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Messages - DDR

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Software Dev / Re: Software Roadmap - 0.3.1, 0.4.x, etc.
« on: February 08, 2019, 12:00:40 PM »
Well, it's been a while since I updated what was going on behind the scenes here. While we've all been working hard, it's been a lot of behind-the-scenes sort of stuff. Nothing very showy, really.

So, some background is in order.

We decided about a year ago that we did not want to keep using the original version of the software, camApp, which ships with the camera and is updated via the betas on this forum. One of the main reasons for this is that we wanted a web api and remote control app. Embedding a web server in original camApp was impractical. An external web server could not reasonably be hacked together with the tools available¹.­ Some infrastructure needed to be built.

So, Foobar ported a newer linux kernel to our CPU, and we got access to much better tools. Porting a linux kernel is generally not considered a one-man job, so it took him a few months. During this time, I put together a virtual machine to develop the new UI, called gui2, on. After I'd completed that, Foobar promptly delivered an early version of the new linux to me. While it lacked drivers for all the camera-y parts, I was able to get a modern tech stack up and running and I used this to develop the app for the next half-year.

As this progressed, it became apparent that the tech stack I'd compiled was not one that we could safely upgrade and maintain. Foobar completed his port of the linux kernel, giving us Debian 8 as the underlying operating system, and we decided to backport the infrastructure I was using from Debian 9. This was completed, but we were still several versions behind what I'd developed the new UI on. I am currently finishing porting everything from my new tech stack to the older, maintainable versions of the tech we had. While a few bugs remain, I got the app running in it's entirety, on it's final tech stack, this afternoon.

Near the beginning of all this, Johan was hired to extract the startup logic from the current camApp. (I was hired to do the mobile app promised in the Kickstarter, which was deferred due to the technical issues mentioned above, so I wound up extracting the graphical user interface from the camApp.) Extracting the startup logic to initialize the sensor proved to be quite difficult. This was completed this morning, and the camera can now start and show the new UI entirely without having to run the current camApp!

The camera can now also run a nascent HTTP API, which plays well with the new UI. If you update a value via the API, the new value is reflected in the UI running on the camera. However, both the new UI and the alpha HTTP API are still largely disconnected from the hardware of the camera. They are running against dummy values. Since Johan has managed to bring up the camera, he is now implementing the dummy values so the HTTP API and the new UI can actually make changes to the camera. Some tasks are expected to be easy to tell the camera to do, while others will require a bit more work. This implementation is represented by box in the last progress chart posted in this thread³.

While all this has been going on, Loial has been making significant improvements to the firmware of the camera's FPGA. This has been appearing in the forum betas. We are currently in the midst of working on a testing plan for the next beta, since we'd like it to actually work this time. Unfortunately, there turns out to be quite a lot to our software, so while skronstein has been working on the testing plan it is still a work in progress. I myself may be pulled aside for a few days to complete that, so we can test and release next beta here. 🙂

If you'd like to talk to us in person and see some cool stuff, we'll be at NAB. It's April 6th through 11th in Las Vegas, though we'll be around a few days longer for setup and teardown.

¹ These tools were Ash² scripts being called via CGI.
² Ash is like Bash, but awful.
³ There has been no real progress on the chart since then since both Johan and myself have been been dealing with the underlying work of making our respective technologies run. Since this work was unforseen and unpredictable, it was uncharted.

Software Dev / Re: Software Roadmap - 0.3.1, 0.4.x, etc.
« on: January 23, 2019, 04:19:09 PM »
Hi JamesB.

I've asked around, and the backend guys have told me that saving/restoring black cal images would be "very hard". I'd like to see that feature myself — I've had a lot of difficulty around changing temperature and black cal — so I'm still going to push for it.

There was some unrelated work done to improve the vertical banding problem, however. It should land in either the next 0.3.x beta or 0.4.x, and should help that issue quite a bit. :D

Software Dev / Re: Software Roadmap - 0.3.1, 0.4.x, etc.
« on: January 17, 2019, 01:17:38 PM »
Hi Thomas. As it stands, @skronstein is working on a test plan for verification of 0.3.x. So that should be coming in a few weeks, once we've actually checked it does what we say it does. @tesla500 is working on an improved version of the power-down feature for your use. A more configurable version will be released with the new UI, on the power screen. I myself am busy with 0.5.x UI, which will be served by the API Johan is working on for 0.4.x. (We've experienced difficulty extracting the sensor initialization logic from the old camApp code.)

