OpenPilot: Increasing our focus on our community and open development

OpenPilot: Increasing our focus on our community and open development

On November 8th, 2012, posted in: News by Comments Off

After a very exciting couple of weeks, today we all start a new era in the OpenPilot project.  The feedback and comments from our community have completely shaped the changes we are outlining below, so thank you for all your support!

First of all, a video:

Revolution Kickstarter Program: Now the fun begins!

As of Guy Fawkes Day (November 5th), we’ve wound down the Revolution Kickstarter style program. The interest and response has been overwhelmingly positive and we sincerely thank everyone that has chosen to get involved. With close to 500 boards ordered, our community is going to grow substantially in the next few months and we’re excited to get everyone on board and contributing.

We will keep the community updated on the progress of the Revolution through regular posts on our website and forums. You will be able to follow what is involved in creating the Revolution on both the hardware and software side.

Once we have shipped the final Kickstarter boards, we will all work together to finalize all the features and software we want to put into the Revolution. Your insight, ideas, code, testing, feedback and bug hunting will be invaluable!

Revolution GIT repository change

Along with making hardware much more accessible, all the Revolution code branches have been pushed to the public git repository, now more people can be actively involved in coding for the Revolution. The community has spoken and OpenPilot is responding to your desires to make it easier to get involved.

Forums: Easier to get involved

We’ve slightly reconfigured the forums with specific forums for major areas of development. Its now easier to find the right area to ask questions, help with development and discuss features.

OpenPilot needs your help (developers and non-developers!)

From within the community we are looking for help in all areas to drive the project forward but we have a few key areas in which we need specific help: code reviews, merging our Revolution code (revo-next) into the main “next” development branch and wiki documentation (specifically developer documentation and how to setup environments are very important).

“OK, I want to contribute, where do I start?”

Its easy! Just jump in! If you have a particular interest within OpenPilot or see an area where we need help (there are many), just jump in and get involved. Of course we always need more developers, from highly talented professionals to people that can help fix a simple bug, being involved in a flying robot project is a lot of fun!

Help with Code Reviews

This is a great way to get started with OpenPilot development and to learn the architecture behind the project as well. When code is written by the developers, it goes through a peer review process to make sure it meets our coding standards. This process needs more support from the community and if you can read code and would like to get involved all active reviews can be found on http://git.openpilot.org.

Flight Test Team

If code reviews are a bit much for you and you just like to get out and fly, maybe you would enjoy being in the Flight Test Team. This is where all the new exciting code and features are tested thoroughly before we release them to the broader community. Testing leading edge features is a lot of fun but it can be risky and you are likely to crash at some point. However, we take pride in our Test Team and its ability to iron out all bugs before we release a feature to the public. The FTT, together with our developers, form the heart of the OpenPilot project.

Help Other Users

If FTT is not for you, then one of the best things you can do for OP is to hang out in the forums and help other users. Some of the most fun you can have in this hobby is helping new and old users troubleshoot builds, tuning and brainstorming new ideas. It is a pretty cool feeling to help another OP member out and then see the results in a sweet video they posted with their new aircraft!

Documentation / Wiki

Documentation, and good documentation, is vital to the success of any community project. Large projects, like Ubuntu Linux, benefit tremendously from having detailed and frequently updated documentation available to its users.

Our documentation is pretty good, but it always needs improvement. If you’re a wordsmith or just have knowledge to share, this is a place you can help! We have examples of users that were looking for a place to help but couldn’t code. Out of that desire have come tutorial videos and detailed descriptions of how to use our features!

To help non-English speaking users we need to make sure we have support for many different languages. If you’re a native speaker or are a cunning linguist maybe you can help within the translators team. The more diverse we become the further we can reach out!

We are in this together!

So, lots of changes happening right now with our project and community. We believe these are the right moves to help OpenPilot become and even better project. Even if you can only spare a little time, it is very valuable to the community. Once thing is certain, OpenPilot will thrive if we all work together (developers and non-developers) to help create a truly awesome flight controller platform!

Fly hard, fly safe and may you not crash.

Sincere thanks from the entire OP Team.