Ok I have seen the Alpha release of 1.4

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  • (Edited)
I was invited to see what the latest alpha looked like. I can assure you they are very very very close to locking this down. I will not get into the features other than to say it looks good plays good. I was allowed to get on remote over the lan. Could not work a long time but what I did worked well, made a few contacts and very little adjusting. I have a I5 hp notebook, not very powerful seemed to work ok even when I went outside by the pool. Did not carry a headset but talked with the mic in the computer . Look at the picture Gerald posted on one of his comments looks just like what I saw.

I believe I was called because I have been tapping my toe waiting and a lot of people on here know me. Folks 1.4 is working and it has lan which is working very well. The hardest thing I ever did was uninstalling the release, I was not asked to but it was the right thing to do. I am now setting onmy hands waiting just like all of you.

So some of you are very upset and I can understand but I will say this the release is very close and it is worth the wait as least for me it is. That is all I know and let's hope it comes soon.
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Dale KB5VE

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Posted 4 years ago

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Lee - N2LEE

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Dale thanks for the update. I have no doubt that 1.4 will be another great release and worth the wait.
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Steve W6SDM

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We have to laugh at ourselves getting all antsy over a radio software release.  The title of your message sounds like when Moses went up on the mount and talked to God, then came back and told everyone about it.

I never had any doubt that 1.4 would kick butt, nor do I have doubt that future releases will be just as exciting.
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W5XZ - dan

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I think Dale has seen "The Promised Land"... I just hope HE gets to go there!
< grin > 
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Burt Fisher

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I guess you were allowed to tell the group of your experience and that you were a chosen one.
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Burt Fisher

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Steve I loved your first paragraph.

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Jay -- N0FB, Elmer

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Very much looking forward to LAN capability.  This spring, I'll be able to sit out by the BBQ Smoker and play Radio at the same time!  How fun!
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Didn't Moses break the first set of tablets when he came down the mountain after talking to God and saw that the people were whining?

Hi Hi....
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Dale.  I envy you.  (but not to to the point of needing repentance!  ha ha.)

Howard,
When Moses came down the mountain he discovered that the crowds had lost faith, had become convinced that Moses had died on the mountain, coerced his brother Aaron into making a golden calf and claimed that "This is the God that delivered us from Eqypt,"  They had begun an orgiastic pagan celebration of sacrifice to the "god" of their own making,

I suppose in this case, perhaps we could consider that the "Let's-go-back-to-Egypt Committee" has grown impatient, convinced themselves that the next release will never happen, and have returned to knob radios or run to the internet and purchased ANON or ELAD rigs! 

The sad thing about giving up too soon is that often you miss a great play after you have departed!

(Sorry if this offends anyone.  I don't mean any offense.  Just having a little fun with the metaphors...)

Ken - NM9P
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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I am, however, not quite sure how to apply the analogy of the orgiastic pagan celebration to ham radio....  perhaps the latest DXpedition?
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DrTeeth

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@ Mike W9OJ

Actually, 613 were given to Moses on Mount Sinai.
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MH_Flexer

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According to Mel Brooks there were more than ten commandments but when he stumbled and broke one of the stones he recovered his poise and restated the 10 commandments,,,,,  LOL HIHI
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Drax

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But Moses got pissed at the heathens and smashed the current version of the tablets.
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Dale KB5VE

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Guys I can assure you I have no relationship to Moses. And I can assure you I was not talking to GOD on a Flex radio. but I was tickled that I was asked to take a look at the new release and see that we are getting a good release in the future. But if you all want me to go to the Highest mountain in my area and throw a Flex 6500 manual on all the icom,yaesu and kenwood lovers and see if it explodes like the ten commandments did, I am no Charlston Heston

 but I will do my best.

(Edited)
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Dale KB5VE

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I do have I had a DREAM speech!
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Finally a Thread with a Sense of Humor
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Brent Parker

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Great thread!   Funny!

