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SSDR Roadmapless future development

Jon_KF2E
Jon_KF2E Member ✭✭
edited June 2020 in SmartSDR for Windows
I've been following this thread with growing frustration. Darrin has been doing an unbelievable job enhancing and updating PowerSDR. He has incorporated more new stuff in the last month than I ever thought possible. This leaves me wondering where the roadmapless future of SSDR is going. Over the last year Flex has been focused first with LAN remote, WAN remote, a little noise reduction and Contesting. With the exception of noise reduction nothing really excites me. I'm not a contester and I don't need to operate remote. Darrin on the other hand is single handedly pumping out feature after feature for PowerSDR. I'm jealous! While we seem to wait years for the simplest of things to get added to the user interface, like a readable power/swr meter, band markers or spots and more. Darrin seems to be able to pump these things out over night. Can't we please get a few development days dedicated to some of the nice little things many of us want? Maybe you could hire Darrin? I would contribute...

I love my radio and one of the things I like the most is that it continues to evolve. Unfortunately, the update cycles seem to be getting longer and longer and are only centered on Remote operation and contesting. I know, lots of behind the scenes stuff is done and bugs are squashed but hey, throw us simple DX chasers and rag chewers a ****. Give us some of the perks that PowerSDR now seems to be getting in spades.

I'm still a happy Flex user and would never trade my radio. I just want to add my 2 cents on what would be nice to have.

Jon...kf2e

PS. If you don't read the PowerSDR thread, Darrin is now working on a background for PSDR that shows a world map with a moving grey line. Great stuff!


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Answers

  • KF4HR
    KF4HR Member ✭✭
    edited February 2017
    Good points Jon.  I've had similar thoughts.  While I'm very thankfully for SSDR add-on programs such as DDUtil, FlexMeter, RFStack, etc, but it sure would be nice if FRS would incorporate and release features such as these on a frequent basis and throw its loyal customers a **** more often.    
  • Al_NN4ZZ
    Al_NN4ZZ Loganville GAMember ✭✭✭
    edited December 2018
    • WAN has been promised for a while so I understand why it's a priority.
    • Maestro is needed to bring in customers who wouldn't come without knobs.
    • Satisfying contesters usually helps everyone in the long run. 
    While some of us don't really want / need some of those features,  the strategy is understandable.  

    Hopefully during the 2.x series some of the other enhancements (GUI improvements, peripheral control, new features, etc) will be included as well. But IMHO it may be quite a while before we see many of those incremental improvements.  There are hundreds of "ideas" on the customer facing list and I'm sure FRS has many more on their internal list.  It could easily take several more years to get the one you want. 

    Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
    al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
    6700 - HW.................... V 1.6.21.77
    SSDR / DAX / CAT...... V 1.6.21.159
    Win10



  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited October 2019
    While I understand some of the frustrations in the speed that Flex is working I think it is only fair to remind us of a few things. PSDR has been around for many many years compared to SSDR. SSDR is completly a different software, brand new, it does not share any code with PSDR, none. Everything they are doing in it is inventing. It is also far more complicated to code as Steve mentioned, many more levels of code. Yes I get their are some who feel it's nothing, but it is a big deal, SSDR is a remarkable feet. I remember when I bought my Flex 3000 9 years ago it took about 4 years of upgrading to get many of the basic features working in PSDR. Since then look at what the guys with the Anan are doing with it, it is now nothing like the PSDR most of us remember, they have done a lot of work on it for the needs of Anan users. And now Derrin has picked up the torch and is continuing to add things to it,,good for him, that is the true spirit of open source.
  • Ernest - W4EG
    Ernest - W4EG Member ✭✭
    edited March 2016
    Bill,
    There is nothing to add to your comment...Fine job and thank you 
  • Jon_KF2E
    Jon_KF2E Member ✭✭
    edited April 2020
    Gerald,

    I think you missed my point. I just wish you weren't so focused on your big high quality updates that we never seem to get to the little things. Darrin is doing with PowerSDR what I wish we could have with SSDR. Regular small updates with nice to have features. Something to fill the void between blockbuster updates like Maestro or WAN remote which I don't particularly need.

