Project Overview

GNU Radio is a free software development toolkit that provides the signal processing runtime and processing blocks to implement software radios using readily-available, low-cost external RF hardware and commodity processors. It is widely used in hobbyist, academic and commercial environments to support wireless communications research as well as to implement real-world radio systems.

Entries in v3.7 (1)

Saturday
Nov102012

Version 3.7: The Work in Progress

We've been hard at work over the past few months on getting GNU Radio completely switched over the the new 3.7 API. It's a hard path to go down with some many files that need to be touched, edited, fixed up, reworked, etc. But we're making progress, and I wanted to update everyone on where we are.

Recently, we finished up the new gr-analog component that takes a lot of blocks from gnuradio-core and moves them into the new analog namespace. These blocks include:

  • agc_cc
  • agc_ff
  • agc2_cc
  • agc2_ff
  • cpfsk_bc
  • ctcss_squelch_ff
  • dpll_bb
  • feedforward_agc_cc
  • fmdet_cf
  • frequency_modulator_fc
  • noise_source_X
  • phase_modulator_fc
  • pll_carriertracking_cc
  • pll_freqdet_cf
  • pll_refout_cc
  • probe_avg_mag_sqrd_c
  • probe_avg_mag_sqrd_cf
  • probe_avg_mag_sqrd_f
  • pwr_squelch_cc
  • pwr_squelch_ff
  • quadrature_demod_cf
  • rail_ff
  • sig_source_X
  • simple_squelch_cc
  • squelch_base_cc
  • squelch_base_ff
The current master branch reflects all of these blocks in gr-analog, but we have not removed and blocks from gnuradio-core, yet. This is part of our contract with our users that we don't change the API on the master branch until we are ready for a new API release. So all code built against master or the 3.6 versions will continue to work. We have simply added gr-analog as another set of blocks. We are encouraging people to start moving over to these new components since when 3.7 is released, anything using blocks in gnuradio-core (or the 'gr.' module in Python) will no longer work.
In the meantime, by duplicating blocks, one thing we are running into is a duplication of blocks in GNU Radio companion. You might notice that if you are working on the master branch that you'll have two sig_source or noise_source or any other blocks in gr-analog. This is just a consequence of using the same block and component names as previously but in two components. This is just something we're going to have to live with for the next couple of months.
You can tell which component you are using from the ID name in the block's properties window. We give them prefixes from the component they are from. So the old blocks will have a "gr_" in front while new blocks from gr-analog will have "analog_". They should be functionally equivalent, but the new "analog_" block is safer to use as it will not go away in the future. It's also, as far as I can tell, true that the top-most block will be the newer block, but it'd still be best to make sure.
When you look at the next branch, though, all of the components moved into places like gr-analog are being removed. Due to certain constraints and dependency issues, we cannot remove all duplicated code out of gnuradio-core until some things have progressed further.
One thing that I wanted to point out in this update is that there are bound to be a few problems that arise during this transition. Us and you will probably get a bit confused here and there. We've made some mistakes, like how gr_rotator is part of gr-analog on master, but we've removed it from there on next as it more appropriately belongs in gr-blocks.
And while we've been trying to make sure all Python, C++, and GRC example codes reflect the changes happening, we're going to miss some of those, too. I only as for both some patience with this process as well as help. Point out where we haven't properly updated some code, or if you'd really like to help, send us a patch!