Author Topic: Question about installation step "Launch the Firmware Update proces"  (Read 1457 times)

JohnC

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Hi all

I'm a new user trying to install Magic Lantern but been a photographer for years and work on quite a few open source projects. I am having an issue understanding the installation instructions (I have a 6D mk1). I've followed Step 1 and am now half way through Step 2 but am stuck. Specifically I'm stuck on "Launch the Firmware Update process and follow the messages on the screen".

I will describe the steps I took and what I expected to happen

1. Did all of step 1
2. Took my card out of my camera and put it into my computer where I formatted it and copied the files onto it
3. I put the card back into the camera and then turned it on
4. I turned the camera on, assuming that the "Firmware Update process" would happen then, there is no information on what to do to make this happen, if its a camera setting or if I'm supposed to use some software or something?

I feel like I'm probably missing something fairly straight forward which is not explained in the steps, or is it just not working for me?

Thanks very much

Walter Schulz

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Run the Firmware Update process from Canon menu.

This should be covered in your manual.
There is no hint this step should start automatically. Quite the opposite.

JohnC

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Thanks, is this a camera setting somewhere, a piece of software I have to download or somting else?

JohnC

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Just to make clear, the confusion is coming because the instructions don't say if this update process should happen on the camera itself or on some external updating software and if so what software this is

Walter Schulz

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In about 9.5 years you are the first person having trouble to make sense of it.

tupp

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This should be covered in your manual.
The instructions in the ML wiki state:
"Launch the Firmware Update process and follow the messages on the screen."

Those instructions should probably add:
"Go to the 'firmware' selection in the menus (usually in the gold 'tools' section of the menus), and update the firmware."


There is no hint this step should start automatically. Quite the opposite.
It's not the "opposite" -- it just doesn't give any clue on how to "Launch the Firmware Update process..."


In about 9.5 years you are the first person having trouble to make sense of it.
OP is just being diligent by following the incomplete ML documentation and then asking for a solution directly on the forum.  Most people find a YouTube video with instructions, when they encounter ML problems.  OP is definitely not the first in 9.5 years to have problems with ML instructions.

OP's difficulty highlights problems with ML documentation.  Let's not assume that this is OP's fault.

@JohnC,
Here is a YouTube video on installing ML on a 6D, cued to the point at which the firmware is "updated":


kitor

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Those instructions should probably add:
"Go to the 'firmware' selection in the menus (usually in the gold 'tools' section of the menus), and update the firmware."

No, they shouldn't - because there's no actual firmware update performed. This is just a way to execute a program on stock camera.

It's not the "opposite" -- it just doesn't give any clue on how to "Launch the Firmware Update process..."

Because that may depend on model. It, in fact, didn't - however ML (unfortunately) is not a beginners tool, so finding how to execute firmware update is quite an easy task.
Too many Canon cameras.

tupp

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No, they shouldn't - because there's no actual firmware update performed.
Yes, it should -- because of the problem with the instructions that is the cause of this thread.


This is just a way to execute a program on stock camera.
A new user is not a pedant on what is occurring technically within the process.  The new user just wants to install ML.

If it is important to be more accurate, the instructions could read:
"Go to the 'firmware' selection in the menus (usually in the gold 'tools' section of the menus), and proceed with the firmware update process."  However, it is imperative to tell the new user where to go to find the firmware update selection in the menus.


Because that may depend on model.
In which models is the firmware selection not in the menus?  ... or not in the gold "tools" menus?  It is important to let the new user know that they have to go to the firmware selection in the menus and to suggest where in the menus that they might find it.

This is a fundamental instruction that is lacking.  OP's post highlights the problem.


It, in fact, didn't - however ML (unfortunately) is not a beginners tool, so finding how to execute firmware update is quite an easy task.
Not sure what your point is, but OP (and others) have problems with ML documentation.  OP came to the forum to find an answer to a problem caused by incomplete ML documentation, and instead of getting straightforward help, it was suggested that the problem was his fault.

