While I was browsing the newsgroup, I noticed a lot of junk messages all over the place. Maybe we could get rid of some of them by setting up a newsgroup FAQ. This will hopefully makes things (a little) easier for those of us who use this newsgroup on a daily basis.
The topics I had in mind were things like
what to NOT post here. you know, things like this
hi, my name is XXX and bla bla bla....what is wrong with me code:
how to NOT write your messages. things like
"can u ppl help me? cuz i have no time 4 doing it myself"
post you should NOT answer (most of the posts in point one plus some stuff that leads to flamewars, you known which ones)
most often requested information (good books, links and so on)
technical stuff that is good to know for the old and new visitors.
so what do you think?
your anonymous Dr FAQ
PS. we probably need one for the VHDL and Verilog groups too :(
Do you really think our first time visitors visit that site before doing their first post? Just cross-check the newsgroup and the FAQ and you will notice that people does not seem to care much about that site.Besides, it's on Fliptronics site. They can take it down when ever they want.
In any case, you guys could come with comments and suggestions. We could even send them to
if you like that better.
By the way, your post reminded me of another thing in this newsgroup I find VERY annoying: people that write you a response that contains a link with no explanation at all. And most of the responses are completely off topic or at best they have misunderstood the question. Is it too much to ask for a decent answer? Did my questions really sound that stupid or do you think I don't know how to use google?
(this was a general observation and not really about your post)
Would you prefer "This is the site for an existing fpga faq:
If it's not obvious by context, don't bother with the link - the information's not very useful so don't use it.
I also don't understand how a different FAQ would help out because there is no "must view this FAQ before posting" capability here. It's become obvious to me that things are much better here at comp.arch.fpga. I'v started looking in on sci.electronics.design and can't stand the unrelated chatter, insults, and mindnumbing topics that show up there. We've got it good here.
Symon, maybe this was meant in jest, but that is hard to tell.
Fliptronics is owned and run by Philip Freidin, who definitely is not a "dodgy fly-by-night bloke". I have known Philip for over 25 years. We have worked together in two companies, and while we may have had our fights, I deeply repect him for his serious dedication and his competence and tenacity. So, please save those insulting remarks for more deserving "blokes". Peter Alfke
Some topics I would like to see addressed in the FAQ:
Something about all the myriad file formats Xilinx's tools (ISE & others) use, e.g. what all these three-letter acronyms mean:
"... but the XDL (or NCD) does __not__ contain bitstream info, it does hold the design info that is not mapped to the bitstream by bitgen later. NCD (that can be viewed as XDL after conversion) is used together with BFD (NeoCad Bitstream Format Database ?) file by bitgen for actual bitstream generation. there are some other files for each family, like GRD, etc I am able to view pretty much all of the files used by Xilinx tools, (NGC, NCD, etc) but..."
(This was from Antti's recent message. And why not to add a whole topic about bitstream generation as well?)
Other thing I (and many others) have needed:
Basics about using Xilinx's DCM-stuff. Concrete examples in VHDL and Verilog. And what one writes to UCF-files?
Yes, I know a lot's of this stuff can be found from their appnotes, if one has time to browse through them.
has been created for just this purpose. I host this, and have paid for it out of my own back pocket, as my gift to the FPGA community. I have been doing this since 1998.
I gladly accept and publish articles for inclusion in the FAQ from anyone willing to write on any relevant subject. I retain editorial control, which to date has been limited to for-mat-ting, punctuation; and speellink.
And another site would help this how??? :-)
No it isn't. It is a completely separate site, hosted on a big expensive server farm somewhere in Atlanta, by a company with its head office in the UK, and the customer support all comes with a Bulgarian accent.
Fliptronics (and its vast engineering, management, and janitorial staff) is located in California.
The FAQ web site is paid for by Fliptronics.
But there has been no indication this is likely, right? (By the way, I like the Royal "They" a lot)
If you are willing to write these, I would be glad to publish them in the FAQ.
This wont change the fact that newbies may not read the FAQ first, or even if they do, they wont figure out that it easier to ask the question anyway, and often get a direct answer. Same goes for the non-newbies.
This would certainly be my preference.
On the other hand, I prefer people posting to the news group to not post anonymously. Casts a shadow over the rest of the posting.
Thanks Syms. You owe me another lunch next time you are in town. (And I notice you again posted "Freidin's Clock Aligner" circuit again, and failed to give attribution. If you do it again you will owe me a desert of my choosing (triple chocolate decadence cake)).
Good news Peter, Symon is jesting
And extra thanks for the above. I owe you a desert :-)
That's damn good hearing, half way around the world :-) ROTFLMAO
Up for 8 years, no intention to take it down ever.
Thanks for this Tim. I'll add a link to it.
For those of you who are curious, here are some stats from the
These are averages:
1200 visitors per day, 35000 per month
5000 pages fetched per day, 176000 per month
323 MBytes traffic per day, 11 GBytes traffic per month
16000 unique sites per month
73 email address trawling scumbags blocked per month
99.5% of all page requests are served correctly (others are for incorrectly formed URLs)
670 MBytes Site storage
4100 pages of content (most is the archive of the news group)
Operating systems (of the site visitors)
75% of user systems are running Windows
5.4% of user systems are running Linux
Browsers (of the site visitors)
52.6 % MS Internet Explorer
22.3 % Firefox
16.1 % Unknown
10.4% of visitors add the site to their favorites/bookmarks list.
These exist too:
a Google search will find dozens of other VHDL and Verilog FAQs
All contributions to the FAQ are gladly accepted.
=================== Philip Freidin email@example.com Host for
O.K. I guess I wasn't clear. What I was asking was if there is a way to post a link to Philip Freidin's existing FPGA_FAQ site on the Google portal (Google groups:comp.arch.fpga). Google does in fact have FAQ's on posting etiquette, but I doubt many of the offenders have browsed enough to find it. I'm posting this using google and the only link on the page for posting takes you to a very brief description of a usenet group.
Browsing through the "about" links I found this brief note on Usenet posting:
What I was hoping was that the main page you see when browsing to this group on the google site could be managed somehow like a private google group where some administrator can post links to FAQ's for the group. Having an FAQ for the group doesn't do much good unless you trip over the link to it on your way to making your first post...