PSA: WPILib Ask

Hiya folks! Just wanted to people an insight on some of the stuff that makes one of the biggest technical parts of FRC possible… WPILib.

Background

WPILib was originally created by Brad Miller and some Worchestor Polytechnic Institute students back in the early 2000s (I think 2008?). Before that, robots were written in C, Visual Basic, and a few others. It definitely was an early technical barrier that helped inhibit robot mechanism growth at the team, besies other mechanical challenges.

WPILib Mission

The WPILib Mission is to enable FIRST Robotics teams to focus on writing game-specific software rather than focusing on hardware details - “raise the floor, don’t lower the ceiling”. We work to enable teams with limited programming knowledge and/or mentor experience to be as successful as possible, while not hampering the abilities of teams with more advanced programming capabilities.

Since the incorporation of WPILib by over 80% of teams, we have seen robot’s in FRC grow at a staggering rate of complexity. Elevators, intakes, turrets, autonomous programming, swerve drive are all mechanisms that teams are gaining access to at a staggering rate of accessibility. WPILib is all about making these systems more accessible to teams from a coding standpoint. To abstract away the technical controls math and provide sane APIs for teams to use. At the same time, we try not to inhibit the barriers for those teams that want to push the boundaries of things possible.

The Ask

WPILib is fully volunteer driven, with support by WPI. These things are not possible without the various mentors and volunteers that contribute to the software suite. If you have a cool idea, open an issue! If you have the technical skillsets to contribute that idea for all teams to use, feel free to open a pull request!

Perhaps you don’t want to contribute to the core library. We have a variety of tools such as

Programming is hard! We understand that! Because of that, we host the largest source of official FRC information out there in the form of our documentation website at https://docs.wpilib.org/. All of the website is open source. Even if you aren’t familiar with the Git version control system, you can shoot one of us a PDF or a word document of an article and we can get incorporate that!

The Team

Thanks to the team that makes everything possible. You can see a list of current core developers and major contributors on our website Developers — WPILib.

34 Likes

excuse me?

4 Likes

Going to put a plug for the FRC discord here. Many of the active WPILib developers hang out in the programming channel, so it’s a good spot to provide direct feedback on the library or to propose improvements; it’s also where a lot of the active design discussion for current/near-future features happens.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.