Can someone explain how the arducopter firmware process works?  I know it is open source, but someone or some entity decides when the beta releases happen...and I assume, they will decide when 3.2 becomes "official".  Who exactly makes these decisions?  Isn't the whole concept behind "open source" is that no one person owns this, but that it is rather, a fluid, seamless evolution that is dynamic and a living thing (code)?  I believe that 3DR is a large presence  in this evolution, but doesn't actually 'own' it.  Are they just one of many players?

And what about DIY Drones...is this "owned" by 3DR?  If not, who exactly IS DIY Drones?  Who owns/owned/started it, etc?  Just confused by the non-ownership aspect of open source as clearly some entity is making some decisions that impact everything related to these concepts.  Help me understand please.

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Nothing specifically happened to my firmware.  I have an Iris (not plus)(actually 2 of them) but have upgraded it so that is was supposed to be a (+), in all but its origin and reorientation of telemetry antenna and no telemetry to the radio that the (+) has.  But, apparently that did not include the firmware and when this was questioned, 3DR ignored those requests for information which was VERY uncharacteristic.  But that is fine...like I said (albeit maybe not very clearly), I have been doing fine just going through the upgrades...beta included.

It was a more a concern as to the "why" of the pointed and uncharacteristic ignoring of an explanation as to what exactly "Iris+" firmware is (no version number, just "Iris+" as a designation).  So, of course, this raised eyebrows and so I asked.  If 3DR is transparently behind "open source" sharing of information AND participates in the development leading to publishing of each and every version upgrade, well then what was the need for them to NOT use the same firmware the rest of us are told to use?  It just smelled and so I wanted to get some clarification...that is all.

So, I'll just accept that they likely needed at least enough from 3.2 releases that enabled stuff like "follow me", as well as that they couldn't release it with beta firmware.  That was what I was after and needed to know the open source/participation/ownership facets to be able to know it wasn't that 3DR was moving away from being all-in to open source still.  All is good, really.

This is the commit which relabelled it "Iris".  It came between rc9 and rc10.

https://github.com/diydrones/ardupilot/commit/b212c02057c2c0e3f11fa...

Though I note that is "Iris" and not "Iris+"  Are you sure the firmware label you were interested in was "Iris+"?  If it is, then I'm not sure what the deal is with that.

Wow that's interesting Chris! Thanks.

Here is what was reported in terminal in MP...that is all I have...just not any firmware available to anyone else.

Yes, so that appears to be just "Iris", which is basically rc10.

All I can say is thanks to all the people who contribute to this open source project. I would hate to see if releases weren't controlled. Just imagine how many postings would read; "Warning the new code will cause....sorry I'll fix it next week when I have time."

Keep up the great work guys.

Good information Rob, I am very impressed with the Arducopter Team and code and the process to which they develop, they really have some amazing team members along with quite a masterful team as a whole!

This should not be looked at as a detriment but rather an upgrade for using the 3dr product. Just like samsung or even Verizon will release it own versions of the android operating system so will manufacturers of the forked source. 

Most of this can be followed with a free account to github

We have several specialized frames, and much like the IRIS plus has certain features that maybe is not in every say PIXhawk build, this then can be incorporated into a firmware and shipped with the unit, I know I do something similar for all of the RTF builds we sell, really with the intent to further fine tune the amazing software and community based development.

This is a great development, and think that the developer community will embrace this move. Chris thank you again for seeing the vision through to reality, if you had not lead this path I would have had no one to follow, and would not nearly be as far as I am today without the pioneering done by you and your teams efforts, I have committed to DroneCode and look forward to expanding involvement.   

Thanks FC!

Here's a wiki page that has the highlights of the history of ArduPilot in case it's helpful.

I think the line separating 3DR (the company) and ardupilot (the open source software) has become much more clear over the past year or so.  Tridge (arduplane lead) is really our guiding light in terms of how an open source project should be run.  He has a ton of experience and I'm sure we're doing the right thing.

About the dronecode foundation: governance,hierarchy, big names with big money holding all of the key positions in self proclaimed controlling and governing committees: this is a dangerous combination that could become an hijack of ownership and control of a few versus the current open source community.

This will most probably lead to a split of the current 55000+ members community into followers and haters of this new structure.

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