ejolson
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:19 pm

Heater wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 7:46 pm
Daniel Gessel,
I’m sure there are use cases where a pocket of persistence would be quite useful.
This sounds quite reasonable.
Once one clears away the fog, providing persistent storage close to IOT devices with a cloud on the ground is one of the ideas behind

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fog_computing

Interestingly, the Pi can function either as a fog server or the IOT device. It's only a matter of how they are configured.

From a software point of view, it would be useful to create packages that made it easy for a Pi in read-only mode to store persistent data on a different Pi running in file-server mode.

pagenotfound
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:58 pm

jamesh wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:04 pm
Rather than sniping at each other, please just answer the question.

Just a note - I hate the word Sigh when used at the start of a sentence. Imagine someone standing in front of you did that in your face - would you find that rather rude? If you wouldn't dare do it to someones face (and I recommend not doing it to me to my face, or virtually, because that won't end well), don't do it here.
I don't have to imagine that because I do it IRL whenever appropriate and others do it to me. Much more efficient communication than the French/English style. Reread the discussion and tell me with straight (virtual) face you didn't at least think the same.

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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:05 pm

pagenotfound wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:58 pm
jamesh wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:04 pm
Rather than sniping at each other, please just answer the question.

Just a note - I hate the word Sigh when used at the start of a sentence. Imagine someone standing in front of you did that in your face - would you find that rather rude? If you wouldn't dare do it to someones face (and I recommend not doing it to me to my face, or virtually, because that won't end well), don't do it here.
I don't have to imagine that because I do it IRL whenever appropriate and others do it to me. Much more efficient communication than the French/English style. Reread the discussion and tell me with straight (virtual) face you didn't at least think the same.
What I think and what I do are mostly different things. Mainly because I like my job, but also because my parent brought me up well.
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scruss
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Tue Jan 28, 2020 2:08 am

Following on from James's hint that initiatives tend to work best when it's not just everyone yelling at the Foundation to do something, on the user software side I'd consider managing an effort to catalogue and maintain assistive/adaptive access solutions around the Raspberry Pi.

In assistive technology (technology to help people with disabilities, aka "AT") the Raspberry Pi is quietly taking over. If you were to go to the ATIA conference (it starts later this week in Florida) you'd see a bunch of products on the exhibition stands that have that very distinctive USB and network port pattern that means there's a Raspberry Pi inside. This is refreshing, as there still a bunch of vendors selling 10 year old Atom tablets in a custom assistive enclosure and charging $20,000 just because they can.

Outside the commercial realm, there are neat projects like Ross Porter's Dementia Friendly Music Player — using a Raspberry Pi to make a memory-loss friendly music player, which is now being used by UK charity Playlist for Life. But it's not just the hardware: the hackability and longevity of Linux has allowed some really solid assistive/adaptive access software to be written. Without documentation, promotion and maintenance, however, this software might as well not exist. It's certainly not going to be found by the people who need it.

Though I'm by no means an expert in AT, I'm in a fairly lucky position:
  • I work for one of the few charities that gets support to develop and promote low-cost open source makerspace-level assistive technologies;
  • We also get national (in 🇨🇦) funding for providing tech support for assistive/adaptive modified computers.
It's a huge subject, and I know I can't give it all the time it needs, but it's worth a shot. Assistive tech helps everyone. It's like a curb cut/drop kerb/kerb ramp: what was designed to benefit vulnerable groups can often end up benefiting all of society.
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jamesh
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:29 am

scruss wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 2:08 am
Following on from James's hint that initiatives tend to work best when it's not just everyone yelling at the Foundation to do something, on the user software side I'd consider managing an effort to catalogue and maintain assistive/adaptive access solutions around the Raspberry Pi.

In assistive technology (technology to help people with disabilities, aka "AT") the Raspberry Pi is quietly taking over. If you were to go to the ATIA conference (it starts later this week in Florida) you'd see a bunch of products on the exhibition stands that have that very distinctive USB and network port pattern that means there's a Raspberry Pi inside. This is refreshing, as there still a bunch of vendors selling 10 year old Atom tablets in a custom assistive enclosure and charging $20,000 just because they can.

