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Re: Seeking a concise Canon CHDK (Firmware hack) site?

 
 
Wolfgang Weisselberg
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      05-16-2011
Doug Bashford <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> They don't believe in editing anything
> as this opensource thing evolves over seveal years.


This is probably because they are all having fun coding and
noone wants the drudgery of cleaning up documentation.
(After all, they aren't paid.)

> The obsolete seems as valuable to them as the current,
> if the number of words implies value.


They don't.

> They seemingly have no executive people in charge of
> making anything coherent.


Anyone (you!) willing to pay for them?

> QUOTING: http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/UBASIC/TutorialScratchpad
> "***UBASIC/TutorialScratchpad***
> "The complexity and time-line of your script is only limited by
> your imagination and trying to keep your script under the 8K
> character (8192 byte) limit. (See "starting out" section above
> for script length limit; this might not be accurate any more)"
> ...end quote.


> IOW, "This and that, but perhaps not, check over there,
> and good chance that too will be laced with caveats,
> cuz who the hell can keep track of this ball of endless
> string? ...Why YOU the newbie learner can!"


Bah. It says "We currently have a 8k limit on scripts, but
we are working on improving/lifting that limit. See there if
we already managed, because we'll announce it there and there
is no guarantee someone will remember to fix that here."

> That's not particularly bad, I quote it because it's typical
> and concise. In another place they state that a whole
> otherwise obsolete page is kept alive because two sentences
> are not on this (the current) page. What?


It's a wiki. Go ahead and improve it.


> One informative intro tells me where
> to get the latest (beta only) firmware for my cam...wow that's a
> thread with over 1,000 replies!... mod after update and no firm
> decisive place to look as we listen to one exciting tale of
> coding and failure and fix after another. I crossed my
> fingers & got one, I can only hope it's ok.


Stupid. The clever thing's to go to the end, scan backwards
and see what failures the current beta has until you come to
the announcement of it. Failing that, check the first post,
maybe it's been edited for each beta.

> Did I mention it's like trying to find one unmarked
> strand of spaghetti a plate of spaghetti that for my purposes
> should only have that one strand on it?


So pay someone for filtering the view. Other people need
other strands of spaghetti, don't forget that.

> To be fair, from appearances, if my camera's CHDK version
> was not STILL languishing in BETA,


Maybe you should help testing and/or coding and/or
documenting. It's a volunteer effort.

> then there does seem to be
> a nifty pointing mechanism to the real builds that one might find
> in less than an hour or so.


I guess I could find the latest beta for your camera in less than
15 minutes, given the above algorithms.

> The way it looks is, the build I found stopped development
> ( sx120is-100b-0.9.9-912-full )
> over six months ago. One wonders if that's because somebody
> had a crisis, or because it was good enough? ...and being
> without leadership, nobody made the final push to take
> it out of BETA and to the public? Six moths ago somebody
> said it works. Supposedly not good enough, but what is
> it missing, or whatever? --- as with all things...WHO KNOWS?
> Should a newbie try it, why or why not?...WHO KNOWS?
> Not this newbie.


In this case, BETA is not for you. Wait for someone to do a
commercially supported full release.

>It's the two Web sites. They need to
> take some clues from Wikipedia, which has strict
> guidelines, rules, and "official" unofficial editors
> and censors (leadership). Those sites may work fine
> as software development sites, but their public interface,
> the only part I see and comment on, sucks and they sucks
> Big Time.


It's a wiki. Go ahead and improve it.

> how DARE I "complain about freeware?"


Free (as in libre) and Open Source Software (FOSS). It's not
(only) free as in free beer. You (also) get the source and the
rights to use and modify as you please, except cutting these
rights from other parties.

> The Internet runs on freeware,


FOSS.

-Wolfgang
 
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SMS
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      06-04-2011
On 5/16/2011 4:28 AM, Wolfgang Weisselberg wrote:
> Doug Bashford<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>> They don't believe in editing anything
>> as this opensource thing evolves over seveal years.

>
> This is probably because they are all having fun coding and
> noone wants the drudgery of cleaning up documentation.
> (After all, they aren't paid.)


Actually some non-coders _have_ worked on adding to the documentation in
specific areas, including me. But I have not edited other people's
documents, just added additional documentation.
 
