Angstrom Abandoned for BBB? Rumor + a Rant

A little birdy told me that Angstrom has been abandoned for the BBB ??

If this is the case, and seems to be the case as there hasnt been an update for the Angstrom image for the BBB for quite some time, and there are still a number of issues with LCD CAPES which have not yet been resolved…

What is the ‘new’ standard distribution for the BBB going to be now?

Us LCD CAPE users are having a hard time getting touch working reliably for a wide range of LCD Capes on the market. I know most of us don’t know enough to fix problems ourselves or know what the problem is actually caused by, and we don’t know if anyone is working on these issues or if they are being ignored or pass over, or if ‘the people’ who do know what is going on just don’t have time to look at them etc?

Starting to really dislike this whole ‘open’ community based thing especially when there are issues and no one wants to own them. These issues have been reported for many months, and we are no further ahead.

Does anyone know of anyone who is working on the LCD CAPE touch issue which is a problem on Angstrom (and maybe others which use the same driver/source?)

Terry

A little birdy told me that Angstrom has been abandoned for the BBB ??

If this is the case, and seems to be the case as there hasnt been an update for the Angstrom image for the BBB for quite some time, and there are still a number of issues with LCD CAPES which have not yet been resolved…

What is the ‘new’ standard distribution for the BBB going to be now?

Us LCD CAPE users are having a hard time getting touch working reliably for a wide range of LCD Capes on the market. I know most of us don’t know enough to fix problems ourselves or know what the problem is actually caused by, and we don’t know if anyone is working on these issues or if they are being ignored or pass over, or if ‘the people’ who do know what is going on just don’t have time to look at them etc?

Starting to really dislike this whole ‘open’ community based thing especially when there are issues and no one wants to own them. These issues have been reported for many months, and we are no further ahead.

Hi Terry,
I think you are mistaken in treating this community as some sort of commercial product support. Everyone here is a volunteer and give freely of their own time to support users like yourself. I’m not sure that you will get much help by demanding that works gets done. Also, the ARM based Linux community went through dramatic changes (devicetree, display subsystem, etc) since the V3.2 kernel and we are expecting things to settle down after V3.12. There are users working on the issues your mentioned and I expect that you will see many of these issues resolved in the next several weeks. I just think you stepped into this at the wrong time. BTW, you are always welcome to fix anything that is broken since everyone has access to the same tools and source code; but you won’t be able to do that with commercial software.
Regards,
John

Not only what John says, but if you have problems with a specific piece of hardware made by a specific person or entity. You really need to be demanding satisfaction from them. Not the open source community.

That is, assuming you paid money for it. If you just copied someones open source schematics . . . well then, you’re own your own aren’t you ?

Den tisdagen den 24:e december 2013 kl. 00:12:40 UTC+1 skrev
Hermans:ö

Hi
Thanks for the reply.
Yes I have tried contacting the manufacturers however one is a hardware only provider (4D) for the Capes (they fully support their other stuff), and the other one (CircuitCo) which 4D Cares are based on according to their datasheet, doesn’t seem to support software and points us here, or simply doesn’t reply to emails. I’m not the first person to mention this about CircuitCo by the way. At least 4D do reply and tried to help, but they cant support the software.

Sorry if I sounded demanding, just frustrated more than anything.

Fully understand the community is made up of people who do this for no money etc, however who is actually responsible for open source software, I dont know. No one person I assume, and therefore no place for me to find answers? This is the only place I know to raise it.

In terms of fixing stuff myself. I wouldnt know where to start. I purchased the hardware thinking/hoping that the standard software provided would work correctly. In most cases it is fine, but when dealing with a touch screen that doesnt touch due to software, its kinda frustrating. That said it works fine on Android so it proves the hardware is OK, so CircuitCo and 4D get off the hook in that respect as the hardware is fine, its just the software seems to need some improvements.

I guess all I wanted to hear was what you said, that things are being looked at by someone, and their should be fixes coming out soon. Question though, where does the average Joe Bloggs who came in to the BBB from nothing, has no idea about linux and how everything works, find out what is being worked on so a silly Joe Bloggs like me doesnt make a rant post to try and figure out where they stand…?

