Newbie gives QNX an 'F'

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Jason Wycoff

Newbie gives QNX an 'F'

Post by Jason Wycoff » Thu Apr 25, 2002 3:41 pm

Hello Everyone,

Sorry for this bit of flaming, but...

I would like to just share a couple of my thoughts about my recent
experience with QNX. A couple of years ago I worked on a couple of projects
using QNX4, but then was busy with other things for a while. We then
received a new project and based on the QNX-RTOS's reputation decided to go
ahead and use QNX6 for our current project. I must confess that this has
been a severely frustrating experience. The system, when we get it running,
seems to work fine. My frustration is not, however, aimed at the product
itself, which seems to be excellent, but the support and documentation
provided for developers trying to use this system.
While trying to learn about QNX6, most of my time was spent searching in
vain for decent documentation and sufficient examples to become productive.
The QNX homepage and QDN site seems to be frozen in time somewhere between
late 2000, early 2001. Although there are a few valuable nuggets of
information, like the Developer's Article Series, this is not nearly enough.
Almost all references returned by searching for terms relate to QNX4. The
complete absence of any QNX6 books (except for Mr. Krten's book and the
system architecture book) is also surprising.
Yes, nearly every system utility is described, but that is only useful once
you know that they even exist! I want to set up a connection to a Windows
box, I don't want to read through hundreds of utilities description just to
stumble accross fs-cifs or some such program.
In general I feel the following is missing (by no means a thorough or
complete list)
1) A guide for absolute beginners with little to no experience with UNIX or
similar systems.
2) An intermediate guide for somewhat experienced UNIX users that need to
know how to get productive with QNX6. Setting up a productive network,
setting up printers, listing available tools. Yes the online help has a
system architecture section and a programmer's section, but where is the
user's section?
3) Thorough explanations of the system setup. What happens when the system
starts? Where are the configuration files? What changes can be made and
what programs exist for making these changes, etc.?
4) examples, examples, and more examples.

For many of you, this may seem unnecessary, but for new users and teams
evaluating using QNX for their systems, these are critical issues. I'm
sorry to say it, but I regret having given my vote to QNX as we were
choosing our OS. I realize the QSSL doesn't have the resources that
Microsoft or some of the other big boys have, but the amount of Linux
literature and the excellent MSDN library just blow the QNX stuff out of the
water. The QNX gurus may be happy with everything, but I guarantee that QNX
will not attract many new developers with the current documentation, and
that's too bad.

Thanks for letting me vent.

Best regards,

Jason Wycoff

Paul Vander Byl

Re: Newbie gives QNX an 'F'

Post by Paul Vander Byl » Thu Apr 25, 2002 5:15 pm

It's too bad that you give up so easily. Being a newbie a short time ago, I
too searched for answers. However, I was able to find them. The newsgroups
and the website provided me with more than adequate information. Frustrated
at times, a small post on the news groups would always come through.

Cheers to QNX, and shame on those who are lead to water but can't seem to
drink!




"Jason Wycoff" <jason@socratec.de> wrote in message
news:aa97ch$jq6$1@inn.qnx.com...
Hello Everyone,

Sorry for this bit of flaming, but...

I would like to just share a couple of my thoughts about my recent
experience with QNX. A couple of years ago I worked on a couple of
projects
using QNX4, but then was busy with other things for a while. We then
received a new project and based on the QNX-RTOS's reputation decided to
go
ahead and use QNX6 for our current project. I must confess that this has
been a severely frustrating experience. The system, when we get it
running,
seems to work fine. My frustration is not, however, aimed at the product
itself, which seems to be excellent, but the support and documentation
provided for developers trying to use this system.
While trying to learn about QNX6, most of my time was spent searching in
vain for decent documentation and sufficient examples to become
productive.
The QNX homepage and QDN site seems to be frozen in time somewhere between
late 2000, early 2001. Although there are a few valuable nuggets of
information, like the Developer's Article Series, this is not nearly
enough.
Almost all references returned by searching for terms relate to QNX4. The
complete absence of any QNX6 books (except for Mr. Krten's book and the
system architecture book) is also surprising.
Yes, nearly every system utility is described, but that is only useful
once
you know that they even exist! I want to set up a connection to a Windows
box, I don't want to read through hundreds of utilities description just
to
stumble accross fs-cifs or some such program.
In general I feel the following is missing (by no means a thorough or
complete list)
1) A guide for absolute beginners with little to no experience with UNIX
or
similar systems.
2) An intermediate guide for somewhat experienced UNIX users that need to
know how to get productive with QNX6. Setting up a productive network,
setting up printers, listing available tools. Yes the online help has a
system architecture section and a programmer's section, but where is the
user's section?
3) Thorough explanations of the system setup. What happens when the
system
starts? Where are the configuration files? What changes can be made and
what programs exist for making these changes, etc.?
4) examples, examples, and more examples.