    While I liked the roadmap I understand why it is gone. 

    Jon
  • Wayne VK4ACN
    Wayne VK4ACN Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    Gerald. Many thanks for you and your company's hard work and effort in making the future of amateur radio more exciting. Cheers Wayne VK4ACN
  • WW1SS - Steve
    WW1SS - Steve Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Agree 100%
  • KD4HSO
    KD4HSO Member
    edited February 2017
    FWIW I bought a 6500 because of Maestro and WAN, as opposed to an ANAN.
  • KY6LA_Howard
    KY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited July 2018

    @Jon & Steven

    I think you both have entirely missed the point of Gerald's posting.

    In order to do quality sustainable work you don't do small tiny fixes here and there because these tend to break other things in the process (like they did regularly in PowerSDR). 

    I would add that software costs money to produce.  That money currently comes from new sales.  So prioritizing new features has to be done with consideration of how many new sales that those features will bring in.

    There is little doubt that both Maestro and WAN will generate a heck of a lot of new sales.   The contest features already implemented look to be world class contest tools which will also generate new sales..


  • Jon_KF2E
    Jon_KF2E Member ✭✭
    edited May 2016
    So you are telling us if we don't want to contest remotely with a Maestro we should go elsewhere?:)

    There should be room for more.

    Jon
  • Jon_KF2E
    Jon_KF2E Member ✭✭
    edited March 2016
    Gerald,

    From my original post...

    Maybe you could hire Darrin? I would contribute...

    I'm not looking for anything free. I understand the cost of development. I believe you when you say that Software costs exceed hardware costs. I shouldn't have said "regular small updates" in my reply. What I want is ANY update that is focused on something other than WAN, Maestro and contesting. What you seem to be saying is that it will be years before you address the small things that are important to many users. I think you mistake usability for "eye candy."

    Jon
  • Gerald-K5SDR
    Gerald-K5SDR FlexRadio Employee ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Let me try again.  I was not saying anything about what "small" features might or might not make it into a major release cycle.  

    Regular small updates cost more when you build quality software through a defined process.  Let's say there is a two to three week minimum of calendar time overhead (not to mention the number of man weeks within those calendar weeks) to complete a quality public release cycle after all features are frozen for that release.  That same overhead applies to a few little features or a lot of major features.  As I said, you get less with shorter release cycles.

    By the way, Maestro is all about usability.  Some things were are learning and doing in Maestro will flow back into SmartSDR for Windows as is appropriate.  I expect that we will continue to enhance SmartSDR for a long, long, long time.  

    de K5SDR   . _   . _ .
  • Jon_KF2E
    Jon_KF2E Member ✭✭
    edited March 2016
    I know it's not feasible(if it is let me know) but I wish I could pay an annual subscription fee for development of SSDR from a regular user perspective. As it is now SSDR development is apparently only for features that drive sales. I want a way to get many of the great features suggested almost daily on this forum.

    Jon


  • James Whiteway
    edited March 2016
    As a non-contester, I can truthfully say that SSDR meets nearly all my current needs. And as someone who also enjoys the challenge of software development, the radio and Flex Library gives me a chance to learn new things.
    I'm sure that Contesters are not the only market FRS is targeting.
    As for Darrin and PowerSDR, unless he tells us, no one knows how long he has actually been working on the features he has been adding to PSDR.
    Some complain about things like spots not being in SSDR, I don't understand that. No other radio that is not an SDR radio, can even approach.the capabilities of an SDR radio. SSDR is evolving just as PSDR has. And now with Darrin's hard work,PSDR will have things it never had, and someday SSDR may well have.
    James
    WD5GWY
  • Walt - KZ1F
    Walt - KZ1F Member ✭✭
    edited November 2016
    While I am confident Gerald is completely capable of speaking for himself, as he's said before, 'to us it's a hobby, to them it's a living. Yes their focus is income generation or certainly should be.. That provides a living as well as funds for hiring addional resources. You could always do what Stu, mark, myself are doing and write a control surface that matches precisely what you're looking for?
  • Jon_KF2E
    Jon_KF2E Member ✭✭
    edited March 2016
    That's a silly comment Walt. I suppose when you go on a commercial flight you don't like you will go to flight school and fly yourself?

