[NEWS] The ChibiOS Book

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[NEWS] The ChibiOS Book

Postby Giovanni » Sun Aug 17, 2014 7:16 am

Hello,

I am considering to write this long awaited book :) in order to have it ready for the 3.0 launch.

I wish to have feedback about this, so far I decided to be focused on ChibiOS on the STM32 and have a consistent "Laboratory" chapter with lots of HAL examples, the discovery board would be used (or Nucleo?).
Why STM32? because the cheap boards, availability, forum feedback and state of support. Of course the general parts of the book would apply as well to other platforms. Future releases could add laboratory chapters for other devices.

My questions are, what would you like to see in such a book? what kind of media? should it come with a components kit? more ideas?

Giovanni

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Re: [NEWS] The ChibiOS Book

Postby Tectu » Sun Aug 17, 2014 4:01 pm

Hello Giovanni,

Personally I think that the book is a great idea. I once started to write one for µGFX as well but I never came over the 120 pages part because the project itself takes too much time.
What I can personally recommend you is to write the book using LaTeX. This way you can easily generate PDFs which you can sell in an online store and also print the book in any format.

About the kits: Personally I think that this is not really necessary. The book should be as generic as possible and you should not end up with some Arduino-Like project book.


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Re: [NEWS] The ChibiOS Book

Postby Giovanni » Mon Aug 18, 2014 7:41 am

Hi,

I am using LaTeX for the ChibiOS manuals and I am less than pleased by it. It is cumbersome, heavy and hard to work with. I decide to go for docuwiki format, it is basically text and can be easily reused in any tool with minimal rework. There are also plugins able to export in PDF format but I haven't tested them yet and frankly I expect problems there.

About the laboratory part, without something attached to the board how to explain the use of the HAL drivers? I think the HAL is the most hard to get part for new users.

Giovanni

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Re: [NEWS] The ChibiOS Book

Postby Tectu » Mon Aug 18, 2014 12:20 pm

Giovanni wrote:About the laboratory part, without something attached to the board how to explain the use of the HAL drivers? I think the HAL is the most hard to get part for new users.

I agree that the HAL will indeed need a lot of explanation.
As you mentioned yourself man people (as in customers) are just using the kernel. Therefore, you probably want to write two books, one for the RT, one for the HAL. Adding a board to the HAL book would be a good idea then. As soon as you happen to have too much spare time, you can write a HAL book specific for each platform (which will probably never happen, but you have the possibility). Also, splitting the book would meet your current (new) structure which will also give you the ability to write a book for NIL which will blend in just fine.


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Re: [NEWS] The ChibiOS Book

Postby barthess » Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:48 pm

Book is very good thing but I have no ideas about content useful for newbies. For more advanced users I suggest common RTOS concepts and problems using Chibios build examples. How not to use it: synchronization traps, priority inversion, race conditions etc.

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Re: [NEWS] The ChibiOS Book

Postby lesto » Thu Aug 21, 2014 9:27 am

nice news!
as freshmeat i would like to see the following;

first of all basic of C should be considered a prerequisite.
control loop, function, pointer, list, pointer to function, struct, allocation should be a know path. See later about allocation

an introduction to RTOS

one example to reproduce all Arduino function (digital read, digital write, analog read, pwm output, ppm output, easy communication with PC like USB-CDC)
because i think almost everybody that come here have at least an arduino background, and moving on know path is a lot easyer. Put here other simple HAL example, like "hey, you can also do that!"

Now it should be time to introduce memory allocation; a basic introuction on how it differs from PC's malloc, and maybe even why some tecnical choose of the system. Then a simple example of the allocation sistems

Then it would be great to see a really basic explanation to multithreading and differencies from PCs, and start to itrocuce thread and locking mechanism, with an example of thread, and at least most important lock.

at that point the API should be less or more covered, so maybe some part of chibios itself can be used as complex example to be analized and discussed on how things works and why.

bonus: a guide on how import a new bord/architecture would be nice, as an overview of the C++ bridge, and many other things like nil etc.


I feel it should be open to everybody to edit and most important ADD new pages/example, and have a discussion place over all examples, maybe a section for question about the book's example.

I want a paper-copy of the book. xD

as example may be done with just some LED, resistor, photoresistence etc, i would do a list of things suggested to buy. I would not only focus on that small list of object, but also on a specific board, the one who gives you the most easy setup and on-board different bus sensor.

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Re: [NEWS] The ChibiOS Book

Postby Abhishek » Fri Aug 22, 2014 2:18 pm

This could be a promising platform to publish a book on: https://www.gitbook.io/

Abhishek

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Re: [NEWS] The ChibiOS Book

Postby Giovanni » Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:13 pm

Hi,

Thanks Abhishek, that site looks indeed very interesting especially because I am using the Docuwiki syntax right now, they support markdown and there should be a plugin for Dokuwiki.

About the book, knowledge of C and some embedded concepts will be a requirement but I am going to introduce RTOSes first and then proceed with describing in details the mechanisms in ChibiOS with plenty examples of course.

Probably next week I will put some material on line in a private area if somebody is interested in reviewing it.

Giovanni

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Re: [NEWS] The ChibiOS Book

Postby barthess » Fri Aug 22, 2014 6:29 pm

I am interested in it.

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Re: [NEWS] The ChibiOS Book

Postby Tectu » Fri Aug 22, 2014 8:27 pm

Abhishek wrote:This could be a promising platform to publish a book on: https://www.gitbook.io/

That site looks very interesting indeed. Thanks for sharing!


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