Shameless promotion of my new website...(please forgive)

Discussion in 'Electronics Resources' started by slight_return, Dec 18, 2013.

  1. slight_return

    Thread Starter Member

    Mar 4, 2009
    12
    1
    Hi Guys and Gals --

    A bit of self-promotion I hope doesn't come across as too "advert-like". A buddy and I have been cycling the last few months on a side-project website intended to make data sheets and other engineering doc's easier to work with. Specifically we started out with a mission to make it possible to markup and share data sheets and other engineering documentation online. The charter really being that there's only ever a handful of info I ever want to come back to - pin info, curves, package drawings, registers, etc. in a document and we'd wanted to build something that let me (and anyone else I might be working with including component engineers, techs, etc - or anyone else I know) to share in my notes.

    So before I describe it any more, here's the site -- www.datasheet.net

    Now before anyone says "oh crap, another data sheet aggregator" let me stress that I had serious issues with these sorts of sites myself, particularly when they weren't user-friendly or put stuff behind a paywall. What instead we'd sought to do was to take an aggregator site (because we had access to the data - we've managed to wrangle up a few million engineering docs) and add some real value. This was how this got started. We knew we could scrub for the data, but what we do with it is what's interesting.

    Now working in engineering at Altium for a loooong time, I'd gotten the chance to cycle time and time again on how best to communicate intent to people across teams (this is not an Altium plug!). One way we'd managed was to snip out and markup documentation and send it to Joe-Engineer (sorry Joe) and say "hey, build me one of these". Application schematics from data sheets are probably the best example of this, as are library component data.

    So the goal here was to build that into something that was persistent, something portable, something that enabled discussion and commenting, and something that allowed me to make those comments open to the general public (thereby getting the network effect of 'what happens when we all share data?').

    Anyhow, I would LOVE LOVE if you guys could just have a look and let me know what you think, what you'd like to see improved, what you find ridiculous, etc.

    BTW, we added a side bar also for Findchips.com (full disclosure, this was to test the FC api...it's quite good). This is a monetization model. Take it or leave it. The goal there was to deliver something like pricing and availability data to the interface alongside the components I'm browsing. Just thought it best that I disclose this lest it seem at all disingenuous of us. Transparency has been a big thing for us in building this little site.

    Hope you enjoy it! Feedback welcome. If you want to ping me directly via this forum or via "formal" channels at support@datasheet.net.

    Best Regards,

    Matt
     
  2. slight_return

    Thread Starter Member

    Mar 4, 2009
    12
    1
    Just a quick aside on this topic, I'm working on a REST API for this site as well and we are just about completed with one for FindChips.com. If anyone is interested in banging on the API and maybe adding some extra capability to your website or tools or what not, let me know. Happy to get you an API key to access the site.

    Br, mb
     
  3. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
    5,435
    1,305
    I don't use any websites I have to "sign up" for.

    Except this forum. And I read it for years before signing up. And I don't need to have java or cookies or any other invasive stuff enabled to use it. :)
     
  4. slight_return

    Thread Starter Member

    Mar 4, 2009
    12
    1
    Ahh great point and I hear you loud and clear! Actually we're making some tweaks to that. The thing we needed to mitigate against were crawlers (so-called scrubbers) that just banged on the site over and over again scrubbing the search for doc's and slowing the servers down. So the solution - intially - was to put the content behind a login. Since then, we're rethinking it and planning to add some other more friendly thing like Captcha. That way users don't feel like the data is hidden behind an ID. The advantage to the login at some level is that you can save marked up documents to your user profile. This way you have some way to reference back to them. So at some level there will need to be a login but at a minimum we need some way to prevent bleeding server capacity to bots.
     
  5. djsfantasi

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 11, 2010
    2,804
    833
    Research "REP" or the "Robots Exclusion Protocol". This is how you block search engine bots from your site.
     
  6. SinewaveMan

    New Member

    Apr 21, 2013
    16
    3
    Hear, hear!!!!!!! Cannot agree more!
     
  7. slight_return

    Thread Starter Member

    Mar 4, 2009
    12
    1
    Yes and no. If only it were that easy! A number of approaches out there but none of them are foolproof. Still, thanks for the recc. Fact is that some people go to great lengths to make the web lame. We have found some ways to kill the bots but they are never 100%. Especially when there's content that people can monetize elsewhere.

    After the holidays, the login req will be replaced with Captcha to ensure people get access to the content without needing an account. I'm game for other ideas though and this is one we can give a shot. Crawlers love to scrub datasheets & other content and the experience can suffer big time.

    Final note, if you want to do markup, I don't expect you'll be able to do this without a login as there's a need to attribute the markup to someone. That said, we'll make the Datasheets generally available but to mark them up and store snippets of DS content, you'll need some sort of login.

    Other suggestions completely welcome!

    Best regards,

    mb
     
  8. MagicMatt

    Member

    Sep 30, 2013
    117
    14
    I just tried looking for details on the WS2801 chip... I got a data sheet about metal film resistors. Something isn't right. Also, there's no continue button on the captcha, so I struggled with it as on a touch screen tablet there's no "enter" button without bringing the keyboard back up etc.
     
  9. ericgibbs

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 29, 2010
    2,503
    380
    I would agree with RB, many sites provide datasheets without the requirement to sign up.
    E.
     
  10. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
    5,435
    1,305
    Yep. And blocking "bots" from your site content might mean that google etc can't build a search log of your site so your site won't come up when someone googles for a particular datasheet. That's commercial suicide.
     
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