Pimoroni Wash Their Hands Of Arduino

One of the big stories of last year was the fracture of the official Arduino supply into two competing organisations at daggers drawn, each headed by a different faction with its origins in the team that gave us the popular single board computers. Since then we’ve had Arduinos from Arduino LLC (the [Massimo] Arduino.cc, arguably the ‘original’, and Arduino trademark holder in the United States) and Arduino SRL (the [Musto] Arduino.org, and owner of the Arduino trademark everywhere except the US) , two websites, two forks of the IDE, and “real” Arduino boards available under a couple of names depending on where in the world you live due to a flurry of legal manoeuvres. Yes. it’s confusing.

Today came news of a supplier throwing its hands up in despair  at the demands imposed on them as part of this debacle. Pimoroni, famous as supplier of Raspberry Pi goodies, has put up a blog post explaining why they will henceforth no longer be selling Arduinos. They took the side of Arduino LLC, and the blog post details their extensive trials and delays in making contact with the company before eventually being told they would have to agree to purchase substantial stocks both Arduino and Genuino branded versions of identical products and agree to sell them through separate supply channels for both Europe and the rest of the world before they could proceed. This is not a practical proposition for a small company, and the Pimoroni people deliver a very pithy explanation of exactly why towards the bottom of their post.

We’ve covered the Arduino versus Arduino debacle extensively in the past, this is simply the latest in a long line of stories. Pimoroni have hit the nail on the head when they make the point that the customers and suppliers really don’t care about spats between the various inheritors of the Arduino legacy, they just want an Arduino. And with so many other Arduino-compatible boards available they don’t have to look very hard to find one if the right shade of blue solder-resist or the shape of the map of Italy on the back isn’t a special concern. Can we be the only ones wishing something like this might knock a bit of sense into the various parties?

115 thoughts on “Pimoroni Wash Their Hands Of Arduino

  1. arduino, as a money maker, is mostly a loser at this point. the hardware is open, the software is open and many of us who use the tech buy $3 (if even that much) nano modules and NONE of them are from either arduino ‘proper’ source.

    it sucks that making money from a movement like this is hard. but other than my first italy based do-me-love (cannot speall or pronounce the real name, sorry) board, I never again paid their high price for their hardware.

    and after arduino and genuino ‘blessed’ the intel curie board, the arduino101 (a disaster in so many ways), I gave up trusting them to do the right thing ;(

    1. Could you maybe elaborate on 101 being a disaster? Or point me to some articles/forums? There’s nothing I can easily find. I was about to pull the trigger and buy a few, so I am very interested.

        1. I think you’d better re-read your NDA. I find it hard to believe that an NDA preventing from speaking about your experiences with a particular dev-board is legally enforcable. NDAs are to keep trade secrets secret not to prevent you to talk about anything you did.

          1. Not true. Most NDAs (even for vaporware these days) are *extremely* specific to exclude any type inferences to workings, suitability, scalability or empirical functionality. Two I have even require witnessed signature to those codicils.

      1. > Could you maybe elaborate on 101 being a disaster?

        It’s based on the Intel Curie. That’s all you need to know.

        Intel is who you go to if you need a CPU. They have your back there. Intel can’t comprehend that if you’re selling something to the ‘maker market’ – or whatever it is – you’re going to need datasheets. You’re going to need working examples. You want people in the community building shit with it.

        Instead of dumping all the sparkfun and adafruit SKUs on a workbench and telling some interns to build something and document it, Intel went out and spent (millions?) to produce a TV show. They partnered up with hackster.io, which netted a total of eighteen projects, one of which is an LED throwie. What about any ‘officially endorsed’ arduino.cc projects? That’s the same as hackster.io.

        I have horror stories of people who have contacts at Intel, and know engineers that were working on the Edison and other ‘maker’ and IoT products. Even with their help, that Intel-based project couldn’t’ get off the ground. Documentation was terrible, and there were no working examples. I don’t even know if code was loaded to the chip. It’s that bad.

        If you ever need to decide between spending $200 for putting RGB LEDs on a bike, or $2,000,000 for a reality show on TBS, you now know the right answer.

        But we got a defcon badge out of it, which is cool, I guess.

