With so many long-standing, well-known deficiencies in the Open-AT documentation, I think it is cheeky (to be polite) of SiWi to charge for a Tutorial:
It’s a book and with 500 pages it is not cheap to reproduce. However, with the price of 50 euros it is a little steep.
OK; fair enough to charge if you want a printed copy - but it should (also) be available as a download.
And, if they have resources to produce the tutorial - why aren’t they applying them to the urgent need to get the base documentation fixed??!
I must agree on this one.
I also read the news about a tutorial but was shocked to learn that they want so much money for a tutorial!
It would be fair enough if the basic, free documentation were OK - but it most certainly is not!
The M2M module market is quite crowded - you don’t want to be giving prospective customers reasons not to choose your products!
What other semiconductor or module manufacturer charges customers for support??!
The trend, if anything, is quite the opposite!!
it’s a bad market policy
We understand your concern regarding the Open AT Tutorial.
First, please note that there is no wishes from Sierra Wireless to make money with this book. The intention is to provide a new tool for Open AT developpers to ease their software programming task on Open AT.
The book is clearly addressing Open AT beginners looking at having an easy to use reference on Open AT.
- It is of course a non-exhaustive guide on Open AT, and won’t replace the existing documentation.
- The book put a particular focus on use cases offered by the Open AT and the development tool.
- It is also a good reference for the handling of generic and specific Open AT features.
- Any feedback on this book will be appreciated.
By metionning that the book is non-exhaustive, it means that it will never replace the existing documentation.
- The documentation remain the exhaustive place to find all the details on all APIs available with Open AT.
- About mistakes identified, please continue to notify them in the forum to make it corrected on next releases.
- An experienced Open AT developer won’t retrieve a huge benefice from this Open AT Tutorial. It will be nice book to put close to your “Kernighan & Ritchie” on the shelf
There is effectively a cost to get the 500 pages. The fact is that we’re not targeting to sell millions as could be the “Davinci Code”, but to make it accessible.
Note that for any people attending Open AT Developer course, each trainee will receive an example of the Open AT Tutorial.
If you are not trying to earn money with this book why not make a free to download pdf version?
SiWi should be earning money from selling devices - not from selling books!
And the best way to sell devices is to make them easy for the designers to design-in to their products - a key requirement for which is having good, clear documentation, good support, and not charging for stuff like this!!
The vast majority of problems notified in the forum remain unaddressed - some even after many years
I am a professional engineer and experienced embedded programmer but new to the Sierra Wireless products. Despite the fact that the Sierra Wireless hardware looks like a good product I’d have to say the following in respect of development of applications:
a) The documentation is poorly structured, the English grammar is poor in places and there’s no clear introductory path to get started. There’s a plethora of different manuals and terminology and its certainly not clear to a newcomer which manual they should be using. Some statements in the manuals are ambiguous.
b) I see many questions on the forum that appear to have never been properly answered. Surely its in SW’s interest to sort out these issues and provide informed answers rather than rely on guesses from the (incomplete) documentation by users? I’ve never ever worked with a product where where vendor representatives weren’t actively engaged in the forum.
c) I’d totally agree about the so called tutorial book. Again with every other complex product (e.g. Microsoft .Net, ORMON PLCs etc) there’s heaps of tutorial documents available for free. Having said that I’d have to say that the local support from the agent has been helpful, although the expert for us is located in another country so its still not easy - one can’t just go to their office for a one-to-one session.
I really think that Sierra Wireless need to raise their level of professionalism if they wish to survive in the marketplace. At the present time I honestly couldn’t recommend this product for software development to colleagues.
Thanks for the valuable comment. The good news is that Sierra Wireless has decided to better support developers online. That’s why we are currently:
- building up a developer zone website in order to better support developers (still in beta, but please have a look at it if you did not already: feedback welcome!): developer.sierrawireless.com/
- getting more Sierra Wireless folks eyes on the forum in the coming months
- make sure product teams leverage feedback like yours to enhance the products
In your a), are you referring to the documentation coming along with AirPrime products / downloaded on the corporate website / downloaded on the new developer zone website? Could you precise which documents?
Regarding the Open AT tutorial book, I’ve well noted and reported the inconvenience to the product team. This book should be accessible online soon on the developer zone. We may want to keep it for sale as a real paper book anyway, for people who prefer this format (especially for big books like this)
Thank you very much for your positive reply.
I will look at the link when I get a chance over the next few days.
With respect to (a) I have been reading he documentation included with the install package (which I downloaded from the corporate website). The target is a Fastrack Xtend with version 7.43 firmware in the Q2687. There was no documentation supplied with the device.
As mentioned the product hardware looks very robust and I know that products like the Q2687 form the basis of many other commercial products from third party vendors. Its just that I found the steep learning curve considerably harder than it ever needed to be. Any work that SW does to make it easier for new developers to “pick and run with the product” must be good.
I’ve noted a quite a bit of confusion on the forum about some core aspects like using GPIO’s That’s one area where more examples would definitely assist. The Telemetry example is OK but it does more than read GPIOs (for example its doing SMS text messaging as well). Perhaps a series of graded examples building on the GPIO base would be good, starting with assigning one GPIO as input and another as output, using a timer to scan the input for state changes and reflecting the state change on an output. The second stage tutorial might for example add code to assign the serial port to the application and write a message about the state change to the serial port. etc etc. The final tutorial in that series could be all of the previous code in one example as in the Telemetry example. Diagrams showing the event flow might be helpful as some people are visual learners. Anyway, some food for thought…
Again, thank you for responding.
I’ll loop back with the team about your suggestion. BTW, do you already have such examples (or part of them?) you’d like to share with us here? (if so, I’m kind to add them on the dev zone as well, linking them to you as owner)
Anyone else with good ideas is welcome! – you can as well vote for Eric suggestion by +1-ing his post.
I’ll be happy to provide examples as soon as I feel I have a solid understanding myself of how to use ADL and OpenAT and the relevant services. I don’t particularly need attribution to myself for anything I contribute - I will be happy just to contribute and help others.
In the first instance I think it would be wise to take any examples I (or others) create and have someone else (perhaps yourself?) review and try them before posting them as tutorials. If we don’t do that we run the risk of causing frustration rather than helping people.
By the way I have looked on the developer forum and indeed there are a few more resources there. In particular I viewed the YouTube video on debugging and found it a bit hard to follow because:
a) the recording volume was too low so even with the volume control turned up near full on the laptop I could hardly hear it
b) the screenshots were really hard to see detail on, I guess because the resolution was too low.
Otherwise the video concept was good. I’d suggest allowing people to download the videos rather than just watch them on line as some Internet connections are not fast enough to allow uninterrupted streaming.
Regarding examples: I do agree. We’ll manage to have someone test them as you said. I’m not worried that much about frustrating people if we pay attention to comments/rants and quickly fix/enhance tutorials accordingly.
Regarding videos: we’ll need to higher the quality of such videos then. About downloading the video, you should be able to pause the streaming, and let your browser download it fully before playing it, even if your connectivity is interrupted – works fine in my Firefox & Chrome at least.
Thanks for the feedback Eric.
the support trends to need a couple of days to a week for answering an email and the contactdistributor page gives me a http 504 (The remote server disconnected unexpectedly) error…
so where can i purchase this book in/from germany?
Just tried, and it seems the link is working.
Please try that link to get the list of German distributor:
sierrawireless.com/wheretobu … me=Germany
Just a short notice to tell you that low volume issue is fixed.
Thanks for your valuable feedback !