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/  Forum Index
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      /  [Poll] AmiDevBox Developer Programme
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Poll : Do you think AmiDevBox is a good idea?
Yes, and I will support it financially.
Yes, but I am unable to support it financially.
Yes, and I am interested in developing.
Its got potential
No. I do not think this is a good idea.
 
PosterThread
Bobsonsirjonny 
[Poll] AmiDevBox Developer Programme
Posted on 19-Nov-2004 21:20:40
#1 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 28-Jul-2003
Posts: 2880
From: Unknown

AmiDevBox


Problem:

There are many talented coders out there, many of whom would like to write software for OS4 but are unable to afford the necessary hardware. As a result, OS4 is loosing these talented coders, and loosing possible software development which would help further the platform.


Solution

The plan is to provide 5 uA1i base units for development purposes, and have them circulated around the 5 continents to developers who are unable to afford the necessary hardware. The dev boxes will be circulated accordingly:

1 to North America
1 to Europe
1 to Asia
1 to Australia
1 to Africa

Each base unit will comprise of a uA1i motherboard, a hard disk and CD re-writer drive. We will purchase the machines from Amiga Dealers within each continent ? that will greatly reduce shipping, and also in the event of any warranty issues they can be dealt with directly with the dealer.

Developers will need to contact us with information regarding their project, and how long they will need to loan the dev box for. A poll will go up allowing amigans to vote for who they wish receives the dev box first. This programme is open to all who are developers, who wish to develop, who have a project and are unable to afford the necessary hardware. There are no restrictions on the software you choose to develop ? that is to say, you can develop a commercial app and do with it as you wish. All software written will remain the property of its author ? all we ask is that you credit the AmiDevBox programme, and provide status updates on how development is going to the AmiDevBox website.

Developers will be responsible for the cost of delivering the box to them. They will also be responsible for the box while it is in there care (that is to say, they will remain responsible until it is physically in the hands of the next developer) and will have to repair it should they break it. At the end of their loan period they must surrender the box to the next person on the list. The loan period must be pre-agreed before development takes place. Should the developer require more time, they will have to sign up to the list again and wait for the box to come back to them.


Finance

This is obviously going to cost. A full uA1c base unit (case, board, HD, CD Rewriter) will cost in the region of 700 ( ?999, or $1,300us ). In order to achieve our goal we will need donations, as soon as enough donations have been collected a machine will be bought. I have crudely rolled a dice to decide which order the continents get their machines.

1. Australia
2. Europe
3. North America
4. Africa
5. Asia

So the first machine will go to Australia. Eventually development will cease, as people will be able to afford their own machines. When this happens the Dev Box?s will be auctioned off on Ebay, and all the money donated to a World Wide Charity Organisation, like the Red Cross or Oxfam.

Each continent will require a co-ordinator ? a point of call should there be any major problems. This programme is ultimately based on trust : When your loan period is up you must already have an arrangement in place with the other party to have the box shipped to them (at their expense). You must not hold onto the box for longer than your loan period.

So what do you think? It?s a rough idea ? and does need a lot more work to tighten it up. I place it here for people to discuss, add too, point out the pros and cons, to say if they think it?s the best idea in the world, or to shoot it down in flames


Rob.



(edit - if you vote to say its got potential, please could you elaborate with a comment - thanks )

Last edited by Bobsonsirjonny on 19-Nov-2004 at 09:26 PM.

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BigBentheAussie 
Re: [Poll] AmiDevBox Developer Programme
Posted on 19-Nov-2004 21:43:23
#2 ]
Super Member
Joined: 28-Oct-2003
Posts: 1690
From: Melbourne, Australia

@Bobsonsirjonny

I see your suggestion as too much money for too little return.

A while ago I proposed a remote desktop method, where A1 owners could volunteer to leave their machines on for use by an assigned programmer in other timezones to themselves. Developers could VNC into the Amiga while the owner is asleep. It would be a timesharing operation. Alternatively A1s could bought to run 24/7 on a timesharing scheme.