Outside the commercial realm, there are neat projects like Ross Porter's Dementia Friendly Music Player — using a Raspberry Pi to make a memory-loss friendly music player, which is now being used by UK charity Playlist for Life. But it's not just the hardware: the hackability and longevity of Linux has allowed some really solid assistive/adaptive access software to be written. Without documentation, promotion and maintenance, however, this software might as well not exist. It's certainly not going to be found by the people who need it.

Though I'm by no means an expert in AT, I'm in a fairly lucky position:
  • I work for one of the few charities that gets support to develop and promote low-cost open source makerspace-level assistive technologies;
  • We also get national (in 🇨🇦) funding for providing tech support for assistive/adaptive modified computers.
It's a huge subject, and I know I can't give it all the time it needs, but it's worth a shot. Assistive tech helps everyone. It's like a curb cut/drop kerb/kerb ramp: what was designed to benefit vulnerable groups can often end up benefiting all of society.
Great post.
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scruss
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Tue Jan 28, 2020 2:06 pm

Thanks. Still not quite sure where to start. There are some genuine accessibility experts on here, such as OneSwitch - they've been doing this since Beeb days.
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ejolson
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:04 pm

Another idea for software related improvements is for binaries in the Raspbian repository that require an ARMv7-compatible processor to report a more meaningful error than simply Illegal Instruction when they are run on Pi Zero or original Pi B computers.

An example of a binary with a reasonable error message is the openjdk-9-jre as described in the post

https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/view ... 8&t=212040

An example of a binary which needs improvement is firefox-esr as described in the post

https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/view ... 3&t=263051

Along these lines, it would be nice if the package manager knew which binaries were not compatible with ARMv6 processors and avoided installing those packages when running on such a processor.

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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Thu Jan 30, 2020 7:10 am

ejolson wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:04 pm
Another idea for software related improvements is for binaries in the Raspbian repository that require an ARMv7-compatible processor to report a more meaningful error than simply Illegal Instruction when they are run on Pi Zero or original Pi B computers.

An example of a binary with a reasonable error message is the openjdk-9-jre as described in the post

https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/view ... 8&t=212040

An example of a binary which needs improvement is firefox-esr as described in the post

https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/view ... 3&t=263051

Along these lines, it would be nice if the package manager knew which binaries were not compatible with ARMv6 processors and avoided installing those packages when running on such a processor.
Firefox-esr in the Raspbian Repository is an armhf version: firefox-esr_68.4.168.4.1esr-1~deb10u1+rpi1_armhf.deb
It should not crash on RPi 1 or zero.
Minimal Kiosk Browser (kweb)
Slim, fast webkit browser with support for audio+video+playlists+youtube+pdf+download
Optional fullscreen kiosk mode and command interface for embedded applications
Includes omxplayerGUI, an X front end for omxplayer

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rin67630
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:14 am

By the way, a really good improvement, which needs almost no effort, would also be to publish an actual version of the Arduino IDE in the Raspberry Pi software repositories.
Currently the software there is a complete outdated one.
A lot of people take that one and run into problems, since it is outdated by at least three years.
Thank you for considering

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PeterO
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:31 am

rin67630 wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:14 am
By the way, a really good improvement, which needs almost no effort, would also be to publish an actual version of the Arduino IDE in the Raspberry Pi software repositories.
Currently the software there is a complete outdated one.
A lot of people take that one and run into problems, since it is outdated by at least three years.
Thank you for considering
Three of the "big GUI tools" I use (GIMP,Blender,Arduino IDE) all provide their own installation methods which are kept up to date with their latest releases and some include ARM versions. It's taken a few years to get these. There are also new "platform independent" methods ("Flat Pack" and "Snap" for example) that could be investigated.

Since Debian doesn't do "bleeding edge" it would be down to the foundation to keep the versions in Raspbian up to date. Many of these packages have frequent releases and it would seem to be a duplication of effort for an already busy team.

A better solution might be to remove the outdated version altogether and to provide a easily found "Installing third party software" page on the web site.
Or
Work to get Raspbian supported in one of the "platform independent" tools.
Or
Include some sort of "meta-package" that just prints out a set of instructions on downloading and installing the real software ?

