Reaping, sowing, and agricultural analogies to CD content explained.
If you were to walk into an orchard, the fruit there would probably be recognizable, so after a quick glance around to find a good specimen, your trip could have a rapid, edible reward. Stopping in at a corn field could cause someone unfamiliar with the ears to wonder if there were anything edible to be had among those numerous tall stalks. If a wheat field is visited, I submit that there is a very small percentage of people that would recognize the major source of nutrition for the world. Who could guess that those tiny bumps with whiskers are useful at all? They aren’t immediately edible and require significant processing to become nutritional source material.
Available on CD are apples, oranges, corn and wheat in varying degrees of abundance. However, just as you would not expect to raise your hands skyward and shout “Feed me!” at the clouds, you will do a lot better nourishing your FIRST psyche if you learn to recognize the places and methods used here to convey knowledge, speculation, and fun related to robotics activities.
As Harold Hill says in “The Music Man”, You’ve gotta know the territory. For instance, if you haven’t tried clicking through each of the ten items in the orange bar above, you are most assuredly missing some fundamental knowledge about how CD is organized. There are three of them that sport a small white triangle next to the black word as linkage signal. That’s your sign that there are refinements to the linking that can be made.
Of the ten, I consider the one called “search” to be the most important for using CD effectively. When you click there, a small box appears into which you enter some words or click on the scary-sounding “Advanced Search”. It’s not obvious at first that there is a link there for some reason. It’s not a secret spot you will reach by clicking there, but rather, a place where you can give a larger group of refinements to your search.
The advanced search page is distressingly devoid of explanation or cogent directions. It can even collapse into a two-place specifier that might make you wonder why it deserves to be called advanced. At the far right of the “search options” bar is a tiny icon that can expand the options section when clicked. If you don’t see significant stuff between “search options” and “search now”, you need to click that little blue devil on the right side. You can think of it as uncovering carrots, potatoes or peanuts.
Everyone using CD should have working knowledge of how search and all of its options works. If you can’t look at each of the fields on the advanced search page and have a mental picture of the kind of result it will generate, you need to keep experimenting with searching until you do have that picture. I wish there were more explanation about searching on that advanced page so that it would be more user friendly for newer users.
If you look at the search options, you will see on the right, a concise outline of the names of the forums here on CD. These are the places in which you can concentrate your searches. If I were king of CD, I’d have topics and threads summarily moved to their “proper” forum based on their content, but as you can surmise, there is no guarantee you will find all information posted about programming to be found in the programming forum.
One of the lines on that choices list is “search subscribed forums”. This opens up what I consider to be the next most important feature of CD, and a topic for another post.