Author Topic: Software Roadmap - 0.3.1, 0.4.x, etc.  (Read 1422 times)

DDR

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Software Roadmap - 0.3.1, 0.4.x, etc.
« on: July 31, 2018, 05:35:13 PM »
What is happening with the Chronos' software? What is in the works, and when will it be available?

Keeping in mind "The best laid plans of mice and men will often go awry", here's what we have planned:

  • 0.3.1 (expected late August)
    • Improved image demosaic for .mp4 (less colour-fringing around high contrast areas)
    • Overlay frame number on video.
    • Save .dng for raw video.
    • HDMI port supports video out.
    • Basic remote video control. (play, pause, seek)
    • Save more than 45 videos.
    • Possible raw video save speed increase.
    • Additional minor bugfixes and tweaks.

  • 0.3.x (expected mid-September)
    • Power controls (turn on when connected to power, turn off when not)
    • Basic overlay controls. Maybe.

  • 0.4.0 (expected late October)
    • Debian replaces Arago as the camera operating system.
    • Python is available to script the camera.
    • External HTTP API available for custom scripting. (may be delayed)
    • Internal D-Bus API available for custom scripting. (may be delayed)
    • UI is ported to Python, prettied up, and made to use the D-Bus API.

  • 0.4.1
    • Bugfix release for 0.4.0.
    • APIs, if delayed.

  • 0.5.0
    • Remote control app, using the HTTP API.


Behind the scenes, the main delay is that we've discovered that it's impractical to continue development using our current operating system, Arago Linux. It lacks some basics such a C compiler, a scripting language, and several basic Linux debugging utilities. Arago's video subsystem also crashes after saving 45 videos.

For example, developing the back-of-camera user interface using Arago entails a ~5-minute delay between making a change and seeing the change in the UI. Using Debian, changes made to the UI are live in seconds.

We've been working on getting Debian running, on and off, for the past year. However, a few months ago a combination of near-success and issues with Arago's video system meant we decided to officially devote engineering time to the problem. This, naturally, delayed the progress we were making on the internal D-Bus API for 0.4.0, because now we were working on something else.

Currently, from my user-interface-centric perspective, here is how our progress is looking for version 0.4.0. The new UI and APIs will be debuted when this is complete.


tap for full resolution ↗️


Green means "completed", yellow is "in progress". Arrows show what depends on what. For example, the final implementation on the right depends on the D-Bus API, which has had the video control component made, and the D-Bus API Mock, which is currently being developed. Implementation is done by adding behaviour to a laid-out UI (labelled "Shell & Nav"), which I sketch up in Designer as a separate step. Each screen can be done more or less independently.

I hope this helps clear things up. I'll try to keep this thread updated as things progress. One of the big reasons we don't like to announce things is that they frequently turn out to simply be untrue. For example, we thought we'd fixed raw save speed, but then it turned out we hadn't a few times. We really don't want to promise something we won't deliver on, so we keep to ourselves quite frequently. What are your thoughts on this?
« Last Edit: July 31, 2018, 05:39:23 PM by DDR »

Nikon1

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Re: Software Roadmap - 0.3.1, 0.4.x, etc.
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2018, 05:41:52 PM »
Thanks a lot for publishing the Roadmap for the Software.
Only Question left for me is:
Is the HDR-Mode still planed to be added to the Chronos?
Can´t find it on the List.

DDR

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Re: Software Roadmap - 0.3.1, 0.4.x, etc.
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2018, 06:01:29 PM »
It is a thing that we would like to play with in the future, after 0.5. There's a handful of stuff like that we'd like to do at some point.

nik282000

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Re: Software Roadmap - 0.3.1, 0.4.x, etc.
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2018, 08:35:34 PM »
You guys are awesome for your continuing development work and I am super excited to hear that you picked Debian as your next os (completely unbiased Debian user here). I continue to flog the Chronos every chance I get to potential buyers.

NiNeff

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Re: Software Roadmap - 0.3.1, 0.4.x, etc.
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2018, 09:58:07 AM »
Awesome!
Now whe have even more to look forward too. It's also very nice to have a rough idea what you guys are working on istead of having to pry every little bit of info out of you ;)
If I hadn't already, I would go and throw some piles of money at you...  ;)

John DeLonghi

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Re: Software Roadmap - 0.3.1, 0.4.x, etc.
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2018, 10:46:15 AM »
Thanks for the road map, very useful. When it comes to the "basic remote control", will that be via Ethernet and an app you will provide?

Will the initial implementation of that effectively allow us to use the Chronos 'tethered', so we can effectively start, stop, save, play clips and see the camera's live output remotely on a laptop?