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SMS
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      06-04-2011
On 6/4/2011 2:10 PM, Doug Bashford wrote:
>
> Re: Seeking a concise Canon CHDK (Firmware hack) site?;
> On Sat, 04 Jun 2011 12:54:33 -0700, SMS wrote:
>
>
>> On 5/16/2011 4:28 AM, Wolfgang Weisselberg wrote:
>>> Doug Bashford<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>>
>>>> They don't believe in editing anything
>>>> as this opensource thing evolves over seveal years.
>>>
>>> This is probably because they are all having fun coding and
>>> noone wants the drudgery of cleaning up documentation.
>>> (After all, they aren't paid.)

>>
>> Actually some non-coders _have_ worked on adding to the documentation in
>> specific areas, including me. But I have not edited other people's
>> documents, just added additional documentation.

>
> A tip of my hat to you then.
>
> The "feel of a place" is hard to describe.
> It seems to me that editing other people's
> documents would feel kinda extra weird there.


That's how I felt. When I found some documentation lacking I added more,
but I didn't think I should change what was already there.

> I help but think that the pages of obsolete
> material are there for more than apathetic
> neglect, but for a feeling or tradition or
> some such that I can't put my finger on.


It takes time to maintain documentation, and few people will do it for free.
 
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Wolfgang Weisselberg
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      06-05-2011
SMS <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> It takes time to maintain documentation, and few people will do it for free.


Doug B. just volunteered.

-Wolfgang
 
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Wolfgang Weisselberg
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      06-05-2011
Doug Bashford <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> Re: Seeking a concise Canon CHDK (Firmware hack) site?;
> On Mon, 16 May 2011, Wolfgang Weisselberg wrote:
>> Doug Bashford <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:


>> > They don't believe in editing anything
>> > as this opensource thing evolves over seveal years.


>> This is probably because they are all having fun coding and
>> noone wants the drudgery of cleaning up documentation.


> In part, sure. Programs that I've written take
> one part making the functions (say a game,) and
> 7 parts polishing for the end user and 2 parts
> help.


Which says more about you.

>> (After all, they aren't paid.)


> Red herring argument.


You volunteer doing that for free? No? Then it's not a red
herring.

> And a cop-out.


So you really volunteer? Fine!

> Freeware is all over,
> misleading documentation is not.


Yes, there usually is no documentation AT ALL, especially for
unfinished software.

> This being the case, logic dictates we look elsewhere.


From a false position, any argument can be made.

> Philosophic Clue: East not West, Buddha rather than Christ.
> Intrinsic rather than extrinsic.


You can tell other people what to do and how to do things if you
pay them. Seems you don't pay them ...

>> > The obsolete seems as valuable to them as the current,
>> > if the number of words implies value.


>> They don't.


> We both know this...after dozens of hours.
> But what of the newbie?


A newbie who hasn't been exposed to advertising, speeches and
general life for less than dozens of hours is still much too
young to hold a camera.

>> > They seemingly have no executive people in charge of
>> > making anything coherent.


>> Anyone (you!) willing to pay for them?


> Good thing Wikipedia etc etc doesn't think like that, eh?


Fund drives (you?), volunteers (you?), ...

No, you just open your wide mouth. Everybody is a
better soccer trainer when half drunk in the pub than the guy
actually doing the job ...

How about putting your free time where your wide mouth is?

>> Bah. It says "We currently have a 8k limit on scripts, but
>> we are working on improving/lifting that limit. See there if
>> we already managed, because we'll announce it there and there
>> is no guarantee someone will remember to fix that here."


> And when did "We currently have a 8k limit on scripts"
> become obsolete? 2008. My complaint is not that
> the documentation is just a little off.


And when did you fix it instead of bitching?

[bitch bitch]
> Is one word of that, or ANY of those hyperlinks
> still true today?


Find that out and fix the pages, dummy.

> So along comes newbie and dumps 2 hours?
> ...20 hours into that for nothing?


Newbies don't play with CHDK.

> So what the current haps? CHDK today?
> All the excitement of discovery is gone,
> which attracted the programers and hackers,
> yet there is no access to CHDK for newbies,
> nothing for the average savy *photographer*.


Of course there is access. It's just not prechewed.

> But I'm not hear for mere wailing and
> fist shaking.


Really? Where is your contibution?

> What's the easy solution?
> Prolly not attempting to repair 3 years of
> neglect.
> Prolly writing a whole new CHDK site,
> about 3 pages max dedicated to newbie
> photographers snagging the latest.


> ZAP.