PeterO
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Interests: C,Python,PIC,Electronics,Ham Radio (G0DZB),1960s British Computers.
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rin67630
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:10 pm

PeterO wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:31 am
...might be to remove the outdated version altogether and to provide a easily found "Installing third party software" page on the web site.
Or
Work to get Raspbian supported in one of the "platform independent" tools.
Or
Include some sort of "meta-package" that just prints out a set of instructions on downloading and installing the real software ?
OK, anything is better than providing something completely obsolete in the Raspbian repos.

hippy
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:36 pm

scruss wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 2:08 am
on the user software side I'd consider managing an effort to catalogue and maintain assistive/adaptive access solutions around the Raspberry Pi.
Maybe this, and similar worthy ventures, could best be done as a third-party venture aided by a grant to do it from the Foundation ?

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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:41 pm

There are a few bugs open in Debian's and Arduino's bug trackers. IIRC, it's mostly a licensing issue. There a simple change that hasn't been merged since 2015 - https://github.com/arduino/Arduino/pull/2703

There may be other issues holding Arduino back from getting updated. If they don't care enough to fix that one, I wouldn't expect them any Arduino updates in Debian until that changes.

hippy
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:45 pm

ejolson wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:04 pm
Along these lines, it would be nice if the package manager knew which binaries were not compatible with ARMv6 processors and avoided installing those packages when running on such a processor.
When I asked for that I recall being told that the package management system did not support identification of what works with what, had no ability to only present platform specific packages. Maybe going from a single "Raspbian" repository to "Raspbian-ARMv6" etc would be the solution there, or to have a core "Raspbian" repository with additional platform specific repositories.

Perhaps working to update 'dpkg' / 'apt' to provide such a selective platform capability would be even better, delivering a solution for other platforms as well.

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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:54 pm

rin67630 wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:14 am
By the way, a really good improvement, which needs almost no effort, would also be to publish an actual version of the Arduino IDE in the Raspberry Pi software repositories.
Currently the software there is a complete outdated one.
A lot of people take that one and run into problems, since it is outdated by at least three years.
The most pragmatic solution there may be to remove the Arduino IDE from the Raspbian repository so it simply cannot be 'apt' installed.

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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:59 pm

Raspbian is a straight forward rebuild of Debian for armv6hf. If the package is in Debian and builds for Raspbian, it will be in the repo. There are pros and cons to that approach and I don't expect the maintainer of Raspbian to cherry-pick which packages the automated build system pulls in.

We have control over what we put on top of stock Raspbian into our archive.raspberrypi.org repo, but I don't think we'll be overriding the arduino package.

Daniel Gessel
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:24 pm

Vulkan is coming:

https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/vulkan ... -triangle/

I guess it’s time to learn a new API!

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PeterO
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:46 pm

Daniel Gessel wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:24 pm
Vulkan is coming:

https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/vulkan ... -triangle/

I guess it’s time to learn a new API!
TBH I'd prefer they got openGLES finished first !
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:52 pm

PeterO wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:46 pm
Daniel Gessel wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:24 pm
Vulkan is coming:

https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/vulkan ... -triangle/

I guess it’s time to learn a new API!
TBH I'd prefer they got openGLES finished first !
PeterO
Define finished.
The Pi4 is now compliant to GLES 3.1, and I suspect we'll bump mesa shortly to pick that up. There is work ongoing for the applicable sections of GLES 3.2, but that work is orthogonal to Vulkan.
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:36 pm

6by9 wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:52 pm
PeterO wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:46 pm
Daniel Gessel wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:24 pm
Vulkan is coming:

https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/vulkan ... -triangle/

I guess it’s time to learn a new API!
TBH I'd prefer they got openGLES finished first !
PeterO
Define finished.
openGLES 3.2
Does Vulkan have much uptake ? I admit I've not been looking for it but I've not seen much "news" about it since it first appeared.

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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: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:39 pm

6by9 wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:52 pm
PeterO wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:46 pm
Daniel Gessel wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:24 pm
Vulkan is coming:

https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/vulkan ... -triangle/

I guess it’s time to learn a new API!
TBH I'd prefer they got openGLES finished first !
PeterO
Define finished.
The Pi4 is now compliant to GLES 3.1, and I suspect we'll bump mesa shortly to pick that up. There is work ongoing for the applicable sections of GLES 3.2, but that work is orthogonal to Vulkan.
Curmudgeonly speaking, since there’s a bottomless list of cool things to do on the GL ES side, one can assume resources that could improve GL ES have been/will be shifted to Vulkan.

