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heater
04-03-2009, 06:41 PM
No, I'm not about to start a project to port Linux to the Prop:)

Today I noticed an interesting thing about the Catalina compiler:

Number of down loads of the Windows binary = 42
Number of downloads of the Linux binary = 18
Number of downloads of the Linux source = 23

Given that Linux people quite often like to get their code in source form and Windows guys not so much, it seems we have about a 50/50 split of Prop users between Linux and Windows.

Now throw in BradC's BSTC which has taken him a huge amount of effort solely because he wanted to work in Linux/Mac.

What we see here is the demise of Windows as a preferred development platform or at least a realization that being tied to one platform is not a good idea.

Given all this I'm surprised to see Parallax (and many others) doggedly sticking to Windows tools.

I would also urge all those developing gizzmos in VB and the like to reconsider their target users, especially if they are expending a lot of time and effort for something they would like to donate to the community here (or elsewhere).

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For me, the past is not over yet.

Ale
04-03-2009, 07:22 PM
I think Python or Tcl/Tk offer the same as VisualBeast but in much more platforms. I wouldn't use VB anyways, but for some not time critical code the jits produce really compelling results.

Cluso99
04-03-2009, 07:55 PM
I think your results maybe slightly skewed because more C programmers prefer Linux.

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Links to other interesting threads:

· Home of the MultiBladeProps: TriBladeProp (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=786418), SixBladeProp (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=780033), website (Multiple propeller pcbs) (http://bluemagic.biz/cluso.htm)
· Single Board Computer:·3 Propeller ICs·and a·TriBladeProp board (ZiCog Z80 Emulator) (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=790917)
· Prop Tools under Development or Completed (Index) (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=753439)
· Emulators: Micros eg Altair, and Terminals eg VT100 (Index (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=778427))
· Search the Propeller forums (via Google) (http://search.parallax.com/search?site=parallax&client=parallax&output=xml_no_dtd&proxystylesheet=parallax&proxycustom=<HOME/>&ie=&oe=&lr=)
My cruising website is: ·www.bluemagic.biz (http://www.bluemagic.biz)·· MultiBladeProp is: www.bluemagic.biz/cluso.htm (http://www.bluemagic.biz/cluso.htm)

heater
04-03-2009, 08:09 PM
Very true. However amongst the circles I move in pretty much any programmer prefers a non-windows OS so perhaps that gives me a biased view anyway.

My point is not really a push for Linux or a downer on Windows, just that cross platform is better for expanding your audience and guaranteeing a long life ahead for your hard work.

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For me, the past is not over yet.

rjo_
04-03-2009, 08:54 PM
What you are attempting to do is to apply statistical mechanics to the shopping behavior of Propeller pioneers.

The general weakness of statistical mechanics is a boundary problem, in which some arbitrary choice is made for the partitioning of the domain of interest. This process always includes errors of unknown magnitude. Generally, this process is rather pragmatic, driven by the availability and apparently suitable and meaningful measures... in this case: download statistics.

In this particular case, one cannot really equate two processes... number of downloads and user preferences.

I prefer a system, in which the all of the development tools are in the Propeller environment and outside communication is project specific... not that I don't want to attach other computers to my Prop.... but I would prefer to do so only when I need to attach other computers to my prop to accomplish some task that cannot be accomplished without doing so.

The issue I would like to see addressed is not whether user's would prefer Windows to Macs or Unix, but rather how many would happily accept a less featured but entirely Propeller contained set of development tools?

Rich

parts-man73
04-03-2009, 08:55 PM
Interesting, this came up on SparkFun's website today - they were going by visits to their sites. Here's what they found

http://www.sparkfun.com/tutorial/news/OS-Graph.jpg

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Brian

uController.com (http://uController.com) - home of SpinStudio - the modular Development system for the Propeller

PropNIC (http://uController.com) - Add ethernet ability to your Propeller! PropJoy (http://uController.com) - Plug in a joystick and play some games!

SD card Adapter (http://uController.com) - mass storage for the masses Audio/Video adapter (http://uController.com) add composite video and sound to your Proto Board

rjo_
04-03-2009, 09:17 PM
Having said that... if I were doing it again... and I had a choice of using what was on my desk (a Mac) or using another computer, I would of have chosen my Mac. So, this seems like mostly an "entry" choice issue. Potentially, the availability of choices can make the
Propeller platform more attractive to the potential user. How much this is worth to Parallax depends upon whether the shopper can immediately determine that he doesn't have to use Windows.

parts-man73
04-03-2009, 09:27 PM
How about an "app" for the iPhone to write code for the Propeller ?

heater
04-03-2009, 09:35 PM
Strangely enough statistical mechanics was one of the topics I did best in when studying for my degree in Physics. I did not understand it very well in the first place, promptly forgot it all the day after graduating and would never dream of applying it to anything:)

No there is nothing rigorous about my observation it was just interesting to watch. That pie chart above shows that the number of non-windows users has grown tremendously over the past few years.