I hope that helps explain what we've been working on. There haven't been any major milestones to announce, so I'm afraid we've been pretty quiet.

Chronos User Discussion / Re: Time Stamps
« on: January 02, 2019, 05:16:12 PM »
Hi all,

Thanks for the feedback. I'm glad to see the overlay is getting some use!

Going forward, the new UI I'm working on will have some minimal overlay configuration settings. It will be a small improvement over what we have now.

After the new UI is released, I'm planning to add fine-grained stamp settings. These will include the ability to choose a font (and thus font-size) and some formatting options for the data. Including what the timestamp and frame numbers are relative to. :)

Chronos User Discussion / Re: Dual Cameras over Ethernet
« on: December 17, 2018, 04:24:36 PM »
Hi mcknight. You're right, you'll need to configure one of the cameras to use a different IP address than the other. To do this, edit the /etc/network/interfaces and /etc/udhcp.conf files on one of your cameras, changing to This should put the camera on a different subnet, which will keep them from fighting each other.

Hope that helps!

Software Dev / Re: Software Roadmap - 0.3.1, 0.4.x, etc.
« on: December 12, 2018, 04:22:41 PM »
Will 0.3.x ever see the light of day?
We discovered last weekend, during testing here, that the internal candidate we had for release was outputting a solid green video and nothing else. This ultimately ended up being an upgrade script error, which we since fixed. The only thing we know of that's broken now is an off-by-one column gain error which Loial is currently working on fixing. Hopefully, if nothing else breaks, we should be able to release beta 0.3 in the next week or two. Fingers crossed.

We might still make the January release date for 0.4.0. 🤞 0.3.x has been a real pain in the neck, but we've continued work on 0.4.x as 0.3.x has been going through testing. We should have a release candidate out for 0.4.0 by Jan., at least. (This will probably include better sensor calibration, a better operating system, and however much of the HTTP API we have implemented by then.)

Software Dev / Re: Software Roadmap - 0.3.1, 0.4.x, etc.
« on: December 04, 2018, 03:50:46 PM »
Hi, Sam. We could get the new UI and OS up and running as-is now, they just wouldn't be able to do anything. I think you'd find the old, C++-based camApp running on Debian to be much more useful. What do you want to do with the camera?

We should have 0.4.0 by January. Possibly February if things go really badly.

Chronos User Discussion / Re: Chronos 1.4 Footage Thread
« on: November 29, 2018, 02:34:39 PM »
That's super-cool, Dan D. :D

We don't get to see lab use that often. Thank you for taking the time to put the video together.

Software Dev / Re: Software Roadmap - 0.3.1, 0.4.x, etc.
« on: October 22, 2018, 04:17:59 PM »
In the software update roadmap I do not see audio recordings for the video, what's going on? It looks like this feature will be available on version 1.0 ?
Audio will be one of the later features to be added. It should be in by 1.0.

Software Dev / Re: Software Roadmap - 0.3.1, 0.4.x, etc.
« on: October 17, 2018, 09:28:32 PM »
Hi SamL. I'm not sure when the HTTP API will be released. However, for you and everyone else curious, an explanation is is order.

Here is a map of the tasks we're working on. (Click for larger version, or see attachment 1.)

Green = done
Yellow = in progress
White = not started

The blue circles denote areas we're actively working on. In order:

One of our engineers, Johan, is implementing the underlying D-Bus API right now. The HTTP API (not pictured) will act as a wrapper for the D-Bus API, so as the timing works out, when the D-Bus API is done the HTTP API should be done as well. Johan has so far implemented reading the power controller for battery charge, and is currently porting reading/writing to our FPGA. Soon, we can do actual useful stuff with the API, but how soon is unknown. Johan hasn't done this before, and therefore can't produce an accurate estimate. I'm guessing it will take him at least few months to work through everything. Assuming we can get out some sort of gimped HTTP API built on that work, which won't run simultaneously with the touch-screen user interface on the camera, I would very roughly estimate "late January" for basic HTTP control. This should not include video streaming, but should include video download and basic file management.

I am continuing work on the new back-of-camera user interface. I've spent the last two weeks working on one of the two great unknowns of the process, jog wheel input. The other great unknown, the software keyboards, I will start work on tomorrow. I don't know how long the software keyboards will take. They could take a few days, or they could take a few weeks. The jog wheel still needs roughly a week or two of work, as each widget needs its own behaviour implemented. (Menus are going to become a heck of a lot easier to select. :D)

Foobar has effectively ported the current UI forward to our shiny new Debian-based operating system. This is a major milestone for us! It means we can abandon our old operating system, which was sucking up a lot of our time. It also means we can do a more piece-wise release of the new features as they're built out, so we may see useful parts of the HTTP API available well before the full HTTP API is finished.

