Daniel Gessel
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Re: Future of raspberry pi

Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:18 pm

jamesh wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:43 am
Daniel Gessel wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:12 am
I have one specific capability request for the Mesa stack (augmenting gbm with the ability to identify the current back buffer) but I think the onus is on me to prototype or even implement it myself...

Hmmm, such a wonderful invitation and I’m stumped!
Is this a change to the upstream MESA stack, or our driver at the bottom of it?
I’m pretty sure it would be done entirely upstream. It could also be done as an EGL extension for both windowed and GBM, but also primarily upstream. Honestly, I need to finish my benchmarks, investigate, and prototype. Then figure out how to propose to the right folks if my benchmarks show potential.

I plan to mix coding with “live” visuals and updating only the changing portions of the display (at UHD resolution) is looking worthwhile.

Some centralized sources of information on performance tuning (especially GPU) would be great (assuming I’m not just missing out on the Raspberry GP.U Rosetta Stone). Maybe augmenting these boards with a wiki would let us help build the solution?

I do have one concrete backend request! The ability to dump VC assembler from the GLES compilation process would help the tuning process! Maybe an environment variable to enable would be sufficient.

Thanks!

ankith26
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Re: Future of raspberry pi

Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:22 pm

I agree with heater ,
Of course raspberry pi has the motto of education for programming, what is the harm if they earn some money.
So long as they keep the pi affordable to the common user who wants to learn to code, they are working towards their goal of reaching out to many people the power of computing and educating and no one will have problems with that.

It is nice of them to provide so many good features at such low prices.
You can always use it only for educational purposes and disregard other features if you want to.
I sat thinking for 5 minutes on what to put here. Finally I put something like this.
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PeterO
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Re: Future of raspberry pi

Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:24 pm

rin67630 wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:50 pm
jamesh wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:30 pm
Did anyone get the message about SOFTWARE not HARDWARE being the topic of the day in here?
No sorry, i did not get that. Maybe having it in the thread title could help?
Reading the thread before you reply is the way to avoid these situations....
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ankith26
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:29 pm

Here you go, I changed the title so that members know what is going on
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

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:25 pm

Okay....software....

1. Add a simple means to prevent screen blanking without having to install additional software (e.g. Xscreensaver) and configure it. We used to be able to do this in the account level autostart.

2. When there is a major release (such as the transition from Stretch to Buster), have an optional script to do an in place upgrade. Yes, I know this isn't encouraged, but there are several reasons why it is a major effort to go through all of ones Pis and build new boot media.

First off, there is the sheer number of Pis one may have. I can think of at least a dozen Pis I have that need to have this done.

Second, I have a set of six Pis that are configured all the same, except for the hostname. It is very time consuming to go through all six setting up a new release. Much less effort to do an upgrade in place.

Third, for some Pis (such as ones attached to RPF 7" screens, getting at the SD card is tricky, difficult, and awkward (after shutdown and disconnecting all the cables, one of them has to be unbolted from a shelf in a location that is hard to reach). Therefore doing an upgrade in place is a vastly easier process that disassembling the whole set up to get at the SD card to replace it and then putting it back together...especially that finicky cable that connects DSI to the display.

Fourth (and most important, I think), more and more Pis are running from relatively high capacity media. In my case, SSDs or HDDs. Others are using large (256+ GB) USB sticks or even SD cards. Moving the data and programs around that *isn't* part of the Raspbian install is a major pain. Much, much easier to to an upgrade in place even in the face of warnings discouraging it.

jamesh
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Re: Future software improvements of raspberry pi

Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:28 pm

rin67630 wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:23 pm
jamesh wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:05 pm
They are not, they spend money on education.
Raspberry Pi Trading on the other hand, are very much designed to make money, and as much of it as possible, to fund the Foundation.
Sorry, James, but you just teased a nerve on me...
I am advocating for education in programming and related electronics.
Watching 4K videos and gaming should not belong to the most desirable education objectives of our society.
But i know, i am pretty alone here with my convictions...
:oops:
The point is that adding those features has not reduced the educational potential at all (everything you had before is still there!), but has increased the overall sales potential. So a win for education, and a win for everyone else as well.

There is, I suppose, an argument for asking whether the effort spent on those new features by staff in Trading (not the same as Broadcom adding the HW features in the first place, which is nothing to do with us) could have been spent on making additional educational feature instead. But what features? On the whole, making the Pi easier/better to use, which we do all the time, makes it easier for education.
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laurent
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:35 pm

I'm surprised that no one mentioned mainline Linux support for our favourite SBC. It has been mentioned many times that they are hardly working on it on Pi tower, but it would be a great achievement for the future.
For my point of view, the biggest software improvement on the Pi 4 is the Anholt/Igalia's v3d driver.

A software requirement I may have is a more user friendly alternative of Yocto to build custom images of Pi OS, with just the necessary.
Raspbian is a great operating system, based on another great operating system, with a huge base of users and maintainers. It's really a good choice for the foundation purpose, there is no any doubt about this.

