Is there a link that has full documentation on the Mission Planner? Things like what do all those lines represent that point from my airplane and quad when I play back a mission. What’s the .rlog file? Why do I sometimes get waypoints during mission playback and sometimes not. The more I use it the more questions I have.

I guess I am looking for the Dummies/Beginners guide to using the Mission Planner.


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How come the WIKI isn't editable?  It's not much of a wiki if you can't edit it.

I think the docs could use more information.  There's a lot of good info in the forums, but the system is so damn clumsy and obtuse that I think the majority of people won't find what they're looking for or just give up after one look.

The way things are set up right now, write access to the wiki also equals write access to the source code. write access to all for the wiki = write access to all for the ardupilot master code repository. It would end up breaking in a day. 

There are a bunch of members who have access to write wiki pages, and unfortunately that creates a bottleneck. 

You are right, it's not much of a wiki, if "wiki" stands for "easy", as originally intended. Google seems to use it more to describe a collection of HTML pages that use simplified markup and a web editor. Not really a wiki. 

There are a number of volunteers who offer improvements. If you (or anyone else) send me a message with a correction, edit, diagram, or a whole wiki page, I will get it online immediately. (You may also send content to any member with the "WIKI NINJA" badge, they have write-access).

Hope this helps. 

That creates a huge bottleneck!  I don't think most people are going to write someone up for minor grammar edits, clarifications, and tips.

If the current system doesn't have proper access controls then just set up a proper wiki.  It's not like it costs anything or takes more than an hour or two.

If you had a proper forum system you could also tie edit access to the wiki to having 10 posts or something of that nature.  Otherwise, wikis are designed to be rolled back easily if you have vandalism or the like.

Couldn't agree more. It will take a bit more than an hour or two to migrate the existing content (even with a script) and then will also take a bit of time each month in care and feeding from the OS and wiki app perspective. 

But a worthy goal and perhaps where this community needs to go. All we need now is someone with a passion, knowledge of this issue and a few dozen spare hours... <nudge nudge wink wink>

Well... I don't have any experience setting up a wiki.  I'd love to switch this board over to a better forum system (decent experience there), but management doesn't seem too interested despite the obvious advantages.

So maybe we should take suggestions about what open source wiki system is the best.  I'll be happy to set it up on one of my domains.  Then people can help cut-n-paste the current wiki over, and if it works slick enough we can transfer it over to the DIY Drones domain.  It won't be worth doing unless management is willing to give it a fair try though.

Any thoughts from the peanut gallery?

APM is a great program with not so great documentation. It would be much easier to use with proper docs. Good luck on a much needed project.

Gallery Member # 21002

So how about MediaWiki?  It's what wikipedia uses, it's free, and it's open source.

There's also TikiWiki, DokuWiki, Kwiki, and dozens of others. DokuWiki caught my eye since it's specifically designed for creating documentation, and is targeted at "developer teams, workgroups and small companies".   It's also free and open source.

There's so many different wiki engines out there that someone actually made a pretty fancy website just to compare them all... 

Andreas: That's not actually true. I can give people wiki-only access, which doesn't include the ability to commit code. However, they have to apply for access (we almost always grant it). It's not like Wikipedia where anybody can edit it. 

Is there any interest in having an open user version?  I figure it would probably get a lot more use.  You could then copy over the good content into the "official" documentation.

I mention this because I just threw up a copy of DokuWiki.  You can try it out and see if it's to your liking.

Anyone can edit this test install to their heart's content.  It's at...

A while ago we initiated a similar initiative;, however it never really got of the ground. It was intended to be a bit broader than only APM, and mission planner; but they should definitely be featured. 

Maybe a good moment to re-try. It's open for everyone to edit, and was intended to be an up to date knowledge base for AP enthusiasts. Zach Bayne is the one who set it all up. A link to the original initiative is here.

Given that UAVs are dangerous and the hardware and software changes often, I think an open-user manual would be a very bad idea. Anybody could make a change that could possible lead to property damage, injury or worse. Ours is invitation only for a reason--we need people to be well-informed about both hardware and software before making changes. 

That said, anybody can comment on the current wiki pages (or add an issue) and the developers read and respond to all of those, so it is easy for the public to make corrections and suggestions. 

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