For many of you, this may seem unnecessary, but for new users and teams
evaluating using QNX for their systems, these are critical issues. I'm
sorry to say it, but I regret having given my vote to QNX as we were
choosing our OS. I realize the QSSL doesn't have the resources that
Microsoft or some of the other big boys have, but the amount of Linux
literature and the excellent MSDN library just blow the QNX stuff out of
the
water. The QNX gurus may be happy with everything, but I guarantee that
QNX
will not attract many new developers with the current documentation, and
that's too bad.

Thanks for letting me vent.

Best regards,

Jason Wycoff



David Gibbs

Re: Newbie gives QNX an 'F'

Post by David Gibbs » Thu Apr 25, 2002 5:29 pm

Jason Wycoff <jason@socratec.de> wrote:
Hello Everyone,

Sorry for this bit of flaming, but...
You are right, we are lacking in this sort of documentation -- we
mostly have reference guides, not how-to guides.

There was a system administration guide under work, and it will
help with this, but it is a valid concern.

-David
--
QNX Training Services
http://www.qnx.com/support/training/
Please followup in this newsgroup if you have further questions.

Steve Reid

Re: Newbie gives QNX an 'F'

Post by Steve Reid » Thu Apr 25, 2002 5:53 pm

Jason Wycoff <jason@socratec.de> wrote:
: Hello Everyone,

: Sorry for this bit of flaming, but...

As David said, we're quite aware of the lack of "getting started"
documentation. Believe me, all the writers really regret that we haven't
been able to create it -- as you said, we simply don't have the resources
that larger OS companies have. I'll forward your comments to the product
manager.

Thanks for the feedback -- we're trying!

------------------------------------------
Steve Reid stever@qnx.com
TechPubs (Technical Publications)
QNX Software Systems
------------------------------------------

Bill Caroselli (Q-TPS)

Re: Newbie gives QNX an 'F'

Post by Bill Caroselli (Q-TPS) » Thu Apr 25, 2002 10:38 pm

Jayson, I completely agree with you. It is the tutorial type of
documentation, not references type of documentation that is really missing.

Steve I know you guys are working hard. The QNX4 documentation is
excellent. But it's taken 10 year to get to be so good. (Oh my God. I
remember the QNX2 documentation. Photocopies of photocopies of about 8
pages. You've come a long way!) I also know that it's hard to document
things that are still changing under your feet.

One of the problems that I have is that things have changed from QNX4 to
QNX6. In QNX4 I always knew where to find things. Both in the
documentation and in the system configuration files. I never seem to know
what document to look in for QNX6. And the helpviewer search engine really
sucks. It either finds hundreds of references to what I'm looking for or 3,
all of which aren't what I need.

Lastly, I'm a nuts and bolts kind of guy. I want to do it. With all of
RPT's autoconfiguration I never know where configuration information is
stored in case I want to change it. And I don't know what to change it to,
since it is auto configured it just isn't documented. Example: Networking
in general.

Steve, keep up the good work. I know you guys will have great documentation
some day. Just about the time that QNX 8 goes into beta. (We all know that
there won't be a QNX 7.)

Here's a thought. It was often mentioned that users can contribute to the
documentation base. I would be willing to help out some and I know others
that would too. Also, this was mentioned years ago way back in QNX4 land.
Helpviewer should have an option that let's users write their own add-on
notes to the helpviewer pages. That way, even if QSSL didn't trust users to
write "official" documentation, users could post their unofficial notes here
in these news groups. If other users like what they see then can copy them
onto their own systems. If not, they don't. Either way, it doesn't "soil"
the pure QSSL documentation.

"Steve Reid" <stever@qnx.com> wrote in message
news:aa9fqv$mrf$1@nntp.qnx.com...
Jason Wycoff <jason@socratec.de> wrote:
: Hello Everyone,

: Sorry for this bit of flaming, but...

