It’s no secret that Digilent has gone through some major changes over the last couple of years. We were acquired by National Instruments, which has been very beneficial. Along with that has come the realization that it’s time to re-brand ourselves, updating our website and associated documentation.
As an example, if you scroll to the bottom of the product page for the chipKIT Pro MX4 on the current website, you’ll notice several links for documentation at the bottom of the page, including the reference manual PDF. Here is one page from that PDF:
I don’t know, it’s just words. BORING!!!
If you’re not familiar with the chipKIT family, the Pro MX4 is the new name for the old Cerebot MX4cK but maintains exactly the same functionality. The reference manual PDF for this board was of course originally written for the Cerebot version, but has been updated to reflect the name change. It was well done, but lacks a certain clarity that LOTS of pictures could bring. There is also some information lacking, like how to reload the boot loader. (When you use chipKIT boards with MPLAB, the boot loader for use with MPIDE is erased and must be reloaded in order to use it with MPIDE again.) In fact, none of the chipKIT family reference manuals tell you how to reload the boot loader, only that it must be done. Through searching, the method can be found in the interwebs, but it can be a chore and I personally don’t like having to search for something that I think should be included in the documentation.
As part of our rebranding, spearheaded by Marketing Director Larissa Swanland, we are implementing a wiki page, reference.blog.digilentinc.com, that will allow users of our products to find complete and up-to-date documentation. The system allows us to make edits that are reflected immediately, instead of having to wait for the process of editing the PDF and then publishing that. After several hours, here is that same section of reference material from before, only from the wiki instead:
Updating documentation is a long and involved process. Not only do we have the old documentation to update, but also the new documentation for our new products as well. Needless to say, at this point the wiki is still very much a work in progress. But we have a very dedicated team working on it to bring you the best documentation for the best products.