What is a Project?

Discussion in 'Feedback and Suggestions' started by jpanhalt, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. jpanhalt

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    Is a link to another web site, whether it be blog, forum, manufacturer, etc., a Project?

    A Project is defined in the sticky to include:

    The need for some leeway is obvious. But, in the past we have seen a Project that was basically a direct copy of a circuit from a datasheet. There was no parts list, component values, or any indication it actually had been built or worked.

    Today, there is a Project for controlling a microstepper. It consists basically of a link to another site, which appears to be some sort of blog. That site includes a zip file that unzips to three additional files. One of the unzipped filed is the hex code. Another of the unzipped files includes a circuit and discussion of the code, but not a complete source code listing. There is a .exe file included that I did not have the guts to run.

    That project appears well done and is probably of interest to a large number of forum members. The absence of a source code file might limit its usefulness. Most important, our moderators have no control over the content of the blog on which the Project is posted.

    What if a similar approach were used by someone with less honorable intents than Alberto? Today, it might be a project; tomorrow it might be porno or a racist rant.

    Thus, I believe the rules for posting Projects should be modified to include the following:

    6) Links may be used to provide backup information, but not for the substance of the Project.

    John
     
  2. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    Hi John,

    Thanks for raising this issue. Yes you are right we encourage the project to be locally stored. With regards to this particular instance, the original attachments have been lost in the approval process, and I have been in dialog with Alberto over this matter. He has been unable to append the files as the editing options limit editing of the OP after a certain period.

    I think it is correct to say that we should enforce local copies of files/code/etc for all projects. Alberto is a trusted member in this regard, but your general point about projects is valid.

    I concur with your proposal to add item 6) to the rules for posting a project. I will look at the options of retro-fitting this rule in due course.

    Dave
     
  3. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    John,

    Can you alert to me to the thread you are thinking of? Thanks.

    Dave
     
  4. jpanhalt

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    Dave,

    Thank you for reading my comment in a positive light. I was reluctant to post, as one might think I was complaining about Alberto, which I certainly was not doing. Your explanation of the underlying problem is even more helpful.

    As for the other item, that was a long time ago and I don't believe it is worth rehashing. There was discussion of the matter at the time, and a link to the datasheet was given.

    I think the Projects section is a great addition to this site.

    John
     
  5. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    Thanks John.

    I have amended the Rules too reflect the change you have suggested. I have added a bit on the requirement for local copies: http://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/showthread.php?t=3101

    Does that seem a fair change to the conditions?

    I understand your point, Alberto has provided many useful projects since he has been a member here and is a trusted member, I know that in this case he did try to (unsuccessfully) add the files to his OP, and that is why there is a link.

    Dave
     
  6. jpanhalt

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    Looks good to me.

    Now, who knows how to make a really useful index of projects and to keep it up to date painlessly? :D

    John
     
  7. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    Well that is a question ;)

    The only way, with the tools built-in as-is, is to manually do it. Forum search helps too.

    Dave
     
  8. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    Perhaps a sticky list of projects, possibly sorted as to type.
     
  9. jpanhalt

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    Beenthere,

    I have actually thought about that question, and not just rhetorically. The search function works, but is a last resort. It has at least two major problems: 1) no correction for spelling errors; and 2) doesn't allow relational searches or searches within searches.

    As you suggest, I think an index based on type would be a good start. By "type", I mean function, not components. Thus, an AC-motor controller that uses an mcu and mosfets would be under motor controller, AC; not mosfet or mcu.

    Second, I would ask the author to provide 3 (preferred) to 5 "keywords" for indexing.

    Third, the author would be asked to classify the "type" according to a preset list. Moderators would, of course, have input over both the type and keywords. Getting a good list of types initially is essential, as it would be difficult modify the list and update classifications of previously submitted projects.

    Forth, the Types could be kept as a permanent list in sticky notes. It is a bit more difficult to see how the Keywords could be kept alphabetical in a similar sticky without additional work on the moderators.

    Fifth, the biggest problem based on my limited knowledge of how the site works, is how to link the Type or Keyword to a searchable entity. That is, if one searches currently on a term, such as "motor controller" you will get a lot of hits for motor and/or controller contained within the text of the posts. Can the search be set up so one could search on something like, "type=motor controller" and get only projects that have a type classification of motor controller? Similarly, there would need to be a search for "keyword=xyz" that would search only within terms identified as "keywords." You can search currently for words only in a title. Effectively, what would be needed are two additional limitations (i.e., type and keyword).

    John
     
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