Archive for August, 2012|Monthly archive page

Error Documentation: Why not?

In Design Methodologies, Embedded Systems on August 27, 2012 at 12:48 PM

I am sure that many of you who have used any software tool that throws up errors have spent time (at one point or another) figuring out what those errors mean. Every software tool that is used in any electronics or software design project throws up errors. Be it is GCC, EDA tools etc. One might have used the support channel of the vendor, user forums, websites like stackoverflow etc. to understand the meaning of those errors. A number of times, these errors do not make any immediate sense to the user. There are also many errors which can be because of multiple reasons. Once one gets a list of these reasons, one has to choose the one that is most likely to be applicable to the case at hand. All this reduces productivity. The time spent searching, gathering and analyzing information could have been better utilized focusing on design. Would it not be better if tool vendors also released documentation on the different kinds of errors that their tools might throw up and the associated reasons? I believe that this “ready-reference” would be very beneficial. After all during the development of those tools, the vendors are indeed aware of why a particular error has been thrown up. Why not just compile all that information in one place and help the user? Also, the errors are not always due to problems in the design source files. Sometimes they are there because the tool expects the user to structure the project, tool inputs etc. in a certain way. Given the complexity of modern EDA and other development tools and the time spent in learning them for effective use, it would only be welcomed if vendors offered this extra level of documentation.

Enterprise Collaboration for Research

In Education, Enterprise Collboration in Academia and Research, NTUGSC, Science & Technology Promotion and Public Policy on August 26, 2012 at 12:07 AM

I had submitted a proposal,when I was the President of NTU Graduate Students’ Club(NTUGSC), to establish a campus wide knowledge exchange and research collaboration platform in Oct-Nov. 2011. With the support of Student Affairs Office (SAO) and  Center for IT Systems (CITS) at NTU and Cisco Systems (USA) Pte. Ltd., we just launched the pilot trial of NTU Collaboration platform which is a pilot implementation of Cisco’s WebEx social in NTU. The platform aims to promote innovation, interdisciplinary research, exchange of ideas etc. between students and faculty from different schools. Majority of the pilot users are drawn from the graduate student community. I have been responsible for framing end user requirements specification, promoting the significance of the platform to graduate student community and some associated staff with the help of NTU Graduate Students’ Club. NTUGSC, CITS and Cisco Systems have all been working together as a team to take this project forward. It is hoped that such a platform will increase interaction between students from different schools. We hope to see an increase in productivity in research, generation and sharing of knowledge, social and recreational engagement and the development of a “community feeling” among the students.