Should we create screencast tutorials?




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    Richard Webb

    Go for it. Seeing a technique demonstrated rather than just reading about it can certainly be helpful, especially when one is first getting accustomed a new coding environment.

    I wouldn't worry too much about the "professionalism" angle, I'm sure it will be fine. Although, I can imagine something like...

    [Establishing scene. Long shot of a country lane in the south of England. In the distance we see a classic 60's Lotus 7 speeding towards us.]

    [Cut to the car's interior. Close up of the driver shot from the passenger's seat.]

    "Hello, I'm Paul Curtis of Rowley Associates. Today we're going to talk about configuring the CrossStudio editor."

    [Exterior view from the lane as the Lotus speeds away. Music surging as it crests a hill on the horizon. Fade to black.]

    It's not a cat video but it might have potential.  ;-)

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    Paul Curtis

    Actually, you wouldn't find me in a Seven, just a bit too "in the open" even for me.  I much prefer my Elise.  :-)

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    Dr Danish Ali

    If the screenshots in the tutorial/manual get hopelessly out-of-date, how do we stop same thing happening to the videos?

    I like written manuals and the ability to search through them.

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    Paul Curtis

    Writing the tutorial for a hypothetical processor is time consuming and effectively useless.  A few short screencasts covering simple things like installing packages and getting going on an STM32 with CMSIS-DAP is more relevant.  The first one I want to do covers setting up CrossWorks for parallel and unity building, the second is how to set up tracing and profiling.  These are new features in CrossWorks 3 and a with a screencast it would be easier to set things out.

    Yes, we can update the manuals or add additional content on the website.  From our experience, customers *do not* read the manual!  What they do is fire off an instant ticket to the helpdesk asking for things that are (a) in the tutorial they couldn't be bothered to go through or (b) in the manual that they couldn't be bothered to search or (c) ask where the online manual is because they can't find it or (d) don't search the knowledgebase for simple things such as what they are entitled to do with their license.

    So, a few short screencasts covering the main features of how to do stuff with CrossWorks would be better for those that just can't help themselves with printed matter.

    The manual is fine as a reference, but not as a tutorial on how to get things done.

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    Tim Rogers

    Since a lot of designs are based on the eval boards, a quick tutorial on how to take an eval solution and run through the basic steps needed to create a new independent design (directory) and the files necessary to support that altered design. Using the new TCP or mass storage for example would cover quite a bit including the platform library.

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    Paul Curtis

    We have discussed, internally, whether we should simply stop shipping templates for the New Project wizard and simply ship demo projects which you could load and "save somewhere else" so you can get started easily.  So, in the case of TCP/IP or mass storage, you'd take something that looked like it works on an eval board, use inheritance-by-text-editor to save somewhere else, and use that as a base to start a project.  This seems a bit more natural than using the New Project wizard to create you something that is main() and little else.

    The Platform library is growing; I'm working on KL46Z devices as we speak, having completed the KL25Z device.  And I expect to get to the Tower systems fairly shortly.  Kinetis is quite nice in that most of the peripherals are consistent!  STM32 is also very nice, but the families do have significant differences in some areas.

    So, I think we should do the copy-project-to-get-started, it's just how we accomplish this.

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    Dirk Handzic

    That is a great idea. I am working with CrossWorks regularly and for years, but there a still occasions where screen casts would be great especially when you add new features or change existing.

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    Michael Farnet

    This is a great idea!  I have actually created some of my own for my customer. Here is a short one about setting the application memory map for use with a bootloader.

    P.S. I don't think I used the New Project Wizard since my first project.


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    Harjit Singh

    What I understand the least about CrossWorks is how to setup a project. Having a screencast with commentary would be very beneficial. The topics you have above are also good ones. Please do this sooner than later.

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    Great idea.

    And I second the comments about project configuration / memory management being a good subject for the first screencast.

    And Pauls comment about shipping demo projects would be better than the templates? - I agree - what would be nice are a cross section of reasonably complicated projects that can be picked apart to solve any problems being encoutered.

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    Bill Christie

    Maybe something that explains how to setup trace/profiling.  I was able to get this to work in V2.3.4, but can't figure out how to do it in V3.0.1.

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    Maik Stohn

    +1 for a profiling Tutorial. This is so important for professional development. I try to get it working for STM32.

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    Paul Curtis

    Michael is working on getting a video of the CrossWorks tracing & profiling done...

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    Peter Lawrence

    Before expending too much energy on videos, is it worth looking at also organizing information so that a user would find these videos (or text writeups)? It is just one example, but say a user wanted to learn how to enable the new Clang compiler option on the v3 toolset. I happen to know that there is a YouTube video showing this, but a search for "clang" on zendesk shows absolutely nothing.  Even the venerable site has only two hits, neither of which is applicable.

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    Mark Bridges
    New user here, found this old thread while searching for tutorials on Crossworks. Wanted to say it would be a very good idea to make some tutorial videos, in my case it almost cost Rowley a sale. When I started with microcontrollers I tried using Crossworks on several occasions and found it hard to comprehend as someone completely new to embedded programming. I then started using IAR Embedded Workbench as there was far more support on the net and YouTube for very green users. I am now working with Crossworks again as it makes more sense now that I have experience with IAR, and our senior programmer uses Crossworks (which makes it our companies standard). I can already see that Crossworks will be the better product. I would have used Crossworks all along if there were more videos on its use, it also would have been helpful to have a tutorial series on using it with a development target like a TI Launchpad.
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    I agree with Mark Bridges, that will be nice if there will be tutorials about how to set up a project.

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