Diary: Technologies: AROS: Documentation Documentation Documentation brings Developers Developers Developers!!!

Hoping Ballmer did not patented its citation ๐Ÿ˜›

Well, cause of my job duties this is not at all a new topic, but think is good to bounce it here. The Amiga Os 4.1 on Sam good new is a week old and probably, when it will be possible, will treat it here too but for now let’s do business as usual.

One of the latest topic comments in my last article in the italian forum (translated here btw) was from Tadsince1995 and brought me to forward it and enrich it in Aros-exec:

(translated from italian:)
So, after Robert Norris, even Michaelis going. The biggest problem is not only that they will not workanymore in AROS, but will be a huge disgrace the fact that so far thoseare the most prepared developers, therefore their own knowledgeluggage, shared by very few little people, will be lost.
I(tadsince1995) always supported a “Documentation bounty” because thereis a GRAVE lack of documentation for the low level part of AROS.Nothing about the USB stack, almost nothing on how to write drivers,etc. How an operating system can proceed if newcomming coder have noideas in how and where to begin with?
Especially the fact that,obviously, people have other committments and there might be no time todo reverse engineering on the code, while having some good tutorialmight save them lot of time.

And here is my enrichment:

I support fully the point of view of Tad: this is my personal requestfor Michael, for Robert, if he is still around, and for all low leveldevelopers: do not only leave the source available: do not assumepeople to have same skills as you: PLEASE DOCUMENT LOW LEVEL AROS, forthe sake of future development following your contribution:

Amiga/AROSscene is too little to expect people to find enough documentation(outdated at most), and Amiga/AROS internals are too different fromothers to expect the inner workings to be understood easily.

Therefore the usual Open Source method to read sources in this case cannot apply fully.

[there was a withdrawn part to avoid discussions]

To the people still at work:

you know this project needs developers and, IMHO, if not a schedule -by philosophy-, at least it needs a post-it in the border of the screen where to step the fundamentals, in short: “a plan”.

Forget one moment about ports: i think the system needs to be finished and polished. I have ShinkurO and others complaining sbout buggy MUI classes, myself in the verge to do a review of AROS for a magazine being a bit frustrated from the lack of visual feedback from the system as cursors or messages; LUA working but zulu not fuilly implemented in case somebody needs to write new applications, not only games (thanks mazze for your efforts in trying to build SDLbasic).

[end withdrawn part]

Ifeel emotionally involved with this project and , as Paolone, i thinkit has more potential than even eople here can expect. So, let’s try towork in a synergistyic (collaborative) way and pave the street fornewcomers as much as possible.

That is, my personal message at the community; i really wish AROS not to sink, i already said in past and will continue to say it in the future.

My personal contributions are actually in helping ShinkurO together with Tadsince1995 in translating its Programming guide for Amiga Oses and in writing a review of AROS for a magazine, even if both activities are going on slowly in the free time due to the aforementioned job duties.

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Diary: Technologies: AROS: When Schultz will leave the project will be stuck again…maybe for good?

Want to be honest: I am not that happy to talk all the tme about AROS; just is the most stimulating topic recently… or maybe you prefer me to talk about my splendid[!] married life, about my mind play of those two/three works i did in the nineties, and my [vague] hope to being put in the Amiga Hall of fame… or in my hope somebody else will make me work as musician again?

Is from this morning the declaration in the developer mailing list that Michael Schultz, one of the major AROS contributors[64-bit port, USB stack, SAM port, EFIKA(in progress) port just to mention some of its contributions] is planning to give up its collaboration; quite understandable: he is father of two and [IMHO] guess he might like more to dedicate to its family, beside the fact that being AROS scene a faithful mirror of the messed up amiga inner fightings, with lots of horses pulling the carriage in different direction, resluting in going nowhere: so we have the interesting paradox of having an incomplete system with unfinished GUI (am doing an AROS review for a website and, being honest, having no feedback from the pointer is sometimes kind of frustrating) , with part of Zune still pointing to stubs or not behaving properly (not all the MUI classes are working, ask ShinkurO about texteditor.mcc), and essential parts for an everyday use are still missing, such as external drives, printers,etc…

So I find myself in advocate an incomplete system, that cannot be fully used!

If this is one of the reasons Michael is leaving, he has my simpathy: instead to talk about all the might be might port and so on, should be important -might add essential- to finish the base functionalities, so to have a “quite complete” system to expand later: BTW is ok work on the NATAMI 68k version, so to give a good “mediatic whip” to the project, doing this “in parallel” to the x86 version completion, being the latter one the main reference target.

Therefore, as said by Staf in the Dev-ML, instead of wait for him to commits its ABI change in order to patch Zulu glitches, better to patch it NOW, and in order to have more user-submitted AROS utilities, might be a good idea to finish Zulu NOW or ASAP, or even make a feelin-integration with LUA so to have more complete user interfaces from those scripts…

I am afraid that when Michael will depart from AROS, all the work might get stuck for another couple of years: i read about some companies in the past that tried to use AROS for a set-top box system but had to give up due to its incompleteness: want we make AROS another wasted opportunity for the Amiga and like platforms, and just another retrocomputing self-referencing toy?

Well, i don’t want this.
and if all of you [few] that are reading me right now do agree with me, then let hear your voice in the main AROS channels, such as AROS exec, arosworld, maybe even in the developer list, but not too much there: let them know that there ARE people TRYING AROS, and some of them USE AROS as much as they can: let them know that you would like to INCREASE their use once, contributing to the bounties; andย  to report any bug or glitches you find in a quite detailed mode in order to make it get fixed faster; finally, if you can, even contribute your own software done using one of the available tools: you are welcome to do that:)