[ros-users] ROS usability (was: ROS & DDS)

Ryan Gariepy rgariepy at clearpathrobotics.com
Wed Feb 19 18:43:51 UTC 2014

On Wed, Feb 19, 2014 at 1:28 PM, Thibault Kruse <kruset at in.tum.de> wrote:

> Hi Ryan,
> > On ROS usability itself, the largest thing which has come up has been the
> > renewed difficulty in getting started. Even though new users are no
> longer
> > being thrown into the middle of the rosmake/catkin transition, the
> > overhead in creating a new package has increased dramatically.
> > [...]
> > Another point: ROS used to be three steps for a full install: (key,
> > update,
> > install), and now you need to jump through hoops for rosdep and other
> > "noncritical yet required" items.
> >
> > Something else which is important to note is that the purpose of all of
> > those above steps are easily explainable to someone who knows nothing
> > about ROS at all, which is certainly not the case now. (ex. "Why do I
> have to
> > specify basic ROS dependencies in three different locations?", "Why do I
> > need to set up build instructions for a script I intend to run in
> place?")
> So do these issues have a significant business impact at Clearpath
> Robotics, such that decisions are made against ROS and for some other
> technology because of this? Or maybe product shipment is delayed, proof of
> concepts fail, etc.?
Sorry, we're open about many things, but I won't be discussing
business-level specifics here. The reason I brought up this specific point
is that it seems like we're at risk of backsliding in this particular area,
whereas in most cases, the work the community does advances the state of
ROS and we contribute in less vocal ways :)

> The opposite view is that to industry stakeholders, usability does not
> matter much.
The ROS community fragmenting due to the need for "simpler frameworks" will
certainly matter to industry stakeholders.

> cheers,
>   Thibault
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