Fine. You write one. Go ahead. You bitched for more than 3
pages now, you would have been ready if you'd have fixed
things instead.

>> It's a wiki. Go ahead and improve it.


> Since it's inpenetratable, indeed, functional
> only within it's own culture,


.... like Wikipedia, where everyone can edit ...

> how would an outsider
> do that?


By starting at the beginning.

> Part of that culture seems to value
> its exclusive nature.


They rate actions much higer than your words.

> I say that because such
> a remarkable and unique wall hardly seems like
> the product of mere accedental neglect.
> ...as if cleaning up was frowned upon.


Excuses, excuses, go fix it already or stop bitching.

>> > One informative intro tells me where
>> > to get the latest (beta only) firmware for my cam...wow that's a
>> > thread with over 1,000 replies!... mod after update and no firm
>> > decisive place to look as we listen to one exciting tale of
>> > coding and failure and fix after another. I crossed my
>> > fingers & got one, I can only hope it's ok.


>> Stupid. The clever thing's to go to the end, scan backwards
>> and see what failures the current beta has until you come to
>> the announcement of it. Failing that, check the first post,
>> maybe it's been edited for each beta.


> Indeed, and maybe.


So you're too ... newbie to use forums. Fancy that.
You must still think tiny men carry the letters through "duh
intarnet".

>> > Did I mention it's like trying to find one unmarked
>> > strand of spaghetti a plate of spaghetti that for my purposes
>> > should only have that one strand on it?


>> So pay someone for filtering the view. Other people need
>> other strands of spaghetti, don't forget that.


> Reciting out-of-context truisms looks
> like excuse-making. But I think what is
> needed over there is responsibility-taking.


Well, you pay someone or do it yourself, excuse maker.

>> > To be fair, from appearances, if my camera's CHDK version
>> > was not STILL languishing in BETA,


>> Maybe you should help testing and/or coding and/or
>> documenting. It's a volunteer effort.


> Dude! I guess I'm not making myself clear.
> I can't figure out what hell is going on!


Start reading, trying, asking *intelligent* questions.
Then you'll understand pretty soon.

> What I predict is CHDK draining away like sand
> due to attrition, a lack of re-population
> because damn few peole want to spend hours and
> hours (tens?) for a hack when they can buy a
> camera with all those goodies with actual
> physical buttons to match and an owner's
> manual out in plain sight -- that doen't feel
> the need to celibrate the Model T Ford.


Name such a camera.

> It's the documentation, pal.
> Most of it is obsolete. Way, way obsolete.
> ....years obsolete.


Then update it, pal.

>> > then there does seem to be
>> > a nifty pointing mechanism to the real builds that one might find
>> > in less than an hour or so.


>> I guess I could find the latest beta for your camera in less than
>> 15 minutes, given the above algorithms.


> That's what I've been saying.
> If one has the Big Picture due to hours of
> experience, yes you could.


Using forums is as advanced as depressing and not jabbing the
shutter button. How do you even manage to find and use Usenet,
if you're so unexperienced? Not even *hours* of experience in the
internet and already here ...

Hey, what I did do back when I was not very experienced, was
to extend a 11 page manual to Unix, the Internet and
everything to a much more detailed 65 page manual. I didn't
wail that that should have been updated before, I just did
it. BTW, that was before the WWW.

>> In this case, BETA is not for you. Wait for someone to do a
>> commercially supported full release.


> When will somebody accept some responsibility?


Once you pay, for example.

> Your baby can do no wrong? ...is perfect?
> Is there any wonder it looks like that?


You obviously need hours of experience more.

In a few days you should then be very experienced and update
the wiki.

> I think some of your comments will be helpful
> for any newbies. But others only make sense to
> you because you already see the big picture,
> you know what to filter out and have the context
> to assemble the remainder in a meaningful way.


Most people here get the big picture. No need to baby-talk.

> example self-contradicting quote from:
> CHDK firmware usage - CHDK Wiki
> Jun 16, 2007 http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK_firmware_usage

How about reading the top of the page:

| The new User Manual is here:
| ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
| → CHDK User Manual New ! - Has links to the old resources
|
| For offline viewing, and a printable manual, go to:-
| → CHDK UserGuide 2009 - In .pdf format. (Last update October 2010)
| ^^^^ ^^^^

I've underlined the important parts.

If you cannot read them, you really need lots of experience more.

> [The date is NOT in the document, as usual. --- It's from
> Google. (How fly-by-night!)]


