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Author Topic: Is the Arduino in trouble  (Read 4990 times)
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Maybe it's time Arduino migrated to a 32-bit AVR chip?

 I would be a little concerned if the resulting Arduino IDE starts supporting many processors with wildly different capabilities (32 bit Vs 8, etc) that things could get quite complex when it comes to things like burning bootloaders, running 3rd party contributed library code, lack of or incompatible chip hardware features like eeprom vs no eeprom, 12 bit A/D vs 10 bit A/D. I'm just not sure how far you can go 'abstracting' things so differences are transparent to the end user for their sketch code? We already have to deal with different pin numbers used for I2C by 328 Vs 1280/2560 based boards, think what other complications might show up with ARM chips Vs ATmega chips?

Part of the success of the Arduino platform is it has a pretty good track record of 'it just works' and if too much is asked of the underlining libraries and core arduino functions, it might morf into being too complex an IDE to be approachable by raw beginners, you know the artists.  smiley-wink

That being said, 32 bit @ 100+ Mhz support would sure be nice to add to the old toolbox.

Lefty
« Last Edit: August 29, 2011, 10:55:53 am by retrolefty » Logged

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Glad to spike the conversation a bit more...

Yes, I wouldn't mind playing with a 32 bit microcontroller... but like retrolefty said, things would be complex and maybe not that great mixing two very different microcontroller families under the same roof. That being said, it doesn't mean that both can't coexist... however, the objective of the Arduino was (still is?) to give a nice stepping stone for common people (or artists) to begin playing with electronics. And eventually, with everything such chip can do, things will morf into something way too advanced for the beginner to start without feeling even worse than most do (like we see in the forums) when starting with Arduino.

I get it, that everyone is kinda milking the Arduino concept to sell microprocessors, but it doesn't have to be that way. It's pretty obvious where the strong points of the Arduino are, and it's weaknesses too. So why not start fresh with the good things and fixing the not so good things in Arduino (the pin spacing, not populating the output pins so people can choose between top shield or breakout to breadboard)?
But I guess that is too hard. 

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Glad to spike the conversation a bit more...

Yes, I wouldn't mind playing with a 32 bit microcontroller... but like retrolefty said, things would be complex and maybe not that great mixing two very different microcontroller families under the same roof. That being said, it doesn't mean that both can't coexist... however, the objective of the Arduino was (still is?) to give a nice stepping stone for common people (or artists) to begin playing with electronics. And eventually, with everything such chip can do, things will morf into something way too advanced for the beginner to start without feeling even worse than most do (like we see in the forums) when starting with Arduino.

I get it, that everyone is kinda milking the Arduino concept to sell microprocessors, but it doesn't have to be that way. It's pretty obvious where the strong points of the Arduino are, and it's weaknesses too. So why not start fresh with the good things and fixing the not so good things in Arduino (the pin spacing, not populating the output pins so people can choose between top shield or breakout to breadboard)?
But I guess that is too hard. 

AFAIK there is nothing stopping you from doing it.  Release a board with the changes you want, pin spacing, unpopulated output pins etc. while retaining the ability to use the Arduino IDE.
I don't understand why you think the purpose of Arduino is to sell microprocessors.  Again, Atmel has done little to directly aid the Arduino community.
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Glad to spike the conversation a bit more...

Yes, I wouldn't mind playing with a 32 bit microcontroller... but like retrolefty said, things would be complex and maybe not that great mixing two very different microcontroller families under the same roof. That being said, it doesn't mean that both can't coexist... however, the objective of the Arduino was (still is?) to give a nice stepping stone for common people (or artists) to begin playing with electronics. And eventually, with everything such chip can do, things will morf into something way too advanced for the beginner to start without feeling even worse than most do (like we see in the forums) when starting with Arduino.

I get it, that everyone is kinda milking the Arduino concept to sell microprocessors, but it doesn't have to be that way. It's pretty obvious where the strong points of the Arduino are, and it's weaknesses too. So why not start fresh with the good things and fixing the not so good things in Arduino (the pin spacing, not populating the output pins so people can choose between top shield or breakout to breadboard)?
But I guess that is too hard. 

AFAIK there is nothing stopping you from doing it.  Release a board with the changes you want, pin spacing, unpopulated output pins etc. while retaining the ability to use the Arduino IDE.
I don't understand why you think the purpose of Arduino is to sell microprocessors.  Again, Atmel has done little to directly aid the Arduino community.


ATMEL is not directly related with Arduino... however, other brands are supporting Arduino clones with their chips. So it's not ATMEL that is milking the Arduino... it's all the others using the same format.

Arduino's concept is to introduce normal people to electronics. 

I think the word concept might be a bit wrong and objective should have been used there.
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Eu não sou o teu criado. Se respondo no fórum é para ajudar todos mediante a minha disponibilidade e disposição. Responder por mensagem pessoal iria contra o propósito do fórum e por isso evito-o.
Se realmente pretendes que eu te ajude por mensagem pessoal, então podemos chegar a um acordo e contrato onde me pagas pela ajuda que eu fornecer e poderás então definir os termos de confidencialidade do meu serviço. De forma contrária toda e qualquer ajuda que eu der tem de ser visível a todos os participantes do fórum (será boa ideia, veres o significado da palavra fórum).
Nota também que eu não me responsabilizo por parvoíces escritas neste espaço pelo que se vais seguir algo dito por mim, entende que o farás por tua conta e risco.

