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Topic: Defect in Documentation - SoftSerial (Read 5 times) previous topic - next topic

gbulmer

SoftSerial is very hard to get at in Arduino-0022, and several people have said (on the forum) it is obsolete.

BUT, it is listed in the reference libraries:
http://arduino.cc/en/Reference/Libraries
without any comment.

There is nothing (that I could find) in the Release Notes about SoftSerial being obsolete or no longer available.

I expected to be able to find it on Examples, and spent a chunk of the day trying to help a friend to use it :-(

I think it would be helpful to update the libraries reference and Release Notes.

davekw7x

#1
Jan 18, 2011, 02:08 am Last Edit: Jan 18, 2011, 02:10 am by davekw7x Reason: 1
There is an example at the SoftwareSerial Interface Tutorial

Well-meaning folks who want to steer you to NewSoftSerial are trying to make a point that NewSoftSerial has lots of advantages, but much code continues to use SoftwareSerial, and it is still supplied (at least for the time being) in the Arduino distribution libraries.  The fact that there are no SoftwareSerial examples directory in the Arduino distribution is a pretty good clue that the Arduino developers don't want to actively encourage new programmers to use it.

At least that's the way it seems to me.  (But I could be wrong.  It wouldn't be the first time.  Not even the first time today.)


Regards,

Dave

gbulmer

#2
Jan 18, 2011, 03:51 pm Last Edit: Jan 18, 2011, 06:35 pm by gbulmer Reason: 1
Quote
The fact that there are no SoftwareSerial examples directory in the Arduino distribution is a pretty good clue that the Arduino developers don't want to actively encourage new programmers to use it.


Well, I am too dumb to take the hint.
I don't see much value in hints on stuff this fundamental.

IMHO, if it is in the core Arduino IDE, it should have a simple example, so that a beginner can see how to use it, and test it with some confidence.

If the team want to obsolete it, okay. They should write something to that effect on the reference library page, and in the example (and library code).
That way, everyone is clear, and understands what is happening.

SoftwareSerial is a nice example of bit-banging comms. It is about a page (old-fashioned piano-ruled, 66-line listing paper:-) of mostly very understandable code.

IMHO, it is significantly easier to understand than an interrupt driven alternative. Unfortunately NewSoftSerial is made more complex-looking for a beginner by a compiler bug, and direct pin I/O. Though that complexity is also a valuable lesson for anyone trying to learn about this type of stuff.

IMHO, if it is ever retired from 'active duty' in the Arduino IDE download, SoftwareSerial should be put somewhere easy to find because of its educational value.

davekw7x - Thanks for you help.

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