Forum fragmentation and confusion

Forum fragmentation and confusion

I feel that another problem in the Galileo environment right now is fragmentation and confusion, within Intel's forum ecosystem. Currently, discussions on this platform are conducted at least in three isolated spaces that I'm aware of:

Intel's Maker Community:

https://communities.intel.com/community/makers

Internet of Things in the Platform and Technology section at the Intel Developer Zone:

http://software.intel.com/en-us/forums/internet-of-things

And even on the Intel Embedded Community forum:

http://embedded.communities.intel.com/community/en

I think this is an unnecessary duplication and a waste of precious Intel resources and contributors, who are usually in one place and are almost always unaware of what's going on elsewhere. Tools, tutorials and information are also scattered here and there. I suspect this situation reflects Intel's internal organization. Should / can this be corrected?

 

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Hi Stefano,

despite not fully agreeing on Intel folks being present only on one dedicated forum: spot on for the "fragmentation" and thanks for posting. Yes, we are aware of the "fragmentation and confusion" you mention. In this context you may remember what I said in my workshop talk at Maker Day Rome about the preview of IoT devkit just been announced at MWC. So I hope you grant as some more time to improve the experience and reduce the possible confusion.

Pls keep on posting your feedback and rest assured it's valued and read even if there is no or no prompt reply.

Regards,
Matthias

Matthias,

I apologize that I got my wording wrong. It should have read "a waste of precious Intel resources [chasing] contributors, who [the contributors] are usually in one place and are almost always unaware of what's going on elsewhere. My grateful appreciation of all of you guys' efforts is clearly in the "precious".

Let me put my criticism into its proper context. Just recently I learned from insiders (might not be announced yet) that Intel has again signed as main sponsor of the European Maker Faire 2014 to be held in Rome next October (the largest maker event outside the US). I want Intel to positively disrupt the Makers/IoT space by then. I'm not an Intel fanboy, but I like the company and I want to see some serious competition (and therefore innovation) in this segment both in hardware and in software coming from Santa Clara. I know what you're potentially capable of, but time is running out. Let me just point you to two concerning (for Intel) events, happening right now as we're posting. The Arduino Tre is being finalized and is almost ready to ship, and we'll see iPhone-like lines when it does. Let me tell you an anecdote that happened at the Rome Maker Faire last fall. Texas Instruments' embedded guys where publicly previewing the TI-based Tre prototype, at a workshop and the Intel people (who were main sponsors and had this giant booth just 50 meters away), had not even signed up for this free event, which was sold out and so they were left outside (I know because I managed to get at least one engineer in, by begging the guy at the door in Italian...) Huh?

The other news is Raspberry Pi's entrance in the embedded space, with their Pi-on-SODIMM device. Another bombshell, judging by how it's being received by their huge community.

I remember recently asking you in person at the Arduino Day in Rome whether you felt that Intel was fully committed to their past announcements in this segment. Your answer was of course affirmative. You are an Intel employee, however. I am therefore more free than you are, and as a customer (even if I got my Galileo for nothing, but throwing boards out for free doesn't necessarily make them popular: I think devboards should have a price, which should represent their value) I HAVE to be as opinionated, outspoken and honest as I can. This Galileo project IMHO is currently turning into a train wreck. If you want proof, check out this thread with an honest mindset:

https://communities.intel.com/thread/49601?start=0&tstart=0

Is this something you want the average maker approaching this platform to read? The professional IoT engineer is on the Wind River mailing lists/paid support anyway. People like Seth Hunter, Alex_T, Intel_Jesus/Jorge, you and many more are volunteer heroes. And speaking of Alex_T, can you believe his repositories are on Altervista? Are you kidding me, at a time when websites are heartbleeding all over? Multiple 4gb+ (official, semi-official and unofficial) Yocto/Debian/Debian live images are scattered all over the place... Firmware/BSP versions that are obsolete but official, with newer ones that are unofficially released on some remote official corner of Intel's webspace? Should I say more? The funniest pitch line I heard about the Galileo's core architecture was that "The Quark is fully synthesizable", when just about 95% of what's going on in its target market - including internet-enabled applications - isn't even running on an operating system. Are we expected to learn how to design CPUs next, if we want to blink an LED or remotely control our garage doors? At this point I believe the Galileo doesn't even deserve the official Arduino certification, because people might be tricked into buying it for that reason, and frankly, it's totally non-compliant and will never be.   

What's even worse, however, is that in over six months, I haven't seen one single use case/scenario, for which the Galileo is the platform I would recommend over any other. My prediction is this won't change in the immediate or even the foreseeable future, unless a serious contingency plan is in place and executed. I'm concerned that Intel might become irrelevant in this space, as has happened in the mobile phone segment. That would be an inexcusable shame for everyone. If I were Intel I would reset and rewind, keeping the Galileo as an interim development platform for the real, groundbreaking IoT/maker platform, yet to be designed and announced. This time with a real and focused mission (or two, hint: learning and prototyping), rather than ending up as another me-too poor-man's-Pi (which is even cheaper BTW), low-power toy home-server appliance. The new 99 USD MinnowBoard sounds like a much better deal at that. Focus is the word and I repeat it again: focus.

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