JamesB

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Re: Software Roadmap - 0.3.1, 0.4.x, etc.
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2018, 01:37:57 PM »
That is an excellent run-down of upcoming releases.  The De-mosaic improvement in H.264 and HDMI out are things that will make the camera workflow improve greatly.   

One feature I would love to see implemented is having shutter speed (EXPOSURE) in 1/60 1/100 1/500 1/1000 1/XXX  instead of it being in Micro Seconds (us) as an option.  For camera operators, it would be a big deal to be able to match shutter speeds with other cameras without doing time-consuming conversions.    :-X 

DDR

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Re: Software Roadmap - 0.3.1, 0.4.x, etc.
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2018, 03:12:23 PM »
When it comes to the "basic remote control", will that be via Ethernet and an app you will provide?

Will the initial implementation of that effectively allow us to use the Chronos 'tethered', so we can effectively start, stop, save, play clips and see the camera's live output remotely on a laptop?

Yes. The initial version of the basic remote control will be via Ethernet. Visiting the camera's network address from a laptop or cellphone will bring up a basic web-based UI. It will support start/stop/save and live video display. It should support playback of saved files as well. You may make your own HTTP API calls as well if you want to write scripts to control the camera.

If we can find a wireless USB dongle for sale that is supported by Debian 7, then wireless remote control will work as well. We haven't found a compatible dongle yet, the ones which do work are no longer for sale. However, something may yet turn up.



One feature I would love to see implemented is having shutter speed (EXPOSURE) in 1/60 1/100 1/500 1/1000 1/XXX instead of it being in Micro Seconds (us) as an option.

… That is an excellent suggestion. I've added it to the mockup for the new UI, so it should make it into 0.4.0.

DDR

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Re: Software Roadmap - 0.3.1, 0.4.x, etc.
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2018, 03:57:25 PM »
Small update - after about a month of work, we've got all our core requirements compiling for our hardware architecture. This vastly increases certainty that my last three months of work will actually... work. :D

Next step is to see if this can be copied to the camera and run. Will it pick up and use the Framebuffer?

NiNeff

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Re: Software Roadmap - 0.3.1, 0.4.x, etc.
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2018, 11:21:38 AM »
If we can find a wireless USB dongle for sale that is supported by Debian 7, then wireless remote control will work as well. We haven't found a compatible dongle yet, the ones which do work are no longer for sale. However, something may yet turn up.
You might look into the "Netgear N150 Wireless Adapter (WNA1100)" This one is reccomendend for the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Brick. It should run on any more or less modern Distro.
I have this dongle and am willing to test with debian 7 on a laptop for you.

DDR

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Re: Software Roadmap - 0.3.1, 0.4.x, etc.
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2018, 11:48:08 PM »
ooo, if you could do that, that would be great. It would be great to have one known option, regardless of what happens. :)

NiNeff

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Re: Software Roadmap - 0.3.1, 0.4.x, etc.
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2018, 05:33:37 AM »
ok I now did the following:
Nuked my beloved ARCH installation and got Debian 7.11 working, which was surprisingly difficult.
While installing I was browsing around and found some interesting sites:
here compatible adapters are still for sale:
https://www.thinkpenguin.com/catalog/wireless-networking-gnulinux
and here you'll find a link to a huge number of WLAN adapters and their compatibility
http://linux-wless.passys.nl/query_alles.php

I then managed to get the USB dongle to work, which required the "Non-free" Debian repos to be enabled and the installation of the "firmware-realtek" package. This had me confused for a while because the aforementioned website lists the chipset as Atheros and I was fooling around with the "firmware-atheros" package for way too long.

Also my laptop has an interal WiFi adapter, which I disabled using a hardware switch so I'm pretty sure I'm using the USB dongle instead.

TL,DR: The Netgear one works with some non-free packages.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2018, 05:35:08 AM by NiNeff »

DDR

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Re: Software Roadmap - 0.3.1, 0.4.x, etc.
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2018, 04:32:46 PM »
This looks like a gold mine! We'll have to see what's available in quantity, but it all looks very promising. :D

Thank you, NiNeff!

DDR

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Re: Software Roadmap - 0.3.1, 0.4.x, etc.
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2018, 12:19:44 PM »
Oh -- if anyone's curious about the gritty details, the UI is open-source. There's a commit log up at https://github.com/krontech/chronos-gui-2/commits/master, for example. :)

JamesB

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Re: Software Roadmap - 0.3.1, 0.4.x, etc.
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2018, 05:09:01 PM »
Quote

… That is an excellent suggestion. I've added it to the mockup for the new UI, so it should make it into 0.4.0.


Thank you DDR, that is a big deal in my case!