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How can we learn a stack or package quickly without its tutorials?

asked 2012-02-23 11:49:03 -0600

sam gravatar image

updated 2012-02-23 11:50:56 -0600

I found that many stacks and packages are interesting, but it lacks of tutorials.

For example, collider is.

When I see this package, it encourage me to build an application which has tabletop environment to manipulate(grasp) objects with collision avoidance using octomap.

Is there any principle of those packages to learn quickly?

Where can I start?

Thank you~

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answered 2012-02-23 18:18:35 -0600

Mac gravatar image

Without formal tutorials, there's going to be a certain amount of trial-and-error no matter what you do. Good places to start:

  • The launchfiles the package provides; these are, basically, tiny examples.
  • The messages the package defines; this will give you a sense of how it expects to interact with the outside world.
  • Finally, just build it and start running nodes; see what topics they publish and subscribe to. If the package is well-written (even if it's still totally researchware), these are likely to have descriptive names.
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And of course: read the source code. That's the only way to find out about parameters.

Lorenz gravatar image Lorenz  ( 2012-02-24 00:34:00 -0600 )edit

answered 2012-02-23 13:15:11 -0600

Kevin gravatar image

Well it is up to the author of the package to write the tutorial and if they didn't, then there isn't one. The specific package you refer is clearly marked as pre-release and therefore understandably doesn't have a tutorial.

I suggest asking for help on specific packages here at and as you become more familiar with ROS it will become easier to look at the code and understand how they work. Again, ideally they would have tutorials for released packages.

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Asked: 2012-02-23 11:49:03 -0600

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Last updated: Feb 23 '12