I'm going to Orlando's hamcation and very much looking forward to seeing the demo of 1.4. I get on the 14.239 net on Sundays, and watch Dudley's remote via Livestream, so have had a little peak ot 1.4 and some of the new buttons (Remote), but looking forward to actually seeing it.

Brent  W8XG (formerly NB4AP)

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Lee - N2LEE

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Is the net still active because I have not been able to find it. Also what is the livestream address ?
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Brent Parker

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Yep. Today it's on 14.327 (usually on 14.329)

Livestream is at   www.livestream.com/wa5qpz
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Dale KB5VE

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Thank you Brent over my 46 years in a very pressure packed business I have always relied on humor to ease the tension. At one time I had some of my team members who were close to losing very good jobs, all because they were too focused on the negative. I had tried all the standard motivators even the big written warning. And none worked. I knew these were good bright employees but their focus was tunnel vision and was all negative. I walked in one day popped a vhs tape in and we watch two hours of I love Lucy, Sinefield, and a Rodney Dangerfield monologue. After we had a nice lunch I brought in and while eating I pointed out how much each of the shows related to our project, almost immediately the light hubs went off the negation disappeared and the ideas started flowing. Not only did we solve our issue but pitched in and helped another team with theirs. All because we laughed a little and looked at others bumbling arround in the sitcoms and in doing so I taught them that work without humor was just work but with a little humor could open the brain up to new ideas.

The result was two of the three took positions equal to mine eventually, oh what happened to the third? I ended up working for him right before I retired! All three gave me credit for their success because they never were negative again.
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Lee - N2LEE

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Mike, I believe Dale was attempting to convey that the product is not vaporware and that Flex is well on their way to nailing down a stable and reliable release.

Remember marketing to hams is a difficult line, especially the current SDR market because on one hand your audience are early adopters. This audience requires a slightly different approach than marketing to an established corporate market.

Plenty of large companies leak rumors and offer sneak peeks at future products. So in this case I do not see this as a fault.

Lee
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Mike Whatley

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Lee the post was pompous and narcissitic.
The cheerleading responses like your own aren't based on real information. But speculation and silly conjecture.

Vapor ware.? Really? That's among the more ridiculous suggestions I've heard here. Flex radio has been around for a decade. They have product credibility. and "early adopters".???? More like elderly adopters!

Oh the angst of 1.4 and the mob feeding! It's fun !

Cheers Mike.
(Oh my favorite was Dale's counseling "those who are very upset"!!! What a hoot!). Is he a counselor as well as author of "how to succeed in Business" )
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Steve W6SDM

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Maybe I missed something but I'm not confused at all.  The product is highly technical and caters to a narrowly vertical market.  I don't think Madison Avenue would be of any help in promoting SSDR V 1.4.

I'm not sure what it takes to get official standing or why that would help promote the software at all - or why it would even need to be promoted because most of us know pretty much what to expect and have already bought the product.

I appreciate the sneak peak in whatever form it may present itself.
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Mike Whatley

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It was not a sneak peek beyond "Hey I saw it and you didn't." Laughs. Which is an appropriate review for such a "highly technical" product! Your previous post as a Flex Fan boy who has no doubts about the glorious future of Flex was typical of the propaganda stream by those of you who Profess to "know pretty much what to expect" Thanks for the fun Steve!
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Steve W6SDM

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No problem.  Thanks for the opportunity to amuse you.
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Walt - KZ1F

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I think this whole conversation has gotten hilariously funny. I think the most important part of 1.4 will be the bug fixes. As they haven't enumerated what bugs, reported or not, they've fixed, that will truly be Christmas morning for a 5 year old. Third party software can't fix a broken feature. However third party software can fix being tethered to your shack.  It's nice that it will be part of the control surface, RDP not required, but really, the analogy of Moses and God??????? Me thinks there is a lot of worship going on here. Which, btw, is evident when FRS misses a date. If there was video here I'd suspect there would be pitchforks and torches. Jim Baker, before and after Jessica.
(Edited)
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Mike Whatley

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Walt. There is little funny about the thread. It's like junior high kids bragging about their new smart device and poor metaphor use including obsequious and slovenly rhetorical drooling by adult men over a minor software release. Ham radio is not a hobby to some here. Rather it is a lifestyle. And an identity. As such this stuff is important ! Irrational exuberance and fawning is common!