As David said, we're quite aware of the lack of "getting started"
documentation. Believe me, all the writers really regret that we haven't
been able to create it -- as you said, we simply don't have the resources
that larger OS companies have. I'll forward your comments to the product
manager.

Thanks for the feedback -- we're trying!

------------------------------------------
Steve Reid stever@qnx.com
TechPubs (Technical Publications)
QNX Software Systems
------------------------------------------

Rennie Allen

Re: Newbie gives QNX an 'F'

Post by Rennie Allen » Thu Apr 25, 2002 10:43 pm

Jason Wycoff wrote:

1) A guide for absolute beginners with little to no experience with UNIX or
similar systems.
There are *many* of these books on the market. QSSL should have links
to them from their web page.
2) An intermediate guide for somewhat experienced UNIX users that need to
know how to get productive with QNX6. Setting up a productive network,
setting up printers, listing available tools. Yes the online help has a
system architecture section and a programmer's section, but where is the
user's section?
This would be a good thing.
3) Thorough explanations of the system setup. What happens when the system
starts? Where are the configuration files? What changes can be made and
what programs exist for making these changes, etc.?
Yes. This definately needs to be done.

4) examples, examples, and more examples.
I think there are enough examples, but they could be easier to find.
Particulary annoying is trying to figure out which one of a family of
functions is the one with the example. The idea is there (*some* family
functions have a link to the one that contains the example, but the
cross reference is no where near complete).

For many of you, this may seem unnecessary, but for new users and teams
evaluating using QNX for their systems, these are critical issues. I'm
sorry to say it, but I regret having given my vote to QNX as we were
choosing our OS.
That's odd considering you said that the product is excellent (you
regret having voted for an excellent product).

Most people don't regret having voted for a mediocre product (there-in
lies the problem I think).
I realize the QSSL doesn't have the resources that
Microsoft or some of the other big boys have, but the amount of Linux
literature and the excellent MSDN library just blow the QNX stuff out of the
water.
Well, you do realize that the Linux stuff that "blows QNX out of the
water", is (for many of the purposes you stated) perfectly acceptable
*as* QNX documentation.
The QNX gurus may be happy with everything, but I guarantee that QNX
will not attract many new developers with the current documentation, and
that's too bad.
That's OK, because in the long term the companies that base their
products on QNX will have superior products, and will outlive the
companies that trade quality for expediency.

Thanks for letting me vent.
You're welcome !

Rennie

Igor Kovalenko

Re: Newbie gives QNX an 'F'

Post by Igor Kovalenko » Thu Apr 25, 2002 11:24 pm

One of the MOST ANNOYING AND SILLY THINGS(tm) in QNX documentation is lack
of hyperlinks on function parameters (in the library reference). That makes
it hard to use. Some functions have rather long description and explanation
of parameters are usually buried along lengthy sentences. It forces even
seasoned programmers to read whole thing when they are just looking for
parameters definition. Some pages do not describe some parameters at all.
And examples sometimes do NOT work, do not even compile.

It should have formal structure with all topics hyperlinked and
cross-referenced. Ideally function references should be produced by parsing
headers with inline comments (doxygen or java style), then it will always be
up-to-date.

-- igor

"Rennie Allen" <rallen@csical.com> wrote in message
news:3CC8868F.7040909@csical.com...
Jason Wycoff wrote:


1) A guide for absolute beginners with little to no experience with UNIX
or
similar systems.


There are *many* of these books on the market. QSSL should have links
to them from their web page.

2) An intermediate guide for somewhat experienced UNIX users that need
to
know how to get productive with QNX6. Setting up a productive network,
setting up printers, listing available tools. Yes the online help has a
system architecture section and a programmer's section, but where is the
user's section?


This would be a good thing.

3) Thorough explanations of the system setup. What happens when the
system
starts? Where are the configuration files? What changes can be made
and
what programs exist for making these changes, etc.?


Yes. This definately needs to be done.


4) examples, examples, and more examples.


I think there are enough examples, but they could be easier to find.
Particulary annoying is trying to figure out which one of a family of
functions is the one with the example. The idea is there (*some* family
functions have a link to the one that contains the example, but the
cross reference is no where near complete).


For many of you, this may seem unnecessary, but for new users and teams
evaluating using QNX for their systems, these are critical issues. I'm
sorry to say it, but I regret having given my vote to QNX as we were
choosing our OS.


That's odd considering you said that the product is excellent (you
regret having voted for an excellent product).

Most people don't regret having voted for a mediocre product (there-in
lies the problem I think).

