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Help making CHDK and the forum better

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Offline PhyrePhoX

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Help making CHDK and the forum better
« on: 30 / April / 2008, 11:35:29 »
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'Lo all,

i was wondering how this great community could be made more "newbie friendly" and "professional" (in a non commercial way of course). So here is this thread where i want to collect ideas regarding improvement of
- the forum
- the wiki
- more technical stuff (sourcecode, organization - not important right now)
...


Mind you, remember the time you were  a "noob"? What was it that pi$$ed you off the most? What was it you couldnt find in the wiki?

Also mind you: pretty soon there will be masses of new users coming here, and while you may think it's my (and other mods & contributors) work to handle them, this can actually be your way of paying back, instead of giving real money (i'm directly referring to here: Money and CHDK ). What i mean is - do you speak english fluently? are you a photographer and know the terms? then you can help make the documentation better! of course english isnt mandatory, other languages are welcome and needed. can you code? there are lots of feature requests, some small, some rather huge, some rather impossible to fulfill, but maybe you can do it.

This is not a feature request thread as in "i want tetris on my camera" but more like "for newbies, we need a better documentation that is included in the downloadable-chdk-file and also accessible via the built-in text reader".

What about the forum structure? need better or more descriptive sticky threads? sub-boards?

By the way i am in no position to apply all your RFCs (Request for changes), either because i lack the rights, i lack the knowlegde, i lack permission (acseven is the owner/admin of this forum, he has the last word on almost everything), i lack the time or the motivation.


Ok here are a few things i compiled so far:

Better documentation - work in progress, see  http://chdk.setepontos.com/index.php/topic,1167.0.html (there also is a second thread concerning including a helpguide into the chdk, cant find it right now).

Better "visual" (more friendly to the eye!) - work in progress, see Symbol-Mod (OSD font size choosing is not implemented yet - some dev/C artist care to take a look @ font size for OSD parameters ?)

Better forum (and CHDK) structure
: The way it is now, newbies will see at least 5 different builds with each having an own forum. grands and allbests the only fora being "polluted". My proposal (to the devs of course, this a thing the users cannot decide or wish for :D): pull the last remaining features of the "other branches" (like fingalos build has some things allbest doesnt have, if i remember correctly) and just continue on ONE chdk only (well, SDM of course too!), and that would be called CHDK, not CHDK Gutsy Gibbon or CHDK Allbest ;)

Multilanguage Forum? Do you need subforums? Again i remind you, this is acsevens decision. i know that there are for example a lot of germans who cant or wont speak/write english so they joined the german forum Canon / CHDK-Forum :: Index . they consider our forum the "dev forum" and the german one the "user forum". i had to convince chdklover and msl to step into the spotlight and come here and publish their pretty amazing menu mod (which already made it into official trunk a few days later!).if they hadnt come here, they probably would still diff/patch their own modifications against official trunk. what i'm trying to say is, that there is a lot of potential being lost or at least not fully explored because of the language and forum barrier (different forums i mean by that).

more support (more? any :D) by commercial raw editors (a lot of them have the policy like "if its from a "hacked" camera we wont support it in our product". how can we do that? i mean i dont care as i use dng4ps but newbies are probably used to their normal toolchain. maybe writing emails to the companies will do the trick?

well, the code has to be commented better. it's hard and a general pain in the A$$, i rarely ever do it myself. but it will help coders understand chdk better and improve it.

better/more scripting abilities - being worked on, one in Lua Scripting Integration
and one in remaining video,overrides-customizations,no-raw@video,just _random_ stuff :D

Someone has to figure out how the searching algorithm of the wikia works, searching and finding things there is very difficult, even when you know a particular site exists.



And remember: If you have requests concerning the wiki in most cases you can apply changes yourself, as even guests have write capabilities there.

this is all for now, i forgot most of my "feature requests" while typing this up, silly me.

edit: by the way i'm serious when i say this forum will be flooded with new users soon. i mean, CHDK is a great great invention, and as soon as more and more people will dig(g) this, the more will come here. it ain't a tool just for for nerds taking candid beach shots, this is a revolution in photography. pretty soon the usage (i heard it through the grapevine :D) will be much easier so even children, old persons or DSLR owners (*chuckle* :D j/k) can get used to it in a jiffy.
2nd edit: we do want and need your participation, if you have something to write here: shoot :)
« Last Edit: 30 / April / 2008, 15:12:41 by PhyrePhoX »