Cheers,
Mike wa4d
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Walt - KZ1F

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Mike, you and I are more in agreement than you realize. Re-read what I said, esp with regard to Christmas morning and the scene in Frankenstein with the town folk with pitch forks and reed torches. For myself, the 6000 series is an interesting radio, it ranks high but has a few serious drawbacks, one, it absolutely requires Microsoft Windows to run. Yes, Stu wrote an contesting iPad app for it and I am writing a Linux and Android 'smarter' SDR for it. Mine will integrate DXCluster, logging, LOTW, rotor control and amp control. I think the RHR website lacks imagination but look at what it does, very impressive. I preordered the 6500 based on what, I think it was, Greg told me at Boxboro which was it wouldn't require Windows to run. Yeah, it really does require it.  A ham radio that does 6 meters but doesn't do FM? Really? Jay, remote control, is not a WOW, breaking technology. People have been remotely controlling their entire shacks for, if not decades, years. I refer you to the Product Review section of the latest QST, now all that's needed is a little dongle at the remote site. Running a remote station is way more than the radio's control, it is the station's control, amp, rotor, station grounding etc. SSDR 2.x is good, no doubt, it's moving the ball further down the field but it is not an orgasmic event. Nor is it anything to wet one's pants over. To Jay's point about controlling the morale at FRS, God, I hope not. I think some on this board have done more to dissuade potential customers than they have persuaded potential customers. Again, I refer to my prior comment about pitch forks and torches. If I didn't already have over $5k into FRS I'd go elsewhere, simply based on the rhetoric on this board, the vitriol when they are late. The constant whining about perceived simple functionality that either doesn't work right or is missing. So, no Jay, you (this board) are not inspiring the troops here.  If anything it is hurting their chances for success. To your (Mike's) point, I don't think I've ever seen a group of adults swoon over something so shamelessly. How's that for vocabulary, everybody understood it? When one builds expectations and anticipation that high, there is only one way for it to go when the high wears off. It doesn't matter whether it's a Flex radio SSDR version or a date with the captain of the high school cheer squad, or that new BB gun for Christmas. It will never be as good as this level of anticipation and expectation sets the bar at.
(Edited)
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Jay -- N0FB, Elmer

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Mike, Fanboy here!

As smart as you try to sound and impress upon others, you apparently have forgotten the joy and fun of experimenting with new abilities within the realm of Ham Radio.  You imply that Ham Radio is a lifestyle for you and not just a hobby, but based on your exhibited continuous condescension of those on this board, you appear to have very little regard for those who enjoy the "lifestyle" with you.   That is quite a conundrum.  

Native LAN Support, FM, more reliable DAX support are a few of the features contained in the 1.4 release (Wave Form API coming soon).  1.4 might well be a "dot release" by naming convention, but not by what has been accomplished.  Based on everything we understand, the rails which are being laid are what we're really cheering as we know where they lead.  This work provides the requisite foundational code to allow for explosive, multidimensional feature growth of SmartSDR from both within Flex Radio and simultaneously from 3rd party developers.  

Frankly, the LAN and FM were in my estimation, an important as they are to the community, they were but small part of the overall work accomplished in this release.  Most of this coding was probably very tedious and unglamorous.  Such is the work with which great new feature sets are built upon.

Mike, do you not believe the FRS development team reads this board?  Do you not think our postings affect them?  If not, you might not be as enlightened as you think yourself to be  Software Development Team Managers try to keep their team focused and motivated through encouragement and appreciation.  If that manager had a choice of allowing an outside source help inspire the team, who would bring in:  A curmudgeon or motivational speaker?  Which category might your postings fall?  Are they drafted with the  intend to encourage, to demoralize or were they created merely for your own self adulation and ego? 