I realize the QSSL doesn't have the resources that
Microsoft or some of the other big boys have, but the amount of Linux
literature and the excellent MSDN library just blow the QNX stuff out of
the
water.


Well, you do realize that the Linux stuff that "blows QNX out of the
water", is (for many of the purposes you stated) perfectly acceptable
*as* QNX documentation.

The QNX gurus may be happy with everything, but I guarantee that QNX
will not attract many new developers with the current documentation, and
that's too bad.


That's OK, because in the long term the companies that base their
products on QNX will have superior products, and will outlive the
companies that trade quality for expediency.


Thanks for letting me vent.

You're welcome !

Rennie

Ian Zagorskih

Re: Newbie gives QNX an 'F'

Post by Ian Zagorskih » Fri Apr 26, 2002 3:32 am

"Bill Caroselli (Q-TPS)" <QTPS@EarthLink.net> wrote in message
news:aa9vuo$78q$1@inn.qnx.com...
Jayson, I completely agree with you. It is the tutorial type of
documentation, not references type of documentation that is really
missing.

Steve I know you guys are working hard. The QNX4 documentation is
excellent. But it's taken 10 year to get to be so good. (Oh my God. I
remember the QNX2 documentation. Photocopies of photocopies of about 8
pages. You've come a long way!) I also know that it's hard to document
things that are still changing under your feet.
Hm.. You really think that QNX4's documentation is great :-?

// wbr

Eric Johnson

Re: Newbie gives QNX an 'F'

Post by Eric Johnson » Fri Apr 26, 2002 3:39 am

We're now putting the description for a function's arguments in a
separate 'Arguments:' section immediately following the
function synopsis. Unfortunately, we won't be able to complete
the work of revamping all the existing lib docs in time for the
next release. However, you should see this change in a
substantial percentage of the library function docs. It's not the
hyperlinks you asked for, but I think is a lot better than
what we'd been doing previously.

- Eric

"Igor Kovalenko" <Igor.Kovalenko@motorola.com> wrote in message
news:aaa2jl$906$1@inn.qnx.com...
One of the MOST ANNOYING AND SILLY THINGS(tm) in QNX documentation is lack
of hyperlinks on function parameters (in the library reference). That
makes
it hard to use. Some functions have rather long description and
explanation
of parameters are usually buried along lengthy sentences. It forces even
seasoned programmers to read whole thing whe they are just looking for
parameters definition. Some pages do not describe some parameters at all.
And examples sometimes do NOT work, do not even compile.

It should have formal structure with all topics hyperlinked and
cross-referenced. Ideally function references should be produced by
parsing
headers with inline comments (doxygen or java style), then it will always
be
up-to-date.

-- igor

"Rennie Allen" <rallen@csical.com> wrote in message
news:3CC8868F.7040909@csical.com...
Jason Wycoff wrote:


1) A guide for absolute beginners with little to no experience with
UNIX
or
similar systems.


There are *many* of these books on the market. QSSL should have links
to them from their web page.

2) An intermediate guide for somewhat experienced UNIX users that need
to
know how to get productive with QNX6. Setting up a productive network,
setting up printers, listing available tools. Yes the online help has
a
system architecture section and a programmer's section, but where is
the
user's section?


This would be a good thing.

3) Thorough explanations of the system setup. What happens when the
system
starts? Where are the configuration files? What changes can be made
and
what programs exist for making these changes, etc.?


Yes. This definately needs to be done.


4) examples, examples, and more examples.


I think there are enough examples, but they could be easier to find.
Particulary annoying is trying to figure out which one of a family of
functions is the one with the example. The idea is there (*some* family
functions have a link to the one that contains the example, but the
cross reference is no where near complete).


For many of you, this may seem unnecessary, but for new users and
teams
evaluating using QNX for their systems, these are critical issues.
I'm
sorry to say it, but I regret having given my vote to QNX as we were
choosing our OS.


That's odd considering you said that the product is excellent (you
regret having voted for an excellent product).

Most people don't regret having voted for a mediocre product (there-in
lies the problem I think).

I realize the QSSL doesn't have the resources that
Microsoft or some of the other big boys have, but the amount of Linux
literature and the excellent MSDN library just blow the QNX stuff out
of
the
water.


Well, you do realize that the Linux stuff that "blows QNX out of the
water", is (for many of the purposes you stated) perfectly acceptable
*as* QNX documentation.

