Playground getting reorganized, comments please

Hello. There is currently an effort to reorganize the Playground wiki area. The plan is to create a hierarchy that makes clear where to look for and where to add content-- as the adage goes, a place for everything, and everything in its place. After some feedback from the dev mailing list, here is a page with the overall game plan.

http://www.arduino.cc/playground/Main/WikiTaxonomyProposal

The main headings on this page (currently mostly links to empty pages) will become top level pages. This small set of main pages will contain the sub sections and subsequent links. These main pages could get a little large, but the sub sections can always get broken into separate pages if needed. You may see some of these changes starting to make it into the existing playground already.

If you have a minute to check over this organization scheme, your comments would be appreciated. Do you see any missing sections? Would you be able to find what you are looking for easily? Is there any ambiguity, or two locations that are too similar? Can you think of any notes that could be added to make those main areas more clear?

Over the next few weeks, I will be filing existing pages into this new structure. If you are interested in offering a few minutes to do a little of this grunt work, please let me know! Hopefully, these changes will help the playground continue to be a great resource as it grows with Arduino's popularity.

Hi,

the sections themselfes look fine, need to be reorded though. I would expect the Exhibition-section one of the last items in the list. I think people come to the playground with some arduino-problem already on their mind, so the absolute beginner sections should more be to the end of the main page.

I'm missing a section on the basics of creating and installing external libraries.

Will the reference and tutorial section be moved to the playground too, since this was proposed on some other thread in the forums?

Eberhard

Hi,

the sections themselfes look fine, need to be reorded though. I would expect the Exhibition-section one of the last items in the list. I think people come to the playground with some arduino-problem already on their mind, so the absolute beginner sections should more be to the end of the main page.

Hi,

I think a getting started section should rather be on top. Maybe even highlited in some way. I know several people that are interested in this "arduino thing" but always end up like "maybe in my next life" because they simply had a look at an article like "code for the 74xx141", which currently is the first article in the connecting hardware section. please have a look at it and imagine you're a second year fashion design student.

an advanced user on the other side probably has no problems recognizing newbie stuff for what it is. this is even more important when the official tutorials will move to the playground.

?

kuk

hi

it's a good idea to reorganize it. - One of the principal problems is the visual design, will you do something about that too? - Re the proposed taxonomy, it seems a littler serious and perhaps artificial: Something slightly looser would be better. Hierarchies are easy to implement but not always the best way to organize. there is something to be said for anarchy. - why duplicate the hardware pages when those are already in the main site?

I've always thought the ideal solution would be for someone to collate and filter the playground material into "official" dogma that would then appear on the main site. But I can see that is not going to happen, so more power to you in the reorganization.

Re the hierarchy proposed, I would suggest some kind of layout that skips the less important items in terms of the user. People are generally looking for interfacing and code tutorials; curriculum, the 'exhibition', etc are far down the list. It strikes me that a "cloud style" menu might be just the thing. After all, we are in the non-hierachical 21st century... !

In any case, just a few rambling thoughts.

Say, is it OK if we edit the proposed taxonomy? That might be the ideal way for people to get their say in.

D

I had a closer look at what you are proposing...

It would be nice if we could find a design, like a cloud menu, that led to the hierarchy.

Hierarchies and organization like this is sometimes good, but not always. The general trend in society is actually away from them. Look at Arduino: it's a 'cloud' of users, not a hierarchy. Heathkit designed its kits in a hierarchcical way; Arduino is perhaps the 21 century equivalent, and it is not hierarchical, it is a distributed network of users.

So yes, i agree it needs organization, but if you could try not to go too overboard on the hierarchy part that would be good! Something in between would probably be ideal. Here's one example of a cloud menu... http://johnbokma.com/perl/google-search-cloud.html It's great that you are spearheading the effort :) D

Thanks for the replies already. Keep them coming. I will do some reordering as that seems a clear wish, and add a section on Libraries.