The only reason why executing a firmware update is "quite an easy task" is because most folks go to YouTube videos by @Zeek and others that show them how to do so -- they don't use the vague/incomplete ML instructions.

kitor

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Not sure what your point is, but OP (and others) have problems with ML documentation.  OP came to the forum to find an answer to a problem caused by incomplete ML documentation, and instead of getting straightforward help, it was suggested that the problem was his fault.

Magic Lantern is lacking everything:
 * user friendliness
 * user documentation
 * support
 * code review
 * developer documentation (!)
 * manpower to continue this project

As far as I'm concerned, due to its hackish nature it was always designed for "technology nerds", not for "general public".

What open source developers do is what they consider fun. If project assumes user had to have at least a bit of skill, then technically it is user fault if he doesn't.
https://mikemcquaid.com/2018/03/19/open-source-maintainers-owe-you-nothing/

There's a reason it is almost a year since Alex last logged in. User expectations are different than authors intentions, and it is devs who give you something to play with zero promises.

On the other hand - wiki is publicly editable. Feel free to improve it.

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Yes, it should -- because of the problem with the instructions that is the cause of this thread.

And this is a different view from experienced dev vs user. No, it shouldn't.
Reason is simple - even now people think that Magic Lantern is installed into a camera. And whenever camera fails (99% of the time cause being not related to ML), we are accused of failure.

I see no way to explain to a technology noob why "firmware update" is not a firmware update, and what bootflag setting means + why it just can't brick / damage a camera.
If you can - please add a section to wiki. Everyone will benefit from that.

This is a difference between developer and user. The thing you see is "user friendly" may be actually damaging for project reputation. Yes, I'm probably exaggerating in that particular case, but when you know how it works from the other side, you tend to choose the words more carefully.

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because most folks go to YouTube videos by @Zeek and others that show them how to do so -- they don't use the vague/incomplete ML instructions.

You see - those people do a great work. But they do it on their own, in their own medium.

You highlighted a very important issue here - there are people with knowledge, but there's not enough people who contribute that knowledge back to the project.
Too many Canon cameras.

tupp

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Magic Lantern is lacking everything:
 * user friendliness
 * user documentation
 * support
 * code review
 * developer documentation (!)
 * manpower to continue this project
I mostly agree here.


As far as I'm concerned, due to its hackish nature it was always designed for "technology nerds", not for "general public".
Everyone has a right to their opinion.  My opinion is different from yours.


What open source developers do is what they consider fun. If project assumes user had to have at least a bit of skill, then technically it is user fault if he doesn't.
https://mikemcquaid.com/2018/03/19/open-source-maintainers-owe-you-nothing/
I know all about open source.  I have been almost exclusively running open source software for 20 years (since 2002) and first contributed code to an open source project 19 years ago (2003).

Please note that my first open source contribution occurred 15 years prior to the Mike McQuaid post which you linked and note that my first open source contribution occurred three years prior to the first coding project that McQuaid lists on his CV


There's a reason it is almost a year since Alex last logged in. User expectations are different than authors intentions, and it is devs who give you something to play with zero promises.
There are many reasons why mods/devs come and go on forums.

In the instance of this thread, the OP stated that he works on several open source projects.  So, OP obviously has the "skill" that you seem to think is required for users of open source software, and, accordingly, he gave (without prompting) more than the necessary, clear details needed to assess and solve his problem.

The appropriate response to OP is to give the simple solution -- just like it is done in most other forums of open source projects.  Instead, OP was met with condecension and misplaced blame.

Please explain what is the purpose of this "General Help" section of the ML forum, if all users are expected to already have the "skill" to know the answers to their questions.


On the other hand - wiki is publicly editable. Feel free to improve it.
The lack of documentation is only part of the problem, but, with that in mind, we should be more helpful and less condescending in the "General Help" section of the forum.


