2018 Community Report

By December 19, 2018Announcements
This post was originally published on this site

This is the first yearly report by the Dronecode community, I’m Ramón Roche Dronecode Program Manager, and I recorded the progress from the community this year with the hopes of measuring progress and build a baseline for years to come.

Comments and/or feedback on the content and style of this post would be greatly appreciated at rroche@linuxfoundation.org.

Note: This report will cover the period from January 1, 2018, to December 11, 2018, unless otherwise stated.

Who We Are

The Dronecode Project hosted under the Linux Foundation serves as the vendor-neutral home for PX4 and it’s surrounding ecosystem of projects such as MAVLink, QGroundControl, and the Dronecode SDK.

Who is contributing?

Let’s look at distribution per GitHub Project

MAVLink

7 Repositories
3,158 Commits
92 Contributors

Top 10 Authors in MAVLink Github Org.

Dronecode

8 Repositories
1,923 Commits
30 Contributors

Top 10 Authors in Dronecode Github Org.

PX4

26 Repositories
8,638 Commits
271 Contributors
2,177 Pull Requests

Top 10 Authors in PX4 Github Org.

Combined Project Data

41 Repositories
13,719 Commits
393 Contributors

Top 10 Authors combined PX4, Dronecode, MAVLink Github Orgs.

Flight Test Team

Team of 5
10,523 Flights
20+ Vehicle configurations

What did we accomplish?

Let’s look at releases per project

PX4

~6 Month Release Schedule

QGroundControl

~6 Month Release Schedule

DroneodeSDK

Project still in Beta, no release cadence defined yet.

MAVLink

v2 is still latest, v1 is still in use, Dev Team works through RFCs

QGC Releases in 2018

QGC v3.3.0 February, v3.3.2 released in April

  • Video recording save settings
  • Parameter editor
  • Joystick support for Android
  • Structure Scan pattern
  • Fixed Wing landing pattern
  • Start/Stop video
  • Multi-vehicle view support
  • ADS-B vehicle support
  • MAVLink console
  • Log Download

QGC v3.4.0 August, the current stable version is v3.4.4 September

  • Offline map increased support
  • Flash autopilot firmware either PX4 or APM
  • KML support
  • Improved polygon support in Survey
  • Corridor Scan
  • Improved Fixed Wing landing pattern
  • Terrain improvements
  • Pre-Flight checklist
  • Improved Instrument Panel
  • ArduPlane support for guided commands
  • High Latency Link support
  • QGC, 100% translated to Chinese & Turkish
    • 48% German
    • 36% French
    • 39% Korean

MAVLink RFCs in 2018

4 RFCs Accepted, 7 in Open Discussion

  • 0001 – RFC Format
  • 0003 – Multidimensional Quantities
  • 0004 – Avoidance IO
  • 0008 – Identify “Unknown” covariance matrix
  • 0010 – UTM Global Position

In Discussion (full list here)

  • 0012 – MAVLink Standard Testing Suite
  • 0011 – Companion Status message
  • and many more.

SDK Releases in 2018

SDK v0.4.0 April

  • Serial connection support macOS
  • gRPC backend (enables cross-platform builds)
  • Camera action support
  • Gimbal ROI support
  • QGC mission import
  • Follow-me improvements

SDK v0.5.0 June

  • Serial connection support Windows
  • gRPC backend hardening
  • Improvements to build system

SDK Swift v0.2.0 November

SDK Python Unreleased*

PX4 Releases in 2018

PX4 v1.8.0 July, current stable version is v1.8.2

  • VIO fusion in EKF2
  • Obstacle avoidance Interface
  • Improved performance for racing drones
  • VTOL performance improvements
  • EKF2 hardening with limited GPS accuracy
  • EKF2 tuning for high magnetic interference
  • Wind Estimator
  • Structure Scanning
  • High Latency Telemetry support
  • Precision landing framework

v1.9.0
Coming in:
January 2019

How did this work happen?

Distributed teams across regions and organizations

  • Need community collaboration
  • Need coordination
  • Need official coordination channels

Discussion, Coordination, and Reporting

Coordination meetings (Using Zoom.us)

  • 2,152 Participants
  • 1.2k Hours in meetings
  • 5 Recurring meetings
    • PX4 Dev Call Weekly
    • Dronecode Weekly
    • MAVLink Bi-Weekly
    • Avoidance Weekly
    • Dronecode Board Bi-Monthly
    • UAVCAN Weekly*
PX4 Recording (Started in October)

  • 10 Recordings uploaded
  • 274 Total Plays
  • 20 Play average per episode
  • 69 Most plays in a single episode
Dronecode Recording (Started in October)

  • 7 Recordings uploaded
  • 66 Total Plays
  • 8 Play average per episode
  • 19 Most plays in a single episode
  • 340 Topics (2018)
    • 4,200 Topics (All-Time)
  • 351 Posts (2018)
    • 16,500 Posts (All-Time)
  • 243 ❤ Likes (2018)
    • 1,500 Likes (All-Time)
  • 1,7M Pageviews (2018)
    • 3.5M Pageviews (All-Time)

Open Sign-up

http://slack.px4.io/

  • 2,133 Users
  • 53 Public channels
  • Significantly increased activity
  • 405,102 Total messages (out of 10k msg on free plan)
    • 11% Sent in public channels
    • 4% Sent in private channels
    • 85% Sent in DMs

  • 33.7 gb (out of 5.00gb on free plan)

Documentation

Translation teams

  • PX4 User Guide
    • 10% Chinese
    • 15% Korean
  • PX4 Dev Guide
    • 11% Chinese
  • QGC Dev Guide
    • 99% Chinese

Community Appreciation Night 2018

  • InterDrone @ Las Vegas
  • 96 attendees

SDK Meetup @ Berkeley

  • 3DR @ Berkeley
  • 62 attendees

Community is everyone

  • Lots of incoming requests
  • Early response and engagement is key
  • Most contributions are a result of early collaboration
  • CI uploads logs here
  • Flight Team uploads logs here
  • Anyone can upload logs both publicly or privately (not indexable)
  • An invaluable tool for support, it’s now policy to ask for a link to your logs!
  • Usage guide is available on the PX4 user guide.
  • Open Source

Top blockers / Issues in 2018

  • No clear Dronecode definition, what is it?
  • No clarity on branding (where does PX4 end & DC begin?)
  • Individuals & Organizations don’t know how to collaborate
  • China strategy still nascent
  • Still need to put more work into architecture (SDK, API, etc) vs features, to encourage expansion
  • Per project governance issues
  • Projects are getting hard to maintain (firehose of information)
  • Full-time team of 1

What worked well in 2018

  • Face to face meetings are a great way to reduce communication barriers
  • Work hand in hand with organizations
  • Weekly coordination calls help us keep track of progress
  • Auterion’s success heavily influenced developer and membership acquisition
  • Software Architecture work pays off
  • Low but organized activity is better than high unorganized activity
  • Documentation as a source of truth

Who funded Dronecode in 2018?

Silver

Gold

We need your help in 2019

Contributions are always welcomed, from Issue triaging, Forum hunting, Slack lurking or fixing typos in our docs, we need your help next year to reach our goals:

  1. Maintain the size of our core developer base
  2. Grow our collaborator base

Thank you for being part of this awesome community!

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