Servers by jDrones

Mission Planner "Makeover"

(Peter Hall) #61

I think your exactly right, Devs either do something because there getting paid or because there solving a problem there experiencing or adding a cool new feature or to help someone out.

‘Make overs’ such as this take ages and do not actually add and new features. Therefor is hard to get anyone motivated to take on the job.

The make over would definitely be good for new users but offers little to people more familiar with mission planner. Hence anyone with the money or experience to make such changes would gain little.

You could put in a request to the funding committee to pay for someone to make the changes or I guess collect some up some donations from the community.

(Nathan E) #62

I think the number one reason that nobody from the community is giving documentation is because things change so often… literally overnight without warning. No release notes, no nothing. I am 100% willing to work on documentation, but at the moment I’m pretty sure that I would be wasting my time.


This is about the only feedback I’ve received from Michael on this topic, so I don’t know if it’s going to be a priority in the future or if I should start documenting now. There’s been pretty consistent feedback from the community that the GUI needs improvement (not features). There’s no roadmap, and there’s no communication. We literally have no idea what’s going on or what development is taking so much time. That’s unlike the rest of the ardupilot project that gives community members an idea of what might be coming in the next year and why developers are busy (think of the move to ChibiOS and need for testing). I’ve tried to be very public about this conversation to request feedback from many users. It appears that that type of conversation is not welcome based on the feedback here. That’s sad. Really sad.

I’ve published numerous ideas and started lots of conversation about what a good path forward looks like. Evidently my path forward isn’t good enough, even though I’ve proposed broad and specific changes that I would like. I am putting my full effort to this. I guess it’s just a waste.

This purposeful ignoring is wrong. It’s counter-productive. And I’m not upset. I’m trying different methods of communication in an attempt to get things moving. It’s been a year since this conversation started. I guess even that is not enough.

The HUGE assumption that everyone is making is that this takes a TON of effort and time to make these changes. Does it really? Do my list of changes really take more than a few hours? Nobody has answered that question, and everyone is assuming that this is some monumental request.

You might also understand that there is some give-and-take where we can all win here. If GUI’s and layouts are improved, I will document them - publish full wiki pages with the information, etc. That’s not the technically difficult part.

(mike kelly) #63

Nathan, I think Peter did a better job than me above. Thousands of people use Mission Planner. You have 89, from a non-technical forum, who would like it different. The makeover just does not appear to have “legs”. There are lots of requests for change. They can only do the most popular.

(Nathan E) #64

If you want to ignore the majority of users (and not just slightly over 50% - closer around 80%), then go ahead. That’s why inav and vector are still so popular. They’re easy and ardupilot’s face (primarily Mission Planner) isn’t. It’s not rocket science, and I refuse to believe that the history of thousands of downloads means that it does not need significant graphic/workflow changes as numerous users above have said.

(MartinKeilloh) #65

I dont normally get involved in these debates Nathan,but have been around Inav,Vector for a few years,firstly Vector has a decent OSD,and easy to set up,next Inave is a lot more difficult to navigate and when it comes to its way points its a joke and finall we have Mission Planner that is just simply ausume more features than any thing else,constantly being updated and Ardupilot getting more features regularly a winner for me,if you are not happy with the heat in the kitchen move to a cooler kitchen or write code to help out,a simple choice really

(anon67614380) #66

It almost always ends up like this, everything is already perfect and if you think different you just don’t give enough respect to the Gods devs.

It is very sad but that is the way it is.

(Nathan E) #67

Oh I’m happy with the heat. I personally don’t have any skin in the game, but others do, especially new people, and I think the project does too. I’ve dealt with MP for years now, and I know where just about everything is… unless it’s hidden like most of the advanced features. The simple features that I use are fairly accessible, even if the logic to get to them doesn’t make sense. Most advanced programs with tons of features start to make more and more sense as you continue to use them. Unfortunately I don’t think this is the case with MP - the logic doesn’t flow in my mind, and I agree with the following:

On the topic of me doing it myself (with no Visual Studio, C++, or Windows API), I don’t think that’s ever going to happen. Right from the developer wiki, and the complexity is a topic all on it’s own:

Mission Planner is a very complex including and making changes is not for the faint of heart. Here are the basic skills you will need to make reasonable progress with MP changes:

  • C# programming skills and experience (at least or C++ experience).
  • Experience with Microsoft Visual Studio (VS) development environment. MP is not the application to begin learning VS.
  • Experience using Windows API (Application programming Interface) - including understanding of streams, processes, threads.

(Dave) #68

Where are the “numerous users above”? This thread has been alive for almost a year with 5 or 6 people posting in the affirmative. As you said in your post a couple days ago that resurrected this thread from the dead “Overall, there has been little attention given to this topic”. Right.

Submit your desired enhancements as PR’s and wait and see if they are taken up.

(Nathan E) #69

(anon67614380) #70

There have been 2.8K views, not bad, actually one of the most viewed in the all forum. Maybe people don’t feel like writing anything because of the “everything is already perfect” mood that is around here.

(Dave) #71

Yes a lot of views but it might simply be due to the Reality Show title. Maybe if it was titled “Mission Planner Extreme Makeover” it would generate even more views. But about the same response I would guess.