Software Dev / Re: Updating the UI: Network / Remote Control Screen
« on: October 05, 2018, 04:03:39 PM »
ARIN says they're reserved for private use. I'm not sure what the implications are, though.

Quote from: ARIN link=
Note that only a portion of the "172" and the "192" address ranges are designated for private use. The remaining addresses are "public," and routable on the global Internet.

I figure it'll be fine in most cases - anyone setting up a nonconforming network either knows what they're doing or have larger security issues.

Software Dev / Re: Software Roadmap - 0.3.1, 0.4.x, etc.
« on: October 02, 2018, 08:21:44 PM »
I also wonder if a recording and saving in 8 bits (corresponding to low light) could be an option in the future ?
It is hurting saving all the nonessential data, isn't it? :( We do like the idea of saving at a reduced bit depth, but it would be a fairly far future thing if we did it. Unfortunately, there are several other things that need our attention first. Motion triggering, (most of the) text overlay, power control, etc.

That's why an increasingly high number of devices just use HTML/CSS/JS for their UI and slap a basic webengine on there to display it. not as fast as natively coded ui's but allso much less hassle and the same tech on all platforms.
I was considering that, actually, but rejected it for performance reasons. Even the new native app I'm working on is having trouble rendering at a decent framerate right now. It's usable, but it's not ~buttery smooth~ like the old one is. Since most of it isn't my code, and I haven't done anything obviously wrong, it seems like it's some combination of the new libraries, the upgraded framework, and the easier-to-touch styling. :-\

Software Dev / Re: Updating the UI: Network / Remote Control Screen
« on: October 02, 2018, 07:48:35 PM »
How are you actually checking that the connected interface is "just" LAN? I'm not too familiar with "advanced" network setups...
For SSH, we can restrict logons to the 192.168.x.x subnet. This subnet is not publicly routable, so it isn't accessible from the internet at large.

Will there be an additional screen to manage certs or will whe have to set them up using the WebApp/ SSH?
I think you'll have to accept a self-signed certificate. Certs are very much tied to domain names, and since the camera doesn't have a domain name it can't really be certified as being "at that domain". The whole HTTPS system falls down a bit for embedded software, unfortunately. :-\

And one very minor nit-picky detail: the port is set to 22 but the command shows 22786 :P
Oh shoot! Totally missed that one. xD

I prefer the v4 because the only difference seems to be the text
I moved the interface up into the header, since it selects what information is shown too. But yeah, not too much difference between the two.

Software Dev / Re: Software Roadmap - 0.3.1, 0.4.x, etc.
« on: September 27, 2018, 08:29:32 PM »
0.3.1 still not out……
There were... issues. 😒 In fact, there still are issues, but those will be fixed soon. Foobar's fixed a DNG import issue… as of 7 minutes ago now, we think. (It's still got to be tested though. From what I've heard around the office, it should be possible to imperfectly fix the DNG files recorded with the current beta. We haven't tried, though, so take this with a grain of salt.)

This sort of delay is why we try to avoid saying we'll do things. We're very wrong, very often, and it is never in the direction of "sooner". 😭

On that note, I myself am trying to get the jog wheel to work with *absolutely everything*. If I can get this working as I'd like, we'll be able to do stuff like use the camera with mittens on during cold weather.  I'm currently trying to figure out how to read from the FIFO file which reports jog wheel position, and then how to interpret that to a rotation, and how to get THAT into a reasonable event in the QT framework… and then I need to actually make the widgets behave correctly. It's a surprisingly long road, I've been at this particular task a few days now.

I miss the web. It would have been onscroll="whatever()" there. But of course, the web has other issues. 😜

Chronos User Discussion / Re: Moonlit stills, Chronos suitable?
« on: September 27, 2018, 08:16:23 PM »
From what I've heard — and this is second-hand, since I've been dealing mostly with the user-interface software here rather than the hardware — the sensor in the Chronos is a bit weird. The longer the exposure time, the noisier the results from the sensor. IIRC, after half a minute of exposure the resulting picture is effectively gone. Something in the physics of it accumulates errors over time, rather than averaging them out like in a normal sensor.

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