# meta-tag debate: Microchip (and PIC), Atmel (and AVR)

I see E&R is using both pic and microchip as tags. microchip is too ambiguous to be effective. Many users may tag their question with it, seeing many matches, if they are using any old IC, or "microchip", in their design, not realizing that it is a company name. Also, any question using a PIC will have both tags.

On the other hand Microchip makes much more than PICs, and deleting this tag may not be seen as fair since both atmel and avr tags are being used.

Could we limit ourselves to tagging questions related to a well-known product line with only a tag related to that product line, not the company; and get rid of the the tag 'microchip'? This would allow, for example, questions related to Atmel's ARM offerings to be tagged with both atmel and arm; but would not allow questions related to the AVR32 line to be tagged with atmel.

• And yes, the horrible tagging is meant to be an example. ;) – tyblu Dec 10 '10 at 1:37
• I just split up the examples given yesterday. – tyblu Dec 13 '10 at 23:32

Our goal should be to get people with experience in a particular tag (who will flag it "interesting" in the sidebar) to notice questions. Some questions will be specific to a given product line, and others will apply to a whole manufacturer. ARM processors might not be specific to a manufacturer at all. I propose that we use two tags for each processor, and 3 for ARMs (ARMs might want 4, but that leaves only one tag for the actual problem). Examples:

• [Atmel] [AVR]
• [Microchip] [dsPIC]
• [NXP] [LPC1000] [Cortex-M3] ([ARM]?)

That way, people with experience in a manufacturer can follow that tag, and answer questions about toolchain problems and such. People with a specific processor will be able to search for multiple tags and find a list of questions about their specific processor.

I'm against creating individual tags for each processor line, as it makes it impossible to filter any less generally than the individual processor.

• I still think microchip just won't work. It'll have to be heavily policed. – tyblu Dec 11 '10 at 23:33
• What about Microchip-Co? – tyblu Dec 12 '10 at 5:13
• tyblu - Do you think it won't work because people will use it when they mean "Microcontroller" or "Chip"? I don't think that will be much of a problem. If people are making that kind of mistake, it will probably be obvious. – Kevin Vermeer Dec 12 '10 at 20:23
• I think people will use it when they mean "chip". The problem will be obvious, but we shouldn't really have to correct it everytime. Microchip-Co wouldn't be used in that case. – tyblu Dec 12 '10 at 21:39
• @tyblu, I do not think I have ever seen that error. It might happen occasionally, but we would have to setup a synonym to turn microchip to microchip-co. There is no way that will happen automatically. I think a manufacturer tag and a device line tag makes sense, as Reemrevnivek has said. – Kortuk Dec 15 '10 at 20:37

I think that's a good idea, but take it one step further, with tags such as pic-16f or atmel-arm that are more descriptive than just the company/processor line, but not so specific that we're reciting part numbers in tags. I don't think individual parts in a product line need their own tag.

• Examples like that may come down to how many times it is used. Nearly the entire PIC16 family has "PIC16F" in the part name. I would think one could use a tag like pic16, dropping the f, but I don't know much about the line or what the F means. – tyblu Dec 10 '10 at 2:05
• @tyblu, i think F means flash memory, but I am too lazy to look it up – Kortuk Dec 10 '10 at 2:21
• Yes, F is for flash. The 'F' is probably not necessary. I think the other option is 'C' for EPROM. – W5VO Dec 10 '10 at 3:05
• almost everything is flash now, I enjoy that people still use it when they identify the chip. – Kortuk Dec 11 '10 at 23:38
• @kortuk Of course now I think Microchip is just pulling letters and numbers out of a hat for new products. I'm using a 18F27J13.... no idea what's up with that. Also, it's w5vo - the letter 'o' – W5VO Dec 12 '10 at 3:33

examples:

Q1: how do i start a new MPLAB project?

• possible tags: Microchip-Co, PIC, MPLAB, IDE, toolchain, beginner, software
• tags I would exclude: PIC, IDE, toolchain, software
• remaining tags: Microchip-Co, MPLAB, beginner

Argument:

• PIC : Although I believe MPLAB is only for PICs, it really isn't about PICs.
• IDE, toolchain : Q1 isn't about IDEs in general, just a specific function of a specific one of them.
• software : I'm not so sure about this one, being such a broad topic. There's software programming, software use, etc.. Should this be even further defined? software-program, programming, etc? This would mean for eg: Verilog would fit under programming. It doesn't fit, to me, in Q1.
• I also expect someone to seed the parent forum with the question "What IDE is best to program my ATmega88PA in Haskell, using mKII-ISP?" :D – tyblu Dec 12 '10 at 6:41

examples:

Q2: how do i set a pin on port F on my PIC12WTFWTF2k in MPLAB?

