[ros-users] ROS & DDS

Moritz Tenorth tenorth at cs.uni-bremen.de
Fri Feb 14 15:02:31 UTC 2014


related to this and following up on Georg's questions: I'd ask to keep 
in mind that, although many professional users join, large parts of the 
ROS community are students and PhD students that do not primarily 
develop products, but use ROS as simple-to-use tool for their research 
work and that have limited time for software maintenance.

If large changes are required, it may be that the only option is to drop 
maintenance of working and useful code. For example, my knowrob 
knowledge base had been released since the early days of 
cturtle/diamondback, but is not released in hydro any more since I don't 
have time for catkinizing it. It does compile and work, is maintained 
and is being used by other people, but there is no time for catkinizing 
the project (written in Prolog and Java using rosjava_jni) and for us, 
there is no killer feature that would enforce the switch.

For new users (e.g. when using ROS for teaching), the buildsystem switch 
made things much more complex since they have to set up mixed workspaces 
and understand the relation between both build systems e.g. to debug 
dependency problems.

So if a majority would like to switch to DDS, much care should be given 
to keeping ROS's ease of use and platform- and language-independence 
that from my point of view have been have key success factors. And 
please don't forget that every client library has to be updated if the 
transport mechanism is changed.


On 02/14/2014 03:12 PM, Daniele Calisi wrote:
> I agree with both Ryan, Shaun and Ingo: application-specific protocols 
> (ROS or DDS or whatever needed) and, moreover, EASE OF USE.
> Whatever things we are going to implement, should be reasonably 
> working out-of-the-box, tweaking/hacking/configuring should be an 
> option only for production phase or very big applications.
> On Fri, Feb 14, 2014 at 3:04 PM, Ryan Gariepy 
> <rgariepy at clearpathrobotics.com 
> <mailto:rgariepy at clearpathrobotics.com>> wrote:
>     Ease of use is *critical*. We're already receiving regular feedback
>     that the usability of ROS is getting worse with each distribution.
>     -Ryan
>     On Fri, Feb 14, 2014 at 8:43 AM, Ingo Lütkebohle
>     <iluetkeb at gmail.com <mailto:iluetkeb at gmail.com>> wrote:
>     > On Fri, Feb 14, 2014 at 2:27 PM, Edwards, Shaun M.
>     <sedwards at swri.org <mailto:sedwards at swri.org>> wrote:
>     >> My main concerns is Geoffrey Biggs' comment below.  Tuning
>     should be a dirty
>     >> word in software.  I know it's needed, but successful software
>     just works.
>     >> Ease of use should always be our focus.  It is this single
>     issue that has
>     >> been the nail in the coffin of every middleware I have used.
>     >
>     > I agree on that.
>     >
>     > One could reasonably argue that the attempt to solve the
>     communication
>     > problem in a relatively application-independent manner is
>     doomed, and
>     > that application-specific protocols are the way to go. Some
>     people may
>     > dismiss that as unrealistic, but I would argue that
>     > application-specific protocols are the IETF approach, and that
>     it has
>     > been fairly successful, so far.
>     >
>     > That said, there is a question of what the basis for such
>     developments
>     > should be, or, in other words, whether the protocols in the DDS
>     family
>     > are a better foundation for robotics applications than base-level
>     > TCP/IP.
>     >
>     > I guess answers to that question will be influenced significantly by
>     > whether you're coming from an enterprise environment, or from an
>     open
>     > systems environment.
>     >
>     > cheers
>     >
>     > --
>     > Ingo Lütkebohle, Dr.-Ing.
>     > Machine Learning and Robotics Lab, IPVS, Universität Stuttgart
>     >
>     http://www.ipvs.uni-stuttgart.de/abteilungen/mlr/abteilung/mitarbeiter/Ingo.Luetkebohle
>     > +49-711-685-88350 <tel:%2B49-711-685-88350>
>     >
>     > PGP Fingerprint 3187 4DEC 47E6 1B1E 6F4F  57D4 CD90 C164 34AD CE5B
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> -- 
> Daniele "MadMage" Calisi
> /"Your limit is always a bit beyond"/
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Dr. Moritz Tenorth     | tenorth at cs.uni-bremen.de
Universität Bremen     | Am Fallturm 1
29359 Bremen           | Germany
Tel: +49 421 218-64016 | ai.uni-bremen.de/team/moritz_tenorth

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