The QNX gurus may be happy with everything, but I guarantee that QNX
will not attract many new developers with the current documentation,
and
that's too bad.


That's OK, because in the long term the companies that base their
products on QNX will have superior products, and will outlive the
companies that trade quality for expediency.


Thanks for letting me vent.

You're welcome !

Rennie


Jason Wycoff

Re: Newbie gives QNX an 'F'

Post by Jason Wycoff » Fri Apr 26, 2002 6:12 am

Thanks, for your reply.
If you noticed, I never complained in my message about the support provided
by the newsgroups. I'm impressed by the readiness of the QNX community and
the employees of QSSL to given prompt and good answers. Newsgroups should
not be, IMHO, the primary source of information for developers, especially
for beginners.

I may have been lead to a full well, with the highest quality spring water,
but no one is providing a rope with a bucket on the end, and in the mean
time I don't plan on suffering dehydration until it occurs to the owners of
the well that not everyone wants to climb down the well to get to the water.


"Paul Vander Byl" <pvbyl@chat.carleton.ca> wrote in message
news:aa9d19$nua$1@inn.qnx.com...
It's too bad that you give up so easily. Being a newbie a short time ago,
I
too searched for answers. However, I was able to find them. The
newsgroups
and the website provided me with more than adequate information.
Frustrated
at times, a small post on the news groups would always come through.

Cheers to QNX, and shame on those who are lead to water but can't seem to
drink!




"Jason Wycoff" <jason@socratec.de> wrote in message
news:aa97ch$jq6$1@inn.qnx.com...
Hello Everyone,

Sorry for this bit of flaming, but...

I would like to just share a couple of my thoughts about my recent
experience with QNX. A couple of years ago I worked on a couple of
projects
using QNX4, but then was busy with other things for a while. We then
received a new project and based on the QNX-RTOS's reputation decided to
go
ahead and use QNX6 for our current project. I must confess that this
has
been a severely frustrating experience. The system, when we get it
running,
seems to work fine. My frustration is not, however, aimed at the
product
itself, which seems to be excellent, but the support and documentation
provided for developers trying to use this system.
While trying to learn about QNX6, most of my time was spent searching in
vain for decent documentation and sufficient examples to become
productive.
The QNX homepage and QDN site seems to be frozen in time somewhere
between
late 2000, early 2001. Although there are a few valuable nuggets of
information, like the Developer's Article Series, this is not nearly
enough.
Almost all references returned by searching for terms relate to QNX4.
The
complete absence of any QNX6 books (except for Mr. Krten's book and the
system architecture book) is also surprising.
Yes, nearly every system utility is described, but that is only useful
once
you know that they even exist! I want to set up a connection to a
Windows
box, I don't want to read through hundreds of utilities description just
to
stumble accross fs-cifs or some such program.
In general I feel the following is missing (by no means a thorough or
complete list)
1) A guide for absolute beginners with little to no experience with UNIX
or
similar systems.
2) An intermediate guide for somewhat experienced UNIX users that need
to
know how to get productive with QNX6. Setting up a productive network,
setting up printers, listing available tools. Yes the online help has a
system architecture section and a programmer's section, but where is the
user's section?
3) Thorough explanations of the system setup. What happens when the
system
starts? Where are the configuration files? What changes can be made
and
what programs exist for making these changes, etc.?
4) examples, examples, and more examples.

For many of you, this may seem unnecessary, but for new users and teams
evaluating using QNX for their systems, these are critical issues. I'm
sorry to say it, but I regret having given my vote to QNX as we were
choosing our OS. I realize the QSSL doesn't have the resources that
Microsoft or some of the other big boys have, but the amount of Linux
literature and the excellent MSDN library just blow the QNX stuff out of
the
water. The QNX gurus may be happy with everything, but I guarantee that
QNX
will not attract many new developers with the current documentation, and
that's too bad.

Thanks for letting me vent.

Best regards,

Jason Wycoff





Chris McKillop

Re: Newbie gives QNX an 'F'

Post by Chris McKillop » Fri Apr 26, 2002 6:16 am

This was mentioned but no link was given. I am pretty impressed with the
details that are in this document even if it is a work-in-progress...

http://qdn.qnx.com/support/docs/sysadmin/docs/wip.html

....it provides a much needed high-level view of the system.

chris



Jason Wycoff <jason@socratec.de> wrote:
Thanks, for your reply.
If you noticed, I never complained in my message about the support provided
by the newsgroups. I'm impressed by the readiness of the QNX community and
the employees of QSSL to given prompt and good answers. Newsgroups should
not be, IMHO, the primary source of information for developers, especially
for beginners.