You can say "if you want custom OS for particular purpose, you may go with LibreElec, Volumio, Retropie and so on". The problem of all those is that each communities works from a base (Yocto, Raspbian, PiCoreOS/Player or other) with a amount of work on their own to achieve their distribution. A shared modular base, maintained by the foundation and up to date for any derivative project, could be useful, as for hackers who needs a customized OS image.

jamesh
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:43 pm

laurent wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:35 pm
I'm surprised that no one mentioned mainline Linux support for our favourite SBC. It has been mentioned many times that they are hardly working on it on Pi tower, but it would be a great achievement for the future.
Although we don't spend a lot of time on it, others do, and we do provide them support. It is progressing, albeit slowly. You can download mainline, and build a Pi version, but won't get, for example, all the acceleration features. There are quite a few bits that actually cannot be upstreamed, so there are limits of what is possible using the current hardware architecture.
laurent wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:35 pm
For my point of view, the biggest software improvement on the Pi 4 is the Anholt/Igalia's v3d driver.
This is under constant development by Igalia (and support from us), paid for by Trading.
laurent wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:35 pm
A software requirement I may have is a more user friendly alternative of Yocto to build custom images of Pi OS, with just the necessary.
Raspbian is a great operating system, based on another great operating system, with a huge base of users and maintainers. It's really a good choice for the foundation purpose, there is no any doubt about this.

You can say "if you want custom OS for particular purpose, you may go with LibreElec, Volumio, Retropie and so on". The problem of all those is that each communities works from a base (Yocto, Raspbian, PiCoreOS/Player or other) with a amount of work on their own to achieve their distribution. A shared modular base, maintained by the foundation and up to date for any derivative project, could be useful, as for hackers who needs a customized OS image.
That's sounds like it would be better implemented by a third party, but I am not particular familiar with it so that about all I can say. Will keep it in mind.
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:45 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote: 1. Add a simple means to prevent screen blanking without having to install additional software (e.g. Xscreensaver) and configure it. We used to be able to do this in the account level autostart.
Granted - check raspi-config.

trejan
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:19 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:25 pm
2. When there is a major release (such as the transition from Stretch to Buster), have an optional script to do an in place upgrade. Yes, I know this isn't encouraged, but there are several reasons why it is a major effort to go through all of ones Pis and build new boot media.
What would your script do apart from editing /etc/apt/sources.list and then crossing its fingers whilst running apt update + apt dist-upgrade?

For the Buster upgrade, you'd need to resize /boot as well which you can't do easily without another Pi or card.

andrum99
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Re: Future of raspberry pi

Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:22 pm

rin67630 wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:54 pm
jamesh wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:31 pm
rin67630 wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:25 pm
IMHO the Raspberry should primarily remain being a tinkerer device and not a replacement for a desktop.
Not where the money is to be made. Whilst not saturated, tinkering is a tiny market segment. Higher power desktop stuff and industrial is a huge market.
I am a bit surprised. I did not think the Foundation were primarily focused on making money.
The Foundation does not make money. The Trading division makes money to support the Foundation.

andrum99
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Re: Future software improvements of raspberry pi

Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:27 pm

rin67630 wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:23 pm
jamesh wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:05 pm
They are not, they spend money on education.
Raspberry Pi Trading on the other hand, are very much designed to make money, and as much of it as possible, to fund the Foundation.
Sorry, James, but you just teased a nerve on me...
I am advocating for education in programming and related electronics.
Watching 4K videos and gaming should not belong to the most desirable education objectives of our society.
But i know, i am pretty alone here with my convictions...
:oops:
You're certainly not alone. The Raspberry Pi does two things - it's a platform for learning about computers, and it's also a way of making money. Some of the uses apply to both those things, some do not. You can use a Pi 4 for watching 4K videos, gaming, tinkering with electronics, and many other things - they're not mutually exclusive.

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:45 pm

ShiftPlusOne wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:45 pm
W. H. Heydt wrote: 1. Add a simple means to prevent screen blanking without having to install additional software (e.g. Xscreensaver) and configure it. We used to be able to do this in the account level autostart.
Granted - check raspi-config.
Thank'ee kindly. I must have missed when that was added.

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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:51 pm

trejan wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:19 pm
W. H. Heydt wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:25 pm
2. When there is a major release (such as the transition from Stretch to Buster), have an optional script to do an in place upgrade. Yes, I know this isn't encouraged, but there are several reasons why it is a major effort to go through all of ones Pis and build new boot media.
What would your script do apart from editing /etc/apt/sources.list and then crossing its fingers whilst running apt update + apt dist-upgrade?

For the Buster upgrade, you'd need to resize /boot as well which you can't do easily without another Pi or card.
Yes. And that last point is a good example of why some canned process to do a major release upgrade process would be very much welcome. Though I doubt that the /boot partition will need to be enlarged again any time soon. (I did go through that process on a Pi3B+ that boots from a 314GB WD Pidrive, and it's a big reason why I have put off upgrading other Pis, especially the ones that are attached to RPF displays.)

echmain
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:56 pm

I believe there is a handy SD card copier feature but it’s only available with the desktop installation.