        1. Intel earns a lot of cash from their CPU’s because no one can compete with them, They shafted AMD years ago through some questionable business practices and they never really recovered since. So in a way I am glad the Curie and Edison flopped. Do we really want Intel coming in driving other chip makers out of business only to jack the price up once they gain a stranglehold in the market.

        2. Personally on security grounds I try and avoid Intel and AMD.

          For security if you can not 100% trust that the CPU can not be compromised by a state, then it is only partially secure (it is as useful as a condom with a hole, it is partially safe to use). And post Snowden, when we live in a society where we need “Warrant canaries”, Intel (and AMD) is one company that will never have one, even Apple tried once – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warrant_canary#Companies_and_organizations_with_warrant_canaries

        3. Right. Despite the Arduino 101 having been available since last october 2015, and the source being made “open source” back in April, Intel considers the Curie Module “unreleased”, and you can’t get access to a datasheet (at least, not without NDA-like documents that are probably out-of-reach for “makers.”) Intel doesn’t seem to understand “makers”, and at best is marketing to “vendors who are out to take advantage of the “Maker” market. Sigh. The latest round of all-Chinese chips (ESP8266 and followons) are in better shape, documentation-wise. :-(

        4. This explains so much. Last week Intel Shenzhen called me into their Nanshan offices for the weirdest interview I had ever had. Basically demanded I sign an NDA before coming in the building- when they had just invited me for a visit. I’ve never in my life been in a Chinese business that did not offer tea or at least hot water to a visitor. Then kept pushing a contract where I would agree let their engineers integrate an Arduino 101 into a recent wearable project of mine. Told me that if was a success there was “a chance” I would get a free Arduino!?

          I thought maybe they just did not get Maker culture since they were older Chinese business types? Just staggeringly rude and arrogant. It was one of the most bizarre I have ever had. Compare this to Seeedstudio which was basically “Here’s our number, you need anything at all we’re going to make sure you get it”. I’ve never asked but it’s the most awesome thing to have a company that “gets it” have your back.

          1. I’m afraid since you signed the NDA, and now you’ve told us this, you have forfeited your life. A special email will be sent shortly, following which you will be electrocuted through your keyboard. If you do not receive the email, please check your spam filter settings.

      2. Bluetooth on the Curie ( at least the Arduino “API” for it ) is terrible ( blocking, flaky with multiple characteristics ) blocking behavior on BLE doesn’t play nice with the “internal” IMU , crashes in some cases when a charactatistic is set for “notify” etc
        The only reason we looked as Curie/Arduino 101 was for “internal” IMU and BLE with Arduino API.
        plain old 32u4, 328 or SAMD21 ( leo, uno or zero ) or even the STM CPUs with mbed and external acc/gyro and BLE worked much better.
        i like the madgwick library.. and the free samples we got from intel to test with

      3. BTW, I can share my personal experience about Arduino(or Genuino)101 board. Since I’m one of Arduino IDE hater, I want to use that board with Zephyr RTOS.

        I clonned git repo and head to examples directory. I compiled it and flashed hello world but it does not spit UART output. I thought it was related to some kind of boot sequence between two cores and STFWed for chip datasheet. I couldn’t find any document helpful. Every documents I found are just bunch of sales pamphlets.

        After reading some other examples and RTOS code, tried again and again, I finally successfully booted my Arduino101. It spits “hello, world!” over UART but now I’m struggling with how to control built-in LED pin. Zephyr example has GPIO code but it controls GPIO pins located in different bank. I fuzzed with some Zephyr device macro names, but it does not helped (yet).

        I’m very disappointed poor public documentation about that chip and I will not use Arduino101 for my other projects.

    2. If we’d all just stop buying sh*t knockoffs and respect the vendors whose products we profess to appreciate, then worthy movements wouldn’t have so damn hard of a time maintaining traction. Sure, quality costs more, but it costs a hell of a lot more to try to get it back if we have a change of heart after we’ve driven it to the edge of oblivion (or into extinction).

      1. Totally untrue imho. It would make even more sense for the “inventors” to fight over. Without the knock offs it would basically be impossible to get any universally compatible product in different parts of the world now!

