thought you meant. It's a nice idea.
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:03 pm

This is more firmware but could the Pi 4 bootcode initialise the HDMI output and display something if it can't access the card or read the files? Ideally it'd be an error message or icon.

Same with the start*.elf firmware. Could it display something if something goes wrong?

It would help troubleshoot people with boot issues.

I know we've got the LED error code blinks but a lot of people don't know how to decode them.

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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:26 pm

trejan wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:03 pm
This is more firmware but could the Pi 4 bootcode initialise the HDMI output and display something if it can't access the card or read the files? Ideally it'd be an error message or icon.

Same with the start*.elf firmware. Could it display something if something goes wrong?

It would help troubleshoot people with boot issues.

I know we've got the LED error code blinks but a lot of people don't know how to decode them.
I guess it would have to use HDMI in safe mode (640x480), but a simple message or some symbols would help in diags.

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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:32 pm

trejan wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:03 pm
This is more firmware but could the Pi 4 bootcode initialise the HDMI output and display something if it can't access the card or read the files? Ideally it'd be an error message or icon.

Same with the start*.elf firmware. Could it display something if something goes wrong?

It would help troubleshoot people with boot issues.

I know we've got the LED error code blinks but a lot of people don't know how to decode them.
We are already thinking about something to help here. Whether possible is another thing altogether!
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:02 pm

Daniel Gessel wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:15 pm
Connecting new users with the forums is a nice idea. Even a standard menu of links to open the default browser on key forum stickies and other web resources could be helpful to new users.
I do wonder how well the forum would cope though, it's currently at about 200K members. Afaict about 30 million Pis have been sold ( https://twitter.com/EbenUpton/status/12 ... 9443393537 ) so we have about one forum member for every 150 Pis sold.

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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:08 pm

trejan wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:03 pm
This is more firmware but could the Pi 4 bootcode initialise the HDMI output and display something if it can't access the card or read the files? Ideally it'd be an error message or icon.

Same with the start*.elf firmware. Could it display something if something goes wrong?

It would help troubleshoot people with boot issues.

I know we've got the LED error code blinks but a lot of people don't know how to decode them.
Going further it would be great to have some kind of "BIOS setup", so that one could do things like change the boot options without ever needing to put in a SD card.

I guess it ultimately comes down to code space, the Pi has a lot more "ROM" than the old 8 bit microcomputers had but it also has a bunch of more complex hardware. Is there enough room in the rom to bring up the PCIe, USB, Ethernet and display and include a simple setup program or not.

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Re: Future of raspberry pi

Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:29 pm

jamesh wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:21 am
Interesting. We want to move away from anything accessing the HW directly, so from C would recommend libgio (package gpiod). pigpio we install by default, but not sure how that access the pins - if it's not via libgpio then we should probably consider moving away from that. There is a python binding for libgoio, called gpio-next which is probably the best approach.
Are there any user-intelligible docs for this? All I'm seeing are a couple of tiny code fragments on how to light an LED, how to wait for a rising edge, etc. The command line utilities have no manuals, either. The associated python library python3-libgpiod is similarly sparse on explanation. gpio_next echoes the system docs.
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Re: Future of raspberry pi

Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:43 pm

scruss wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:29 pm
jamesh wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:21 am
Interesting. We want to move away from anything accessing the HW directly, so from C would recommend libgio (package gpiod). pigpio we install by default, but not sure how that access the pins - if it's not via libgpio then we should probably consider moving away from that. There is a python binding for libgoio, called gpio-next which is probably the best approach.
Are there any user-intelligible docs for this? All I'm seeing are a couple of tiny code fragments on how to light an LED, how to wait for a rising edge, etc. The command line utilities have no manuals, either. The associated python library python3-libgpiod is similarly sparse on explanation. gpio_next echoes the system docs.
I went to libgpiod source, which is the only “documentation” I found. For my simple case (blinking a Pimoroni Blinkt) I decided it was easier to use the ioctl calls directly - I don’t know if that’s kosher though: which interfaces are generally more stable, libraries or kernel ioctl calls?

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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:51 pm

plugwash wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:02 pm
Daniel Gessel wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:15 pm
Connecting new users with the forums is a nice idea. Even a standard menu of links to open the default browser on key forum stickies and other web resources could be helpful to new users.
I do wonder how well the forum would cope though, it's currently at about 200K members. Afaict about 30 million Pis have been sold ( https://twitter.com/EbenUpton/status/12 ... 9443393537 ) so we have about one forum member for every 150 Pis sold.
But how many have more than one Pi? I'm not even sure how many I have, but it probably more than twenty.

Also, there are the big corporations that use tens of thousands of Pi.

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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:05 pm

plugwash wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:08 pm
Going further it would be great to have some kind of "BIOS setup", so that one could do things like change the boot options without ever needing to put in a SD card.
I am wondering if that would be worth the effort or if it serves any real purpose when the overwhelming majority of people do manage to boot from SD Card and can then run raspi-config from the command line or some desktop equivalent ?

I'm not against having more on-screen POST reporting and progress info which may help reveal why a Pi is not booting, but how many people actually need that, cannot successfully boot first time ? Most initial problems seem to me to be "no video" so not sure how useful anything would be.

For those who 'know what they are doing', having the UART spit out more or better POST and progress messages may be enough.

Perhaps coming up as a Wi-Fi hotspot which a user can connect to and see a list of POST and progress messages when it has failed to boot might be another option.

I would suggest analysing what issues people are having, and why, determining how those could be better identified or resolved, before deciding what may help. If it's not solving people's problems then it's not serving any useful purpose.

I have had three 'cannot boot' situations over numerous installations. My first B+ where it was a dodgy HDMI lead, worked with everything else but not the Pi. 'No video' on a Pi 4B when I used the wrong HDMI socket, worked once I used the other, but now seems to work on either, and mistakenly trying to boot a card with Stretch on that Pi 4B.

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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Thu Jan 16, 2020 7:28 pm

rpdom wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:51 pm
plugwash wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:02 pm
Daniel Gessel wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:15 pm
Connecting new users with the forums is a nice idea. Even a standard menu of links to open the default browser on key forum stickies and other web resources could be helpful to new users.
I do wonder how well the forum would cope though, it's currently at about 200K members. Afaict about 30 million Pis have been sold ( https://twitter.com/EbenUpton/status/12 ... 9443393537 ) so we have about one forum member for every 150 Pis sold.
But how many have more than one Pi? I'm not even sure how many I have, but it probably more than twenty.

Also, there are the big corporations that use tens of thousands of Pi.
Don't forget all of the dead Pi which resulted in somebody buying a second Pi to replace the first they made some mistakes with.

The number of Pi sold is definitely not reflective of the number of people using a Pi.
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Thu Jan 16, 2020 7:41 pm

rpdom wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:51 pm
But how many have more than one Pi? I'm not even sure how many I have, but it probably more than twenty.

Also, there are the big corporations that use tens of thousands of Pi.
Same here. I've probably got more than 10 Pi2Bv1.1 alone, and similar numbers of Model B Pis. Only 4 Pi4Bs...so far, but there will be at least 4 (and more like 6+) more.

I don't see any way to get the data, but it would be interesting to know what the general ownership data is as a distribution of how many Pi any individual has. I do suspect we are both outliers--as, likely, are several other frequent posters--but only owning one Pi may also be less common than one might otherwise think.

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