I also proposed a while ago, like many others, that there be some sort of bounty system for OS4 software development, where donees could assign money to a project. I guess distributing A1 boxes could be included in that system. Wasn't OSDepot or AmigaShare supposed to be figuring out such a scheme?

Another thing I would like to point out is that I would think it is not technically impossible to build a lot of Amiga software on classic hardware, and then use the above method for a port. In that case UAE could get you so far and then you could access A1s via VNC for a port. Of course at that point, with all the invested time, the developer might be so inclinded to purchase an A1 himself.

Another thing to consider, is that AmigaDE may soon be re-released as a standard component of OS4, and that would negate the need for development to occur on an A1.

If you were to go with the method you stipulated, I would leave sending the A1 to the last possible stage of software development for the quickest turnover of machines.

Ok. Scampering back to my happy place now.

_________________
Leo Nigro, CTO Commodore USA, LLC
Opinions expressed are my own and not those of C= USA.
Commodore/AMIGA "Beautiful, High-Performance, Home Computers for Creativity and Entertainment."

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Bobsonsirjonny 
Re: [Poll] AmiDevBox Developer Programme
Posted on 19-Nov-2004 21:54:07
#3 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 28-Jul-2003
Posts: 2880
From: Unknown

@BigBentheAussie



Quote:

BigBentheAussie wrote:
@Bobsonsirjonny

I see your suggestion as too much money for too little return....

If you were to go with the method you stipulated, I would leave sending the A1 to the last possible stage of software development for the quickest turnover of machines.

Ok. Scampering back to my happy place now.


Fair point. How possible is it for initial dev to be done on 68K or Amithlon boxes?

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The_Editor 
Re: [Poll] AmiDevBox Developer Programme
Posted on 19-Nov-2004 21:56:04
#4 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 7-Mar-2003
Posts: 7629
From: 192.168.0.02 ..Pederburgh .. Iceni

@Bobsonsirjonny

Sounds a good Idea to me, dude.

I was considering buying a board for a certain Antipodean developer who is toying with the idea of creating a True Brilliance clone. This is a programme I would dearly LOVE to be either ported or cloned.


Count me in, bobson.

Ps In case your unaware, Bobson. The Profits from BB1 actually went to sponsor a developer so I guess we can say "WE are doing our bit"

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Bobsonsirjonny 
Re: [Poll] AmiDevBox Developer Programme
Posted on 19-Nov-2004 21:58:51
#5 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 28-Jul-2003
Posts: 2880
From: Unknown

@The_Editor

Aye - I was aware BB1 went to sponsor a developer, but from what I undertand Sponsor a developer bought hardware and gave it to a developer, but didnt loan it out.

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nzv58l 
Re: [Poll] AmiDevBox Developer Programme
Posted on 19-Nov-2004 22:01:33
#6 ]
Super Member
Joined: 7-Oct-2003
Posts: 1640
From: Michigan

@BigBentheAussie

I like your VCN idea much better.

I just think that mailing these machines arround is going to cause them to break, get lost or who is going to make sure that the Amigas are returned when a hopefully sincere Amiga coder is done with it.

Also it does not make these Amigas available to everyone, no matter where they live.

If there were a way to use VPN on my machine, I would stick another hard drive in it with a power kill switch to go from one drive to the other. I would not mind leaving it on either for the night so others could use it. I think if someone dials into an actual A1 it would be a cheaper and more flexible route.

It would also serve to show off the Amiga to anyone who really wanted to see how it worked. Although they would probably not get as much enjoyment out of the experience they could see if it was something they wanted to buy. I would just need to figure out how to keep the machine clean for each user so that no other user would mess it up for others.

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Bobsonsirjonny 
Re: [Poll] AmiDevBox Developer Programme
Posted on 19-Nov-2004 22:04:39
#7 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 28-Jul-2003
Posts: 2880
From: Unknown

@nzv58l


This could work, due to time zones etc - one half of the world sleeps while the other is awake.

Someone will need to code a secure VNC app for this to happen, and a way of restricting acces to only a certain area of a drive?

