A good data sheet allows the reader to accurately specify and purchase the exact product the reader needs without any other assistance. Even a barely acceptable data sheet should still allow the reader to make an intelligent decision as to whether or not the product should be further considered for a specific application. In general, data sheets are not read but are only referred to; engineers want/need hard facts about performance and specifications.
Saar agrees with Dewey’s analysis: manufacturers treat datasheets as marketing material; datasheets represent the face of the company; bad datasheets erode manufacturers’ credibility; engineers deeply familiar with the component are not significantly involved in authoring datasheets; and, technical documentation is a form of contract that ‘promises’ that the device will operate as described under specific conditions or limits (although in practice it’s almost impossible to prove who’s at fault).
Data sheets used to be printed in books. Now, we most often get them in PDF document form with little to suggest of a revision history or document quality.
In the 90s and 00s PDFs were the only way to create a largely consistent cross-platform viewing and printing experience. But PDFs are bloated, impossible to reliably parse, static, and a possible vector for malware. Oh, and they require the annoying little download-view-delete dance. Their historical advantages are meaningless today. We now have browser-based rich, dynamic, and lean content presentation that’s truly cross-platform. We can achieve a lot more visually and experientially with web content than we possibly could with PDFs (just look at the possibilities enabled by D3 and other data visualisation frameworks). PDFs are the past and rich web content is the present.
We are angry, frustrated, and in pain because of the violence and murder of Black people by the police because of racism. We are in the fight AGAINST RACISM. George Floyd was murdered, his life stolen. The Adafruit teams have specific actions we’ve done, are doing, and will do together as a company and culture. We are asking the Adafruit community to get involved and share what you are doing. The Adafruit teams will not settle for a hash tag, a Tweet, or an icon change. We will work on real change, and that requires real action and real work together. That is what we will do each day, each month, each year – we will hold ourselves accountable and publish our collective efforts, partnerships, activism, donations, openly and publicly. Our blog and social media platforms will be utilized in actionable ways. Join us and the anti-racist efforts working to end police brutality, reform the criminal justice system, and dismantle the many other forms of systemic racism at work in this country, read more @ adafruit.com/blacklivesmatter
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.