    This thread no longer serves a purpose. Sorry if I ruffled any feathers. I'll go back to listening on the forum and offering help when I can.

    Maybe the thread should be closed...

    73,

    Jon


  • Gerald-K5SDR
    Gerald-K5SDR FlexRadio Employee ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    My feathers are certainly not ruffled.  I felt it important to explain that there is a lot of thought and planning that goes into everything we do.  We have finite resources that we apply judiciously.  My motto is do the right things in the right order for the right reasons and you won't go wrong.  That is guaranteed not to make everyone happy but hopefully will make the most people happy.  Over time, we will make more and more happy.  That is a different business model from selling fixed function boxes.

    I agree it is time to close the thread.  It's getting close to my bedtime.  ;>)
  • Jim Best
    Jim Best Member
    edited December 2016
    One ham's opinion; I am completely satisfied with SSDR software to date. I look at new improvements as icing on the cake. Keep up the good work. You
    will never satisfy everyone. 73 Jim WU7G
  • Walt - KZ1F
    Walt - KZ1F Member ✭✭
    edited November 2016
    Actually Jon, I am a licensed commercial rated pilot, for just that reason. The alternative to writing what you want, just the way you want is to pay someone that can write concierge software, Stu, dogpark, myself, etc.
  • DrTeeth
    DrTeeth Member ✭✭
    edited December 2018
    I would just like to start off by saying that I understand where Gerald is coming from and agree with both him and Howard. However, I agree *much* more with Jon.

    Whilst it is marvellous that Flex is working on Maestro and contesting and WAN, I do not care about any of them. Every time I have to get to within an inch of my screen to see the SWR and power bar gauges, I curse Maestro and WAN and contesting.

    I have worked with my hands all my working life to a standard at least as high as a skilled surgeon and am annoyed that the slider controls are more difficult to adjust than they need to be from *several* aspects (I am available for hire as it is likely ill-health will preclude my working in my regular day job ever again, hi hi). IMHO the GUI is a big ergonomic fail. Gerald, nobody is asking for 'eye candy' or frequent releases. Personally, I find the use of the term 'eye candy' very telling. One GUI release would satisfy most of us at least to the point where we would not feel as if we were being ignored. Ergonomic improvements would benefit everybody unlike the other things that you mentioned.

    It is not good for a company, or anybody else I can think of, to concentrate on the big things to the exclusion of the smaller things. Every time somebody complains about the small things being passed over, somebody posts with news on the next big thing Flex is planning. Whilst the next big thing might make people buy Flex, hearing that the less glamorous things get put on the back burner will similarly make people buy less.

    I would like to back up what Jon has said and would also like some effort to be expended on the 'little things'. It is getting more difficult to believe that any GUI improvements will see the light of day in the v1 branch.