And this is a different view from experienced dev vs user.
It appears to be a difference in views between the ML devs and the devs of other open source projects.  For the last 19 years, I have been involved in the development of open source software, and have  used open source software almost exclusively.  I see a general difference in attitude at ML.

I have given examples of the simple sentences that it would take to almost entirely correct the problem (and I have given OP the answer that he needs to proceed with the "installation").

There is no reason to be condescending nor kurt with OP, who is an experienced open source contributer who gave more than the necessary information to solve his problem.


No, it shouldn't.  Reason is simple - even now people think that Magic Lantern is installed into a camera.
That's not surprising, considering that OP's post has exposed a fundamental gap in the ML installation instructions.

However, I fail to see how that notion by new users is relevant.



And whenever camera fails (99% of the time cause being not related to ML), we are accused of failure.

I see no way to explain to a technology noob why "firmware update" is not a firmware update, and what bootflag setting means + why it just can't brick / damage a camera.
If you can - please add a section to wiki. Everyone will benefit from that.

Well, I haven't seen many of such "accusations" here over the years, but such notions are instantly negated by single sentence explanation and by a two-sentence disclaimer.

If you state, "ML software runs on the camera, but it isn't actually installed on the camera," 99% of the folks will comprehend that simple, compound sentence.

You can also disclaim any problems caused by ML and declare that the user proceeds with ML at their own risk (which I think has been already stated somewhere on the site).

Problem solved.



I see no way to explain to a technology noob why "firmware update" is not a firmware update, and what bootflag setting means + why it just can't brick / damage a camera.
Not sure why it is necessary to explain the firmware point, but how about this:
"Go to the firmware update selection in the menus (usually found in the 'gold/tools' section), and start the firmware update process.  Please note that the firmware is not actually being updated -- ML runs on top of the Canon firmware."

What more needs to be explained?

In regards to the bootflag (which by the way, is not part of the topic of this thread), the language from the wiki FAQ seems to cover the topic.  Perhaps a condensed version of that text could be added as an "incidental" in the installation instructions.


If you can - please add a section to wiki. Everyone will benefit from that.
I am not sure that contributing to the wiki works as smoothly as you think, but I have already provided language that can prevent OP's problem.  Perhaps someone who is already thoroughly involved with the wiki can insert those few sentences.


This is a difference between developer and user. The thing you see is "user friendly" may be actually damaging for project reputation. Yes, I'm probably exaggerating in that particular case, but when you know how it works from the other side, you tend to choose the words more carefully.  You see - those people do a great work. But they do it on their own, in their own medium.

Again, no lecture is needed on developers vs. users nor on open source projects.  I think that there is a difference in attitude between ML seniors on this forum and mods of forums on most other open source projects.

I agree you are exaggerating.  I fail to see how "damage" could result from the concise explanations (accompanied by apropriate disclaimers) I have given, nor from the simple solution that I have given to OP.

Coming from the open source world, I have noticed an occasional kurtness and obstinance in this forum.  I have also observed a palpable fear of retribution from Canon, which is likely unfounded.

In my experience, most forums for open source projects are helpful and encouraging.  One notable exception would be the mods of the Arch Linux forum, but I hear that things have improved in the years since I posted there.

In regards to open source documentation, I find that most projects have extensive and thorough manuals and help pages.

Almost every installed package on Linux/BSD's is accompanied by a detailed man page.  For example, here is one man page for vi.  With such man pages, one can usually learn and take advantage of the full functionality of terminal programs.

Of course, apps on Linux/BSD that utilize a GUI might have additional help pages.  Even many terminal programs offer addtional help pages.  Here is the configuration help page for the NeoMutt mail client.

Note the detail and thorough explanations given in these man/help pages.  They give everything, and usually do not assume that the user is a newbie.

A majority of the open source projects in the Linux/BSD realm treat users differently than here.  Perhaps it is because most of the ML develpers use mostly proprietary OS's and proprietary software.  Likewise, with most of the ML users, who expect some sort of support similar to the proprietary software/OS's that they run.