(Peter Hall) #72

I guess you couldn’t work out how to cancel your account then?

I there is by no means a everything is perfect attitude, everyone agrees there is room for improvement. I think it is simply that devs have more interesting things to do. If we forced all the devs to do things they weren’t interested in for free there would be no devs and you would still be using your flight controller to play wii sports.

(jstarch) #73

I for one have just decide to stop using Vector due to lack of features that are available in M.P.
It may take some time to learn & work thru however worth it.

(anon67614380) #74

Yes, didn’t figure out how to, probably there was no interest in people having me cancel account. It is really miserable behaviour from you.

I see you take it personally, like everybody else when someone comes up with a critic on something to make it better.

That is the way it works around here, it goes down to personal attack whenever people have some critics to make.

(anon67614380) #75

I guess without thousands of users feedback even devs would look at their great piece of software in front of their pc. So, as asked before, please some respect for all the people that tested stuff countless hours at the field, like we all have for devs.

I tested a bunch of things that i was not interested in, just because i wanted to see if there was any bug for the community, so i guess devs can do the same from time to time, no?

(Peter Hall) #76

That was harsh of me, I apologise.

If your staying maybe you could un-edit your posts here, it benefits no one. (and annoyed me more than perhaps it should have)

Your are of-course right testing is just as important as developing, it allows the latest features to reach the whole community.

I can only speak for me but for me if I’m not interested in something it feels too much like proper work. I struggle to get motivated and either never finish the job or finish it to a poor standard.

Maybe the way to go with this makeover is to do some ‘story boards’? To show how mission planner could look give a clear end goal. Someone could collect all the issues together into a single issue to give a overview of what needs doing and how far through it is. Then it could be more easily broken down into more manageable jobs.

Maybe part of the problem in this case is just than Autopilot moves forward so fast, the mission planner guys are working hard just to keep up with all the new features.

(MartinKeilloh) #77

Hi its a shame that things just dont happen there at eagle tree just so slow to do any thing and if there is a bug can be a while before it is fixed.

(MartinKeilloh) #78

I think it is you that takes it personally the way you approach this,yes we are all beta testers no matter how we go about it,I am playing with some thing now as it keeps me busy and happy and I enjoy it.

For me all the developers do a great job,yes there are faults with the system but O my god its 99.9% good,Mission Planner could do with a tidy up but personally I would see new feature’s appear,but that is just me.

(Saijin_Naib) #79

I’m nobody here, but I’ll proffer this:

Two times I wrote Michael by email, he replied in a reasonable amount of time, and fixed/added what I had asked of him.

One time, he didn’t. I was a bit sad because I thought that last one was a great feature that would benefit everyone, most especially me for flight planning, but such is life.

By numbers alone, most of the time Michael is responsive and willing/able to fix up MP when asked. I don’t begrudge him the some of the times he’s too busy, or possibly CBF to listen to an unsolicited ask.

I can’t code worth shit, I’m not smart enough to help with anything on the EKF/algorithm side, and I don’t know enough about the projects to document it. I have to work two jobs/7 days a week to stay afloat so there isn’t disposable income to fund things.

So what can I contribute? Like most above, I can test. I can think critically. I can make thoughtful and polite requests/suggestions.

What more can we do, as a community of end-users, to help contribute if we see a need? Perhaps we need to establish a community steering process where we consolidate, clean, order/rank, and propose changes/fixes such that they’re easily looked at and digested. What we likely lack is the knowledge of what is feasible, but it might be better than scatter-shot requests spread about in a forum.

ArduPilot has a great structure within the development team for this type of task-setting and vetting, and I think that mirroring that somehow within the community for requesting things might be beneficial to both sides. And yes, likely, community crowd-funding of certain things may even be necessary to sponsor big changes.

Or, that’s the best I can offer at the moment.

We’re all friends here, though at times things can get heated. That’s what happens when people are passionate/enthusiastic about things. Golden rule always applies: How would you like to be treated in the other person’s shoes?

( .) #80

Totally off-topic, but I wanted to throw in my 2-cents

I tried to get into helping out with documentation, because I’m not a prolific programmer (also I have very little time to devote to writing code), but more importantly, I have very little time (or desire) to learn the intricacies of git (or to setup an environment to do all the git work) so I kinda gave on on wiki updates after several of my PRs didn’t look that good after being merged. The whole site is difficult for me to update, so I gave up.

A nice WYSIWYG wiki page editor built into the docs/dev site would REALLY be helpful to me…and perhaps would lend itself to more people being active at adding/updating content.

That said, the wiki dev is in the same boat at MP. “Someone” would have to take on the task to completely re-design the wiki page, and so I recognize that it isn’t going to happen.

While I agree that this community is probably served best by politely and caringly taking the honest input of the community, I also see a 1 year long running thread that is basically jut arguing that no one will do what a few people want done. Personally, I think re-writing MP into cross-platform (like Java) or something makes TOTAL sense…but it isn’t something that 1 person in his spare time can handle, and isn’t something worth arguing over, considering the thousands of people who use MP regularly like it is. This thread is simply just a lot of bickering.