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The_Editor 
Re: [Poll] AmiDevBox Developer Programme
Posted on 19-Nov-2004 22:09:04
#8 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 7-Mar-2003
Posts: 7629
From: 192.168.0.02 ..Pederburgh .. Iceni

@Bobsonsirjonny

Either way ... The machines still have to be bought and located somewhere with a fast netlink.

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I dont suffer from Insanity - I enjoy it

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The_Editor 
Re: [Poll] AmiDevBox Developer Programme
Posted on 19-Nov-2004 22:09:59
#9 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 7-Mar-2003
Posts: 7629
From: 192.168.0.02 ..Pederburgh .. Iceni

@The_Editor

Doh!

Read Paul ... READ. VNC

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I dont suffer from Insanity - I enjoy it

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aldur 
Re: [Poll] AmiDevBox Developer Programme
Posted on 19-Nov-2004 22:18:41
#10 ]
Super Member
Joined: 16-Oct-2003
Posts: 1273
From: Birmingham, UK

@BigBentheAussie

When I get my uA1 I will be making it available to other developers to compile on I currently have been in communication withthe developer of Feelin (68k code) and will compile the source for him into PPC code,

most code could be written to be crossplatform and simply recompiled for os4.0 either on a friendly machine.

Actually VNC is too slow (unless you have broadband) if the project is set up correctly we can use the power of Php and Apache I intend to write a web front end that will allow a developer to access the source files and edit them via a browser window then to run a make file and have the results emailed to the developer, lock the machine down to one developer at a time.

When I get the web front end done I will supply it on OS4Depot for others to do the same

ie devloper emails me source I set up account and test makefile (which emails the developer) the code I will use php to catch the output buffer of the application then simply email it, the developer can request a download all files option (lha all files and email to developer)


for example edit source/test.c would load a form with a textarea filed with the contents of the file in it submit of form simply writes the content to the file (very simple) this way many developers could share out thier machines more securly would save you buying 5 machines

think of it this way

you run the make file and get emailed a list of bugs you fix them on your local code lets say ten files you login to the system select the files that you want to edit ( may be it loads them all in one screen youthen copy paste into files then hit submit which saves your work Actually multiple devlopers could work of one machine as it would recompile every 1 hour or more infrequently (and only when there is a change to the code) (marked by requesting a recompile)

it will attempt to recompile every hour if there is any out standing and will only recompile one project at a time. ( I will have a 56k modem at home) for a while, but others will have better connections.


hows that for an idea
my only problem is that the code needs tested, and I think that groups of beta testers should be organised for testing purposes at least one memebr of each betatest group should be in the OS4 betatester group ( to test against the latest code)

Last edited by aldur on 19-Nov-2004 at 10:24 PM.

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BigBentheAussie 
Re: [Poll] AmiDevBox Developer Programme
Posted on 19-Nov-2004 22:23:33
#11 ]
Super Member
Joined: 28-Oct-2003
Posts: 1690
From: Melbourne, Australia

@Bobsonsirjonny

Quote:
Someone will need to code a secure VNC app for this to happen, and a way of restricting acces to only a certain area of a drive?


Well, I'm sure at least that VNC exists in 68k form. While a port would be great is it needed?

And as for restricting access to your drive, you could create a couple of bootable partitions for developers to use and reboot before you go to bed.

As for VNC, and its security issues, if you have a specific developer partition you could backup their code, either to a CD or another partitiion, on a timely basis for them in case someone breaks in. But, if you keep the connection details secret there is no reason to assume anyone is likely to break into your machine.

Ok. Scampering back to my happy place now.

_________________
Leo Nigro, CTO Commodore USA, LLC
Opinions expressed are my own and not those of C= USA.
Commodore/AMIGA "Beautiful, High-Performance, Home Computers for Creativity and Entertainment."

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aldur 
Re: [Poll] AmiDevBox Developer Programme
Posted on 19-Nov-2004 22:34:04
#12 ]
Super Member
Joined: 16-Oct-2003
Posts: 1273
From: Birmingham, UK

@BigBentheAussie

yes telephone calls are great for that type of thing

you could connect over SSL you don't need to buy a ssl cert it will throw an error saying not valid(which means not verified) but it is still secure.

