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View Full Version : Propeller platform/module selection wizard? Does it exist? Should it exist?



ElectricAye
10-19-2011, 04:49 PM
Maybe this already exists somewhere and I don't know about it, but I know a lot of forum members make and sell various versions of Propeller platforms or modules or whatever you call them, optimized or sized for various applications. For the benefit of everyone, it seems to me that a selection wizard might be nice to have. People who make these platforms can submit the information and then a wizard can help somebody zero in on a list of boards best suited for their application, etc.

For example, people who do rocketry, or high altitude balloons, or model railroading, or somebody who just needs a VGA and LED output gizmo or whatever within a certain price range can run through the wizard and get what they want. At this point it seems to me like forum members announce some really cool product, but then it gets lost to history even though most of them look like really great products.

Comments?

4x5n
10-19-2011, 06:36 PM
I found a list of 3rd party vendors on the Parallax site somewhere once but it's note complete. It would be nice to have a forum that vendors selling services, boards, etc could make a post with a brief description and a url. Not all of us has the skills or tools to make their own PC boards or solder smt devices to a board.

jazzed
10-19-2011, 10:18 PM
Maybe this already exists somewhere and I don't know about it, but I know a lot of forum members make and sell various versions of Propeller platforms or modules or whatever you call them, optimized or sized for various applications. For the benefit of everyone, it seems to me that a selection wizard might be nice to have. People who make these platforms can submit the information and then a wizard can help somebody zero in on a list of boards best suited for their application, etc.

Good news! We have been thinking about this for a while in the Propeller GCC project.

Enabling it is the main goal for the library device drivers designs. Actually having a GUI to do it will be more work because of the near infinite variety of configurations. Having infrastructure that allows anyone to specify anything is tough, but not impossible. Combo box select would be good for some things such as selecting a basic board type - this is implemented in the xBasic IDE. I've always thought that drag, drop, and connect to be a key GUI feature for connecting devices.

Cluso99
10-19-2011, 11:18 PM
ElectricAye: Yes, IMHO its a missing section that could help promote the prop.
As most of you are aware, I now have a number of cheap modules/pluggables/stackables, all tiny. There is no margin to put them out into the marketplace proper because I am basically doing it for the love of it. So a list would make sense to me.

Dr_Acula
10-19-2011, 11:41 PM
Sounds a great idea. There are many criteria you could sort by. eg "weight" which would be useful flying boards, or "ease of construction" for those made out of DIP parts. Then keyboard, mouse, vga, TV, sd card (standard or mini), analog/digital I/O, size of board, a photo of the board, cost etc etc.

jazzed
10-20-2011, 01:34 AM
Guess I missed the point of your post. Sorry about that.

ElectricAye
10-20-2011, 03:45 PM
Guess I missed the point of your post. Sorry about that.

Jazzed,
your TetraProp boards (and Cluso's tiny boards) are exactly the kind of products I had in mind when I suggested a product selection wizard get created. I find the number and variety of boards floating around to be both confusing and exciting. Exciting because you guys have all these great little boards that might someday help me solve an otherwise impossible (for me) problem. Confusing because there are so many of them, so different, and often announced by their creator then never heard about again, at least not on the forum or, as far as I know, on the Parallax website. I can't keep track of all the possible choices. And then if you throw in things like PhiPhi's awesome optical-processing boards, etc.... it's a smorgasbord, a gold mine, an embarrassment of riches, but from my perpetual newbie perspective, it's one requiring a scavenger hunt rather than one-stop shopping.

I haven't the faintest clue how to make a wizard or how difficult it is to do so, but if there's some way to generate the skeleton of it and allow the product makers to enter the data themselves, I think it would be a great way to promote products, solve problems, and lure in newbies looking for something more plug-and-play.

frank freedman
10-21-2011, 04:33 AM
I don't know if a wizard would be quite the way to do this mainly because someone would have to maintain and validate the thing. Rather it would be nice if all the boards makers out here could adopt a sort of "datasheet" format similar to the way ICs are done. That way I could look up for the modules and see what the main features are, and then from that selection see what and how things are implemented against my needs. Someone would still need to maintain the registry, but perhaps even Parallax would be able to do that as a way to both know what is out there at any given time and perhaps enable a bit of a minimum standard to be adopted for design, quality, and documentation.

Frank

ElectricAye
10-21-2011, 04:45 AM
...someone would have to maintain and validate the thing....

Validation? What's that?

I remember years ago my wife and I tried a dog-selection website that asked about 40 questions concerning what sort of dog you might want - size, temperament, hair type, etc. After honestly answering all the questions, it suggested we get a Bichon Frise.

http://www.petfinder.com/images/breeds/dog/1440.jpg

Hokay, so it ain't a cat. But it certainly wasn't our style. So we tried again, answering all the questions but this time over-emphasizing our interest in a real dog. And here was the result:

http://www.petfinder.com/images/breeds/dog/1440.jpg

So then we tried over and over, entering all sorts of extremes, and no matter what we entered, the website said we were matched with a Bichon Frise. We got quite a laugh out of that.

RonP
10-21-2011, 05:05 AM
I started a list a few days ago after having a similar thought as ElectricAye. I was just going to make Thread like Humanodios Ultimate list of Propeller Laguages, but for boards. With relative links. Formated something like the below example.

1. Propeller Education Kit - 40 pin DIP Version (http://www.parallax.com/Store/Microcontrollers/PropellerKits/tabid/144/CategoryID/20/List/0/SortField/0/Level/a/ProductID/415/Default.aspx) / PE Kit Resources (http://www.parallax.com/go/pekit) /

Anyway I have a list of all Parallax's Board offerings - 18 different Propeller Boards(Parallax alone) I was then going to list the 3rd party boards after the Parallax Board and relative Links, User Guides and Web sites. I stopped the list after gathering all the Parallax Boards and info after reading this thread because I thought someone else might have had a list already. But it doesn't look like it so far. So what do you guy think should I keep going with the list? A Thread with links to info is better than nothing at all?

Another reason I stopped compiling the list and info is I wouldn't want to place someone's product on a list without their permission.

Ron

jazzed
10-21-2011, 06:44 AM
This doesn't serve the purpose exactly, but here's an old list of boards: http://propeller.wikispaces.com/Hardware The wiki (http://propeller.wikispaces.com) has some good info but it is not very up to date.

One of the original intentions for my microcsource.com site was to provide a repository of microcontroller info. Alas, I've been too busy to get serious with that.