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Hardware Raspberry Pi: the modder's dream machine?

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by brumgrunt, 26 Jan 2012.

  1. zef

    zef What's a Dremel?

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    Exactly. Sorry Phil but the inability of the average programmer to do anything outside Visual Studio is _exactly_ why we need things like the Rasberry to expose younger people to programming, less they become stuck in the vendor controlled mindset of 'it has to in visual studio or I can't do it'.

    As for Linux lacking dev tools.. it's obvious you have very little knowledge of linux. For people actually interested in learning programming in general, not programming for Windows/Visual studio, I'd recommend starting off with C++ or python in Eclipse, on linux.
     
  2. Phil Rhodes

    Phil Rhodes Hypernobber

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    Linux people really do like to make arrogant, unilateral statements like this, especially when they don't have the slightest idea what they're talking about. You have no idea what my experience is.

    There is no real unified IDE on Linux. If you're writing Windows apps, you can do it in VS and the code will be easy to work on, on various Windows PCs, easy to deploy, and there is excellent documentation for the environment and everything it gives you. Same with Macs, and xcode.

    In Linux you get this: http://wyw.dcweb.cn/vim/vim_session.png

    You get the world's largest collection of indifferently-documented (well, let's face it, it's opensource, so more or less undocumented) code, sprawled across a thousand folders in various parts of the filesystem that the OS may or may not let you access, that all have to be the right versions of the right libraries in exactly the right place with source, headers, and binaries, paths hacked into makefiles and configure scripts in exactly the right way...

    And even then you have to contend with exactly what "linux" is, which means dealing with a couple of dozen common distributions which are sort of partially compatible, sometimes, on a good day, each of which can be retrofitted and reconfigured and modified out of all recognition. There are even two common window managers and GUI toolkits.

    And then the ./configure gives you ten screens full of unhelpful error messages and crashes.

    Linux is a brutally hostile place to learn software engineering. VS makes it easy? Yes, it does, and that's a good thing. Writing code is not about points for effort, but even if it was, that's hardly the right approach for beginners.

    P
     
  3. zef

    zef What's a Dremel?

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    http://www.eclipse.org/screenshots/images/SDK-RedFlag_Linux.png

    We done here? I think so. I had already mentioned Eclipse earlier, you chose to ignore it. Anyway, you're entitled to whatever opinions you want to hold, no matter how innacurate.
     
  4. debs3759

    debs3759 Was that a warranty I just broke?

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    There is another way to look at it. If you write code using Visual Studio, you are writing apps that will work under Windows, and typically only under Windows. The code is not easily portable to compile/run under other operating environments (other OS and/or other hardware). If you learn to program under Linux, most compilers will more easily accept standard code that can be compiled for any operating environment.

    Although a lot of people use Windows, there are also a lot of people who use other environments (for example, do you have a mobile phone? They need people who can write code for them as well). Learning to program under Linux on an ARM based system can lead to a wider range of skills, even if it takes a little longer to write your first complex program.

    I'm not saying it is (or should be) easy, merely that it offers different options. Everyone (pretty much) already has access to PCs that run Windows and can program for them. Most people are not as capable when it comes to writing for anything without Windows.
     
  5. Phil Rhodes

    Phil Rhodes Hypernobber

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    As long as you write code that doesn't use any graphics, audio, networking, or any other feature of the computer not supported by the standard library, sure. This really is wishful thinking: the core logic of the program may be portable, but that's often less than half the work of a serious piece of software. Come to think of it, this may be why so few Linux programs have UIs: they're hard, and they're difficult to port!

    And Eclipse? Yes, that's one. And there are dozens of others, most of them feeble, but that's not the point: the reason VS is useful is not because it's either good or bad in itself, it's useful because it's a standard. There is almost no standardisation of anything on linux, which is more than anything else what makes it such a comprehensive problem child.

    P
     
  6. zef

    zef What's a Dremel?

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    VS is not a standard. It's one product by one company designed to make programs for one, and only one, operating system. It works well within those parameters but that is it.

    You are complaining that a $35 device should be able to be programmed for in Windows and under VS, each of which costs hundreds of dollars! Do you not see the illogic in this? How on earth is a teenager starting out with programming supposed to afford a VS license?

