LW Mesh wish list.
Having worked with the lw mesh for a short time, here are the items that would have made my life easier and the product selection easier. As background, I want to be a user of some simple rf communications, not an rf expert. I've tried two other product (Lynx system "“ nice but did not have an FCC certified solution at the time and the one they came up with is quite pricey, and RF Digital which was super simple, a bit slow device that had ok outdoor range, but terrible indoor range. The Atmel solution seems to have the best (relatively good ) indoor range based on empirical testing I've done.
Below are the areas that would have made my product decision and life easier.
I wanted to incorporate my app with the lw mesh (xmega 256a3u). My app used the ASF for all of the spi, uart, clock, ect. I had to decide to try and get the lwmesh into the ASF standards (example, gpio, spi) or try and modify my app to use the lwmesh, or try and mix and match. I ended up with a mix and match approach, but is not pretty and certainly took some trial and lots of error. I wish the style and structure would be like ASF (or ASF would change everything and be like LWMesh) or at least the low level functions would use the same library.
I wish for a few more examples or docs on some common problems. Example, How to associate a new device with the network when there are multiple networks in the area, how to do security when a new device is getting on the network, thinks like that. I'm sure once you've done it a 1000 times you think it's simple, but that first time is painful.
I wish for a bit better documentation on the components in general (RF components) for getting started. I made the silly assumption you could just buy the development kits, plug them into the Xplained board and start developing "“ (ATZB-X-233-XPRO). It turns out that is almost true, but to find what else was needed, how to configure etc, as non-intuitive and seemed to take a while. And of course, there is no direct LWmesh support for the product). It seemed to me that because it was part of the PRO Extension series, it should just plug into one of the Xplained starter kits, be recognized and some magic would happen. (Never did get it fully working with the SAM4L Xplained kit)
I wish there were a bit of a porting guild when your product is not directly supported in LWMesh (things like what header files need to be changed would be nice.)
I wish that there were a glossary of terms and uses and when to use what. There's the 802.15.xxx, there's the hal, there's the tal, there's the mac, there's various layers that might or might not be needed and then there's the lwmesh with a bunch of overlap of function. It would be nice to have a nice article that states what is appropriate when. I've seen some things on the forum, but unless you know what to search for, you would likely miss them.
Right now it seems the docs and devices are targeted for experts in zigbee, us novices are left with an enormous amount of research even if only wanting to do some fairly simple things.
This wish list is certainly not a criticism of the product, software or the support "“in fact I marvel at how quickly answers appear on the forum and how honest and good the responses are. This list is just my experience with the hope of making things better over time.