I may have been lead to a full well, with the highest quality spring water,
but no one is providing a rope with a bucket on the end, and in the mean
time I don't plan on suffering dehydration until it occurs to the owners of
the well that not everyone wants to climb down the well to get to the water.


"Paul Vander Byl" <pvbyl@chat.carleton.ca> wrote in message
news:aa9d19$nua$1@inn.qnx.com...
It's too bad that you give up so easily. Being a newbie a short time ago,
I
too searched for answers. However, I was able to find them. The
newsgroups
and the website provided me with more than adequate information.
Frustrated
at times, a small post on the news groups would always come through.

Cheers to QNX, and shame on those who are lead to water but can't seem to
drink!




"Jason Wycoff" <jason@socratec.de> wrote in message
news:aa97ch$jq6$1@inn.qnx.com...
Hello Everyone,

Sorry for this bit of flaming, but...

I would like to just share a couple of my thoughts about my recent
experience with QNX. A couple of years ago I worked on a couple of
projects
using QNX4, but then was busy with other things for a while. We then
received a new project and based on the QNX-RTOS's reputation decided to
go
ahead and use QNX6 for our current project. I must confess that this
has
been a severely frustrating experience. The system, when we get it
running,
seems to work fine. My frustration is not, however, aimed at the
product
itself, which seems to be excellent, but the support and documentation
provided for developers trying to use this system.
While trying to learn about QNX6, most of my time was spent searching in
vain for decent documentation and sufficient examples to become
productive.
The QNX homepage and QDN site seems to be frozen in time somewhere
between
late 2000, early 2001. Although there are a few valuable nuggets of
information, like the Developer's Article Series, this is not nearly
enough.
Almost all references returned by searching for terms relate to QNX4.
The
complete absence of any QNX6 books (except for Mr. Krten's book and the
system architecture book) is also surprising.
Yes, nearly every system utility is described, but that is only useful
once
you know that they even exist! I want to set up a connection to a
Windows
box, I don't want to read through hundreds of utilities description just
to
stumble accross fs-cifs or some such program.
In general I feel the following is missing (by no means a thorough or
complete list)
1) A guide for absolute beginners with little to no experience with UNIX
or
similar systems.
2) An intermediate guide for somewhat experienced UNIX users that need
to
know how to get productive with QNX6. Setting up a productive network,
setting up printers, listing available tools. Yes the online help has a
system architecture section and a programmer's section, but where is the
user's section?
3) Thorough explanations of the system setup. What happens when the
system
starts? Where are the configuration files? What changes can be made
and
what programs exist for making these changes, etc.?
4) examples, examples, and more examples.

For many of you, this may seem unnecessary, but for new users and teams
evaluating using QNX for their systems, these are critical issues. I'm
sorry to say it, but I regret having given my vote to QNX as we were
choosing our OS. I realize the QSSL doesn't have the resources that
Microsoft or some of the other big boys have, but the amount of Linux
literature and the excellent MSDN library just blow the QNX stuff out of
the
water. The QNX gurus may be happy with everything, but I guarantee that
QNX
will not attract many new developers with the current documentation, and
that's too bad.

Thanks for letting me vent.

Best regards,

Jason Wycoff







--
Chris McKillop <cdm@qnx.com> "The faster I go, the behinder I get."
Software Engineer, QSSL -- Lewis Carroll --
http://qnx.wox.org/

Jason Wycoff

Re: Newbie gives QNX an 'F'

Post by Jason Wycoff » Fri Apr 26, 2002 6:19 am

Hi Bill,
thanks for your thoughts. Something you wrote reminded me of another
problem which I have observed. Many of my questions and problems could
probably be answered by old posts to the news groups, but it seems that the
old posts are deleted at regular intervals, possibly to save space, reduce
traffic, or whatever. This is lost information and all new users end up
repeating the same posts again and again. Why isn't the "best of" being
saved by anyone (I think this was previously done with the QNX Knowledge
Base)?

Cheers,
Jason

"Bill Caroselli (Q-TPS)" <QTPS@EarthLink.net> wrote in message
news:aa9vuo$78q$1@inn.qnx.com...
Jayson, I completely agree with you. It is the tutorial type of
documentation, not references type of documentation that is really
missing.