"--GrAnd 19:48, 16 June 2007 (UTC)"

So, simply reading the document shows you didn't read it, you
just bitched.

[snip]

> You suggest I edit it? Sorry, I can only guess.
> Plus look at the obvious flaws I must (did) leave.


I suggest you read the new user manual instead as directed

> Again, I think what's needed is a whole new, short
> Website dedicated to getting *photographers*
> in and out with their download within an hour.
> ...A concise Canon CHDK download site.


Start one.

> The insane twist the facts to fit their world view.
> The rational change their world view to fit the facts.


You don't even find the facts and fit them to your world view.

-Wolfgang
 
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Walter Banks
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      06-06-2011


Doug

Get involved if you want the results you seek. I have been
writing commercial software for a very long time. It takes
work and dedication. Free and open source software is
for the most part is expensive for what it provides.

Take you for example, a camera that provides the features
you seek through CHDK would be less expensive to simply
buy if your time is worth anything. It would be backed by
manufacturers support and would be documented and
function as advertised.

Your rants on CHDK translate into something for nothing
with support. Disregarding for a moment the moral issues
of reverse engineering a commercial product, a lot more
could be accomplished by working with the camera
manufacturers to add special functionality. The astronomy
community saw these advantages when they partnered
with Canon for example.

Walter..

 
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Wolfgang Weisselberg
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      06-07-2011
Walter Banks <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> Get involved if you want the results you seek.


A very good point.

> I have been
> writing commercial software for a very long time. It takes
> work and dedication.


That's basically true for every non-trivial software.

> Free and open source software is
> for the most part is expensive for what it provides.


Interesting.
I concede that some commercial software (which can be FOSS) has
well thought out GUIs and good manuals, quick and knowledgeable
support and all that.

I concede that with a lot of FOSS you'll get manuals that aren't
always 100% up to date and too often manuals and GUIs and CLIs are
written with other developers in mind. (I'll give you the example
of 'par', a very powerful, but also very arcane text formatter ---
it's manual is centered around what each switch does internally,
when it should be centered around use cases or the effect. So it's
much trial and error. No, I don't know how to distangle that net.
And yes, the author knows how the documentation (and the program
design) is lacking by now.)

On the other hand, maintained FOSS software is fixed much faster,
especially when it comes to security bugs, and allows you to
bug-hunt[0], patch, recompile[1] yourself, should you feel like it.
Also, you routinely have support via email and/or IRC from the
developers themselves --- the guys and gals who know exactly what
is happening where --- not via some lackluster outsourced first
level support. And third parties can write patches for at least
some problems.

I also think that lots of free software would not have survived
as commercial software (too small market, too much work in
advertizing, marketing, selling), and often would not have been
written because there would have not been a sensible business case
for the limited projects often first envisioned by the single
or few developers initially working on the project. Think of
what the project was foir what we now know as the linux kernel
and how much money it would have cost to develop it commercially
(if you knew at the beginning what the target was).

> Take you for example, a camera that provides the features
> you seek through CHDK would be less expensive to simply
> buy if your time is worth anything.


It would be less expensive for Canon, too, since most the
heavy lifting is already done --- and Canon, having access to
the source code, could implement things faster, clearer and
better.

However, AFAIK, there *is* no camera that comes even close to
the features CHDK offers.

> It would be backed by
> manufacturers support and would be documented and
> function as advertised.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
This is not always given with commercial offerings.[2]
Especially with BETA software, like the CHDK for the OP's
camera.

> Your rants on CHDK translate into something for nothing
> with support. Disregarding for a moment the moral issues
> of reverse engineering a commercial product,


I don't see any, sorry.
With reverse engineering and clean room design reimplementation
of the BIOS we got the IBM clones everyone is using today,
for example. Legally.

> a lot more
> could be accomplished by working with the camera
> manufacturers to add special functionality.


You assume willing camera manufacturers.
If they were willing, they'd at least give the specs CHDK must
reverse engineer for each camera to them --- after all, Canon
gets exta features for free and doesn't even have to support them
--- and gains at least some buyers because of CHDK.

The observed behaviour of camera manufacturers is that they are
not in the least positive towards CHDK (though not hostile enough
to make CHDK completely impossible), nor do they seem inclined to
add features like motion detection, scripting et al to their new
cameras.

> The astronomy
> community saw these advantages when they partnered
> with Canon for example.


How many 20Da's were made? Where were they distributed?
When was this?

