We are at roughly the mid-point of our testing of the FRC 2018 control system, and it has been an interesting process. Our team programs using C++, and are focusing our efforts on that language.
We completed installation of the new control on three different platforms, Windows, Linux and Mac.
Our Windows machine was a recent gaming laptop running Windows 10. The installation went smoothly, and in accordance with the provided instructions
The Mac installation, on an older Mac Mini, also proved smooth, however there was an undocumented step required to install GCC.
The Linux installation proved more of a struggle. The latest beta chain doesn’t work on older versions of Linux, so we were required to update our Linux kernel before installing it. After updating to the most recent Linux Mint distribution, Eclipse and GCC, the installation went fine.
In our experience, it took approximately 45 minutes to install, including download time.
Create and Download
We successfully uploaded a basic program to the robot, which did built correctly, however throwing one error.
[scp] Caught exception: scp: /usr/local/frc/lib/User_Libraries.properties: No such file or directory
The exception was reported.
Based on the testing we have performed so far, we have made the following recommendations:
- Create separate installation instructions for each platform
- Add an installation validation step by creating and compiling a sample project.
- Provide the a version of the NI tools for the Linux platform
- Clarify whether it is necessary to remove the previous tool chain before installing the new one
As we continue to test the new control system, we will report our findings in accordance with the terms of the program.