You highlighted a very important issue here - there are people with knowledge, but there's not enough people who contribute that knowledge back to the project.
Of course, like many other open source projects, ML is short-handed.  However, I have given the language that fixes the install instructions.

Regardless, there is no need for condescension nor blame towards new users who ask questions in good faith in the "General Help" section, especially towards users as diligent and detailed as OP.

names_are_hard

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Re: Question about installation step "Launch the Firmware Update proces"
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2022, 01:37:10 AM »
My opinions are somewhere in the middle.  Noobs are always going to ask stupid questions, then after a while they'll learn how to do things sensibly.  But there's always more noobs joining, going through this process.  You will never succeed in making 100% of new joiners read everything before asking questions.  You'll never make docs that everyone finds clear, either.  That said:

I try to give polite answers to questions, in a way that lets people know how to ask it sensibly the next time.  I take this attitude so that the *next* generation of noobs is more likely to do things the sensible way.  I know it won't work 100%, but I hope it will approach the limit over time.  Bear in mind you're not just replying to the questioner, you're also replying to the much larger audience of lurkers.  Giving a positive, helpful impression seems better to me than a negative one.  Yes, it's frustrating answering the same questions every time - but that specific person is asking it for the *first* time, so they don't understand why they're now getting shouted at.  We can do better than that.

I think that replying in a hostile, or grumpy way is *understandable* for people that have been here a long time (or worked with similar attitudes from noobs in different circumstances), but not *helpful*.  It gives a hostile impression about ML forums, discord etc, and is off putting.  I definitely get annoyed sometimes.  Sometimes I even reply when I'm annoyed, although I try to simply wait it out.  It's okay to let someone else answer if you're not in the right mood.

Re the specific question of documentation; we should try to improve it so it makes the most sense to the most people.  It's unfortunate that very early ML docs called ML firmware, and it's unlucky that we use Canon's firmware update *menu* to do something that's not a firmware update; it's pretty obvious why this can cause confusion.  So I'd say the docs want to be extra clear in this part (there have been many changes in this area to improve it).

Re dev attitudes: ML seems fairly normal to me.  Most devs don't really want to answer user questions but know they have to.  There's an unusually wide difference between the technical skills required to make ML and required to use it, and sometimes that causes friction.  I think we could encourage a more polite, welcoming culture and this would make new users happier.  This can be as simple as replacing "You clearly haven't read the FAQ" with "Please read the FAQ and if you have questions after that, just ask", etc.  It's not hard to be polite, and importantly your answer is being read by 99 people that *didn't ask a stupid question*.  Even if you think the noob should have done better (but we were all noobs...), what about the lurkers?  They didn't do anything wrong.

It's interesting that you think most devs use proprietary OS - I'm fairly sure most code was written using Linux.  At some point a lot of work was put in to allow building on Win and Mac but this was a later addition.  Perhaps it enabled another generation of cross-platform devs?  The core devs have normally been Linux users I believe.  It looks like there was a phase with quite a few contributions from a Mac user.  I've only been working with this code for about 3 years so certainly don't know the history very well.

Skinny

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Re: Question about installation step "Launch the Firmware Update proces"
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2022, 06:50:00 AM »
What really puzzles me is why people ask this types of questions on forum? So then they wait for 3 days before someone will answer or what if no one will answer at all.. when you can just google and watch any first youtube video with installation process and clearly see the "fw update" step there.

I think sometimes it just happens. Sometimes even a very smart person can stuck on something that even 5-years old can figure out in 5 seconds. I had that moments too and then when you realise it - big facepalm :)


But these days I see more and more questions on forums that can be googled in less than a minute. Sometimes even the first result is the answer. And it is a global tendention all over the internet. Why? I don't know. People have changed..


About attitude - well.. do you need that thing on your camera or not? If yes, then what difference does it make if somebody is not really that "nice" as you imagined he would be.. The question was answered anyway, so it's up to you now.