Steve I know you guys are working hard. The QNX4 documentation is
excellent. But it's taken 10 year to get to be so good. (Oh my God. I
remember the QNX2 documentation. Photocopies of photocopies of about 8
pages. You've come a long way!) I also know that it's hard to document
things that are still changing under your feet.

One of the problems that I have is that things have changed from QNX4 to
QNX6. In QNX4 I always knew where to find things. Both in the
documentation and in the system configuration files. I never seem to know
what document to look in for QNX6. And the helpviewer search engine
really
sucks. It either finds hundreds of references to what I'm looking for or
3,
all of which aren't what I need.

Lastly, I'm a nuts and bolts kind of guy. I want to do it. With all of
RPT's autoconfiguration I never know where configuration information is
stored in case I want to change it. And I don't know what to change it
to,
since it is auto configured it just isn't documented. Example: Networking
in general.

Steve, keep up the good work. I know you guys will have great
documentation
some day. Just about the time that QNX 8 goes into beta. (We all know
that
there won't be a QNX 7.)

Here's a thought. It was often mentioned that users can contribute to the
documentation base. I would be willing to help out some and I know others
that would too. Also, this was mentioned years ago way back in QNX4 land.
Helpviewer should have an option that let's users write their own add-on
notes to the helpviewer pages. That way, even if QSSL didn't trust users
to
write "official" documentation, users could post their unofficial notes
here
in these news groups. If other users like what they see then can copy
them
onto their own systems. If not, they don't. Either way, it doesn't
"soil"
the pure QSSL documentation.

"Steve Reid" <stever@qnx.com> wrote in message
news:aa9fqv$mrf$1@nntp.qnx.com...
Jason Wycoff <jason@socratec.de> wrote:
: Hello Everyone,

: Sorry for this bit of flaming, but...

As David said, we're quite aware of the lack of "getting started"
documentation. Believe me, all the writers really regret that we
haven't
been able to create it -- as you said, we simply don't have the
resources
that larger OS companies have. I'll forward your comments to the
product
manager.

Thanks for the feedback -- we're trying!

------------------------------------------
Steve Reid stever@qnx.com
TechPubs (Technical Publications)
QNX Software Systems
------------------------------------------

Jason Wycoff

Re: Newbie gives QNX an 'F'

Post by Jason Wycoff » Fri Apr 26, 2002 6:44 am

Wow, thanks Chris.
This is exactly the type of thing that people in my position are looking
for. I'm really looking forward to the finished product.
If this type of documentation becomes standard, it will be a BIG help, and
I'll be happy and willing to change the grade I gave ;-)

Regards,
Jason

"Chris McKillop" <cdm@qnx.com> wrote in message
news:aaarc0$ns5$1@nntp.qnx.com...
This was mentioned but no link was given. I am pretty impressed with the
details that are in this document even if it is a work-in-progress...

http://qdn.qnx.com/support/docs/sysadmin/docs/wip.html

...it provides a much needed high-level view of the system.

chris



Jason Wycoff <jason@socratec.de> wrote:
Thanks, for your reply.
If you noticed, I never complained in my message about the support
provided
by the newsgroups. I'm impressed by the readiness of the QNX community
and
the employees of QSSL to given prompt and good answers. Newsgroups
should
not be, IMHO, the primary source of information for developers,
especially
for beginners.

I may have been lead to a full well, with the highest quality spring
water,
but no one is providing a rope with a bucket on the end, and in the mean
time I don't plan on suffering dehydration until it occurs to the owners
of
the well that not everyone wants to climb down the well to get to the
water.


"Paul Vander Byl" <pvbyl@chat.carleton.ca> wrote in message
news:aa9d19$nua$1@inn.qnx.com...
It's too bad that you give up so easily. Being a newbie a short time
ago,
I
too searched for answers. However, I was able to find them. The
newsgroups
and the website provided me with more than adequate information.
Frustrated
at times, a small post on the news groups would always come through.

Cheers to QNX, and shame on those who are lead to water but can't seem
to
drink!




"Jason Wycoff" <jason@socratec.de> wrote in message
news:aa97ch$jq6$1@inn.qnx.com...
Hello Everyone,

Sorry for this bit of flaming, but...

