New look XMOS

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xmark
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New look XMOS

Postby xmark » Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:33 am

To the XE community,

Later today we are unveiling a new look XMOS.

We certainly hope you share our enthusiasm about the website and the new content. If you dig a little deeper you'll also find a new 12.0 beta version of the tools which we have branded xTIMEcomposer, including the new xSOFTip Explorer - designed to help developers to quickly and easily understand the strengths of xCORE technology.

It's more than just skin-deep - the changes are far reaching, from the terms that we are using in our documentation, through the tools, to the design kit strategy. At times these changes may be challenging to those who are already familiar with our architecture, but we believe that they will help to propel XMOS technology into the everyday lives of tens of thousands of engineers.

We really appreciate the contribution that the community makes to the awareness and understanding of xCORE technology. You folks were here first, so as always, we'd love to know what you think. Please use this thread for your comments about the website and the xTIMEcomposer thread http://www.xcore.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=1920 for postings on the new tools.

The press embargo is lifted at 2pm BST.

Best,

-Mark
SpacedCowboy
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Postby SpacedCowboy » Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:29 pm

Currently sitting in an emergency ward, and looked at the new site on my iPad; thought it was the mobile version of the site at first because I'd been browsing the old site a few hours ago at home :)

Looks good, looks a lot more "marketing" driven, but I'm struggling to find the product info I used to be able to easily find (click on processors, click on one of interest, scroll down - from memory, but it is 4:30am so I may be mistaken, and that may have something to do with the difficulties finding the docs, to be fair).

Simon
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Gravis
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Postby Gravis » Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:34 pm

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the "Power Consumption for XS1-G Devices" file isnt supposed to be a zip containing a pdf and a zillion files to create a small html version of it.

you might wanna fix that.

on that note, it would be nice if there was a html version of the pdfs online again. i cant bookmark parts of a pdf, so it would be nice to have.

there seems to be lots of external images and javascript files that need loading. you should optimize that. the image can be consolidated with ease by using CSS Sprites.

also, YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG! i checked out the source for a few pages and it seems that the idea of using the table tag was alien because i found nested divs out the wazzo. this is the kind of code that should NEVER appear in your html:

Code: Select all

</div>
</div>
</div></div></div></div></div></div>      </div>
    </div>
  </div>
seriously, check the downloads page and a few others.

i realize this is most definitely editor generated code but dammit, you need to look at what it's creating.
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Bianco
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Postby Bianco » Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:15 pm

I like the old site better, at least i could figure out on the old site within 2 seconds that XMOS sells chips, if a visitor can't do that within 2 seconds its a bad sign. Furthermore the old site had a very unique style which people remember. It is not good to have a very mainstream site that looks like any other if you want to be remembered.

At least put a "products" button on top.
If i can't figure out what you do within 2 seconds i would problably check the products page.
If there isn't one i'll click away.

I assume that there will be many dead links now with the introduction of the new site?
Gravis wrote: i agree COMPLETELY. no "Products"/"Buy"/"Purchase" link from the front page = no products.
If there aren't products it is problably a service based company -> click away ASAP :p

And no i'm not going to watch a movie or read the introduction text on the frontpage, too much hassle.

To get to the real chips, i have to go to the discover page, click on xCORE devices (are devices necessarily silicon? could be modules or whatever too, I'd rename that to get rid of ambiguity).
Then i have to click a very tiny "next page" link on the bottom of the page to get to the real devices. It appears that i can also click on "general purpose" and "system USB" tabs to go directly to the device pages but i seem to be not smart enough to understand that (perhaps because there is no "devices" suffix). Then i click on resources and i see some at first sight unsorted list of documents. But imagine i'm new to this XMOS stuff so the only thing i'm interested in is the datasheet, I don't care about some timing document or port map. I'd make sure that the list is somewhat sorted and the device datasheets are on top by default.

About the tools name, xTIMEcomposer Studio is a long and quite inconvenient compared to XDE.
The old name is fine and timing is only a part of development (and tools).
If I didn't know anything about XMOS and you ask me what xTIMEcomposer is, I would guess it is some tool mainly focussing on timing, but no it appears to be a full integrated development tool (XMOS Development Environment, can't have a better name!) with compilers and all. I also don't like the name in partially caps to make the emphasis. Or is the name of the tools called xTOOLS? I can't figure this out, why can't I?

Maybe XMOS is overdoing with the letter X. Don't get me wrong, i like X, it is problably the coolest letter in the alphabet, but don't stick it in front of everything :).

Don't forget, the electronics industry is conservative as are their people in general.
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Gravis
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Postby Gravis » Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:22 pm

Bianco wrote:I like the old site better, at least i could figure out on the old site within 2 seconds that XMOS sells chips, if a visitor can't do that within 2 seconds its a bad sign. Furthermore the old site had a very unique style which people remember. It is not good to have a very mainstream site that looks like any other if you want to be remembered.