As a loyal customer of Flex Radio, I have a selfish vested interest in the company's future success.  I want to help make sure the environment remains as conducive to continued development of the SSDR platform.  This is to insure that my investment retains, and if possible, increases in value (monetarily and/or usability) for as long as possible. Constructive criticism along with helpful recommendations are appreciated by FRS and the group.  Speaking for myself, your continued negativism and condescension toward the members of this board and FRS have become toxic and unwelcome.  You could better use your intelligence to grow and enable those around you.

Thumper's Mom was brilliant.
(Edited)
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Mike Whatley

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Jay..... I burst out laughing. You clearly misunderstood. Ham radio is little more than a frivolus hobby of aging white men, a waste of time and money and occasionally fun. Hardly my "lifestyle". Yet you are correct. I hold in low regard, those who adopt Ham radio as a "lifestyle"

I'm a more than satisfied Flex product owner. But loyalty? I could care less whether they succeed in the future.

Dashing now Jay. Off to the gym to feed my ego and adore myself! (6"1 190lbs!)

Cheers, mike wa4d
(
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Lee - N2LEE

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Mike, what kind of Ham are you. How dare you have a REAL life with outside interest and a balanced view of the world. hehe
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Walt - KZ1F

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Wow Mike, I don't believe I'd go that far. I recently entered retirement and, more specifically, fixed income. While I was still working I decided to build the scaffolding for my perceived primary hobby during retirement. The Flex, for good or ill, is part of that. As I explained to people at work, none of us know how many days we have left, but I do know this; however many days I have left just got 10 hours longer. People have to have a transition from working to not working, something to occupy that 10 hours longer/day. If they don't do that they won't be in retirement long. Yes, I am a member of ARRL, yes I get QST. I might glance at it every month and maybe, occasionally, read an article but I certainly don't 'hang on every word' they write. I occasionally talk with Steve Hicks, but it is not as if it is hero worship.  The other image that popped in my head about much on this board are Wayne and Garth. I wouldn't call ham radio a 'frivolous waste of time'. The goal of any hobby is to provide enjoyment to the participant of it. For myself, I much prefer reminiscing about that cheer leader than fantasising over what the next point release or roadmap feature  FRS has planned, even though the cheerleader proved to be just another high school girl but with an inflated ego. 
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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Sorry about your cheerleader, Walt. They're not all bad. Come to think of it, my daughter looks a lot like the one I dated back when (yeah, I'm double braggin'). Point is, life is good, and our hobby is fun. Let's all enjoy it. And at our ages, not too many cheerleaders come knocking, so getting our kicks form a software upgrade ain't all that bad. Keeps us off the street and out of trouble. Mostly.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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As I understand it, Flex will not be late ever again on a release. Because they most likely won't mention one in the future. When it comes out it does.
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Dale KB5VE

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As I understand it there will be a limited ROAD MAP with features that are being addressed but there will be no time frame.
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Steve W6SDM

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There could also be a road map with estimated dates available to those who were willing to agree to the following:

I promise not to whine, cry, bawl, howl, snivel, whimper, squall, mewl, bleat or otherwise vociferate displeasure, verbally or in writing, should Flex Radio not have the features I want, when I want, working exactly the way I want, all of the time. 

 

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DrTeeth

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I wonder what penalties there should be for transgressors?
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Burt Fisher

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Make them listen to a contest.
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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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A few thoughts on some of the banter back and forth on this topic.
  1. For you all this is a hobby.  For us, it is our livelihood.  
  2. We are not as bad as some make us out to be nor as good as some make us out to be.  But we are pretty good.
  3. There are two kinds of criticism: constructive and destructive.  We appreciate and always try to listen to the former.  The latter accomplishes nothing except to cause harm to all, which in some cases may be what is intended.
  4. We try to learn from our and get better every day.  
  5. We are the only company in ham radio with a public software road map.  We do this as a courtesy to you.  I expect that we will continue to communicate our directional road map from time to time but without specific dates. 
  6. We are not going to communicate publicly everything we are working on for competitive reasons.
  7. We love what we do and want you to enjoy the work of our hands.  
As stated on multiple occasions, we will release v1.4 when it meets our quality standards and not before.  It's close but not quite there.

