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DXLab Does Not Support SmartSDR v 3

245

Comments

  • Dave AA6YQ
    Dave AA6YQ amateur radio software developer (DXLab) Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    I have exactly one objective in this matter: help Flex improve its relationship with 3rd party developers.

    Recall how this thread started: my post on the DXLab Discussion Group making it clear to users that the current version of DXLab doesn't support SmartSDR v3 -- because v3 is not upward compatible with v2 - was reposted here by a DXLab/Flex user. Your responses:

    "After reading that posting, sounds like someone is having a gripe because of the lack of support on the dongle, and issues he is having with using spots"

    "I haven't seen any other 3rd party developers complaining publicly regarding functionality with v3 but at least one has indicated they have been given access to v3 for development purposes. That's called co-operation, so I have no doubt these developers already have or will function with v3."

    DXLab users posting in this thread are not "cheering me on". They are expressing dissatisfaction with Flex's decision to make the SmartSDR v3 API be non-upward-compatible with the SmartSDR v2 API. Had Flex not made that decision, the current version of DXLab -- and the current version of every other 3rd party application -- would support SmartSDR v3 out of the gate.


  • mlstutler
    mlstutler Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Mike,

    I am certainly not cheerleading for any one.  I rely on DXLab.   There is no incentive for me to upgrade  other than curiosity / support for Flex.   Now there is a reason not to upgrade since I wont be able to use DXLab with 3.0.  If the situation changes I will probably upgrade.   
  • K3SF
    K3SF Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019


    On a professional level, These type of 'corporate' conflicts could be better handled in offline 'face to face' between the corporate entities. as i currently see it, there is one entity trying to be a profitable corporation creating jobs in America and the other offering freeware.

    Dont get me wrong, i appreciate freeware as much as the next ham and in the world at large too. I also applaud the effort of those who develop and share their labors.
    I do use freeware such as FLDIGI and WSJTX that run on my Mac.

    BUT

    My Position as a Mac user, i find i have no need to run DXlab here as there is one mac app,  MacDXlogger,  that has most of the same capability. True, I did pay for it but Don Agro provides awesome support at almost 24/7 and in my opinion Don creates professional grade software which also includes MacDoppler and dogparkSDR.

    https://www.dogparksoftware.com/home.html.



    So i am ready to run SSDR V3 on my 6600M whenever it is released.



    just my two cents eroded by inflation

    Paul K3SF









  • Steve K9ZW
    Steve K9ZW Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2019
    It is very good to see that while DXLab may not support SmartSDR V3 out of the gate, that Dave AA6YQ hasn't ruled out later SmartSDR v3 support.

    It also a good reminder how long te DXLab and FRS relationship has gone on, apparently a reasonable two-way dialogue for the most.  

    Hopefully there will be a meeting of the minds as SMartSDR v3 rolls out shortly.  

    As Dave AA6YQ points out the v3 transition is quite a fork in the road- I know that for my (arguably and factually much more trivial than the DXLab suite) needs I am approaching v3 "as if a whole new radio" as the added capabilities appear to have required a lot of API rework to capture with v3.

    As long as the "smart folk" are talking things tend to get worked out.

    All best and 73

    Steve
    K9ZW
  • Don Agro
    Don Agro Member
    edited April 2019
    Thanks Paul, but since the Flex SmartSDR V3 API (MultiFlex) is not upward compatible with the V2 API - Third party applications like MacLoggerDX and dogparkSDR will not operate with SmartSDR V3 (MultiFlex) until they are re-written to support both the V2 and the V3 APIs at runtime or split into multiple versions for each API Version.

    73 de VE3VRW Don Agro
  • Dave AA6YQ
    Dave AA6YQ amateur radio software developer (DXLab) Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Pat, that's exactly why I posted the "DXLab does not support SmartSDR V3" message on the DXLab Discussion Group.

    I'd guess fewer than 10% of DXLab users are members of that group; hopefully those Flex users who aren't members of that group will see this thread.

  • Al_NN4ZZ
    Al_NN4ZZ Loganville GAMember ✭✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Software deprecation is a strategy that is often used in situations like this. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deprecation It provides a path and time (often years) to upgrade to the new function calls. Maybe there were reasons not to take that approach either. Al / NN4ZZ
  • N8FNR
    N8FNR Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Me too. I was going to buy V3 when it comes out. Now I am going to wait until this all shakes out. I am not going to use my 6400 without DXLabs.
  • Mike VE3CKO
    Mike VE3CKO Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Well said Steve.
  • K3SF
    K3SF Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Don and Dave

    I wish you all the best on working with Flex to make it all happen.

    I do understand the difficulty encountered when API's do not remain compatible over revisions. But with problems come opportunities to excel. (That is what my mom would always tell me)

    I think this may make a perfect 'opportunity' to provide an abstraction layer to minimize similar impact in the future. OR i am totally off the wall.

    in either case...
    good luck in making it all happen for us your faithful users.

    Paul K3SF



  • Dave AA6YQ
    Dave AA6YQ amateur radio software developer (DXLab) Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Developing an abstraction layer to bridge the V2 and V3 APIs would cause all 3rd party developers to stop working until the abstraction layer was developed, tested, and documented. At this point, the same effort could likely re-work the V3 API to be upward compatible with V2.