I’d like to see this made available from the command line for those of us that use Raspbian lite.

(Or maybe it already is and I missed it?)

Heater
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:07 pm

ankith26,
Here you go, I changed the title so that members know what is going on
How confusing do you want to make things for the humble reader?

Your original title was "Re: Future of raspberry pi"

The Raspberry Pi is a computer. It's hardware not software.

Your openning post asks "When the next raspberry pi comes out, do you think it will have a Broadcom Soc." and "Where is the go to place for info on these soc "

These are questions about hardware. Not software.

Perhaps it's better to start over with a new thread.

Or perhaps not, these things are discussed to death every week here. The Pi Foundation guys know wht they are doing. Whatever comes next will come next. And it will be good.

By the way, why is raspberrypi.org taking a minute to download just now, if it does not fail with "Bad gateway" ?
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

jamesh
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:18 pm

Heater wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:07 pm
By the way, why is raspberrypi.org taking a minute to download just now, if it does not fail with "Bad gateway" ?
Probably someone being banned - it has the nasty side effect of taking down the site for a few seconds if not been done for a while. Problem with PHP and caching I believe.

it was me who moved the thread to software, since otherwise it would have been closed - the original question was fine, not a wish list, but it was going that way. Thought some input on where the software is lacking would be useful. And those who have commented on that have proven the case. Mostly.
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Daniel Gessel
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:22 pm

Heater wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:07 pm
The Raspberry Pi is a computer. It's hardware not software.
“Raspberry Pi” in addition to being a family of computers seems to include the foundation and/or the trading company. And, occasionally Raspian and/or the core software provided by the foundation and/or the trading company. I think. It’s quite exhausting to try to keep track of it all.. :)

JamesH asked about SW improvement requests (and SW only) midway through this thread. A new thread was probably a better choice than a rename, but here we are.

ejolson
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Re: Future software improvements of raspberry pi

Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:32 pm

jamesh wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:28 pm
But what features? On the whole, making the Pi easier/better to use, which we do all the time, makes it easier for education.
I'm not convinced making something easier to use makes it more suitable for computer-science education.

The reasons are
  • Easier to use leads to complicated interconnected systems.
  • Complicated systems have bugs, see Windows at one end and cable modems at the other.
  • It's difficult for a student (or teacher) to understand how such complicated systems work.
  • The science part of computer science is about understanding.
While the goal of teaching computer science may be hampered by making systems software more difficult to understand, it is also worth noting that computers are used for online learning and as environments in which to write term papers and computer programs.

Although the CS is GCSE does not stand for computer science, the actual title of the subject is Computer Science.
Last edited by ejolson on Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dickon
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:44 pm

It might make it more suitable for education in a wider context, however.

You can replace a fleet of power-hungry x86 desktops running Windows and MS Office, with a similarly-sized fleet of Raspberry Pi 4s running Raspbian and LibreOffice (which will probably pay for itself in power costs alone within a year), and I'd call that a win.

Heater
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:03 pm

ejolson,
Although the CS is GCSE does not stand for computer science,
Man that is confusing.

Back in the day we had CSE for those destined to leave school at 15 and work in factories and shops. We had GCE for those being groomed for university.

I took a GCE in CS as in "Computer Science"

Which at the time was only one third anything to do with computers, computer architecture, programming(BASIC and ASM) or actual CS. The other two thirds were numerical analysis and statistics.

Now a days I guess CSE is called STEM.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

Technocolour
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:51 pm

Convincing NI and Mathworks respectively to port LabView and Matlab would be nice. But lolgoodluckwiththat.


On a serious note, improving the NOOBS installer, I remember its progress bar going from empty to full and ... nothing. I waited for multiple very long minutes until it went further (reboot? my memory is hazy about the details).

Not needing to connect my Bluetooth speaker before starting the browser if I want the audio to work properly (disclaimer, I haven't tried this in two months or so).

Heater
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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:05 pm

Technoclour,
I remember its progress bar going from empty to full and ... nothing.
As far as I can tell getting progress bars to work properly is an unsolved problem in Computer Science.

Microsoft and countless others have been trying to solve this problem for three decades or more without any progress. (See what I did there?)
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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Re: Future of raspberry pi - software related

Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:42 pm

Heater wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:05 pm
Technoclour,
I remember its progress bar going from empty to full and ... nothing.
As far as I can tell getting progress bars to work properly is an unsolved problem in Computer Science.

Microsoft and countless others have been trying to solve this problem for three decades or more without any progress. (See what I did there?)
I suspect part of the problem is deciding how measure the progress in the first place.

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TimG
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Re: Future of raspberry pi

Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:58 pm

jamesh wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:00 am
Remember, I said software work, not hardware. Hardware requests just get into a mess, but it would be interesting to know where people think the software needs work.
It would be fantastic to see somebody pick up development of the WiringPi library. Of all the various GPIO libraries, WiringPi was especially easy to use -- even in shell scripts.

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