[BB] The Manual may look a little different

Bills Blog

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2011

The Manual may look a little different
Good Afternoon Teams,

FRC is excited to partner with Enable Training and Consulting (a Silver Supplier for 2011 and donor of this effort) to present the 2012 manual documentation in a format that we believe is easier for teams to navigate and use. It is a primarily web-based system that allows teams to easily find a specific section or rule. It’s easier to search and jump between sections, and, best of all, it keeps teams from having to download an entire PDF just to read one rule or section.

You can access the new manual format here. You may also still download a PDF or print the Manual so that you don’t have to be connected to the internet to view it.

As with many new components to FRC, we want your feedback. As you test the Online 2012 Administrative Manual and the 2011 Game Manual that we converted to the new format, please let us know if you find anything that needs improving (or anything you like) by posting to the Online Manual section of the Beta test forums.

40 days until Kickoff
See you then!

This could be a welcomed change- assuming all goes well in terms of hosting, and consistent access. I imagine most people will still download the PDFs to their computers and just use them.

-Brando

In other words, everyone will still be using downloaded pdfs for the first several hours after kickoff.

But yes, when their server is up, it could make things easier (especially now that we actually have wifi in our shop).

All I can say is “whoohoo!”. It’s nice to have both formats. It should provide an easy way for teams to integrate the rules into their websites, and specifically talk to the game manual when explaining the various functions of their robots (links to point quantities, time periods, field object definitions, etc).

As long as they keep the old one there is no way this could be a problem. This is cool!

Search doesn’t fit in the frame on my screen when running an older Safari/Firefox or IE 8.
Does anyone else have that issue?

I also get an error when attempting to post in the Blog.

In 2003 and 2004, Nate Smith and then Joel J. manually entered the rules into a database similar to this. Chiefdelphi even had a special tag (rule) that would link to the appropriate rule. Hope this works out as well.

After playing with the new layout for a bit I am very pleased. Although you can search PDFs just like this, most people do not know the shortcut for search within a webpage or document (F3 or ctl+F). This will make it much easier for the mediocre computer users out there.

I only say this because I asked a few students on our team to search up a rule and print it out for me one time. They came back a half hour later. I asked them what took so long and they said they could not find it. I then showed them the find function.

Of the links on the right hand side all of the administrative stuff is current but all of the game manual is from last year. Does this bug anybody else?

It bugs me. I wish they’d release the game already! Well, maybe release it in 2 weeks after I take the last final exam I’ll ever take (again). :yikes:

I like the format, someone spent some time on it I can see.

Two specific issues I have noticed:

Blue boxes don’t have enough of a border around them, the white characters ‘leak’ into the white background.

The image quality is too low, they are blurred. This may be an artifact of the 2011 manual being only a test, but my old eyes have a hard time with it.

Anyone have ideas on how to offer this feedback to FIRST? I don’t want to just e-mail Bill, he’s got enough to worry about.

I just noticed the “New Manual Format” forum at the FIRST forums. http://forums.usfirst.org/forumdisplay.php?f=1540

Neat, I was surprised how easy the new format is to read on a mobile device as I was expecting that it would look like garbage and I’d end up just dumping the PDF onto the device like previous years.

Nice Job!

I tried it on my iPhone today for a bit. Pretty nice–though I’m a little hesitant to dump PDFs (especially for the post-Kickoff crush).

Exactly, I reckon the servers will crash on kickoff though and for a few days after.