Beginning Development


logen

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Oct 12, 2012
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52
Hi,

I'm a Linux enthusiast, hobbyist developer, and Pyra owner.

I would like to help work on the various problems that the Pyra has.

However, most of my programming experience is exploring minor curiosities, not so much in working towards some grand project. So really, nothing directly related to the majority of problems we have with the Pyra.

I have no idea where to start studying in order to gain the skills needed to help with these lower level problems.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get to the point where I can be skilled enough to make meaningful contributions?

How did you all find the skills to be able to contribute the work as you do now?

tl;dr

I want to help but I have no idea how to learn to do so.
 

levi

Still fresh, damnit!
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Oct 6, 2008
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Well luckily with most of the Pyra's current problems there's hardly any design work to do and there's no customer requirements to get, if anything like that needs deciding, mostly just do what you think best and we'll try to adapt. Much of the stuff is a matter of hitting it with a text editor until it works.
 
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TeDaDeS

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... However, most of my programming experience is exploring minor curiosities, not so much in working towards some grand project. So really, nothing directly related to the majority of problems we have with the Pyra.

I have no idea where to start studying in order to gain the skills needed to help with these lower level problems. ...
You make the assumption that working on the really low-level stuff has most value for the Pyra owners. Those issues are usually really specific, and if I could solve them I would have tried already (so can't give hints there).
What I know from the Pandora is that people added stuff to make their life easier, like a package manager or some scripts to setup certain features easily. These are features that weren't low-level hardware issues but it was still made by the community.
Contributing to the Pyra can be done by doing what you already are able to do.
If you really want to dive into low-level issues you probably need to be able to code in C, learn how to cross compile stuff (on pc for the Pyra), understand datasheets (from components), be handy at looking into existing github repositories for solutions, and wait for anyone to respond with an even more detailed answer :p
Example for Pandora: https://pyra-handheld.com/boards/pages/pndgit/ (You can see the changes made for the Open-Pandora kernel here)
You can find the Pyra kernel source here: https://dev.pyra-handheld.com/kernel/pyra-uboot
 
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FBnil

geekologie is no more :(
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For many dev's that have modified their OS to accommodate for tools, a beta tester with a stock Pyra and an extra set of eyes is heavensend. I'm talking broad here. From people that compiled a game, and want some feedback on the user experience (simple things, like for example: The jump button is not the one expected) to people that are adding new programs to make things work. For those devs It also helps them and the product by asking how to do what they done and this can become documentation, and maybe even a program.
On the openPandora there are many cool bash scripts that have a user interface where you could click on options and ask for priviledges and does the lowlevel stuff (like writing a configuration file).

Just stick to reading the forums more often, and you'll find posts of dev's trying things, posting a beta DPB. Support them by dowloading/ redoing-their-steps it and give some constructive feedback.
There is also a mountain of documentation to review, and clean up. That is, paving the way for the future Pyra owners, for their journey to become smoother.


From:

You can see that the manual is very... succinct...
I mean, it does not mention the OS is a ARM Linux based on Debian. No mention about "apt" to update packages. (The openPandora had a page with told how to use opkg, and to be careful because you could get a too new version of certain packages, which breaks stuff - IIRC, this was not the case anymore with the Pyra, apt-get upgrade should return a working OS).
No where is a reference to how-do-I-use Balena Etcher (maybe find a good site explaining things, or a youtube video for the more timid) (or the fact that it works for all 3 big OS's).
Fleshing out expected sub-wiki-pages. For the Pandora we had a list with "This USB thing worked and dmesg said..."
For the Pyra I expect a place with keyboard mappings for FR, SP, EU, DE (which is, like, the default). And this being Linux, has lots of webpages where things are explained do these work from Linux to Pyra? Or do we need a converter script?
I intent to look into Spanish and Dutch keyboards once I get one. In particular, I'm gonna make one with ñ and §

However, if you like to do your own thing, why not create something that uses Python? Those are easy (no complex toolchains) to test and build. (may I suggest: ZIM wiki)
 
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