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BigBentheAussie 
Re: [Poll] AmiDevBox Developer Programme
Posted on 19-Nov-2004 22:42:05
#13 ]
Super Member
Joined: 28-Oct-2003
Posts: 1690
From: Melbourne, Australia

@aldur

Quote:
Actually VNC is too slow (unless you have broadband)

Practically everyone I know in the US has broadband, so there is a start.

I haven't used VNC over modem, but I have used MS Netmeeting and it definetely was not too slow. I was easily able to program my machine in Australia from the US entirely over modem with the internet in between. You're only proposing using text output, so VNC is going to be good enough to see text. It'd probably only bog down if you're moving windows around. Besides, what do you want for nothing?

Hmmm....Your method with the web interface, would be useful if you could make it operate like the CLI, or even talk directly to the CLI. You would only need to pipe shell commands to a file and then display the text file over the web...right?
Of course, the developers better promise not format the drive.

Still, why not let the devs upload their own files, via the web, using the HTML File field? Then they can issue the commands to extract their files and compile them on their own.

BTW, here is a thread I started a while back. Not sure my idea was all that sound, but it might give you ideas.

Lowering OS4 development startup costs(A1 Remote)

Ok. Scampering back to my happy place now.

_________________
Leo Nigro, CTO Commodore USA, LLC
Opinions expressed are my own and not those of C= USA.
Commodore/AMIGA "Beautiful, High-Performance, Home Computers for Creativity and Entertainment."

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aldur 
Re: [Poll] AmiDevBox Developer Programme
Posted on 19-Nov-2004 22:51:21
#14 ]
Super Member
Joined: 16-Oct-2003
Posts: 1273
From: Birmingham, UK

@BigBentheAussie

we got broadband into the office about a month and a half ago and into my partners house (he works from home more than i do) I have a 1 meg line and he has a 1/5 meg line I had to install software for him over vnc (edit and fix code) up grade from php4 to php5 in one night

fecking nightmare i can tell you really slow to develop this way

a web interface is much faster, allows you to edit the files quicker, your not giving access to the complete shell but giving project functions maybe upload and extract latest code though emailing me is better for me as I will take it home on cd and set it up.

if we timed the compiles we could turn around and say based on the previous compile this should take 30 minutes, go have a cup of tea/coffee/... or this will take 4 hours see you then
or this will take 2 minutes please wait and I will display the compile results in your browser.

over five minutes you get an email under you can wait.


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BigBentheAussie 
Re: [Poll] AmiDevBox Developer Programme
Posted on 19-Nov-2004 22:54:37
#15 ]
Super Member
Joined: 28-Oct-2003
Posts: 1690
From: Melbourne, Australia

@BigBentheAussie

EEEK!!!!

MagicSN wrote
Quote:
It is like this: You can create an OS 4 Executable on a PC, but you cannot run it there.


Ummm... So, for compiling over OS4 stuff, VNC is not an issue because you could target OS4 on your PC. VNC would be useful only for testing...... Errrr..... Now what?

Devs don't need an A1 for compiling, but for testing. It would be nice to have an A1 for development, but maybe you can get away with classic Amigas for a lot of stuff. I really dunno how much of API has changed in OS4.

So the dev steps would be.
1. Develop on classic Amigas(UAE) as far as you can go....
2. Use cross compiler from Windows to port to PPC.
3. Test program on A1 using VNC.

You know what else might also aid in OS4 development, is releasing the SDK and documentation over the internet. Do you need to purchase OS4 to get the SDK? Can you even purchase OS4 separately from an A1? Do you need to join a dev list or something?

Ok. Scampering back to my happy place now.

Last edited by BigBentheAussie on 19-Nov-2004 at 11:10 PM.

_________________
Leo Nigro, CTO Commodore USA, LLC
Opinions expressed are my own and not those of C= USA.
Commodore/AMIGA "Beautiful, High-Performance, Home Computers for Creativity and Entertainment."

