[ros-users] ROS Diamondback Release Candidate 1

Ken Conley kwc at willowgarage.com
Sun Feb 13 18:46:30 UTC 2011

Hi Patrick,

Thanks for the feedback.

On Sun, Feb 13, 2011 at 9:22 AM, Patrick Bouffard
<bouffard at eecs.berkeley.edu> wrote:
> Congrats on RC-1. The Tools page is a good start. One suggestion: add
> a 1-sentence blurb on each tool above its corresponding video. The
> blurb should be geared towards functionality--what can you _do_ with
> this tool?

I've tried to take a stab at this, feedback/edits welcome.

> Also it occurs to me that the front page on the wiki could use
> refreshing. It's very busy and this might contribute to new users
> being confused about where to start. Given that ROS is becoming more
> widely used, the very first statements on the front page should
> probably make sense to the widest possible audience. So right now the
> first text is:
> """
> Documentation
> ROS is an open-source, meta-operating system for your robot. It
> provides the services you would expect from an operating system,
> including hardware abstraction, low-level device control,
> implementation of commonly-used functionality, message-passing between
> processes, and package management.
> """
> .. which is already full of technical terms that I would guess a large
> percentage of first-visitors to be page are not familiar with (at
> least, not yet). I would suggest that this text remain under the
> Documentation heading, but before that, a higher-level description
> such as:
> """
> ROS (Robot Operating System) is software for robot makers and users
> that makes it easier to create new robots and extend existing ones, by
> providing a unified, modular architecture.
> """

I took a whack at the front page with an eye towards reducing the
amount of text you have to scan through.  I also removed
'Repositories' to be a secondary item and recombined 'Getting Help'
with 'Getting Started'.  'Support' is already a persistent navigation

> I would suggest that this be followed by an introductory video that
> highlights some of the uses of ROS and introduces the highest level
> concepts (Runtime Graph --Nodes, Topics; Filesystem (Packages/Stacks);
> Community (Repositories, Mailing Lists, Wiki)) in as visual a way as
> possible. For the runtime graph this is pretty obvious--just a cartoon
> version of rxgraph's output. The others would require a bit more
> creative thought on how to bring across the point visually and
> succinctly but I think it is possible. The video should conclude with
> a very brief teaser on the tutorials, with the aim of encouraging new
> users to actually go through them.
> The other thing that I think people always look for is a screenshots
> page. This should be easy to do and the candidates are obvious--rviz,
> gazebo, rxplot...

The video is a good idea.  Not sure that we're going to be able to
shoot it right now with our current workload, but one of these days.


> My $0.02..
> Cheers,
> Pat
> On Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 2:26 PM, Ken Conley <kwc at willowgarage.com> wrote:
>> Thanks to all of your help, we're getting close to the official
>> release of Diamondback.  Eigen 2/3 rollout is complete and we have
>> received many patches to improve compatibility on various platforms.
>> How you can help:
>>  1) We want to make it easier for new users to figure out what the
>> common ROS tools are.  We've put up a new "Tools" [1] page as a start,
>> but feedback and contributions are welcome.  We would also appreciate
>> feedback on our "APIs" [2] page.  In other words, "What do you wish
>> the wiki helped you find out about better, and how?"
>>  2) We are creating new robot 'portals' to help users of particular
>> robot platforms.  We would appreciate feedback on the current pages as
>> well as your own contributed portals.  Examples: [3], [4], [5]
>>  3) Patches, bug reports, etc...
>> More here:
>> http://www.ros.org/news/2011/02/ros-diamondback-release-candidate-1.html
>> thanks,
>>  -- your friendly neighborhood release candidate
>> [1]: http://www.ros.org/wiki/Tools
>> [2]: http://www.ros.org/wiki/APIs
>> [3]: http://www.ros.org/wiki/Robots/Care-O-bot
>> [4]: http://www.ros.org/wiki/Robots/NXT
>> [5]: http://www.ros.org/wiki/Robots/PR2
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