So is Angstrom Dead, or is that rumor false?
This new 3.12 you mention, I assume that is the kernel. Is a new Angstrom being built based on that?
I believe Debian, Ubuntu and Angstrom, no doubt more, have the same touch issues, which is I gather based on the kernel having a problem (3.8?).

I’m a linux noob if you haven’t guessed.

Thanks
Terry

Every developer starts out as noob. Sometimes, all it takes is some
software itch you personally want done...

Regards,

Sounds like the perfect “excuse” to start learning.

I think most people make the mistake of thinking the BB and BBB are commercial products with commercial-quality software. They also believe that the capes are just plug-and-play. This board is not for novices. If you are interested in learning electronics, both hardware and software, this is not the board to learn on.

Novices need a firm grasp of how electronics work, especially processors, before moving to this platform. An arduino is a good start, or some variation of an STM32.

Linux is another beast altogether, and experience is key. Download the kernel and dig through it. Experiment with it. Get books about driver development. This is not a subject you will pick up in a few days. The Linux kernel is very complex, and aside from the code, there are concepts you must understand. For me, I didn't understand Linux and how it ran on ARM until I dug into bare metal programming. Once I could make things work without an OS, I moved to Linux and had a far better understanding of what it was doing with my hardware. If you haven't played with starterware yet, check it out. TI gives us all the tools we need to develop code without an OS for this platform.

Good luck!

Terry, I will comment on this topic risking to get some angry feedback from other people posting here. My theory is the following: Koen Kooi was the one who did all Angstrom development and answered all related questions in groups, forums and IRC in the past (just look around). According to his public Google profile he is not working for CircuitCo anymore but for Linaro. Since then, nobody really cares about Angstrom. Angstrom server is down for a long time, no updates, etc. A long time ago, I had also posted some issues + bug fixes to meta-beagleboard but there was no reaction. Most people on #beagle IRC have no idea about Angstrom or Openembedded, so no community support there too. Additionally, Angstrom is a “strange” Linux distro and only a few people know about its details. Afaik it was Koen Kooi who chose it for the BBB for some reason. Another big problem that BBB development faces is the need to switch to device tree. Additionally, I personally don’t understand why so much has been invested in some stupid fancy on-board development tools etc. instead of getting the basic things done properly. Maybe this was required by some marketing manager to be able to fool new developers that the BBB is very user friendly and to buy the board…

Regarding the BBB kernel, afaik all the work is done by RobertCNelson who is also working on Ubuntu/Debian development.

So what could be our options for the future of the BBB:

  1. We can hope that Ubuntu/Debian for BBB get better and better and finally replace Angstrom as the official distro.
  2. Another possibility is that TI relases a new version of their EZSDK with support for a new kernel, device tree, latest Qt and 3D. But according to the work done so far, people don’t expect much from TI.
  3. My hope is that the very active developers at Buildroot soon have good support for the BBB, so we can get access to new software packages and a very good embedded build system and we could finally forget Angstrom.

No matter what people tell you, BBB is very very very far from the Raspberry Pi’s software quality and its huge community. CircuitCo and TI advertise the BBB wherever they can but their promises are far from reality. Why does CircuitCo still advertise their LCDs as working with latest Angstrom after all the discussions I had with them here in the groups?

Many people here tell you that everybody should learn Linux at bare metal level and should be able to write his own kernel drivers to get simple things done. I don’t agree, I think that manufacturers like TI and CircuitCo should offer you some working drivers and a stable basis to get started with. We are buying their chips! Currently they don’t support us. I have even read postings from expert developers who don’t get why the BBB kernel is organized in the way it is, so things are very complex. If you are a new developer you are just not able to learn everything, even if you don’t do anything else in your job. IMHO this means: Only wealthy big companies can afford to hire dozens of developers to develop one product they are going to sell in masses. And if this is the only possibility, this is a very very bad thing for Embedded Linux. The BBB and R Pi are wonderful boards for single developers or small companies who have good ideas but don’t have the money and time to do everything from scratch. Or like me, they develop products which are needed by e.g. universities but are not expected to ship in large quantities. Unfortunately, the obstacles we currently see with the BBB and most other embedded boards simply prevent such good product ideas to become real products. Small developers and hobbyists are just wasting their time believing the marketing promises of big manufacturers.