73,
Gerald
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Brent Parker

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Gerald - Thanks for the updates. That's a significant cpu performance difference. Looking forward to it, when it's ready.

I'm not a programmer (not bad as an IT guy, but programmer - NO!) I've been reading some of the discussion pitching separate bug releases vs enhancement releases. That doesn't seem pratical to me, but I'd like your thoughts. Is that possiable?

I'm an architect, and when we're modeling a complex building in 3D, it's a single model. We can't have different development paths, as they  would never merge together. So it's somewhat of a singular path, and yes, one change can introduce a "bug". (we call them leaks).

We do have design options, which we can turn off and on, but it gets real complicated in a hurry. Having two options take more than double the work, which is a whole other issue.

Thanks,

Brent  W8XG
(Edited)
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Lee - N2LEE

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Sounds like the product is right about where I suspected in my previous post.

There has been a lot work on the code base which also explains why so much testing is needed. The changes Gerald described is much more than bug fixes, thats for sure.

Lee
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DrTeeth

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I imagine programming is like building a house of playing cards in that each one you add can ruin the whole thing.
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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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Brent, you are correct that developing in two branches increases the total work required to manage and merge the code bases.  If we were a very large company, it might be practical.  
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k3Tim

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Programming is like building a modern skyscraper.  Each room represents a function, the doors to the rooms are the interfaces allowing data to flow in/out.  The functions (rooms) perform various operations on the data.  Passing data among the rooms on various floors is like a multi-threaded application passing data around.  If someone blocks the data (a door is shut) then the thread freezes. This can happen if a resource is needed but some other thread has it tied up.  One can wait for X milliseconds for a response although this starts adding complexity.  Another method is for the blocked room to say I'll "call" you when I have your data ready (call back function).  Any zippy / multi-thread application that handles real-time information (I/Q data from SDR / User Input / Audio Channels....) would be multi-threaded with call-back functions and interrupts.  This throws an extra complicated dimension of timing onto the code development.  The code sequencing will be more random now due to the multi-thread and random events. It's much easier to handle data that does not have the real-time component.

Gerald has mentioned multiple processors / FPGAs / DSPs etc.  This is like a campus of buildings exchanging data via walkways between the buildings.  The flow has to be just right and both sides in sync.  It is very easy for an app to lock waiting on one to respond with data whilst the other is waiting for an ACK from the last exchange, ie. a walkway gets jammed up / blocked. From my personal experience, this problem is very difficult to code / debug.  

Imagine a bug that happens rather randomly and only once in 5 hours.  How to find it?  You theorize what is happening, put debug code in place to verify and wait for your trap to catch the lil' bugger. If you miss, it's another several hours to work on a new trap.  You've just burned an entire day!  

On the positive note, I believe C# is the programming language of choice.  This allows for "data abstraction".  For example, floating point numbers can be 'abstracted' to say, Frequency in units of KHz.  One could then add / subtract / display frequencies in a more user / programmer) friendly manner.  Without ever seeing their code I can guarantee they have data abstraction routines to handle I/Q data.  For example, adding an array of two I/Q data streams or finding the phase angle / magnitude of an I/Q pair.

The challenge is to architect the code (skyscraper) with functions (rooms) + data abstractions (hallways - elevators)  to solve the data manipulations needed to meet product requirements.  If done well, the code structure should be clean (Skyscraper is not the Leaning Tower of Pizza).  If it's well done, changes (mission creep) should be handled w/o to extensive effort.

With CPU's running at Ghz speeds and multi-cores the number of instructions going thru the CPU is huge!  If an app crashes after 3 or 4 days it's considered "unstable". Do the math for that error rate!

_..--
 k3Tim