    And again, your statements are _incorrect_. Eclipse itself is a cross platform application that runs on Windows, OSX and linux. So is firefox and a billion other applications. Name just _one_ VS application that is cross platform if you please.

    In summary: You learn to program in VS, you know how to program in VS and how to make programs for Windows.
    You learn to program anywhere outside VS, you learn to program.

    It is no longer ok to just learn Visual Studio, the world has moved on.
     
  7. Phil Rhodes

    Phil Rhodes Hypernobber

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    So does everything else. With the exception of some very specific things, like the game IDEs that let you hit one button for the Xbox version and one for the PS3 version, moving code between platforms requires user intervention. This is true for all IDEs in all languages.

    The Express versions of VS are free and more than adequate for educational purposes. The likelihood that someone has access to Linux but not Windows is so microscopically slight as to be completely irrelevant.

    In any case, the situation is not necessarily that VS is either good or bad, it's that people are trying to make out that Linux is a nice way to code. It isn't. Merely setting up a build environment to compile software you didn't even write is a nightmare of hacking text files, downloading and unpacking archives, creating directory structures and tweaking scripts. Actually writing new code? Ha.

    P
     
  8. zef

    zef What's a Dremel?

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    Are you being serious? Whatever, I suggest you go read up and learn a thing or two rather than spewing ******** all over the place. To get you started:

    [1] http://www.wxwidgets.org/docs/book/
    [2] https://qt.nokia.com/products/
    [3] http://gcc.gnu.org/
    [4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Make_(software)
    [5] http://wiki.python.org/moin/PyQt
     
  9. Phil Rhodes

    Phil Rhodes Hypernobber

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    Well, that's a stack of stuff to learn.

    But that's not really the point. The fact that all of these things exist does not make them easy to use, well documented, or well integrated. And they aren't, at least nothing like the Windows option.
     
  10. zef

    zef What's a Dremel?

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    No, you're right, they're not like the Windows option. The Windows option only works on Windows.
     
  11. dancingbear84

    dancingbear84 error 404

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    Dudes...
    This sounds like the iPhone/Android argument me and my boss have on a daily basis.
    As a 28 year old parent with a limited disposable income and limited time and no experience coding here is how I sees it:
    1. I can have a dedicated machine to learn to code on. It may not be the nicest way to learn but it is a. cheap b. hopefully quite well documented given the "high profile" nature of the project.
    If I were to learn some basic skills coding on the Pi and decided to look into other languages/environments then that transition would be easier given the skills that had already been learnt.
    Basically pi is good. End of. In my opinion anyway
     
  12. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag What's a Dremel?

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    Phil, you accuse Linux users as being arrogant, yet you are the one arguing against many people. You have yet to prove anything - that includes proving how Linux is CURRENTLY an unfriendly development environment, explicitly how VS is a superior IDE, and any other argument you've had against your responses to anyone. This is more than just arrogance, this is ignorance.

    I would have to agree that stuff like ./configure, make, and so on tend to fail often with useless results. However, this is 100% the developers fault for not specifying dependencies. Every developer who labels the dependencies in the programs documentation eventually ends up compiling successfully for me. Otherwise, I give up on the program. I strongly believe it is not up to the user to figure out what packages are needed in order to compile something and I do find it frustrating. But when kids learn to code themselves, they don't have to worry about such problems if they pay attention to what libraries they use. I'm also not a fan of vi, vim, or any other variant. If I want a barebone text editor, I use nano. Otherwise, there's plenty of really good graphical development tools.

    Here's some fun facts:
    Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, programmed the OS as a child, for fun. This was before VS was this "magnificent" tool that you praise today. He probably coded in vi, which is simpler than the tool you seem to hate - vim.
    Xcode in Mac uses Linux's compiling tools, including LLVM and GCC. Mac also uses many other open source software that is commonly developed in Linux such as X11, CUPS, and python.
    Today, you can get away with a functional Linux setup without opening a terminal once. For experienced users like myself, the terminal actually makes things faster and easier once you learn it. I actually get annoyed at Windows for how little CLI support it has and how featureless the command prompt is.
     
  13. steveo_mcg

    steveo_mcg What's a Dremel?

