We're moving to a new documentation platform and this is your opportunity to give us feedback and help. There has been a huge amount of work going on behind the scenes on these over the past three months, including the 30 volunteers working within the Documentation User Group. It's now time to include the full community.
Right now most of the work has been in creating new graphics and design elements to make the manuals easier to read and use, with some work on simplifying and updating the content. But because they're based on a Wiki-plugin for WordPress, it's also a much more powerful and flexible collaboration environment than the current Google Code wiki for community participation, and we can now take this opportunity to update and improve every page of the manual.
Just a reminder that these sites are still in beta, and we won't be steering users to them until the documentation team has had an opportunity to scrub every page. We'll continue to maintain the Google Code wikis for legacy purposes, but the new sites are designed to reflect the model we'll be moving to in the future.
Please give us feedback in this thread. If you'd like to participate, please join the Documentation User Group linked above.
Chris, is it easy enough to re-port the TradHeli stuff to the new site? A number of us did a whole lot of changes to the old wiki pages, not knowing that the new pages were actually being worked on. If you look the old pages have been almost completely revamped, with user submitted imagery as well.
Hey Robert, I'm pretty sure we can pull that back in again. I'll speak with the guys today.
I'll let you know.
Hi John C,
I am extremely frustrated, Chris speaks of the 30 volunteers working on the documentation upgrade and I thought I was one of those, but now that I finally have "edit" access I find that it is only enabled for the ArduPlane and ArduCopter Home page.
I can enter a new post from scratch, but if I can't look at your existing posts source I have no way of knowing how to embed the styles you are using.
And I have no idea how to enter a post into a new sub menu item.
I can't edit those either.
I have been doing the PX4 pages on the old Wiki and so far I have only been able to save a few images and a draft of some of the old text with no idea how to edit it into your format and I don't have any idea how to save it to what needs to be a new directory entry.
I have been going over this with Joshua for Days and he says he shows edit access, but my actual access is so limited I can't actually do anything.
I am getting ready to toss in the towel and give up on the whole Wiki endeavor.
I don't know if I was just left out or what happened, but as it stands it is absolutely impossible for me to make a direct positive contribution to the New Wiki.
Hey Gary, sorry for the frustration! I've changed your access, please send me a note (john at 3drobotics) or let's hop on the phone and sort it out.
Also, please note that all changes/fixes on the current Wikis will be reviewed and ported over to the new manuals. It's an easy process technically, but we do need to review everything to ensure that it's accurate and up-to-date.
Chris, that is a step in the right direction. People need to have a resource they can tap into for setup that is up to date and matching whatever code they are using. You owe them that much. Reading through a 275 page thread to figure out how to fly the latest code is not the way to go.
Drone Savant`s suggestion of a RED safety button is great, it should be visible at all times on all the pages. Some people have a head on their shoulders and will naturally doubt things and apply caution regardless but the majority will assume that reading those steps will be sufficient to have them covered. We all know what that can lead to. How many more reports do we need?
We have had too many of them pouring in as of late with unpredictable behavior, for the sake of this hobby and the community at large, and also for your customers, you need to have safety banners on all sections of these manuals. People need to be reminded that they are playing with some very high power toys that have the capacity to seriously injure someone or cause serious damage. In doing so, you demonstrate that 3DR cares about making sure that the product is used in a responsible fashion.
People also need to be reminded that this is NOT and OUT OF THE BOX SOLUTION. It is merely a development platform with the capacity to *possibly* do things like RTL, position Hold, waypoints, geofence and all sorts of other great tricks but as such, none of these functions are guaranteed to work from the get go. They require testing and involve RISK.
People also need to be reminded that FAILSAFE does not work properly and should not be relied upon. That in itself is the subject of another conversation. APM in its current hardware configuration has serious issues with that, flyaways, random arming, failure to disarm etc... etc.... The members of this site, your customers, this community, rely on you and your peers to make sure that all of this can be done in a safe manner. Selling APMs like hotcakes is cool, selling a safe, fun, reliable and properly tested product is even cooler. My two cents worth.
You guys have the capacity to make something great, you have the resources, basically everything you need to make magic, focus on quality, not numbers. If you have the quality, the numbers will follow.
Hi Olivier and also Drone and Chris,
I have "Improved" The old ArduCopter Wiki Safety Page Here: https://code.google.com/p/arducopter/wiki/AC2_Safety
And provided highlighted inescapable links on the First Flights and Flight Testing pages.
I know this is an important topic to all of us and that you are especially interested in it.
This is not a final solution, but at least a band aid that might reduce the amount of red stuff leaking out.
Gary, what can I say other than.... Words of wisdom! Thank you.
We plaster these band aids everywhere across the manuals and we got ourselves a community.
Gary, awesome job for stepping up and taking action to fix a concern.
I have a couple of comments on the AC2_Safety page.
1) Can we please clone this on the new sites? It will be just a bit different for plane and rover, but we can fix that as well.
2) I personally wouldn't say "It is error prone" in the first bullet. ArduCopter is an experimental aircraft running community-created code - It is error prone! I think the second bullet covers the concerns of errors more comprehensively.
3) I think we should simplify this list a bit. I kind of understand this stuff, and I didn't fully understand the list. Avoid doing a soft reboot of your APM with the flight battery attached.
4) The number of times an event had happened (2 times, etc..) took me a while to figure out. It's good info for a site like the flyaway club, but I'm not sure it helps provide clarity to an end-user in the documentation.
Again, just my suggestions and I really appreciate your efforts. Please keep it up, and let me know what I can do to help.
A "Safety" button may be slightly counter-productive, in that it segregates the information. I feel that the safety topic should be woven into all the pages wherever pertinent.
High on the list is some guidance on proper bench/test-stand shakedown runs before flight, this will go a long way in avoiding problems.
I think you will find this page gives some insight to the final product we are all hoping to build with User Manual 2.0.
Joshua, I agree. I think safety items should be intermingled in the main topics, maybe with a red-line box around them. It's better to force the visibility, rather than expect people to actually click through to a new section. Because I'll tell you right now, some people will not click through, and then have accidents, and say they didn't see the info.
Maybe we could even include some cute Anime characters being chased by their quads... You remember the old days too eh Kevin? I can try to find some examples from my old Kyosho manuals. ;) Could almost be fun to resurrect that meme.
Maybe another line could be added:
"Be a hoopy frood, and always know where your towel is. If you have crashed your quad, and it's sitting on the ground in an unknown state, throw a towel over it as you approach which can help prevent the motors from suddenly starting up. Disconnect the battery ASAP before doing anything else."