The BBB has better HW than the R Pi but in the meantime I ask myself - what is it good for if the board does not have working software and if nobody can help you. So I am seriously considering to switch to the RPi.

Regards,
Anguel

I really miss beagleboard.org days of old when users actually took
some time to work on the issue they were having and shared a patch/fix
with the community.

Regards,

git clone git checkout -b Yocto1.5 origin/angstrom-v2013.12-yocto1.5 git log commit 0b3a4809fafebc742e7a2976ee7570a652547b71 Author: Koen Kooi Date: Mon Dec 16 20:53:41 2013 +0100 layerman: switch OE-core to angstrom branch Signed-off-by: Koen Kooi commit 55e9feb35c3a43474178e7b1be18c17e3128a611 Author: Koen Kooi Date: Sat Dec 7 09:11:03 2013 +0100 layerman: switch meta-oe to angstrom staging branch Signed-off-by: Koen Kooi commit 466ad02bec29b1499883f5d8b4540b0949cdd9d6 Author: Koen Kooi Date: Fri Dec 6 18:57:45 2013 +0100 Does not sound that dead to me… You want to post to the openembedded mailing lists. When I build Angstrom for the Beaglebone, it is using device trees. TI Supports their kernel at which contains linux-3.12 Angstrom is based on openembedded-core and meta-openembedded, but is not using the standard repos. You need to check out the Yocto-1.5 branch to get access to the latest stuff though. If you clone the master, you do not see much development,since this is based on Yocto-1.3 which sees little development. Buildroot is not Yocto compliant, which means that they will not follow mainstream development funded by large companies. I agree 100%. I do not understand why you refer it as the BBB kernel. Angstrom meta-beagleboard allows you to compile the linux kernel with some extra patches for the am335x chips, using a selected kernel configuration. This is exactly what they are doing in the Buildroot project, exept that they do not keep track of the beaglebone so the number of available patches are minimal. Most embedded chip companies are focused on aligning themselves with the Yocto project. Yocto is barebone, and Angstom allows for much more advanced functionality. There are plenty of small companies which use Embedded Linux. There are plenty of people that can help you, but if you want to get help for free, then that is a different deal. BTW, How are you going to add an LCD to the RPi, since you only have the HDMI, and no LCD connector? You can’t build your own board. If you are not happy with the Beaglebone, you can find other AM335x boards where the LCD support may be working.

“BTW, How are you going to add an LCD to the RPi, since you only have the HDMI, and no LCD connector?”

SPI ? I2C ? UART ? Pretty sure even the rPI has two of the three listed . … even if it does only have 16 or so GPIO’s exposed.

So like all the whining about how circuitco and x-y-z needs to get busy doing drivers for x-y-z feature. I dont know where you guys have been for the last 6-7 months but I have yet to find much of anything that does not work with the BBB. SO the SGX/DRM drivers dont work . . .BFD this is not a computer platform but an embedded system platform.

Seems to me that some of you could apply yourselves more to get whatever it is you wish to work with the hardware. especially considering the cost of the hardware is so small.

Actually the "SGX" now work, for John's project... Just under QT...
So it's just us kms/drm/xorg guys are still left out. :wink:

Regards,

Sure they work now, but not so much for the last 6-7 months . . . but the point being there is NOTHING I have not personally been able to get working on this wonderful board. Nodejs was a bit of a challenge, as were several Nodejs package managers ( seems this caliber of “programmer” only knows about x 86 ), but i have worked out all my own problems. That is by spending a few days working on them for myself.

What is the point I am trying to make with above comments ? Apply yourselves, and it will very likely work just fine.