    I'll get my coat...
  • WW1SS - Steve
    WW1SS - Steve Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    I too want a way to get some of the features that are suggested on the forum here . . . But unfortunately most will never be seen or incorporated into the software
  • WW1SS - Steve
    WW1SS - Steve Member ✭✭
    edited April 2020
    I agree. It is like Flex is looking for the next BIG **** and forgetting about the small stuff. I too find it difficult to see those meters on the screen. I would also like time spent on the small stuff but I don't see it happening. As Gerald said " Some things were are learning and doing in Maestro will flow back into SmartSDR for Windows as is appropriate."
  • DrTeeth
    DrTeeth Member ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    At least politically, some of this needs to be dealt with in v1. I feel sorry for those who are familiar with PowerSDR having to have to work with SSDR. There should be a greater level of feature/ergonomic parity before v2 is released. The less we request features the longer it will take to get them ;-).
  • DrTeeth
    DrTeeth Member ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    Steven, if they need Maestro to see the ergonomic shortcomings of the current GUI, I feel sorry for them.
  • Walt - KZ1F
    Walt - KZ1F Member ✭✭
    edited November 2016
    There is a saying, 'familiarity breeds contempt'. Perhaps, in part, because of psdr being an open source project, people seem to be upset or otherwise expect they should be on the FRS steering committee. FRS is a company with a portfolio of products. We are consumers that have a vote by virtue of buying or not buying their product(s). I am awed by people's expectations they have more sway.
  • DrTeeth
    DrTeeth Member ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    Walt, I am sure that Flex does not behave the way you inferred in your last sentence, that they are only interested in getting people to buy and then ignoring those that have. You mean once we have bought we have no vote? That is a sure fire way to lose future custom as we have not bought a fixed product, but a continually evolving one.
  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 2016
    I suppose their are those that use Windows 10 and miss Windows 95. Seems we have folks that continue to under value SSDR, thinking it is missing a boat load of features, when it really does not. One of the goals of Flex is to keep SSDR clean and not bogged down, so it is made to mate with third party software to do targeted jobs. But I read in other post some people think SSDR should have all that built into SSDR making the software much larger.

    SSDR is by far light years ahead of PSDR in terms of performance and capabilities.
    It is also interesting of the people here who believe they can bully Flex into giving them what they want, by telling Gerald how to run his company. The very fact that Gerald writes here to explain things to people I think is remarkable.

     He is very involved with the customer base and hears us when we ask for things, but as always the plan is in motion and it does not make everyone happy, but it is a plan. One that seems to be working well so far.
    And no I don't work for Flex.
  • Peter K1PGV
    Peter K1PGV Member ✭✭
    edited June 2020
    To a certain extent I think Jon and Gerald are talking past each other.  I'm an ardent user of SSDR who doesn't care about Maestro or WAN remote, and would love to see a "spit and polish" release happen yesterday. I'm also an engineering manager who makes trade-offs about what bugs to fix and which to ignore every day.  So, in case I'm right that the positions aren't clear to both "sides"  I'll try to clarify a bit.  Sorry if this is obvious already to those involved.

    Jon: I hear Gerald saying that his resources are limited, and it makes the most sense for him to focus those limited resources on adding features that will expand his user base.  Adding users equals sales.  Sales equals he stays in business.  It's hard to argue with that rationale.  Gerald seems to argue that when the major, market-expanding, stuff is finished, there'll be plenty of time for polishing.

    Gerald: I hear Jon saying that he doesn't really care about a lot of the new ****-**** features. He's happy with the major functionality as its exists.  But there are a lot of niggling little things that make SSDR less useful or less enjoyable than it he feels it could be. As a loyal and dedicated user, he wishes that Flex would shift the allocation of resources at least a BIT more toward perfecting the existing interface to reward the existing customer base.

    It's hard to argue with either opinion, really. They're both entirely valid perspectives.

    Running a software organization is all about making these trade-offs.  Folks who don't write software for a living often fail to realize that these trade-offs are a zero sum game.  If you spend x time on some feature, you've got x less time to spend on something else.

    Trade-offs ****, but making the tough decisions is essential to making money in this field. For example, I'm approaching a major release milestone for some software my company is building, and I just did a bug triage.  I closed or postponed every bug that had the words "we should" or "it would be nice if" in the description. This removed about a third of the open bugs against the release (the bug count went from 97 to 66). Boy, was our marketing guy **** off!  But guess what?  He would have been even MORE ****-off if we missed the release date (and delayed the revenue from that release) because we spent time adding some cute edge feature instead of fixing a bug that resulted in a system crash.

    Zero-sum game.  Somebody HAS to make the call.

    What is undeniably cool is that Gerald came on the board to explain the trade-off he was making. See that from any other similar company?  While I don't LIKE the result of his trade-off, I understand and respect it.

    Peter
    K1PGV

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