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Topic: The need for speedy access to known solutions (Read 950 times) previous topic - next topic

freddie43

Nov 26, 2018, 08:35 am Last Edit: Nov 26, 2018, 08:54 am by freddie43
Dear Nick Gammon and everyone else who offers help on this forum,

Over the years you have built up a massive knowledge base here, for which I am very grateful, so I hope you will bear with me as I explore how access to it  might be improved.

I have been working with Arduinos for some three years and the big problem with buying devices and chips on eBay has always been finding the right software to drive them. Here I have found your forum a really good place to search for answers, but my recent experience with the forum seems to have exposed a massive flaw - speedy access to the best solution.

My exploration into TFT LCDs has been fraught with problems, with three similar looking shields from mcufriend.com having completely different properties. It was at that point that I really searched your forum in earnest and found over 10,000 references to TFT LCD, and well over 2,000 to mcufriend. I could see that I was not alone!

Clearly people using mcufriend shields hit similar problems to me, but sadly I did not land on David Prentice's 'MCUFRIEND_kbv Library for Uno 2.4, 2.8, 3.5, 3.6, 3.95 inch mcufriend Shields' at https://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=366304.0, so it took a number of exchanges with him to dig me out of the mire and discover that he has been producing a large number of updates for drivers for these boards to cope with their range of driver chips. Also he showed that I needed to improve the way I organised my use of libraries.

You have some really useful pages on 'How to use this Forum' and 'Introductory Tutorials' but they do not immediately come to light after Google searches for help. Also I have seen no section on 'Common problems' or 'Really useful software' or 'Start here'.

I wondered about a central section of 'Common Problem Areas' with lists of devices which have caused the most problems. And a library section with Revision History for each item. Then I would have just needed to look at the mcufriend section, and a quick browse through the Revision History would have shown that David had already fixed the problems I was having, and I would have selected the most up to date version and saved a lot of time.
Greybeard programmer since the dawn of time.
Much enjoying the challenges of Arduino.

srnet

Do we presume you are offering your services as a volunteer to generate all the original content and keep it up to date ?
http://www.50dollarsat.info/
http://www.loratracker.uk/

freddie43

Happy to try and help, but I will need a bit of assistance and for it to be preferably 'off forum'.

For starters do you have Google reports of the most frequently accessed topics - on and off forum?
Greybeard programmer since the dawn of time.
Much enjoying the challenges of Arduino.

srnet

For starters do you have Google reports of the most frequently accessed topics - on and off forum?
No, I dont.

Your better off asking your question in the appropriate forum;

Website and Forum - improvements for the web system, applications to moderator, spam, etc.
http://www.50dollarsat.info/
http://www.loratracker.uk/

pert

I agree with the general spirit of what you're proposing, though not the specifics.

Forums are great for discussion or one-on-one help, but terrible as a way of organizing information. It's a shame that the incredible collection of knowledge contained in the Arduino Forum is a massive jumbled mess.

I think that wikis are the best system we have for the sort of thing you're talking about. In the Arduino world, that wiki is the Arduino Playground. Unfortunately, Arduino has made the terrible decision to destroy most of the value of this resource by making it read-only at the end of the year. So the Playground will not be appropriate for your project. I'm not aware of any existing substitute for the Playground.

freddie43

srnet

Quote
Your better off asking your question in the appropriate forum;

Website and Forum - improvements for the web system, applications to moderator, spam, etc.
Can you or some other kind person move this Topic to Website and Forum?
If I start a new thread we lose the replies
Greybeard programmer since the dawn of time.
Much enjoying the challenges of Arduino.

pert

If you want to have the topic moved, you can click the "Report to moderator" link at the bottom of the post and ask nicely for the moderator to move it.

Robin2

Clearly people using mcufriend shields hit similar problems to me, but sadly I did not land on David Prentice's
This suggests to me that your proposal is based on a very specific piece of advice that you had difficulty finding.

Unless you create an alternative system that knows in advance what people are having trouble finding I'm not sure how your need would have been better met.

In my experience many of the people who come to this Forum don't know what they need to know and the discursive system that the Forum offers is IMHO the best way to deal with that.

Any time I have had problems either Google has found the answer or (as recently) a question on the Forum has produced it.

I don't see any value writing code or creating databases that do something that Google can already do. And if Google can't do it then it is worth wondering if it is either very complex or very rare.

...R
Two or three hours spent thinking and reading documentation solves most programming problems.

ballscrewbob

The forum does have the SEARCH function.

Albeit it uses google and google often jumbles up the results into a seemingly random order but it does work for a lot of people.

Even not using the forums search option I can still pull plenty of related information for a topic with a search engine by simply clarifying my search eg. "mcufriend not working" pulls up one set of results and "mcufriend inverted" pulls up another specific set of results.

So many people will not learn how to use a search engine properly it can be a little disheartening.
Even more people wont look for past results of the same types of issues and fixes, instead make it about thier issue. The latter is a royal pain when the helper finds the answer in a few seconds...Something the asker could have done themselves without wasting peoples time doing the work for them. This then clutters up a forum section with the same Q over and over.

If you doubt that just back up a little and see how many posts there are in this section asking how to see thier own posts !

It may not be the answer you were looking for but its the one I am giving based on either experience, educated guess, google or the fact that you gave nothing to go with in the first place so I used my wonky crystal ball.

freddie43

I will reply to the above when a few more people have had the opportunity to comment.

Meanwhile, for those who are interested in this topic there are some comments you might like to look at by myself and pert on page 3 of Re: avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 10 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x00

- one pothole over 26,000 people have fallen down when the IDE 1.8.7 changed the way it handles Nanos!
Greybeard programmer since the dawn of time.
Much enjoying the challenges of Arduino.

Robin2

Alas, the Arduino developers seem to have very little interest in backwards compatibility.

...R
Two or three hours spent thinking and reading documentation solves most programming problems.

srnet

So many people will not learn how to use a search engine properly it can be a little disheartening.
Indeed so.

I suspect a great many posts are answered by the reply poster doing a Google search.
http://www.50dollarsat.info/
http://www.loratracker.uk/

ballscrewbob

I honestly admit to often doing thier work for them...see my tag line.
It may not be the answer you were looking for but its the one I am giving based on either experience, educated guess, google or the fact that you gave nothing to go with in the first place so I used my wonky crystal ball.

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