At least put a "products" button on top.
If i can't figure out what you do within 2 seconds i would problably check the products page.
If there isn't one i'll click away.
i agree COMPLETELY. no "Products"/"Buy"/"Purchase" link from the front page = no products.


oh yeah and what's with the xCAPS thing? the lowercase first letter has become a terrible cliche. i understand it's marketing and i'm telling you that unless it's related to an apple product, the fad is dead. people can see right through that and it's annoying.

and what the hell is with renaming crap?
Image

since when was a thread suddenly a "logical core"? it's deceptive. deceiving people isn't going to make XMOS products better. xTimer and xCONNECT, really? might as well change JTAG to xJTAG.

please take this as an example of what to do:

Image

things are labeled exactly what they are and not super fancy marketing terms for everything.


bottom line: fire marketing.
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Folknology
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Postby Folknology » Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:57 pm

Maybe XMOS is overdoing with the letter X. Don't get me wrong, i like X, it is problably the coolest letter in the alphabet, but don't stick it in front of everything :).
It was a marketeer, hit and run, consider the site "X'd" ;-)

regards
Al
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Postby yzoer » Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:31 pm

Alright, here's my (hopefully constructive) feedback:

The applications section ( consumer, industrial, automotive etc. ) could benefit from more ACTUAL products and testimonials. Right now it looks WAY too slick and feels like they're just prototypes rather than actual products. Work with companies to get testimonials and link to their products on the XMOS web page, so people can actually buy them.

While I understand that the redesign wasn't an overnight decision and took a lot of time and money, I doubt re-vamping/branding the site and technology will increase market-share and product awareness. Striking a deal with companies to include a 'powered by XMOS' logo on their products would probably have done more IMO.

I also can't help but feel that XMOS has a bit of an identity crisis. On the one hand you're trying to pitch it as a one-stop solution for commercial products, while on the other hand you (seem) be going after the hobbyist market. Which one is it? If it's the latter, focus on showing at make conferences, target hobby magazines (circuit cellar, elektor, robotics magazines), etc. Nobody's going to take an XS1 to monitor a button. If it's the former, aggressively target companies the old fashioned way: Visit them and pimp your product. People just haven't heard of XMOS... in both markets. Whenever I mentioned XMOS to the engineering department here people get this puzzled look on their face. It's just not cool :-)

Last but not least, I agree with Bianco and Gravis that sticking an 'X' in front of everything is kinda lame. You're selling your product to engineers, not marketers. They're the one who choose your tech. Give them a bit more credit, m'kay?

-Yvo
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data
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Postby data » Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:35 pm

Congratulations to XMOS on rolling out the new website, but unfortunately my impressions are not entirely positive. The new page has a soothing look, but my initial reaction to it was to wonder why XMOS switched from chipmaking to financial planning.

Besides that, the most immediate and practical problem is that I can no longer quickly find product information. I'm conditioned to expect that the word "Products" will appear prominently, or at least somewhere, on a semiconductor supplier's homepage, and that clicking on it will rapidly reveal as much information as possible about what they sell. If I don't see that magic word, I may assume that they are not in the business of selling ICs to poor engineers like me. Therefore, it's very worrying that the word "products" presently cannot be found on the XMOS home page at all.

To see what I'm getting at, have a look at the websites of some prominent semiconductor suppliers. For instance, on the Texas Instruments website, the word "Products" appears immediately, at the top left, right under the logo, where you look first, and further down it's there again in red. Fairchild, Analog Devices, and NXP place similar emphasis on products. Even ST, who have long had one of the worst websites in the business, get this more or less right. I don't think I'm unique amongst engineers in that I see a supplier's website as a source for product information before almost anything else. (Incidentally, movies and animations are almost never helpful to me. If I must sit there and be sold to, I prefer visits from the factory, or a free lunch from a rep.)

Since I'm on the subject, there's a non-semiconductor website I'd like to point out as one of my favorite websites for anything. It belongs to a US supplier of industrial hardware called McMaster-Carr. Any company that sells things to engineers (or maybe to anybody at all) should aspire to make its site as useful and easy to use as this one.

I do like the new emphasis on the multicore aspect of things. I'm not sure what I think about the new terms; "Tile" makes sense, but the puzzler for me is "xTIMEcomposer", although it does have the felicitous acronym "xTc". Anyway, as long as there's forward momentum, I suppose it can be called "Leaping Blue Frogs" if the focus groups like it.

Sorry for all the negativity here, but I'm as fanatical an XMOS true believer as you're likely to meet, and I have shipping products and more designs in the works, so I care about the company and what it does. Otherwise I certainly wouldn't take the time to write long notes like this.

Fortunately I can end on a much more positive subject. I'm very happy to see that tools version 12 is now in public beta, and I'm very excited that XC is now officially on LLVM! I can't wait to try the new stuff. My congratulations and thanks to the always-amazing compiler team.
yzoer
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Postby yzoer » Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:43 pm

On a somewhat related note, I checked out the sales- and distributor links and most of them are now BROKEN. You may want to get that looked at...

-Yvo
SpacedCowboy
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Postby SpacedCowboy » Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:52 am

Hmm - still can't find anything about the XC-3 board unless I type it into the search box. IMHO a commercial website without simple access to the (complete) products page is a waste of time. You ought not need to already know about a product to find it!

Sorry, I realise the rework was probably expensive and management is probably bought in, but it's more than just the usual "it's different so I don't like it" response - I don't like it because it's not as functional as the old site. Return the functionality and you'll get my vote.

Simon.

[edit:]
Gaaah. And now Digikey's links to the datasheets don't work. This is seriously bad, folks. I've worked as systems manager at a web-company in my dim and distant youth, and any decent QA process runs a script over the links on the old site to generate a list of URL redirects for appropriate links on the new site.

All I'm getting now for the URL "http://www.xmos.com/download/public/XS1 ... eet(D).pdf" is that 'The service is not available. Please try again later'.

Whoops - no, that's for the entire site (!) http://xmos.com is apparently offline. Whoever your website company is, you need to sack them and get another. Basic functionality includes staging a website to a test URL such that you 'flip a switch' to make it go live. There should not be downtime like this.

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