[ros-users] review: catkin documentation review for package.xml format 2

Francis Belliveau f.belliveau at comcast.net
Fri May 23 01:22:14 UTC 2014


I am responding to you outside review channels because I am way too new to ROS to be comfortable participating in public discussions.
I read the overview level documentation and it made sense are far as it went.

What I find missing is a reference to the schema for a package XML document.  I am actually surprised that the documentation does not mention any of the normal XML meta data that one normally places before the main document element identifying the schema, namespaces and/or XSLT references.

One of the reasons that I am having trouble understanding how to get started with ROS is because the beginner tutorials do not include links to “all the gory details and possibilities”.  The documentation can solve all that by just providing a reference to the schema file and it would be the readers problem to figure out how to expand upon the simple examples provided.

The first thing that cam to mind reading the overview was when I got to the second code segment listing “authors”.  That was followed by the “URLs”.  There was nothing to tell me where these should be placed within package.xml.  I am sure that I could dig into the tutorials and find the information, but, understanding XML the way I do, I would prefer to figure it out myself from the schema definition.

Just my opinion.
You people are doing great things.  I very much like ROS at the conceptual level but cannot seem to figure out where to start.


On May 18, 2014, at 12:20 PM, Jack O'Quin <jack.oquin at gmail.com> wrote:

> Now that package.xml format 2 support has been implemented, I have updated the catkin how-to documentation to explain the new version and how to migrate from format 1. The older version is still supported and documented.
> You need not be an expert in catkin or build systems to contribute to this review. If the examples and explanations are unclear or do not make sense to you, we want to know about it.
> Formatted copy:
>  http://farnsworth.csres.utexas.edu/docs/catkin/html/
> Please use this pull request for your comments and suggestions, so we have a full record of the discussions:
>  https://github.com/ros/catkin/pull/634
> The pull request only updates the Indigo branch. Similar changes will be needed for the Groovy and Hydro branch. That will be done when the review is completed.
> -- 
>  joq
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