-Wolfgang

[0] I'm currently investigating a segfault with mythtv (frontend)
that happens on debian-testing, but not on debian-stable.
I couldn't even begin to do that without open source.

[1] e.g. try a different library version than the executable was
linked against, optimize for your CPU, etc. Not something
the average user often needs, but certainly of interest to
the power user.

[2] Our analog-signal TV harddisk recorder has the tendency to stop
receiving when you switch channels and with a recording time
(advertized) of up to 400 hours, has only *8* slots for timer
recordings. Yes, you can do weekly repeats and Mo-Fr repeats
--- but you cannot give a name to the recordings before they
are recorded and naming recordings is a major PITA due to the
interface (switch through the whole alphabet letter by letter,
digit by digit, special char by special char (you can switch
between upper and lower case though) --- and don't press the
buttons on the remote control too fast. Never heard of an
on-screen keyboard, have they?) No chance for me to fix that
issue, even if I had all the time in the world.
 
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Walter Banks
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      06-08-2011


Bruce wrote:

> Walter Banks <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> >Get involved if you want the results you seek. I have been
> >writing commercial software for a very long time. It takes
> >work and dedication. Free and open source software is
> >for the most part is expensive for what it provides.

>
> If it is free, how can it be "expensive"?


Doug Bashford has detailed his cost/time benefit to using CHDK,
He has spent real time and paid utility costs for internet and is
yet to receive any benefit. That is very expensive.


> >Take you for example, a camera that provides the features
> >you seek through CHDK would be less expensive to simply
> >buy if your time is worth anything. It would be backed by
> >manufacturers support and would be documented and
> >function as advertised.
> >
> >Your rants on CHDK translate into something for nothing
> >with support. Disregarding for a moment the moral issues
> >of reverse engineering a commercial product, a lot more
> >could be accomplished by working with the camera
> >manufacturers to add special functionality. The astronomy
> >community saw these advantages when they partnered
> >with Canon for example.

>
> You have comprehensively missed the point.


I don't think so.

> CHDK only works at all
> because Canon already provided all the features CHDK offers, but chose
> to disable some or all of them. All CHDK does is unlock features that
> are already there.


Actually that is not completely true.

> So there is no "moral issue" at all, which is why Canon has raised no
> major objections to CHDK.


Reverse engineering and republishing has plenty of moral and ethical
issues.

Saying that Canon has not yelled loud enough is hardly justification.

w..

 
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Walter Banks
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      06-08-2011


Bruce wrote:

>
> Clearly you have something of a jaundiced view of CHDK because of your
> involvement in writing other, presumably unrelated software. But
> Canon not only hasn't yelled loudly. Effectively, Canon seems not to
> have yelled at all.


My view of CHDK is clear. CHDK actually did have some interesting
original IP with the addition of some programmable sequence features.
I applaud them for that. I compare that project with the co-operation
that Canon has had with the astronomy community. CHDK has
reverse engineered Canon's software and left the changes looking
like an amateur hack


> Calling CHDK "reverse engineering" is rather emotive. It isn't like
> Sigma reverse engineering the Canon EOS lens/camera interface in order
> to make millions of bucks out of selling cheap lenses for Canon
> (D)SLRs. I can see why that would upset Canon, and perhaps it should
> upset other people too.


There is a difference? Someone breaks into your house and steals
your Beatles Butcher LP and someone else breaks in and steals
a laptop. I think they have committed the same crime.

> Things would be different if someone was making money out of CHDK. But
> no-one is. Everyone gains, including Canon - because they get
> improvements in the feature sets of various Canon PowerShot cameras
> without having to pay for, or support them. Win/win.


Canon gets to support all the people who screw up the loader in
the camera trying to install CHDK and complains of noise in modified
feature high ISO images. I don't think it is a win for them.

> As for Doug having spent a lot of time on CHDK, surely that is his
> personal choice? People don't normally ascribe a cost to their time
> spent pursuing a hobby.


I guess that is why he is complaining about all the time he has wasted
on CHDK.

w..

 
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ASCII
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      06-08-2011
Walter Banks wrote:

<~~~>

>
>Canon gets to support all the people who screw up the loader in
>the camera trying to install CHDK and complains of noise in modified
>feature high ISO images.


By "screwing up the loader" are you referring to the SD card slot?
....and noise is common in high ISO images regardless
if someone has enabled the extra CHDK features or not.
 
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