Daniel, I was about to ask what a 'cloud' layout was and you already answered. That seems like a good idea to me, as long as the wiki software agrees. At first glance, pmWiki doesn't appear to allow generic html/javascript, so I don't see a clear way to implement one. Is there some way to embed one as an image? Certainly, I hope the choice of a hierarchy doesn't reflect any social values here... perhaps it could be called a tree instead? I'll dig more on a way to have one of those cool clouds.

Feel free to make your own changes to that page, but please make a note of what you changed here in this forum. thanks!

Wayoda, yes, I think the tutorials section will get wrapped into this from the main site as some point, so we'll want to make sure the playground is ready to swallow that content.

Hi! What is going to happen to the playgrounds main page? The current content isn't very useful for neither newbies nor experts. Is it going to be replaced with some kind of commented Site-index? I would favour that.

One of the main obstacles for I think everybody is the sidebar/menu. It simply is a total mess! Will it be kept in the current or some other form? Maybe access for sidebar/mainpage-editing should be limited (the democratic parts of my brain don't like the idea, but since the mainpage is something like the entrancehall to the arduino universe...)

I think a getting started section should rather be on top. Maybe even highlited in some way. I know several people that are interested in this "arduino thing" but always end up like "maybe in my next life" because they simply had a look at an article like "code for the 74xx141", which currently is the first article in the connecting hardware section. please have a look at it and imagine you're a second year fashion design student.

"Getting started" is definetly needed, but I fear some kind of bookform is needed for that. I have contributed to other projects in the last couple of years and my impression is, that people don't actually read articles on the internet. They simply skip to the code, copy and paste and wonder why it doesn't work. Yes, we need a reference section for a quick lookup on the arduino language and environment but I think an Arduino in a nutshell is needed too.

Eberhard

I think the proposed taxonomy is a big improvement over the current chaos, so I wouldn't let the fact that it could be even better deter you from going ahead and implementing it. Things can always be improved as we go along - that's the beauty of a wiki.

It would be great to have a nice site index / table of contents as the main playground page. Maybe something that included the top-level and second-level categories with a nice description of each. And maybe the same content, without the descriptions, for the sidebar? I don't think it's necessarily important to put the most used things at the top if the content seems to flow better in some other order, but I do agree that's it's important to emphasize the interfacing, hardware, and code library parts. Maybe they get more space on the front page?

Also, the sections on interfacing with software on the computer (Processing, PD, etc.) should probably be higher up in the hierarchy. I'll move them to a new top-level category.

I'd like to move the tutorials (though not the examples or reference) from the main site to the playground. I'm also open to moving stuff from the playground back to the main site. Maybe we should have a tag or category on the playground to suggest this (e.g. "MoveToMain")?

yes I agree with Mellis, more power to you!

I'm thinking that the whole "hierarchy" could be well represented by some kind of cloud menu, even if it is just a clickable image, at the top of the page. Just plain old Html or javascript. I will look around and see what's available.

D

Freemind @ http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

wow

that is hierarchical and non-hierarchical at the same time!

D

wow

that is hierarchical and non-hierarchical at the same time!

D

Exactly, like your mind... and free like freeduino

Hi, are there any plans about when the reorganization of the playground is about to happen? My only contribution so far is a commented link to a library I wrote. When I created the documentation for the lib I decided to put the files on my own site, because the playground looked a bit messy (information-finding-wise). But with a fresh start, I'd like to put the lib and the docs for it on the playground. Since I would have to learn the PMWiki markup for that some sort of timeline would be nice. But I've got another playground-question : As a normal registered playgound user, can I upload the images I use in the documentation and the library itself (zip-file) to the playground Attachment site? I already found out that its possible with PMWiki, but is this option installed on the arduino-site? Is there a HowTo for this?

Back to the timetable : If there are already a few contributers at hand shouldn't we just start ? The basic outline seems to be ok with everybody and once the Main/ExternalDevices/Output/Leds/Matrices-page exists I could start :-) Well, as I read this again make that "Interfacing with hardware" instead of "External Devices" (complimentary to "Inferfacing with software")

One last thing about "Cloud menues": I don't like them. My favourite Guitar-Tab site changed to one of these menus. Since then I have to use a google to find out if something has been added since last time I visted there. On an extra page, with someone dedicated to keep it up-to-date, it might be a nice idea, but the old "tree-like menu" is probably more inituative for everybody to use.