    Of course any 3rd party developer who's already done the work to move to the V3 API would be unhappy to have to rip up track, and Flex may be unable to tolerate additional delays in V3 at this point.
  • Jon_KF2E
    Jon_KF2E Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    I'm 100% on board with Dave. I've been a DXLab user longer than I've been a Flex user. I also have found little reason to upgrade to V3 other than to support Flex. This gives me a reason not to upgrade. I guess to be fair I should use some of the upgrade funds to donate to DXLab.

    Jon
  • K3SF
    K3SF Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    hi Dave...

    you have just taught me that " i am totally off the wall"  in my thought process.

    i am a most willing learner.

    I am more than happy to learn something new everyday
    and
    i do appreciate your effort to teach.

    good luck going forward
    and
    i would like to add in the voice of Captain Picard   "Make it so"  ;-)

    Paul K3SF


  • Dave AA6YQ
    Dave AA6YQ amateur radio software developer (DXLab) Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Thanks Jon, but I don't accept donations.

  • Pat N6PAT
    Pat N6PAT Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    But why was this not disclosed in this forum sooner? FRS must have been working on V3 for a long time. How did this come as such a surprise to everyone? Why now on the eve of the new release?

    I would think that such a change that renders widely used software packages useless in the new release would have been communicated to the user community long ago.


  • Burch - K4QXX
    Burch - K4QXX Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Wow, I am glad I read this thread.  If V3 does not work with Dogpark, I will definitely not be purchasing V3 until it works with DogparkSDR.
  • Kevin
    Kevin Member
    edited June 2020
    I wonder what else would be on the list of incompatibilities. Nothing that wasn't written specifically for V3 would be compatible with the new Flex software? I guess this would mean fldigi and the gateway, cw skimmer and the gateway, wsjt-x and jtdx, n1mm+? These are the main tools I use in addition to DXLab suite. 

    I don't use slicemaster or frlogger yet but the developers are active in this community. What's the impact to you?

    If new features were added as API additions then developers could just add the new features as required. But if the whole API is changed, developers now have to maintain an interface to both? I find it pretty amazing that these tools I use can support so many different radios. Is there a case where another manufacturer wiped the slate clean?

    And most of all... I would love to hear from Flex on their intentions or plans. Were they going to delay release until the API is published and developers could catch up? Or maybe the delay is to re-think the API backward compatibility. Or is it simply, they found a better, more supportable and expandable way of doing things and really need this forklift upgrade. There could be all sorts of OK reasons besides just developing in a vacuum but I would really like to hear their perspective.

    If you buy V3 day one... what will work with it? The ARRL Amateur Radio Logbook I guess.

    73,
    Kev K4VD
  • Dave AA6YQ
    Dave AA6YQ amateur radio software developer (DXLab) Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    To be sure I wasn't revealing anything Flex considered confidential, I waited till I received a email message extolling the virtues of SmartSDR v3 from Flex Sales before posting the "DXLab doesn't support SmartSDR v3" message on the DXLab Discussion Group.

    Eric KE5DTO sent me the SmartSDR v3 migration guide several months ago.

    No one from Flex ever contacted me to say:

    1. let me review with your the primary benefits of V3 and help you understand why you should ensure that DXLab users will have access to V3

    2. let me hear from you about the obstacles in extending DXLab to support v3, and see if there's anything Flex can do to mitigate them

    This is "Managing a 3rd Party Developer Ecosystem 101".

    Even better would have been a web conference for 3rd party developers held a year ago, at which Flex would have shared its objectives for SmartSDR v3. Such discussion would certainly have surfaced the "hey, why is V3 not upward compatible with V2?" issue now being discussed.

  • Pat N6PAT
    Pat N6PAT Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    I just think that someone , probably FRS, should have been more proactive in communicating this to the user community so customers could make a more informed decision regarding V3. 

    The first I heard of this was from your post. There would have been quite an uproar had this not been known until after upgrades were purchased.

    Thank you for the heads up and thank you for a fine software package.
  • N8FNR
    N8FNR Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    DXLab, CWSkimmer and fldigi will be show stoppers for me. I use these all the time.
  • Ross - K9COX
    Ross - K9COX Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Houston (Austin) , we have a problem
  • VK7WH Winston
    VK7WH Winston Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Is it possible that the reason we haven’t heard anything from FlexRadio is because their Software Engineers in Austin are “heads down, bottoms up” trying to circumvent this issue, so that they can demonstrate Version 3 running with, say, DXLABS at Dayton? It certainly would be a master **** if they could pull it off. Sometimes it pays to dream. Fingers crossed Winston VK7WH
  • ZENKI
    ZENKI Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Having a strategy for attracting, retaining, and nurturing 3rd party developers is not something you do when you have time. Companies that depend on the 3rd party community are focused on the relationship all the time. So, it is irrelevant how busy the FRS developers are.
  • N9VC
    N9VC Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    I, for one, appreciate everything Flex has accomplished.

    73, Jim N9VC
  • Lionel
    Lionel Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Thanks Steve. Great explanation.
  • Pat N6PAT
    Pat N6PAT Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    That's a nice explanation but the question remains (unless it was answered in all that) will DX Labs , Slice Master and CW Skimmer work with V3 when it is released or not?
  • Mike_N1MD
    Mike_N1MD Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    I have the same question. The answer is the crux of the issue.

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