Sorry for this bit of flaming, but…
I would like to just share a couple of my thoughts about my recent
experience with QNX. A couple of years ago I worked on a couple of projects
using QNX4, but then was busy with other things for a while. We then
received a new project and based on the QNX-RTOS’s reputation decided to go
ahead and use QNX6 for our current project. I must confess that this has
been a severely frustrating experience. The system, when we get it running,
seems to work fine. My frustration is not, however, aimed at the product
itself, which seems to be excellent, but the support and documentation
provided for developers trying to use this system.
While trying to learn about QNX6, most of my time was spent searching in
vain for decent documentation and sufficient examples to become productive.
The QNX homepage and QDN site seems to be frozen in time somewhere between
late 2000, early 2001. Although there are a few valuable nuggets of
information, like the Developer’s Article Series, this is not nearly enough.
Almost all references returned by searching for terms relate to QNX4. The
complete absence of any QNX6 books (except for Mr. Krten’s book and the
system architecture book) is also surprising.
Yes, nearly every system utility is described, but that is only useful once
you know that they even exist! I want to set up a connection to a Windows
box, I don’t want to read through hundreds of utilities description just to
stumble accross fs-cifs or some such program.
In general I feel the following is missing (by no means a thorough or
- A guide for absolute beginners with little to no experience with UNIX or
- An intermediate guide for somewhat experienced UNIX users that need to
know how to get productive with QNX6. Setting up a productive network,
setting up printers, listing available tools. Yes the online help has a
system architecture section and a programmer’s section, but where is the
- Thorough explanations of the system setup. What happens when the system
starts? Where are the configuration files? What changes can be made and
what programs exist for making these changes, etc.?
- examples, examples, and more examples.
For many of you, this may seem unnecessary, but for new users and teams
evaluating using QNX for their systems, these are critical issues. I’m
sorry to say it, but I regret having given my vote to QNX as we were
choosing our OS. I realize the QSSL doesn’t have the resources that
Microsoft or some of the other big boys have, but the amount of Linux
literature and the excellent MSDN library just blow the QNX stuff out of the
water. The QNX gurus may be happy with everything, but I guarantee that QNX
will not attract many new developers with the current documentation, and
that’s too bad.
Thanks for letting me vent.