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Offline intrnst

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Re: Help making CHDK and the forum better
« Reply #1 on: 30 / April / 2008, 18:58:35 »
After read your post I went to the wiki and tried to find some tricky points for a noob (no need to pretend  ::) ).
In the way you put, the load/manage card is a kind of. I think this  unzip/copy/replace/DRIVE FORMAT is a little bit scary for the average user. I also wonder why whim's Card Tricks isn't pointed in Wiki at the How do I get CHDK onto my camera's SD memory card? Still seen as a beta thing? Should I write an add on wikia? What do you think?
« Last Edit: 30 / April / 2008, 19:00:44 by intrnst »
-- funny english, be aware -- CHDK for Dummies - The Very First Steps

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Offline PhyrePhoX

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Re: Help making CHDK and the forum better
« Reply #2 on: 30 / April / 2008, 19:44:39 »
actually thats a good idea of yours. Card Tricks is a good "newbie" application, also it is quite safe to use. i cant do it as i'm mostly on linux.

Re: Help making CHDK and the forum better
« Reply #3 on: 01 / May / 2008, 09:30:40 »
I have an idea that I think might have been overshadowed by specific current forum events, but I would definitely like to know your opinion...

I had a lot of questions about the parameters that could be set in all of the dozens of scripts that have been written. Upon searching, I found (quickly) that so did a lot of others. So I made a little chart in html using the "MD Lightning6" script as an example. The chart is simply a copy of what's seen on the LCD screen while loading the script into CHDK on the camera, with a section attached for a brief explanation of each parameter that the user can set.

This chart is supposed to be "expandable" to accommodate any script, though I do not know quite how to do it. The idea is that the blank chart is readily available to both new script authors (if they so choose to use it) and, more importantly, to new members inquiring about specific scripts.
"Noobie protocol" would be that if someone has questions about such parameters for a script, they must first find the existing chart for reference, or make one if there is not yet one there. Then they would take on the responsibility of filling in the missing parts which they inquired about.

The charts would all be relatively uniform, so it would make looking them over easy in the wiki.
This would put some responsibility for participation of members on ALL levels into the wiki effort.
This would alleviate (hopefully) SOME of the the sort of redundant questions that annoy some of the core users here who have put in so much effort.




For the forum, I believe that there needs to be more of a separation for end-users and developers. The intermingling creates friction. I believe there are people coming here because they love to program, love to hack their gadgets, and love photography, but they are not always the same people.
Constantly I see developers reacting to the simple questions of end-users very obviously annoyed by them.
Maybe developers' sections should be closed off to new members so they can read but not post. Then, if a new member has something valuable to add, like a suggestion or skill, they can "sign up" for access in a sticky in one of the "end-user" forums.
This would let the developers work without being bothered. They can certainly interact with everyoen else when they need end-user input.
Perhaps there could even be a dedicated "tester's forum" section.

These forum ideas are not meant to divide, nor even to "police". They are intended to offer anyone who wishes to participate in the CHDK development and documentation a place which suits their abilities and the depth to which they would like to participate.

I disagreed with how Barney treated new members, but he was right about membership participation; If someone does all the work in a community, others will let him. But I believe with a smidgen of delegation; -IE, "Here's a list of jobs that needs to be done", along with "There no job too small, and no effort unappreciated.", CHDK could turn into a community of busy bees that really get things done. Like a well oiled machine.
As it is now, the developers are doing it all.
You smite like a girl!


Re: Help making CHDK and the forum better
« Reply #4 on: 01 / May / 2008, 09:36:27 »
-Another note;

I would like to see a request by the "Big Guys" that anyone making a change to the wiki DATES it.
While thumbing through the scripts, for exapmle, footnotes have been added such as, "This now makes the last one obsolete...", but it's very confusing with no dates given.

That's just a little end-user request. ;)
You smite like a girl!

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Offline intrnst

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Re: Help making CHDK and the forum better
« Reply #5 on: 05 / May / 2008, 14:01:47 »
actually thats a good idea of yours. Card Tricks is a good "newbie" application, also it is quite safe to use. i cant do it as i'm mostly on linux.

What do you think?
FAQ - CHDK Wiki

There is any funny english that I have to remove?
« Last Edit: 05 / May / 2008, 14:21:22 by intrnst »
-- funny english, be aware -- CHDK for Dummies - The Very First Steps

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Offline BB

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Re: Help making CHDK and the forum better
« Reply #6 on: 05 / May / 2008, 14:46:51 »
The Card Tricks section looks nice! I would suggest adding this is for "Windows Only" in the heading or instructions.

I have a bit of a concern with the three different headers that are technically correct,

Q. How do I get CHDK onto my camera's SD memory card?
Q. How do I manually load CHDK so I can use it?
Q. There's no PS.FIR file in the CHDK download for my camera. What do I do?

But, there is no clear summary for why somebody would choose one over the other... For example would adding something like this help?:

Quote
There are two methods for loading CHDK onto Canon PowerShot cameras...

