Board-DB.org improvements summary

Over the last few weeks I’ve been working on improving the core structure of Board-DB, in order to implement some widely requested features. This brought to some (still WiP) DB structure alterations that should improve the overall performance of queries. Here is a brief summary of what has changed.

Improved search form

The search form has been slightly redesigned in order to make it more intuitive, and parameters are now grouped more intuitively. Several filters have been added, such as:

  • Digital audio interfaces (I2S, SPDIF) for the increasingly requested “audiophile” single board computer projects
  • Mobile broadband modem (4G, 3G, GSM…), essential for several IoT projects, and Lo-Ra connectivity
  • USB Type-C, for all those who want (or need) boards to be equipped with the most likely candidate for a new universal interface
  • SPI, I2C, UART and RS-232, essential for most projects, be it robotics or industrial automations
  • 96boards compliance, for I/O and accessories compatibility

Sorting by peak power consumption is now also possible, though the feature is still to be considered far from reliable.

Lists

Some of the most searched queries in Board-DB are now available as lists: minimal, printer-friendly pages that dynamically update as new boards are added, providing an overall cleaner view that won’t look bad among your favourites. In addition, for those who don’t want to miss, say, new RISC-V board releases, all lists offer a RSS feed to keep anyone interested updated on new releases without the need to check Board-DB manually every time.

The (few, experimental) currently available lists are:

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From AdSense to Carbon

It’s no secret that online advertising isn’t exactly loved by most visitors. Unlike the simple text banners of the early days, pop-ups and huge banners tend to be very distracting and slow down most pages. As Board-DB has become part of the invite-only, high-quality Carbon Ads network, we’re now experimenting their paper-like, minimal banners that should manage to keep the site costs low without annoying users or setting “customized ads” cookies. This is currently an experiment, running on most pages for the moment (like the whole News section you’re reading right now), but the results are looking promising enough for a full switch in the future.

Overall optimizations

  • The database structure has been redesigned to be more efficient. Several deprecated parameters have been removed, and most existing ones have been optimized to be used as filters in the future
  • The structure is now more centralized, allowing for a stabler and faster experience.

I hope this work will improve the overall Board-DB browsing experience. As many things have changed, I’d be glad to hear your feedback if you notice any bugs or issues. Though Board-DB is not my job, but rather one of my main free-time side projects, if you like the effort I put in it you can considering buying me (or more likely my servers) a beer (or coffee, or pizza). Or, if you believe time’s worth more than money, adding some missing boards to Board-DB is probably the best help you can give.

Happy hacking!

Raffaele T.

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