It's not for me to suggest that people ditch their current or preferred environment, only to give a little heads-up that times are a-changing.

The concept of developing for the Prop on the Prop has a lot of fascination for many, myself included, its some kind of weird masochistic challenge. Bit like the Z80 emulator.

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For me, the past is not over yet.

TreeLab
04-03-2009, 09:37 PM
It is hard for me to imagine using a Prop-based system for development when I have a loaded up PC (or Mac, or anything) with internet access, printer, ViewPort, etc, all ready to go. It seems to be going in the wrong direction in terms of convenience and power. Even for in field work, many who need it have a portable of one religion or another (oops : my students tell me they are called laptops now). So it would seem (to me) that the current growth of thrird party environments is exactly what we need and require. That so much of it is non-commercial (and so high quality) is a tribute to this community; that there are commercial entries speaks to the potential longevity of the prop design. To my knowledge the ComFile systems have never made it this far.

Cheers!
Paul Rowntree

BradC
04-03-2009, 09:51 PM
rjo_ said...

The issue I would like to see addressed is not whether user's would prefer Windows to Macs or Unix, but rather how many would happily accept a less featured but entirely Propeller contained set of development tools?



I have to ask the question as nobody has ever answered this one in any form of satisfactory fashion...

Why?

We have these wonderful little laptops. They cost very little (well, the non-windows ones anyway). They are very small, they get great battery life and they can compile a multi-file propeller source tree in under a second. They have cut and paste, allow you to carry the *entire* obex around with you, plus a pdf of the propeller manual. Why in the name of all that is, was and may be holy would you want to go back to the early 80's?

As an educational tool I can see a limited value, but I see far more value in a Basic interpreter that can be easily modified and tweaked..

What am I missing?

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Cardinal Fang! Fetch the comfy chair.

heater
04-03-2009, 10:11 PM
BradC: I'm sure you are not missing anything. Did I say "weird masochistic challenge".

TreeLab: Yes, the number and scope and quality of all the third party developments, open source, free and commercial is quite astonishing. It must be a real inspiration and encouragement to Chip and Parallax.

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For me, the past is not over yet.

CounterRotatingProps
04-03-2009, 10:58 PM
No, I'm not about to start a project to port Linux to the Prop:)
That's probably not realistically possible anyway as the Prop doesn't have a memory management unit.· There is a Linux kernel build without MM code, but it's a real Klunker.· Of course, there are smaller embedded versions, but the Prop's not there yet (IMO).

Tossing my 2 cents into the OS betting pool:·· Microsoft's domination of the market will be slowly chipped away ONLY IF Linux installs -·of the OS itself and its packages - reach the point of 'any one can do it'· --- AND tweeking the settings afterwards doesn't require a PhD in script and config file reading.

MS dev platforms are very solid, Linux is catching up.

Polishing up my propeller-based··crystal ball, I fortell:
Linux will have a %10 - %12 share in three years, a %20 - %25 share in five, In ten years, the numbers will be upside down: MS at %25, Linux at %60 - the Mac takes up the slack.
Although the Mac is great for users and is excellent for audio and video hardware interfacing and processing, it's too expensive, and too proprietary.· If Apple changes either one of those parameters, all bets are off.

I am glad to see the support here for Linux - this will open up more possibilities for all of us.

cheers
- Howard in Florida
~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Buzz Whirr Click Repeat

Cluso99
04-03-2009, 11:15 PM
I use windoze. If I had a choice I would use a Mac. But a lot of the software I run only runs on windoze and I have 2 laptops, one XP, one Vista because thats what it came with. With few exceptions I would rather XP.

I am glad that the development platform for the Prop is no longer only Windoze based. It opens up the audience - thanks to BradC etc for this.

Now you have all stated that you don't really want to run the development on the prop itself. Here I differ. Not because I want to do this, but being able to would be great. However, I see being able to do so will open up access to the education market (schools) where they want to be able to run self contained. That's a huge focus for Parallax. The other arena is in PLC type installations where it is nice to be able to modify in the field without having to connect a laptop.

I want my TriBladeProp to be a self-contained SBC. It will be able to do this under emulation (ZiCog or others). The only thing missing to be able to run Prop code is the compiler.

Just my 2c and my vision.

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Links to other interesting threads:

· Home of the MultiBladeProps: TriBladeProp (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=786418), SixBladeProp (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=780033), website (Multiple propeller pcbs) (http://bluemagic.biz/cluso.htm)
· Single Board Computer:·3 Propeller ICs·and a·TriBladeProp board (ZiCog Z80 Emulator) (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=790917)
· Prop Tools under Development or Completed (Index) (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=753439)
· Emulators: Micros eg Altair, and Terminals eg VT100 (Index (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=778427))
· Search the Propeller forums (via Google) (http://search.parallax.com/search?site=parallax&client=parallax&output=xml_no_dtd&proxystylesheet=parallax&proxycustom=<HOME/>&ie=&oe=&lr=)
My cruising website is: ·www.bluemagic.biz (http://www.bluemagic.biz)·· MultiBladeProp is: www.bluemagic.biz/cluso.htm (http://www.bluemagic.biz/cluso.htm)

BradC
04-03-2009, 11:46 PM
Cluso99 said...
Now you have all stated that you don't really want to run the development on the prop itself. Here I differ. Not because I want to do this, but being able to would be great. However, I see being able to do so will open up access to the education market (schools) where they want to be able to run self contained.


