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[Discuss-gnuradio] Gnu Radio architecture, etc

From: Marcus D. Leech
Subject: [Discuss-gnuradio] Gnu Radio architecture, etc
Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2011 15:45:12 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux x86_64; en-US; rv: Gecko/20111108 Fedora/3.1.16-1.fc14 Thunderbird/3.1.16

Very true, all of it, GNUradio is quite the hodgepodge of different APIs, Languages, and Ideas. And that's not always a bad thing, it can allow great flexibility, but sadly it is currently doing the opposite. With required versions of SWIG, Python 2.x/3.x and other helper programs it ONLY compiles reliably on ubuntu and fedora, and only Ubuntu, not kubuntu or Xubuntu as the small differences in GTK versions break most of wxgui. I am also a die-hard FreeBSD user forced into Ubuntu as no other operating system can compile GNUradio since 3.2. OK sorry for the rant.
See my earlier rant about "shoulders of giants".

I think that what happens for *some* people is that Gnu Radio isn't written using their programming language/paradigm of choice. To *them* it's "obvious it should have been written in {C,C++,Ruby,Java,Fortran,Pascal,Erlang,Cobol} and I can't understand why these Gnu Radio idiots picked Python/C++". I admit that back in 2005, when I first started using Gnu Radio, I was resentful of the choice of Python/C++. Two languages that I was ill-prepared for. I spend most of my professional life coding in C, with occasional excursions into C++. Gnu Radio forced me to learn enough Python to get by. Now, I love it. I find that I'm much more likely to write a "throw away" program in Python than C these days, and I've been a C programmer since 1979! I taught my son Python when he was 8. He still loves it at nearly-14, and even taught Python to his class-mates when he was at a private school.

With the advent of GRC, you don't even have to know Python or C++ to accomplish a great deal of stuff. If the "plugging lego together" paradigm isn't "natural" or is too restricting, you can always program in a soup of Python and C++. It's all doable.

Marcus Leech
Principal Investigator
Shirleys Bay Radio Astronomy Consortium

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