Let's Make Robots!

Lets Make Robots toolkit or something

I've been looking on forum and saw something as LMRtoolkit... there are a bunch of programs out on the forum and something else... why just we make such a menu and there people can download there apropiate needing program. I made a Speed/RPM/wheel calculator and a bluetooth controller via virtual port and etc... why just we collect them into a single place or just pack it in a so named "Lets Make Robots toolkit"? I think this is a good ideea...

 

    So what do you think?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

I kinda like the idea of an LMR toolkit, but I see frits' point.

I have a compromise to suggest. Let's use a defined tag for utilities people have created for themselves that they'd like to share with LMR, like 'lmrtoolkit'. Then they can be posted and include that tag, making it easy to find them.

If we find that there are only a handful, that may be adequate. If there are a whole bunch of tools people share, we can add more structure at that point.

Who knows, in the future software published under a shared GNU license under the LMR banner would be a cool way to get LMR's name out and maintain our position as the best community robot site in the world.

Yes :)

if any one will send me a list of nodes already existing that should have this tag, I will edit every one of them, and make a menu linking to it.

The link will then show something like this:

http://letsmakerobots.com/taxonomy/term/126 (That is Arduino, as an example)

- And if anyone (else) then will write the description of this "project", I will make that describtion on top of the page that is shown.

That way we will have a menu item (like .. erh.. you make it up, like "Programs", something), and a click on that will explain how to submit (by tagging, so submissions can come from everywhere, on every page), some extra info you you want, and then everything that is tagged already.

:)

if you start this work, just "sign up", by commenting here, then you are the boss, and that is it! ALABTU!

I am here no problem... I can help as I have time :D and really really happy to help... by the way... still don't understant the "you are the boss" thing :D

Well djhesit8, you started this. Do you want to take the lead?

Otherwise, I'll take a stab at it!

Good idea, I will work something out :)

Hmm.. I had a look at it, and I can't find a good way.

There are many little issues around doing it.

Main issue is that most of the time, it is not just "a program", but more like a code for a special kind of robot, or something hooked up to a tip or a platform.

Example:
http://letsmakerobots.com/node/316
This is a tip. Yes, there is a program to download, but the tip has the focus.

http://letsmakerobots.com/node/8870
This one is more a link to somewhere else

However it can very easily be found through the search and menus.
Search for "Speed Calculation"

Your post (http://letsmakerobots.com/node/22231) has a problem with the tags; They are not seperated by commas, and so it is not optimal, it is not shown in the right places, such as bluetooth. However, it is still very easy to find through the search.

I know there is not a complete list of "All programs to download", but nor is there a list of say "All robots with tracks", which might be just as relevant for some - I mean; Who would search for a collection of tracked robots? Well, many who where about to build a tracked robot might.

But who would search for "Prgrams that I can download"? Not many, I suppose. But perhaps you where interested in a program to control an arduino, and that could be found the way things are now.

if you optimized your post, it would also be extremely easy to find for those who was in need for that very kind of program. Make sure your tags are seperated with commas (it is already written very clearly in the instructions below that field that you should do so), and make sure all relevant words are in your post; Controller, program to download, PC.. is it for PC? That kind.

And then you are free to add the source for people to download, and you can ask people to upload new versions that they have made.

If anyone makes a new version, you can alter your post, and it will go to the front page, where it will state that there is a new version..

So.. all in all, and all considered, I think we have a system that works OK in terms of capability of handling peoples programs.

But I may be wrong, and I am fresh if there are concrete ideas and all :)

I agree with Frits here. At its current state LMR is good enough for "support/utility software". I think that this site is more about robots and electronics and software running inside robots, embedded SW if you will, and I like it that way. Having the "support" software posted on the same page with robots software is good enough for me. Anyway, if there's going to be a section for downloading "support/utility" software I think there are a few things to consider.

First of all if there's going to be executable binaries to download I think it's only a matter of time before some idiot finds it out and uploads a program that will screw up peoples computers for good (or accidentally uploads a program with a virus). Of course this is a risk with any software distributing site and it's more or less the downloader's decision what he/she downloads and runs on his/her computer. Anyway I think this is something to keep in mind.

Secondly it would need more or less commitment from the software's creator to keep it up to date. I'll take an example here: We have a program that controls robots movement and it has forward, reverse, turn left and turn right buttons. Sooner or later someone wants it to have additional controls for head movement. So either the original software has to be updated or a new one created. In the case that original software is updated it needs some commitment from the maintainer. New feature requests can also pile up pretty quickly (depending on popularity of SW).

Thirdly having a "support software" section could quickly lead to a "SW dumpster". If existing software is not well maintained or people want to make their own versions just for fun we could end up with robot speed calculator in all of the rainbow colors and dozens of different layouts. Some versions having some bugs, some having pretty good features but awful usability and so on. Having a gazillion versions of same software wouldn't serve the purpose (helping people in building robots), IMHO. Also having a separate speed calculator, LED calculator, 555 timer calculator and so on would be a major pain. This site is good for showing gazillion versions of SH-Bot, not calculators.

And then there's of course the platform question (Win, Mac, Linux, ...) which is related to second and third issue above. Having same software on multiple platforms needs some commitment or it could lead to having a little bit different software on different platforms.

That said, I'm not totally against "support/utility" software having its own section or page. If it would have only few different programs that have features at least somewhat reasonably combined it could be useful to some people. Having an "official" LMR toolkit could be really nice but that has to be well maintained otherwise it would just make LMR look bad and we surely don't want that. Some SW development site could help here (Sourceforge and Google Code come to mind). Simple calculators could also be online like here and here for example. That way at least the platform question gets pretty well answered.

That's my 2 cents. Sorry if I sounded too negative in here. Maybe I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.

 

.. repository is needed I would think.

That Dropbox thingy is really the best that comes to mind...