When you say "ML community should do this, and shouldn't do that" - I don't think somebody will actually listen. Because there is no "team" or something, or company, or corporate ethics. It's just people. Individuals. So someone may listen and someone may not.


When I was registering here, I was waiting for.... maybe a week, and account has not been approved. So I had to contact someone and ask directly. I think this is why we don't see many people here. And almost no new developers then.

tupp

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Re: Question about installation step "Launch the Firmware Update proces"
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2022, 02:05:19 AM »
You'll never make docs that everyone finds clear, either.
Perhaps, but evidently there is a significant "air-gap" in the official ML installation instructions.


I try to give polite answers to questions, in a way that lets people know how to ask it sensibly the next time.  I take this attitude so that the *next* generation of noobs is more likely to do things the sensible way.
Please note that OP does not come across as a "noob" with his detailed presentation of the problem, and he even stated that he works on many open source projects.


I know it won't work 100%, but I hope it will approach the limit over time.  Bear in mind you're not just replying to the questioner, you're also replying to the much larger audience of lurkers.  Giving a positive, helpful impression seems better to me than a negative one.  Yes, it's frustrating answering the same questions every time - but that specific person is asking it for the *first* time, so they don't understand why they're now getting shouted at.  We can do better than that.
Agree 100%.  Good point about the lurkers.


I think that replying in a hostile, or grumpy way is *understandable* for people that have been here a long time (or worked with similar attitudes from noobs in different circumstances), but not *helpful*.  It gives a hostile impression about ML forums, discord etc, and is off putting.  I definitely get annoyed sometimes.  Sometimes I even reply when I'm annoyed, although I try to simply wait it out.  It's okay to let someone else answer if you're not in the right mood.
Grumpy is one thing.  Withholding the solution is another thing.


Re the specific question of documentation; we should try to improve it so it makes the most sense to the most people.
The problem is not that complex.  It simply seems to be an error of omission within the installation instructions, that can be remedied by adding one or two senteces.


It's unfortunate that very early ML docs called ML firmware, and it's unlucky that we use Canon's firmware update *menu* to do something that's not a firmware update; it's pretty obvious why this can cause confusion.
That is a separate topic from OP's problem -- OP just needed to know where to go in the menus to start the install.

Regardless, I am not sure how such "confusion" over what is essentially a semantics challenge could be a serious issue.  That problem can be easily fixed with one or two sentences.


It's interesting that you think most devs use proprietary OS - I'm fairly sure most code was written using Linux.
Coming from an almost purely open source experience for the last 20 years, it is apparent that a majority of the devs (and almost all of the users) run proprietary OS's and proprietary software.  Any consideration for Linux and the BSD's seem like an afterthought here.

tupp

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Re: Question about installation step "Launch the Firmware Update proces"
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2022, 02:21:51 AM »
What really puzzles me is why people ask this types of questions on forum? So then they wait for 3 days before someone will answer or what if no one will answer at all.. when you can just google and watch any first youtube video with installation process and clearly see the "fw update" step there.
OP is evidently a veteran open source contributor who likely uses the official documentation first.

No doubt that after the initial negative response he received, he did just what you suggested and watched a YouTube video.


I think sometimes it just happens. Sometimes even a very smart person can stuck on something that even 5-years old can figure out in 5 seconds. I had that moments too and then when you realise it - big facepalm :)
In this case, the installation instructions seem to lack the details of an important step.


About attitude - well.. do you need that thing on your camera or not?
About developers -- well.. does ML need them or not?

OP stated that he works on many open source projects and was, accordingly, diligent with his presentation of details.  He was met with discouragement.


When you say "ML community should do this, and shouldn't do that" - I don't think somebody will actually listen.  Because there is no "team" or something, or company, or corporate ethics. It's just people. Individuals. So someone may listen and someone may not.
Who said anything about "community?"