TI Supports their kernel at
git://git.yoctoproject.org/meta-ti
which contains linux-3.12

Angstrom is based on openembedded-core and meta-openembedded, but is not using the standard repos.
You need to check out the Yocto-1.5 branch to get access to the latest stuff though.
If you clone the master, you do not see much development,since this is based on Yocto-1.3 which sees little development.

Buildroot is not Yocto compliant, which means that they will not follow mainstream development funded by large companies.

Where is this documented? And why should I care? The above two paragraphs are unintelligible to anyone that hasn’t been involved in embedded Linux for some time.

With the greatest respect to Gerald, Robert and the others who are doing a heroic job and whoever else was involved in designing a very, very nice piece of hardware, the software support is poor. I’m sure this will change at some point but as of today I can choose from a kernel that tends to hang with USB devices (3.8, shipping) or a kernel that doesn’t work with capes (3.12 or 3.13rcN). Both are from Robert via a wiki (elinux.org) which isn’t associated with the beaglebone website, and it appears he’s the only guy working on it. Yet there are apparently several thousand Beaglebones shipping a month?!? That’s just crazy.

As for Angstrom, every time a question comes in about “how do I configure this” I wonder why a debian-based distribution wasn’t chosen: it would halve the number of messages to this list, and reduce most of the rest to a link to someone else’s documentation.

No matter what people tell you, BBB is very very very far from the Raspberry Pi’s software quality and its huge community.
CircuitCo and TI advertise the BBB wherever they can but their promises are far from reality.
Why does CircuitCo still advertise their LCDs as working with latest Angstrom after all the discussions I had with them here in the groups?

Many people here tell you that everybody should learn Linux at bare metal level and should be able to write his own kernel drivers to get simple things done. I don’t agree,

I agree with this 100%. I really, really don’t want to sound sour and I’m very grateful for the support I’ve received on this list, but it feels like there should be an organization with resources backing the Beaglebone, and they’re just not there.

So like all the whining about how circuitco and x-y-z needs to get busy doing drivers for x-y-z feature. I dont know where you guys have been for the last 6-7 months but I have yet to find much of anything that does not work with the BBB. SO the SGX/DRM drivers dont work . . .BFD this is not a computer platform but an embedded system platform.

USB hotplug doesn’t work under 3.8.13, and USB devices tend to crash or hang the kernel - my experience, but it appears form this list I’m not alone. USB works for me with 3.12, but capes do not as the pins can’t be remuxed (terminology?) Again, my experience but I believe I am correct and posted my testing results here a few weeks ago.

I believe there is no kernel currently available for download that offers reliable USB hotplug and supports capes, and if anyone can correct me on that with a link to one I would be overjoyed.

Seems to me that some of you could apply yourselves more to get whatever it is you wish to work with the hardware. especially considering the cost of the hardware is so small.

The “if you’re not happy why don’t you fix it yourself” appeal to open-source rebuttal is a very old one and I’m not sure it flies in this case. Debugging the kernel is beyond most. Athough I’ll agree 2 minutes with google might have saved a bit of traffic on this list…

Myself, I was hoping to leverage the platform the BB provides and build on it, rather than spend my days debugging the platform. I’m very experienced with Linux and yet I’m still waiting on someone else to supply a fix; every time I see a message that starts “I’m new to Linux and BBB but I want to do X” I wince, as I know there’s many months of poorly charted territory ahead for someone.

Hope that didn’t come across as too ranty. I really just wanted to agree with Anguel but got carried away.

Aside from hotplug there is nothing wrong with USB in kernel 3.8.x. I have even installed, and booted from a USB hard drive using 3.8.13-bone26.

Personally I think the lot of you are blowing it way out of proportion. This is not some Asus laptop or some Dell desktop / server. This is a hobbyist board, that is meant for hobbyist embedded projects. That means YOU the purchaser needs to understand certain things before you even attempt to use such. Hotplug, plug and play etc is the realm of the desktop, not an embedded device which is way more flexible.

So again, we can argue about this until we’re both blue in the face. Learn how to use what you have, and be very glad you have one.

Does it make it more crazy for you, if i told you I don't work for TI
or CircuitCo? Just a hobbiest/user :wink:

Regards,