Eberhard

The PMWiki documentation is at: http://www.arduino.cc/playground/PmWiki/DocumentationIndex but not very easy to find. That's probably another thing to work on in the reorganization.

I'll let Tim answer the questions about the timeline, but I think he's planning to start soon.

wayoda, consider the upgrade under way. I will "grow the branch" out that you described first so you can go ahead and start setting it up. I also like your idea of a parallel naming for "interfacing with software." In terms of the cloud map, I think it would be a secondary means of navigating into the tree. My hands will be full making the tree, and I cant see a way to setting up a cloud on pmWiki either. So due to time and skill, it will be up to someone else to take the helm on that. In whatever way the tree can, I will happily support anyone who wants to create a cloud page. Off to make some progress now.

Okay, Here is most of the results of the few few hours of work:

http://www.arduino.cc/playground/Main/InterfacingWithHardware

This is the new main page about interface with hardware. Its a good example to bring up right away for comments. Here are my big questions. How is the formating? I am trying to make it fairly easy to read and not overload on bold text. Bold is only used for labeling categories. Is it too long? This is largest main page. Should these sub pages get broken out? Any other thoughts comments? I think the upper sections that are more filled out are easier to read, as there are longer listings between bold headings. Try to anticipate how it will look even more filled out. That might really push the total length over the edge…

Other pages are starting to grow from the main WikiTaxonomyProposal page as well. The Basics page needs help, as currently the electronics and programming pages are mostly for advanced topics outside of the Arduino realm, not for introductory content.

Hello tim

good work.

if you need to access the files on the server let me know... (to install pmwiki addons or to change the css)

maybe I should make a backup copy of the current wiki...

massimo

That is much better to read , maybe some links at the top of the page to jump to each of the headings & a back to top link for the headings like in HTML.

The link highlighted below goes to a datasheet website that requires a subscription to download free datasheets!!! Input section,multiplexing.

"Multiplexing read the forum post on analog multiplexers learn how to use the Motorola MC14067BCP"

Massimo, thanks. Server access may come in handy down the road.

Lee, thanks for those notes. I've made subsequent changes.

To everyone: I think I have made it through the whole playground. Here is my attempt at a tree that could be included on the home page:

http://www.arduino.cc/playground/Main/NewHome

How would folks feel about this listing becoming the structure of the new nav bar? Should I bring out some more sub-groups as the InterfacingWithHardware has?

The biggest blemish right now remains the Basics page. I think I might move the non-basic content of the basics page to a resources sub-page. There is also missing content. some of the tutorials from the main site like the blinking LED will probably fill that page in some.

All pages also require more general editing and format repairs. I'll make more passes, but its never too soon for more comments! If you see something wrong or have thoughts, feel free to post them here, but also feel encouraged to go ahead and change it.

Hi,

To everyone: I think I have made it through the whole playground. Here is my attempt at a tree that could be included on the home page: http://www.arduino.cc/playground/Main/NewHome

I like the layout and I think it makes a good sidebar too.

Should I bring out some more sub-groups as the InterfacingWithHardware has?

Yes "hardware-output";"hardware-input" etc. make sense. But there you should stop: I don't think we need "hardware->output->visual" on the sidebar. For the Devlopment Tools section I'd suggest OS-specific links. (Mac,Windows,Linux,BSD ... with the Linux link going to a page from which you can reach distribution specific pages)

The biggest blemish right now remains the Basics page. I think I might move the non-basic content of the basics page to a resources sub-page.

Yes, the "AVR libc manual" is for from being basic I think :-)

There is also missing content.

Since I started to port my own library-doc to the playground I thought that it would be nice if there was a page with the basic concept of the SPI-bus I could link to. There are already some articles where SPI is explained but they all end with code for some specific hardware. Things like Basic-SPI, Basic-TWI would be good to have on a resources page. I think I will try my luck on the SPI-bit, but since english is not my native language this might time some time.

Eberhard