Thank you and how can I help

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  • Hi Community.

    Today, I got to use my newly practiced soldering skills, and hooked up the Espruino board to the CC3000 to make myself a fine little server. Thank you for the great tutorials to help guide me along!

    I was pleased to find that everything worked. After just a little bit of tweaking, I created a server and was able to control the Espruino board with my iPhone. That was rewarding.

    As I've been picking through the WebIDE and tutorials, I've been noticing things that could use some cleanup or otherwise benefit from assistance. Before I started deciding what I thought needs to be updated though, I thought I would pose the question to the community to see if there are any issues I can help with that are being seen time and again.

    What types of things are priority for people that they want to do, or wish was a bit clearer?

    My background is in design, so I'm thinking mainly along the lines of what I can contribute in terms of editorial / copyediting and front-end engineering (I've had my eye on the WebIDE / Blockly portion -- but I want to use it for a while before I add or alter anything).

    Thanks for any thoughts. Just let me know how I can help.

    Best! Louis

  • Great! Thanks for offering to help! Definitely any work on cleaning up the tutorials (and especially making the Web IDE a bit easier to use) would be hugely appreciated... I'm happy to help wherever I can.

    But as Louis asks - please post up - what can to be done to make it easier to use Espruino? What things do you find difficult and what information is hard to find?

  • WebIDE I think could really benefit from some touchup, both UI and funtional:

    No way to enlarge the text, or change the colors to improve visibility if you use the chrome store version. As a result, visibility of text is terribad on retina class displays. Ideally, i'd like support for pinch-to-zoom, but I'll be happy if I can just make the text big enough to read it without squinting...
    It's not obvious when the left window has focus, and it often doesn't have focus when I expect that it will.
    It will sometimes think it's connected, but the connection is entirely non-functional - can't even enter text in the left side. Happens if you connect via bluetooth on the wrong COM port, or try to connect via bluetooth when a USB cable is plugged in, and maybe in other situations.
    If you disconnect the Espruino uncleanly from USB, need to restart chrome and IDE to connect again, otherwise every connect attempt will fail.
    It is possible for the IDE to look like it's disconnected (ie, connect button enabled, disconnect disabled), while still being connected via bluetooth, and able to send commands and see responses in left side (happened to me last night, no idea how).
    When it says there's a firmware update, it displays a message "Firmware update available, click the (i) button to update"... but the (i) button in the message is just a picture, it isn't clickable like the 'real' button on the right is - should be able to click it to go to firmware update dialog.

  • Wonderful. Thanks for the thoughts and frustrations DrAzzy.

    I'm going to go through bit of the WebIDE this week and start a thread on that when I have put ideas down on paper for feedback.

    Everyone, please feel free to keep adding thoughts on what's working or not.

    Glad to help, Gordon. :)

  • Great! Just thought I'd add:

    • There's a step-by-step tutorial (accessible via the options screen). Personally I think it's quite cool and It'd be nice to make it more obvious for new users (and maybe to encourage people to contribute more tutorials).
    • Some kind of 'error log' accessible from the Options screen would be cool - so if flashing failed or a module couldn't be found, more information could be displayed somewhere.
    • The graphical code editor always seems to place the 'example' code slightly offscreen, and I could never figure out how to fix it :) It'd also be great if it could remember what the last used code was (like happens on the text editor)
    • The console on the left actually has a thin (2px?) border around it that is grey when it is not focussed and black when it is. Making focus more obvious should be a relatively simple job of modifying that CSS.
    • I hate the orange colour scheme, and I'm sure everyone else does too. Please don't feel bad about completely changing it :)
    • On the Espruino website there's the search box (it's pretty easy to see how it works - it's just JSON). I end up using it all the time to find information on functions/devices/modules/etc so it might be cool to have some kind of shortcut that allows you to use it to quicky find information.
  • There's one single, possibly simple thing I'd like changed on the WebIDE: buttons steal focus, they shouldn't! that is, I should be able to send code to board and then keep typing, without having to click on a code window first.

  • Agreed! I can take a look, but that one may take a while… :)

  • Groovy. Thanks for the tip on the focus indicator.

    We may stick with the orange for a while so nobody grows too attached to changes while we muck about, but I agree. I've been wondering what a more pleasing palette might be.

    I'd like to start inside-out with the current WebIDE "i" button to clarify what's getting communicated there, then move to the step-by-step tutorial -- which is super-cool -- then to general tutorials.

    Question for you, Gordon: Can you turn on the Wiki feature for WebIDE? I'm not able to get it to show up here:­DE/wiki

    I'd like to paste an initial information architecture that we can collaborate on hacking down to something tidy.

    More soon. Thanks! Louis

  • No problem. Can you try now? It looks like it's working...

  • Okay, great!

    Here is the i menu right now:­DE/wiki/Information-Architecture

    Please edit away, add comments, and we can start consolidating information for a layout that is easy to navigate.


  • Are you still planning on doing anything with the Web IDE? I put some info on the Wiki page but the last change was by me...

    After the recent changes changes I got totally fed up with the Web IDE internals, and have now started refactoring it:­834/

    I'd really appreciate your input on this. Ideally I wouldn't end up messing with the UI much but the plan is that these changes will make your life significantly easier if you do want to try and improve it.

  • Hi Gordon. Yes, thanks for checking in.

    It's been… a challenging week. I live in Oakland, CA and as statistics would have it, my car was stolen. Otherwise, it's been a nice and sunny week.

    I'm going to try to get back into it by next week, but it's more likely going to take me until next week again to start filtering through. Big apologies for dropping in, then out.

  • Argh. Sorry to hear that :( Thanks for letting me know!

    Hope it's found/insurance pays up soon :)

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Thank you and how can I help

Posted by Avatar for louisrawlins @louisrawlins