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BigBentheAussie 
Re: [Poll] AmiDevBox Developer Programme
Posted on 19-Nov-2004 23:14:54
#16 ]
Super Member
Joined: 28-Oct-2003
Posts: 1690
From: Melbourne, Australia

@aldur

Quote:
a web interface is much faster, allows you to edit the files quicker


I really hope you're not suggesting you edit the files through a textarea in your browser. Errr.... Maybe that's not so bad I guess, but isn't there a limit on the text size?

_________________
Leo Nigro, CTO Commodore USA, LLC
Opinions expressed are my own and not those of C= USA.
Commodore/AMIGA "Beautiful, High-Performance, Home Computers for Creativity and Entertainment."

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Bobsonsirjonny 
Re: [Poll] AmiDevBox Developer Programme
Posted on 19-Nov-2004 23:20:23
#17 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 28-Jul-2003
Posts: 2880
From: Unknown

@BigBentheAussie

OS4 is currently only available in pre-release format to those who have purchased an Amiga One piece of hardware (A1, uA1 etc).

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BigBentheAussie 
Re: [Poll] AmiDevBox Developer Programme
Posted on 19-Nov-2004 23:28:00
#18 ]
Super Member
Joined: 28-Oct-2003
Posts: 1690
From: Melbourne, Australia

@aldur

Quote:
we can use the power of Php and Apache


Ummm... Do you intend to run the webserver on your A1? Is Apache even ported?

Or do you intend to keep the website separate and you manually download and compile the code and upload the results?

You could write a program that runs on your A1 that polls your website for their latest additions, and commands, and uploading the output automatically, making the process more interactive with the developer. I think the developer should be able to issue CLI commands. Also you could potentially have several devs compiling code at the same time.

If you are concerned about their CLI commands remove the really dangerous commands from OS4. ie format. Get to know the devs and keep a log of their commands. Ban them if they do naughty things.

Having a partition you could boot up for devs would ensure that the whole process is not too dangerous for your own everyday activity.

Ok. Scampering back to my happy place now.

Last edited by BigBentheAussie on 19-Nov-2004 at 11:33 PM.

_________________
Leo Nigro, CTO Commodore USA, LLC
Opinions expressed are my own and not those of C= USA.
Commodore/AMIGA "Beautiful, High-Performance, Home Computers for Creativity and Entertainment."

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BigBentheAussie 
Re: [Poll] AmiDevBox Developer Programme
Posted on 19-Nov-2004 23:32:40
#19 ]
Super Member
Joined: 28-Oct-2003
Posts: 1690
From: Melbourne, Australia

@Bobsonsirjonny

Quote:
OS4 is currently only available in pre-release format to those who have purchased an Amiga One piece of hardware (A1, uA1 etc).


So unless you purchase and A1 with OS4 included you can't program for OS4 because you wont know how to....
Figures!!!!

Can the SDK be distributed freely?
So........I guess its illegal to even gain access to the docs over the internet too?

Doah!!!

Ok. Scampering back to my happy place now.

_________________
Leo Nigro, CTO Commodore USA, LLC
Opinions expressed are my own and not those of C= USA.
Commodore/AMIGA "Beautiful, High-Performance, Home Computers for Creativity and Entertainment."

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Anonymous 
Re: [Poll] AmiDevBox Developer Programme
Posted on 20-Nov-2004 0:08:35
# ]

0
0

@Bobsonsirjonny

What might be a cheaper lower risk idea ( if nothing else a way of testing the waters ) would be to set up tester/developer peers.

The developer without an A1 is partnered with a tester who has a box, the tester can either lend them the box or allow them access to build at an agreed time ( or run the commands to build themselves ). The tester provides the SDK autodocs on cd to the developer and between them they get a product to release.

All that is needed then is a database to keep track of where potential testers are, their geographical location, and one for the developer and pair them up.

Use something like a GuestMap

http://www.bravenet.com/webtools/guestmap/index.php

I agree with the above, moving around XEs and uA1s to achieve this is both dangerous and expensive and open to theft and abuse ( yes - it does happen ).

Dave.

 
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