Method 1. "Bootable" (uses DISKBOOT.BIN) works for all known camera models to date.
Method 2. "Firmware Update" (uses PS.FIR) only works for older models of cameras and does not work for newer cameras (A720is, A650is, S5is, ixus860/sd870).

Then go into the details of how to setup the SD/SDHC cards (probably need sub heading/topics: Windows / Mac / Linux / etc.)

Right now, to get the "details" of how to load via "Bootable" is buried link (useful for everyone) in the "no PS.FIR" link.

And there are confusing headings like:

Q. How can I make the CHDK program load automatically at startup?

Which talks about loading both the .BIN and .FIR file which is a variant of using Method #2 first and using the CHDK in the camera menu enable the Bootable Flag for Method #1...

Again, works fine--but is probably difficult for a "Newbie" to follow the reasons why and how (and why it does not work for all cameras).

The software engineers who have written CHDK have done a wonderful job of making CHDK relatively platform independent--from a users/programmer's point of view--but there are still some dependencies (boot/load methods, video limitations in Dry OS / Digi III cameras, changes to basic parameters based on Digi II / III cameras, lack of apertures/ND filters in SD line, and such)...

I am not sure of how best to organize the data (Dry OS, Digi xxx, aperture/ND filter, etc.) and not printed by Canon on the body of the camera--so these tend to be forgotten issues that still trip many people up when using CHDK (including me).

Would adding a "coding schema" that sumarizes CHDK variations to the supported cameras be worthwhile? Something like:

A720is (Dry, Digi III, Ap)
A710is (WndRvr, Digi II, Ap)
SD870is (Dry, Digi III, ND)...

Dry=Dry OS (link to terms where Dry OS is described as Canon version of internal operating system)
WndRvr= Wind River internal operating system...
Digi II = Digital Processor II (with links to limitations, functions, differences in basic programming)
Digi III = ...
Ap=Aperture settings available ...
ND=Neutral Density Filter available ...

Abbreviations sort of makes sense to somebody born and raised speaking English--but would the abbreviations cause confusion for others?

????

-Bill

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Offline intrnst

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Re: Help making CHDK and the forum better
« Reply #7 on: 05 / May / 2008, 16:19:09 »
@Bill

Thanks for your criticism ("Windows only" added).

About your structural concerns: I'm very limited by my technical and language knowlege for embrace such task, but I agree with you that are more variables than desireable. Maybe each CHDK-Canon-model-owner should enhance the wiki knowledgebase on punctual basis. Certainly, structurals tasks must be planed previously with the acknowledgment and agreement of the "elders".
« Last Edit: 05 / May / 2008, 16:39:00 by intrnst »
-- funny english, be aware -- CHDK for Dummies - The Very First Steps


Re: Help making CHDK and the forum better
« Reply #8 on: 12 / May / 2008, 17:42:14 »
You guys sure write a lot :) But that's a good thing, keep it up...

Just some comments:


By the way i am in no position to apply all your RFCs (Request for changes), either because i lack the rights, i lack the knowlegde, i lack permission (acseven is the owner/admin of this forum, he has the last word on almost everything), i lack the time or the motivation.


I don't "own" the forum, only the hosting. Sure, I am the admin, but I'm no owner... The community is the proprietary of the board.

Multilanguage Forum? Do you need subforums? Again i remind you, this is acsevens decision. i know that there are for example a lot of germans who cant or wont speak/write english so they joined the german forum Canon / CHDK-Forum :: Index . they consider our forum the "dev forum" and the german one the "user forum". i had to convince chdklover and msl to step into the spotlight and come here and publish their pretty amazing menu mod (which already made it into official trunk a few days later!).if they hadnt come here, they probably would still diff/patch their own modifications against official trunk. what i'm trying to say is, that there is a lot of potential being lost or at least not fully explored because of the language and forum barrier (different forums i mean by that).

Multilanguage forums have come up, in the earlier times of this forum. I don't think that I absolutely revoked having these forums (the thread is out there), but I recall stating that this would be hard to maintain and moderate.

Still, we can open an international section. I don't think we should recreate every single forum in this board in other languages.

We could integrate some sort of automatic translation service (there are many available), as long it is already available as a SMF mod (didn't look it up).

Cheers

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Offline PhyrePhoX

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Re: Help making CHDK and the forum better
« Reply #9 on: 12 / May / 2008, 18:45:39 »
well, i for one could moderate a german forum. of course one would need mods before creating a special language forum. and yes, no need to recreate all other subforums. i think for example that most of the devs do speak english. on the other hand - as the traffic behaves, the forum gets shaped (does that make sense? :D)

 

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