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Re: [Paparazzi-devel] Offer from a thankful new user

From: Chris Gough
Subject: Re: [Paparazzi-devel] Offer from a thankful new user
Date: Mon, 3 May 2010 22:21:20 +1000


Hi there neighbor, I'm just down the road in Canberra; but I'm coming
from a similar place to you in more ways than one. I'm also a Linux
veteran with 10+ years in software development. Unlike many Paparazzi
users, I don't have a background in electronics, aeronautical
engineering, control theory or embedded systems. My paparazzi journey
has been a steep learning curve. I don't interpret this as a
deficiency in the documentation or communications technology, it's
because it's hard. Just because it's Linux software doesn't make me an
expert, I enjoy the challenge.

The paparazzi developers do enough by continuing to improve this great
free software that works. The debian packaging and documentation are
convenient for me, and the community provides generous support. I
couldn't ask for any more from them, thank you!

If you want to push paparazzi "across the chasm" of technology
adoption from experts (and determined geeks) to FPV pilots, AP
enthusiasts and others with less technical capacity, it will take a
lot more than new wiki features and a some HOWTO documents. Playing
devil's advocate, why should anyone bother? what's in it for the
existing Paparazzi community?

An online training program might help new users up the curve. More
packaging and distribution work on live CDs or VirtualBox images might
lower the bar. Done right, those are significant efforts. Why not just
explain what the user callable routines do in the wiki? Or chuck a few
shrimps on the barbie and call a meeting of the East Australian
Paparazzi Fan Club - I'll be there with bells on.

Chris Gough

On Mon, May 3, 2010 at 6:05 PM, Nathan Aherne <address@hidden> wrote:
> Hi All,
> I am not sure who to offer this to.
> As a newbie to Paparazzi I have experienced many issues with using Paparazzi. 
> I am not new to Linux and I am not new to coding but I am new to the 
> Paparazzi code. The biggest issues I have had with using Paparazzi (which are 
> the same as almost every newbie) are documentation and understanding of the 
> Paparazzi autopilot. Even adding a Getting Started Section where new people 
> can get started would be great. The other things that would have helped me 
> are better documentation of the underlying code so I can understand for 
> instance what NavSetGroundReferenceHere() does (and all other user callable 
> routines) and examples of XML code for flight plans etc. Something that would 
> have helped me more was a forum instead of a mailing list to search, because 
> a forum makes more logical sense when reading it. Having a forum also allows 
> other newbies to help each other.
> To summarise - The biggest barriers to newbies is the huge learning curve 
> required to get a working Paparazzi system.
> I run a technology company in Australia and I would like to offer our hosting 
> and skills to get a website setup, forums and a real wiki, for example 
> Dekiwiki. If the devs want to take up my offer, please contact me on this 
> email address and we can work out the details. Maybe this is not what you 
> want, if you have any other ideas on how I can say thanks and help you 
> attract new users, I am all ears.
> Please don't take the above as criticism of anything. I am offering because 
> if you had not offered Paparazzi as a free product, then I would have spent a 
> fortune on a Micropilot and been sorely disappointed, so you saved me from 
> spending a fortune and being disappointed, but not from being frustrated. I 
> believe Paparazzi is the best Autopilot available, but the barriers to entry 
> are so high that people are getting scared away from using it and its such a 
> terrible travesty when that happens.
> Kindest regards,
> Nathan Aherne
> Reddog Technology
> Web:
> Email: address@hidden
> Mob: 0402 555 080
> _______________________________________________
> Paparazzi-devel mailing list
> address@hidden

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