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    schimdtbag, do your self a favour stick him on your ignore list and move on. People more patient than saints have been round the houses with Phill Rhodes.
     
  14. Phil Rhodes

    Phil Rhodes Hypernobber

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    It's not really about "proving" anything, that's rather difficult in discourse. I'm just pointing out that, unless they have done a lot of work to create a dev environment, putting a linux OS on an Arm dev board is not a great route to getting people into coding, because coding under linux is hard work.

    And if they have done a lot of work to create a dev environment, well, they'll have basically recreated xcode or VS or whatever other IDE you care to mention, so what's the point.
     
  15. dancingbear84

    dancingbear84 error 404

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    The point is it is creating a buzz and an interest. I am now interested in getting one and trying a bit of programing. If 1% of people who bought one started developing for the fun of it there are 100 more bedroom devs out there from the first production cycle alone, who will invariably progress and find their niche. This is good for computing in general and the economy. If the other 99 get used for http servers or xbmc that is not a bad thing either.
     
  16. zef

    zef What's a Dremel?

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    Last reply, you are now on my ignore list Phil.

    Your statements are, once again, factually incorrect. You have obviously not read any of the replies above nor any of the links provided if you still insist that linux dev tools are subpar, which is frankly a laughable statement born of ignorance and/or a real desire to spread ********.

    You do not need to do 'alot of work' to create a dev environment, it is already there. It _has_ to be there because that's how linux works, you have to try pretty hard to have linux without a dev environment for crying out loud.

    The rest of the stuff, what IDE you use and what pretty GUI it has is built on top of the dev tools already there. Eclipse just uses these tools and provides a GUI on top of them. You can even use these same tools on Windows.

    But please, do keep ignoring the world and stick your head in a Visual Studio sandbox.
     
  17. Gradius

    Gradius IT Consultant

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    Will wait for a ARM7 version, and more Ethernet ports (preferable 1Gbps), so can use it as cheap personal firewall.
     
  18. fluxtatic

    fluxtatic What's a Dremel?

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    Firewall is an idea I hadn't considered. I better tack another onto the list :)

    For me, I'm very much planning on building one I can shove in my car - I'd looked at building a car PC a couple years ago, but I cheaped out. If the guts only cost $35, that cuts it dramatically...I've got a decent deck in there now, but I'd sell it if I can actually build what I first envisioned. Should have figured some of you lot would that far ahead already (watercooled, lawl.)

    And Phil, not to fan the flames, but this actually has me interested in finally learning Linux to the point I'll actually do it. The half-assed projects I was working on before never really caught my fancy like RPi does. While I'm certainly no pro, I've never coded in an IDE in my life, and I've done all right in Windows. Might be different if I was using a compiled language vs interpreted, but I think you're being incredibly ignorant with your sweeping statements that this is a crap project because it won't use VS. I would be more than happy to get this same thing running some flavor of Windows (perfect, in fact, since that's the only OS I use), but I don't see anyone busting ass to release a Windows equivalent. How about you? You want to start a charitable foundation to try to help some kids, or just bitch about what a failure it is since it won't work with your preferred environment?

    Out of curiosity, though, maybe one of y'all know - Who the hell decided we all had to listen to Richard Stallman and start calling it GNU/Linux? Right as he may be, the guy's an insufferable *****. Why reward him by giving in to his asshole demands?
     
  19. Phil Rhodes

    Phil Rhodes Hypernobber

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    I never said any such thing.

    To repeat: my concern is that this is being sold as an ideal environment for inexperienced software engineers, which I think is very wishful thinking when Linux is involved. VS is just an example of something that's a lot easier; there are others.

    P
     
  20. r3loaded

    r3loaded Minimodder

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    What about my fellow first year students who joined in October knowing barely anything about Linux or Java (or any programming in fact), yet are now able to code various Java programs using nothing more than a bash terminal and vim under Linux? The only way to learn coding and hacking skills is to read the material, and then practice by trying things out. VS has its place, but it's not necessary (or even simpler) for someone to learn programming with it as you imply.

    In fact, I'd argue that the massive interface of IDEs actually put people off programming due to the vast array of tools and options that are presented to the user. Better to get familiar with the fundamentals of physically coding, then try to learn and use the more powerful tools for managing more complex projects.
     
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