See, here is the thing. I've not visited classrooms outside of Australia or the UAE in the last 10 years, but none that I've visited in that time have had a TV or VGA monitor that was not already connected to a PC. If that is the case, what is the point of a self contained development system unless you are selling usable (and I don't count a 3" display as usable for writing code) display/keyboard combos that are cheaper than an eeE or Aspire One?

When I was at Tech years ago we used 6502 trainers with hex keyboards connected to B&W TV's (and this was in the Mid 90's!), but they are all long gone. VGA monitors are on the way out (they are slowly moving to DVI) and there is always a computer connected to the monitor.

Kids are used to computers these days.. they can cope with GUI applications and word processors, but ask them to relinquish the mouse and go back to the command line and you'll meet resistance. Personally I think they should all start with Bash 101, but that's not going to happen. They have access to computers. If they don't have access to computers, the chances of them having access to a Telly and PS/2 keyboard are pretty slim.

Remember, anything that makes it into a school has to be taught. I don't know _any_ teachers that would be happy having to teach a completely unfamiliar paradigm. Point and click is something they know already. It makes the transition to "flash a led" that much quicker. If you want to talk education, talk to the educators and see if it'll fly.

Don't let me stop you. I'm positive someone can write a spin compiler in spin. You just need someone who wants to scratch that itch.

Personally you can pry my graphical interface and 1 second instant compile/download from my cold, dead hands.

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Cardinal Fang! Fetch the comfy chair.

hippy
04-04-2009, 12:22 AM
2019 ... 60% Linux, 25% Windows and 15% Mac ... No, I cannot really see that happening

Of couse it depends, particularly on which market segments one takes and I expect Linux may
do better in some segments than others. But even there, on NetBooks, where it looks like the
Penguin had come to rule the roost just a year ago that seems to be swinging back towards MS.

There's always MS shooting themselves in the foot, and they perhaps came close with Vista, but
even there it still seems to have quite good take-up because of market dominance. It's going to
take a lot to shift that influence.

Assumming 15% for Mac ( I wouldn't know; not seen one in years, I personally know of just a
few people who use them ), I'd say 50% Windows, 35% Linux. It really rests on Linux getting
its act together. Ubuntu seems the model there but you've got to break habits and I don't see
that happening on a large scale.

You've also got to get programmers coding for Linux, because otherwise it's the mutual circle-jerk
of all the apps on Windows, so use Windows, everyone uses Windows, code for that. I know there
have been improvements but, again, Linux is up against the might of MS and the tools and support
they can give away.

RiJoRi
04-04-2009, 12:54 AM
'Way back in the Olden Days, I went from OS-9 (*nix clone) on my RS Color Computer to MS-DOS for one thing: tools. Whether the tool was an editor, cross-compilers, assemblers, or prom burners, they were written for MS-DOS. I went to Windows because (1) my employer used it, and (2) multi-tasking. The long file names were the icing on the cake.

There are two freeware tools I use consistently -- FreeMind and Leo. FM is written in Jave, Leo in Python. As a Windows user, I download and run the installer for any updates, just as I did the first install. Install-and-run. Eeeezee! I've seen many Linux users complain -- for both programs -- that they could not get them to Load/Compile/Run on their Linux machines. What followed was a convoluted exchange of "Did you do ..." and "Yes, and it still doesn't work!" Admittedly, the number of messages like this have decreased over the years, but you know what they say about first impressions!

--Rich

rjo_
04-04-2009, 01:38 AM
BradC...

I love the Propeller... I love turning it on, I love playing with it... and I love all of the possibilities that open up to me because the Propeller
exists. It irritates me to have to turn on a computer these days. Everything I'm doing on the Propeller is in some way related to the reasons I originally became interested in computers.

If there is anything I have ever wanted to do or failed to do, I can do it now. And if I'm not doing now, it is either because I'm a little lazy or it is no longer important to me or because there is something I don't know... but even in the area of not knowing... I know exactly where to look and how to proceed. I spent years reading electronics magazines and various books on the subject... and trying to get passed the first step in electronics. None of that worked. What worked for me is the Propeller.

I don't like computers ... because of what they have become and how they have limited me. I would prefer not to have to use them.

Rich

rjo_
04-04-2009, 01:44 AM
But... the average customer would also be put off by a self contained system. I think Prop-only development should be possible... but as an option.

The average guy is going to want an operating system that he already knows, one that already contains all of his other tools, and a development system that he can use without thinking about the tools too much. That we already have... and thanks to your work, we now have it on a Mac... that needs to be pushed out there a little.

Rich

Post Edited (rjo_) : 4/3/2009 5:50:14 PM GMT