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Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] Why Isn't GNU Radio Used More?

From: Stefan Gofferje
Subject: Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] Why Isn't GNU Radio Used More?
Date: Mon, 09 May 2011 20:24:11 +0300
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Let me give my 2ct to this from the perspective of a new user :).

First of all, I'm no engineer. I'm a tech guy in the management in a
company which is active in security and defense fields. I have
reasonable experience in the radio fields and pretty solid experience in
IT/Linux fields.
I have a specific task to fulfill which brought me to GNURadio because I
try to find Open Source solutions for any tasks if possible.

Here we come to the first point...
If I wouldn't be using Linux since 1996, I would be used to a certain
level of not-documentation and I wouldn't know about mailinglists, etc.
If I wouldn't have the focus on using OSS, I wouldn't have the spirit to
bite through to get it to work. You can imagine the looks of my
(non-tech) colleagues I get every day when they see me fiddling with
GRC. Each and every one of them would have tried maybe for 10 minutes
and then went on to look for a commercial solution. So GNURadio wouldn't
even have gotten compiled here.

So yes, documentation IS an issue. And also useability. I don't say,
GNURadio must be turnkey but if already the compiling goes south because
we use Opensuse (which is pretty popular in Germany and Europe in
general), it's an unnecessary obstacle.

Regarding Python, as I said, I am using Linux since 1996. I'm SuSE
Certified Linux Trainer (2001) and I really do A LOT with Linux.
Basically my whole home is handled by a Linux server, from mediaserver
over home-automation to the PBX and I have worked 10+ years in IT as
tech, trainer and consultant.
But I never ever got in touch with Python. I speak bash, PERL, PHP, C, a
little C++... Python always was "just another of these script language -
don't need it, why should I learn it?" to me.

The little bit sad thing is, that GNURadio was a little bit more
turnkey-ish some time ago. Something around 2 or so years ago, when I
looked at it the first time, out of personal / hobby interest, there was
a SuSE RPM available and it worked out of the box. No compiling
problems, no trouble with the audio hardware, etc. And GRC is - at least
for me - intuitive enough to try first steps.

So, from my point of view, todos would be

1.) Make sure, everybody gets it running! The perfect solution would be
a binary RPM for every big distro, always uptodate and checked for
distro-specific issues, like sound, etc.

2.) Documentation, documentation, documentation. Preferably NOT in an
Internet Wiki - if I follow advice, the LAN port of my laptop is blocked
by the x-cable to the USRP2... In-app help is the key.

3.) Get rid of Python or at least enhance GRC that much that you need to
go into Python only in real hardcore cases. GRC is the way to go. Comeon
- - even software is developed visually nowadays without much hand-coding...

4.) Make sure I don't have to publish the source if I write some
specific block or application for/with GNURadio. My boss and our
customers are kinda sensitive about giving out information that are
operatively relevant :).

- -- 
 (o_   Stefan Gofferje            | SCLT, MCP, CCSA
 //\   Reg'd Linux User #247167   | VCP #2263
 V_/_  Heckler & Koch - the original point and click interface
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