Dito isto, mensagens pessoais só se forem pessoais, ou seja, se já interagimos de alguma forma no passado ou se me pretendes convidar para uma churrascada com cerveja (paga por ti, obviamente).

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Again, Atmel has done little to directly aid the Arduino community

Are you certain?
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Again, Atmel has done little to directly aid the Arduino community

Are you certain?


Well I'm not. So I went to Atmel's main site and performed a advance search for whole site, results:

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Search Results "Arduino" resulted in the following:



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Atmel has a full-time employee with the title "Open Source Community Manager".  We would not have a GCC AVR compiler for Windows if it wasn't for him.  I guess he needs to toot his horn a bit more.
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Atmel has a full-time employee with the title "Open Source Community Manager".  We would not have a GCC AVR compiler for Windows if it wasn't for him.  I guess he needs to toot his horn a bit more.



 Is it possible he has posted on this topic? I have no idea who it might be but, I wonder if there are clues in this thread.

Mark
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Atmel has a full-time employee with the title "Open Source Community Manager".
Is it possible he has posted on this topic? I have no idea who it might be but, I wonder if there are clues in this thread.
The name is "Eric Weddington", aka "ew" on AVRFreaks.  He has shown up on the developer email list, but I don't know if I've seen him on the forums at all, unless he's "hiding."
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Atmel has a full-time employee with the title "Open Source Community Manager".  We would not have a GCC AVR compiler for Windows if it wasn't for him.  I guess he needs to toot his horn a bit more.


AVR-GCC != Arduino ...
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AVR-GCC != Arduino
Yes, but "no avr-gcc == no Arduino"
There's a lot to "avr-gcc", including the gcc core (not cpu dependent at all), the assorted "binutils" (also not cpu dependent), the standard and specific C libraries (avr-libc), plus the mere packaging (giving a windows gcc binary to a windows users is pretty useless without a unix-like shell environment, so "WINAVR" ends up including a bunch of standard unix utilities (rebuilt for windows) as well.
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My opinion is:  More options are always better and having more "controller" chip options adds to the longevity options of the Arduino open source project as a whole.  The "community"  have already made significant strides since the original Atmega8 and I personally would expect this to continue to change as newer more capable and cost effective controllers are available.

While WINAVR *is* also a very good example an open source project success story, I feel compelled to say that Atmel gives the appearance that they wish to avoid "taking sides"  or "taking a stand" regarding any open source projects related to AVR's.  They clearly have relationships with compiler vendors, such as IAR and I believe that it is quite sensible for them to embrace the commercial ventures and essentially do little more than "nod" towards the open source.   This has the effect of leaving Arduino and similar projects "on their own", but that also means "freedom". 

As for the Arduino form factor and other hardware solutions that are copying it?  Well, to me it is rather silly. I personally prefer the solder-less breadboard option "boarduino" anyway.  The only reason examples like Chipino or Maple exist is to make *their* product more palatable (with no additional expense) due to the huge amount of "shields" available thanks to Arduino.  I personally have little respect for these options as a result but it is clear that what the hobbyist/teaching environment needed badly was some form of "standards".

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AVR-GCC != Arduino
Yes, but "no avr-gcc == no Arduino"
There's a lot to "avr-gcc", including the gcc core (not cpu dependent at all), the assorted "binutils" (also not cpu dependent), the standard and specific C libraries (avr-libc), plus the mere packaging (giving a windows gcc binary to a windows users is pretty useless without a unix-like shell environment, so "WINAVR" ends up including a bunch of standard unix utilities (rebuilt for windows) as well.

True... but Arduino is a bit more than the compiler. That's what I was trying to point out.
I came upon this article (http://dangerousprototypes.com/2011/08/30/editorial-our-friend-microchip-and-open-source/) about the chipKit. Interesting?
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Se realmente pretendes que eu te ajude por mensagem pessoal, então podemos chegar a um acordo e contrato onde me pagas pela ajuda que eu fornecer e poderás então definir os termos de confidencialidade do meu serviço. De forma contrária toda e qualquer ajuda que eu der tem de ser visível a todos os participantes do fórum (será boa ideia, veres o significado da palavra fórum).
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Dito isto, mensagens pessoais só se forem pessoais, ou seja, se já interagimos de alguma forma no passado ou se me pretendes convidar para uma churrascada com cerveja (paga por ti, obviamente).

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There is no doubt that there would be no Arduino platform without the multiple underlining open source projects they used to build on top of, including avr-gcc, avrdude, Processing, Wiring, etc.

The original Arduino effort took not so much a lot of new coding (maybe the bootloader and a few core libraries and files?), but rather the effort needed to integrate, configure, and modify the avalible existing open source projects and of course the effort to make it work on all three major PC platforms (Windows, Linux, Mac).

The original Arduino hardware brought nothing really new to the consumer (maybe the shield concept, but that's hardly a breakthrough), but the selection and integration of all the underlining open source software components, to create a new open sourced project, was and continues to be fundamental to it's acceptance and success.

Lefty

 
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 08:15:30 am by retrolefty » Logged

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Yup.  It's not so much about the actual hardware itself... it's about the overall experience.
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