• possible tags: Microchip-Co, PIC, MPLAB, beginner, software, PIC12
• tags I would exclude: Microchip-Co, PIC12
• remaining tags : PIC, MPLAB, beginner, software

Argument:

• Microchip-Co : This post is much better defined using the tag PIC. People who want to follow Microchip's stuff can follow PIC. If they want to also get the analog (etc.) stuff, they'll also follow Microchip-Co.
• PIC12 : This isn't specific to the PIC12 family. I believe the same approach would be taken to the PIC10, 12 and 16 family, and maybe others (only early ones have the read-write-modify clumsiness, right?). Also, the family tag of PIC10-12-16 doesn't really make sense like ATmega48-88-168.
• Microchip's full name is "Microchip Technology Inc." – Nick T Dec 14 '10 at 14:47
• @NickT, Perhaps Microchip-Tech, then? Do you think Microchip is ambiguous? – tyblu Dec 14 '10 at 15:50
• Yes, I agree with you on that. [microchip-co] looked kinda strange is all, maybe [microchip-inc]. – Nick T Dec 14 '10 at 15:51
• @nickT, we would still have to heavily police to get things changed to microchip-inc. Or we would have a synonym, then the people who are confused would end up trying to tag microchip and end up with microchip-inc. – Kortuk Dec 16 '10 at 16:38

examples:

Q3: What IDE is best to program my ATmega88PA in Haskell, using mKII-ISP?

• possible tags: Atmel, AVR, ATmega, toolchain, IDE, software, ATmega48-88-168-328, ISP, Haskell, mk2isp
• tags I would exclude: Atmel, ATmega, toolchain, beginner, ATmega48-88-168-328
• remaining tags: AVR, IDE, software, ISP, Haskell

Argument:

• Atmel : The question is much better defined using the tag AVR. People who want to follow Atmel AVR stuff can follow AVR. If they want their other stuff, they can follow Atmel.
• ATmega : I don't think this works as a tag. There are large differences between difference ATmega chips and advice or code given for one ATmega will likely not work on another. If someone wants to follow all of the ATmega stuff, they can follow ATmega*; I think this reads as a wild-card on SE, so it will follow ATmega48-88-168-328, etc..
• toolchain : Although an IDE is often just part of or made out of a toolchain (UNIX), the question isn't specifically about a toolchain. However, the answer may be to use a modular approach or custom toolchain, so this tag would then apply (if there isn't an IDE; and there isn't, thank god).
• ATmega48-88-168-328, mk2isp : Between the remaining tags, ISP, mk2isp and ATmega48-88-168-328, I feel this is the least important one. Yes, the compiler will need a target, but that shouldn't be a big deal. It's a toss up between ISP and mk2isp, and not really what the debate is about, so who cares.
• You wrote: "If they want their other stuff, they can follow Atmel" This only works if people actually use an Atmel tag, which you seem to be discouraging. – Kevin Vermeer Dec 14 '10 at 2:53
• @reemrevnivek, I would discourage it when AVR can be used more appropriately, and I think it can for all of their AVR uC lines. If they also want to see the threads talking about the Atmel Qtouch, maXTouch, kits, and whatever else they design, I believe Atmel would fit. – tyblu Dec 14 '10 at 3:38

examples:

Q4: Is there a TCP/IP stack available to turn my Raven into a wireless webserver?

• possible tags: Atmel, AVR, AVR-Raven, wireless, RF, ATmega164-324-644-1284, ATmega, TCP-IP, server, software, library
• tags I would exclude: Atmel, AVR, RF, ATmega, library, software
• remaining tags: AVR-Raven, wireless, ATmega164-324-644-1284, TCP-IP, server

Argument:

• Atmel, AVR : Not quite the same as above. This isn't an AVR product, but the tag AVR-Raven has the word AVR in it. It can be followed [can it be searched for?] using AVR*. Atmel would also be valid, I 'suppose.
• RF : Obviously doesn't have to do much with RF, despite wireless channel.
• library : stupid tag I hope never exists.
• server, software : One of these has to go, and I vote for server.

examples:

Q5: What contrast voltage worked for you using Atmel's maxTouch products?

• possible tags: Atmel, maXTouch, touch, AVR
• tags I would exclude: AVR, maXTouch
• remaining tags: Atmel, touch

Argument:

• AVR : Has little to do with AVR. If you want to get all of Atmel's stuff, follow both AVR and Atmel.
• maXTouch : very little use. 'Guess I wouldn't remove it, but wait for it to expire in 6 months.