We want to change the way engineers work with datasheets. Right now they’re these dead tree style documents, they’re static, they don’t change, they don’t work anything out for us, and they certainly aren’t easy to find things inside. Its time we change that so we’ve made a start.

When looking at what we hate about datasheets we started to make a list of all the things that irritate us. Top of that list is the fact that we keep using the same bits of a datasheet over and over. That useful pin diagram, or that table that has all the timing information you need, or that graph that shows you how to use your chip. You’ll refer to these bits of your datasheet over and over again throughout the design process, and when it comes to debugging you’ll be right back there again confirming everything. This is a major pain point for us so we decided to see if we could figure out how to solve it, and we think we’ve come up with a solution.

What if you could mark up your datasheet and say ‘I want this bit’, save it for later and quickly and easily refer directly to that part? What if you could send that to a friend or colleague so you could help answer a question they had? A lot of us are doing this already, we’ll print out a datasheet, scribble some notes on it and pass it to other members of our team. Its time we made this process digital so we can archive our notes and quickly find them again.

This is where Datasheet.net steps in. Over the next few weeks we’ll be putting up a beta site where you can do this kind of thing. This will be an experiment that we’ll be building upon and experimenting with, hopefully something great will come out of it.