But I’m gonna choose to embrace the new and jump to Vulkan.

Since it’s a long road to Vulkan 1.0, I wonder if anything can be done to help everyday/independent Pi developers start the transition early, short of developing on other hardware?

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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:42 pm

Daniel Gessel wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:39 pm
6by9 wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:52 pm
PeterO wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:46 pm


TBH I'd prefer they got openGLES finished first !
PeterO
Define finished.
The Pi4 is now compliant to GLES 3.1, and I suspect we'll bump mesa shortly to pick that up. There is work ongoing for the applicable sections of GLES 3.2, but that work is orthogonal to Vulkan.
Curmudgeonly speaking, since there’s a bottomless list of cool things to do on the GL ES side, one can assume resources that could improve GL ES have been/will be shifted to Vulkan.

But I’m gonna choose to embrace the new and jump to Vulkan.

Since it’s a long road to Vulkan 1.0, I wonder if anything can be done to help everyday/independent Pi developers start the transition early, short of developing on other hardware?
Considering how "niche" 3D is in the education context I'm surprised they've put as much resource into openGLES, though I guess originally it came pretty much for free in the existing firmware on the earlier PIs.

PeterO
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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: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:22 pm

PeterO wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:42 pm
Daniel Gessel wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:39 pm
6by9 wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:52 pm

Define finished.
The Pi4 is now compliant to GLES 3.1, and I suspect we'll bump mesa shortly to pick that up. There is work ongoing for the applicable sections of GLES 3.2, but that work is orthogonal to Vulkan.
Curmudgeonly speaking, since there’s a bottomless list of cool things to do on the GL ES side, one can assume resources that could improve GL ES have been/will be shifted to Vulkan.

But I’m gonna choose to embrace the new and jump to Vulkan.

Since it’s a long road to Vulkan 1.0, I wonder if anything can be done to help everyday/independent Pi developers start the transition early, short of developing on other hardware?
Considering how "niche" 3D is in the education context I'm surprised they've put as much resource into openGLES, though I guess originally it came pretty much for free in the existing firmware on the earlier PIs.

PeterO
Any improvements in the 3D result in an overall better desktop experience as that is rendered using the 3D engine. There is also the benefit that this work is all open source, unlike the 3D stuff in the firmware. ANd being open source, means we can start moving away from the closed source firmware completely. The more of the stack that is OSS the better- it reduces the support burden a lot.
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:27 pm

PeterO wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:42 pm
Considering how "niche" 3D is in the education context I'm surprised they've put as much resource into openGLES, though I guess originally it came pretty much for free in the existing firmware on the earlier PIs.
Hopefully, then, this represents a change and we’ll get some extra attention for 3D graphics.

I want to find an easy way to learn Vulkan (and not use a library that hides Vulkan) - the spec is quite large! Maybe the VK driver will be easy to build as it’s being developed so we can learn along the way?

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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:43 pm

PeterO wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:42 pm
Daniel Gessel wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:39 pm
6by9 wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:52 pm

Define finished.
The Pi4 is now compliant to GLES 3.1, and I suspect we'll bump mesa shortly to pick that up. There is work ongoing for the applicable sections of GLES 3.2, but that work is orthogonal to Vulkan.
Curmudgeonly speaking, since there’s a bottomless list of cool things to do on the GL ES side, one can assume resources that could improve GL ES have been/will be shifted to Vulkan.

But I’m gonna choose to embrace the new and jump to Vulkan.

Since it’s a long road to Vulkan 1.0, I wonder if anything can be done to help everyday/independent Pi developers start the transition early, short of developing on other hardware?
Considering how "niche" 3D is in the education context I'm surprised they've put as much resource into openGLES, though I guess originally it came pretty much for free in the existing firmware on the earlier PIs.

PeterO
Since Minecraft is owned by a company, which due to the lack of support for Windows IOT on the 4B, appears not a good business partner for Raspberry Pi, maybe some 3D resources could be put into a niche educational alternative.

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