jarkman
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Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:59 am

What are all these distributions for ?

Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:24 am

I've had my Pi for a day now, and I've found it a frustrating experience.

I'm a professional developer, on a variety of platforms, none of which are Linux. I've also got some Arduino experience, which I had imagined might be in some ways a model for what the Pi was trying to achieve.

I've also taught Arduino to people who were complete beginners to computing, with reasonable success.

The strategy that usually works in that world, if you don't know what you're doing, is:
- Google for someone who has already done something a bit like what you want to do
- Copy what they did, make it work
- Start changing it until it does what you want.

It's a crude approach, but it's very educational and it usually works. It relies on everyone having the same starting point, so that it is possible to follow someone else's howto.

What I've found in the past day is that the Pi world is not like that. The choice of distributions means that there's a 1 in 4 chance that the recipe I find will actually be relevant, unless I want to lose everything I've done so far. Something which seemed simple - plug in a webcam and do a bit of robot vision - has turned into a morass of suggestions about device drivers and kernel building.

It seems to me that the success of the Arduino ecosystem relies on there being a common foundation, so that solutions are transferable between users. I don't see that here, and I don't understand why not. Isn't transferability desirable ?

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rurwin
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Re: What are all these distributions for ?

Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:07 am

There is one major distribution that everyone should be using who don't have reason to choose any other: Debian Squeeze.

The Fedora remix is deprecated due to the number of bugs.

Raspian is experimental but may end up being the preferred distribution. It is compatible with Debian Squeeze.

snaipperi
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Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:37 am

Re: What are all these distributions for ?

Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:52 am

Well, you answered it already, really. Arduino is very specific purpose, while Raspberry Pi is very general purpose.

jarkman
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Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:59 am

Re: What are all these distributions for ?

Sun Jun 03, 2012 11:10 am

Maybe that's it. Though the Arduino is used for a wide variety of things, but it is generally used with a single toolset.

I'm not sure if the aim of the whole project is to have a supercheap general-purpose platform for experts, or an easy-to-learn platform with a lively beginner ecosystem.

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