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Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] GR Community Development / User Experience Workin

From: Tom Rondeau
Subject: Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] GR Community Development / User Experience Working Group
Date: Wed, 9 Oct 2013 09:33:04 -0400

On Mon, Oct 7, 2013 at 8:31 PM, Martin Braun (CEL) <address@hidden> wrote:
> Dear community,


> Examples
> ========
> As with most projects, examples are one of the most important elements
> when learning GNU Radio. Unfortunately, we sometimes don't treat our
> examples very well. Sometimes, they don't even work, but in any case,
> there could be more examples available.
> This is something new users can do: Create good examples, and test the
> old ones. We currently don't have automated QA mechanisms for our
> examples, so we need real humans to have a look at them for us.
> There was an idea to integrate the examples into GRC, such that we add a
> drop down menu which accesses all the installed examples. GRC has
> received a very long wishlist though, so don't expect to see this any
> time soon (or perhaps add it yourself :).
> Beginners who are trying to learn GNU Radio through examples should not
> be shy to complain about non-working examples, but rather treat them
> like any other bug. This is actually a very nice way to become a
> contributor, by filing tickets against broken examples, fixing them or
> adding new ones.

All of Martin's comments and suggestions are really good here. I just
wanted to take a second to comment on this problem.

As Martin said, there's no QA code for the examples. One of the main
problems is that many of the examples rely on a hardware interface. I
tried to write a shell script that would exercise all of the examples
it could, but that left out a large number because of the different
hardware requirements.

One thing that might help us is if we had a repository of example
signals that are designed for use with these examples. If you are
working on or creating an example that is supposed to process some
specific signal, like an FM demod for simplicity's sake, make a nice
capture of an FM signal that works with the example and can be played
back. We might be able to throw a switch into the example to select
between a radio source and a file source. That way, we can actually
automatically test that each example works (or at least runs) without
needing hardware.

We wouldn't put the signal captures into the source code, but we can
find room for them somewhere. We already have some signal examples
available through gnuradio.org, so we'd have to download (i.e., wget)
them to run, but that, too, can be easily automated.


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