Please enlighten me on how things work with open source projects. ;)

names_are_hard

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Re: Question about installation step "Launch the Firmware Update proces"
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2022, 06:53:46 AM »
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It simply seems to be an error of omission within the installation instructions, that can be remedied by adding one or two senteces.
Yes, probably.  I know "just submit a patch" is cliched for open source projects, but you may not be aware that everyone with a forum account gets a wiki account; you can submit the change you want.

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Coming from an almost purely open source experience for the last 20 years, it is apparent that a majority of the devs (and almost all of the users) run proprietary OS's and proprietary software.  Any consideration for Linux and the BSD's seem like an afterthought here.
This isn't the impression I get at all, so I'm genuinely curious as to why you do.  I agree about users, but that's to be expected.  I also don't think it's very important what devs run, I'm just curious why you get that impression.  I run Linux and I'm *probably* the most active dev currently?  Alex was linux I think and I'm fairly sure he's the biggest single contributor historically.  The founder was using some linux flavour I believe.

Skinny

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Re: Question about installation step "Launch the Firmware Update proces"
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2022, 10:15:41 AM »
In this case, the installation instructions seem to lack the details of an important step.
I don't argue with anything you say, of course the instructions and wiki needs an update. There just aren't enough people with deep ML knowledge and free time to edit the wiki.
But.... I just don't quite understand how a very experienced developer can't google such a simple thing when there is even a joke that coding is the ability to google professionally :)
Maybe this is the correct behavior for open source projects, asking developers directly about any little thing.

I just want to say that most likely - everything that you write (or I write) will not have any effect, because people just behave as they behave. And have rights to do so, since the freedom of speech.

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About developers -- well.. does ML need them or not?
They are needed, of course. On the other hand, developers who will be offended by everything, most likely, will not stay on the project for long.


By the way, if you watch any YT video with installation process and scroll to comments... You will see that even when there is such a detailed video instruction, people still have a lot of problems. And they ask all sorts of questions, so it's almost impossible to cover everything in any wiki or manual. This requires a forum, but here each user is approved manually (or now it's not the case?)
I think OP didn't answer just because he already forgot about ML forum when his account got approved.


I went to the wiki just to see how this part of the instruction is written.

Step 2. Installation

  • Format the card in the camera (low-level format).
  • Unzip all of the files from Magic Lantern zip archive to the root of your card.
  • Launch the Firmware Update process and follow the messages on the screen.
  • Once you see the green confirmation screen, restart your camera. Done.
  • If anything goes wrong, check the Troubleshooting section.

so... it specifically says: Launch the firmware update. maybe something like "from your camera menu" should be added... although it seems obvious.
It also doesn't say that after copying files to the card, you need to insert it into the camera :D


In the future, to help the project, I want to make YouTube videos explaining common misunderstandings about ML, and other instructional videos. Of course, this will require a little consultation with developers. But so far, my skill is not enough for quality content, and I don't want to make lame videos. I know that I can do it and thus make a small contribution to the project. So more people will know, more people will be interested... For example, Zeek did a great job popularizing ML.

And if someone is ready to spend their time improving the wiki, then they should do it, why not..

names_are_hard

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Re: Question about installation step "Launch the Firmware Update proces"
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2022, 02:52:15 PM »
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There just aren't enough people with deep ML knowledge and free time to edit the wiki
This was a simple edit and took me less than ten seconds.  I'd say the time consuming part of improving instructions is checking them thoroughly while keeping aware of possible sources of confusion.  Finding the problem here was slower than fixing it.

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I just don't quite understand how a very experienced developer can't google such a simple thing
The terms were quite generic.  People are tired sometimes, or don't have much time.  There are many reasons.

Skinny

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Re: Question about installation step "Launch the Firmware Update proces"
« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2022, 05:24:47 PM »
@names_are_hard perfect :)

What could be really cool - if one day someone could make proper working in-camera ML help for all fresh builds. I remember first time into ML menu I thought "wow! how many things.. And we have built-in help here, how convenient..." but.. it wasn't there :D  Although now it seems like something absolutely insignificant, for newbies it can make a hude difference.