I would like to just share a couple of my thoughts about my recent
experience with QNX. A couple of years ago I worked on a couple of
projects
using QNX4, but then was busy with other things for a while. We then
received a new project and based on the QNX-RTOS's reputation decided
to
go
ahead and use QNX6 for our current project. I must confess that this
has
been a severely frustrating experience. The system, when we get it
running,
seems to work fine. My frustration is not, however, aimed at the
product
itself, which seems to be excellent, but the support and
documentation
provided for developers trying to use this system.
While trying to learn about QNX6, most of my time was spent searching
in
vain for decent documentation and sufficient examples to become
productive.
The QNX homepage and QDN site seems to be frozen in time somewhere
between
late 2000, early 2001. Although there are a few valuable nuggets of
information, like the Developer's Article Series, this is not nearly
enough.
Almost all references returned by searching for terms relate to QNX4.
The
complete absence of any QNX6 books (except for Mr. Krten's book and
the
system architecture book) is also surprising.
Yes, nearly every system utility is described, but that is only
useful
once
you know that they even exist! I want to set up a connection to a
Windows
box, I don't want to read through hundreds of utilities description
just
to
stumble accross fs-cifs or some such program.
In general I feel the following is missing (by no means a thorough or
complete list)
1) A guide for absolute beginners with little to no experience with
UNIX
or
similar systems.
2) An intermediate guide for somewhat experienced UNIX users that
need
to
know how to get productive with QNX6. Setting up a productive
network,
setting up printers, listing available tools. Yes the online help
has a
system architecture section and a programmer's section, but where is
the
user's section?
3) Thorough explanations of the system setup. What happens when the
system
starts? Where are the configuration files? What changes can be made
and
what programs exist for making these changes, etc.?
4) examples, examples, and more examples.

For many of you, this may seem unnecessary, but for new users and
teams
evaluating using QNX for their systems, these are critical issues.
I'm
sorry to say it, but I regret having given my vote to QNX as we were
choosing our OS. I realize the QSSL doesn't have the resources that
Microsoft or some of the other big boys have, but the amount of Linux
literature and the excellent MSDN library just blow the QNX stuff out
of
the
water. The QNX gurus may be happy with everything, but I guarantee
that
QNX
will not attract many new developers with the current documentation,
and
that's too bad.

Thanks for letting me vent.

Best regards,

Jason Wycoff









--
Chris McKillop <cdm@qnx.com> "The faster I go, the behinder I get."
Software Engineer, QSSL -- Lewis Carroll --
http://qnx.wox.org/

Ian Zagorskih

Re: Newbie gives QNX an 'F'

Post by Ian Zagorskih » Fri Apr 26, 2002 8:43 am

"Chris McKillop" <cdm@qnx.com> wrote in message
news:aaarc0$ns5$1@nntp.qnx.com...
This was mentioned but no link was given. I am pretty impressed with the
details that are in this document even if it is a work-in-progress...

http://qdn.qnx.com/support/docs/sysadmin/docs/wip.html

...it provides a much needed high-level view of the system.

chris
I don't want to be annoying but... isn't there more questions then answers
in this sysadminguide ? :) After *first* sight it wasn't much changed since
last time i looked there (~1 year ago)...

// wbr

Steve Reid

Re: Newbie gives QNX an 'F'

Post by Steve Reid » Fri Apr 26, 2002 1:35 pm

Eric Johnson <eric@qnx.com> wrote:

: We're now putting the description for a function's arguments in a
: separate 'Arguments:' section immediately following the
: function synopsis. Unfortunately, we won't be able to complete
: the work of revamping all the existing lib docs in time for the
: next release. However, you should see this change in a
: substantial percentage of the library function docs. It's not the
: hyperlinks you asked for, but I think is a lot better than
: what we'd been doing previously.

I'm almost halfway through the Library Reference (there are around 1250
entries in it, some of which describe more than one function). And yes,
I'm adding hyperlinks to the docs for any datatypes in the argument lists.

I'm also added an index to the book, which should make it easier for you
to look up concepts (e.g. "threads, destroying"), as well as constants,
data types, and functions, and so on.

It's a lot of work, but I hope you will find it useful -- it's for you. :-)

P.S. I have tremendous respect for anyone who creates an index, and I've
become more forgiving when an index doesn't have the term I want to find.
If you want a taste of how to do it, see The Chicago Manual of Style; it
describes how to do it with (gulp!) index cards.

------------------------------------------
Steve Reid stever@qnx.com
TechPubs (Technical Publications)
QNX Software Systems
------------------------------------------

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