programmability apps developer technical padt 1

Started Aug 29, 2012 | Discussions thread
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programmability apps developer technical padt 1
Aug 29, 2012

Intention is a thread to help people decide if they could reasonably become some kind of Nex software developer, and get a taste of what kinds of behaviors at what hardware and performance level they could achieve by doing so. Implying use of terms and abbreviations here that people who don't write Python, Java or only-compiled software would find slow going.

ProfHankD, perhaps you and other technical/software types will keep us updated on how programmable, how easily programmable considering the level of access you get, at what level of hardware (e.g. cpu[s] and gpu[s] and other [networking?] coprocessors and even analog signal amplifier and a/d converter programming) access, by people of what skill set, with what tools, under what licensing terms, are the Nex 5R, 6 and its "purchase-able app-capable" descendants.

"How easily programmable" might include describing what developer tools, and/or the level and standards-compatibility of OS and APIs and user interface resources are available. For example can you without turning the camera inside out and/or booting a different OS, plug in (or associate a Wifi) keyboard (mouse?) and get to what is basically a linux command line prompt and/or general purpose graphical user interface)?

What hardware and/or set of hardware APIs is Sony officially describing as available for developer access? What's the Linux distribution the thing runs on? Does Sony give us the ability to recompile the entire source code for how much of the camera OS? What is the general purpose (i.e. booting) CPU? Obviously this is a pretty specialized, real-time OS, noting as a trivial hint that it doesn't take 2 minutes or so to boot the camera.

A baby step is asking what we can deduce from seeing that one of the Day One Sony apps is called "Multi Frame Noise Reduction". What does this tell us apps have convenient access to? Pretty raw data, maybe before the slightest optimizations/corrections or bad pixel mapping or fringe-pixel-trimming has been applied?

Baby step question 2: there's a Photo Retouch app. Does this imply that an Android version of Lightroom, or any level of post-processing software with optional GUI control will be practical/likely to develop?

Of particular interest and quite complex to discuss is how much you have to do to put in an app that an unmodified camera can find, launch and run. Hmm, does the camera OS let you run a large programs (or boot or pre-boot!) off of any inserted memory card, perhaps letting you then remove that memory card and putting in some images-only memory card? And/or does all software have to be/get to be pre-copied at install time to some internal flash memory "hard drive" where it's then forever available?

Maybe most important of all is, how much can you get done without interfering with normal updating of Sony firmware (if it indeed should be called firmware any more)? There's an enormous usability and attractiveness gulf between software modifications and additions that tolerate Sony firmware updates without breaking anything, or at least without breaking anything that stock Sony firmware should be able to do--and software mods that must be rewritten to add on or reapply or reinstall after every Sony firmware update.

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