      2. I really don’t get this mindset at all.

        This thing which is known as ‘Arduino’ is really just software and a shield pinout. It’s open source software that was pretty much just a re-branding (copy) of Wiring which is also open source and itself was very heavily based on the open source programming environment Processing. Processing is free, created by people whose interest (according to their website) is solely to promote software/technology literacy. I can’t find a damn thing about them making any money or being dependant on profit.

        Traditionally Arduinos are built from Atmel’s Atmega family of microcontrolers. Those controlers are way cheaper to buy than an ‘official Arduino’ and would have existed anyway even if Arduino never did. You don’t have to buy a ‘sh*t knockoff’ to have an ‘Arduino’ that didn’t come from either Arduino company. It’s just a board, pin headers, regulator and microcontroler chip. It’s easy to make one with no counterfeit parts and still come out way less expensive than an ‘Arduino’. In bulk that micro costs less than a dollar!

        What would happen if both Arduino companies went under? Well.. what would happen to Linux if Transmeta went under? Oh.. Yah.. it already did. Hardly anybody bought those computers and Linux development has only grown exponentially! I don’t remember any commentors shaming Linux users for not having a Crusoe Inside sticker on their laptop. I’m pretty sure that open source coders with the same mindset and motivations as those behind Processing (which is a big part of Arduino anyway) and the rest of the open source movement would just plow right on improving the software side of Arduino. Actually.. I can imagine a change of hands leading to a lot of improvement at least with the IDE!

        As for hardware.. Microchip bought Atmel but they aren’t going anywhere. They will keep making Atmegas. But.. Arduino has already been ported to several other chips and the open source community would likely keep that trend going anyway. Plenty of vendors out there already make their own perfectly fine quality boards using genuine microcontrolers in the Arduino format ranging from cheap no-name Chinese factories to places like Sparkfun and JeeLabs. My first ‘Arduino’ came from Modern Device Company and I was quite happy with it!

        Do we owe something to Arduino LLC? Why? Arduino is 99% just a copy of the Wiring project anyway! Massimo Banzi did do something good for us when he thought to switch out the micro in Wiring for a cheaper one thus making microcontroler development something that even a kid on a paper route budget could really get into. We certainly owe him a warm place in history for that. Something that I remember from taking Sociology class in college though.. people that study history believe that when the times are ripe for something to happen it will probably happen. If one person doesn’t step up and get it done another soon will. With sub dollar microcontrolers powerfull enough to handle the inefficiencies of programming in higher level (than assembler) language becoming common AND the open source software movement really coming into it’s own how could something similar to the Arduino not have come into existence?

        Finally, if we exclusively buy from one source simply because they did it first, what would the effect be of that? Imagine a world where nobody ever bought a clone PC! Lifting up Arduino LLC on that pedistal would create a monopoly. There would be little motivation to innovate and prices would go up. I remember when buying a hobbyist microcontroler development board meant spending $150 on a BASIC stamp. I don’t want to go back to those days ever again!

        1. Eloquently stated. I do give Arduino’s (and Mazzimo) credit for developing an easy to learn IDE and an affordable board that opened the door for so many to enter the world of microcontrollers and embedded systems (including me). I completely agree that someone would have ended up placing all the existing pieces together and made something like Arduino, I remain thankful that it was developed since it was a big help to me – primarily due to the community of people who have shared software and instructions. Excellent commentary!

        2. Yup! If it weren’t for the fact you can buy $3 Arduinos, they wouldn’t be what they are now. They’re be another, actually overpriced, dev board for an outdated processor.

          The point, and really the only thing that exists, about Arduino, is the standard. The pinout and software. Making it open, and free (gratis as well as libre) are why it is what it is now. Wouldn’t have happened otherwise.

          Just like Stallman doesn’t want $5 license money from every installation of Linux, so nobody deserves to make money for inventing Arduino. That’s not the point of open-source. It’s not done for the sake of making money. It RELIES on cheap copies, that’s actually the POINT of it!

          And as a nice side-effect of Arduino, all other dev boards have plumetted to decent, affordable prices now. Now the old racket of sticking a micro and a load of headers on a board, and charging 30x what is costs, is gone. Thanks, Massimo! You get my thanks, and deserve them, and that’s the way open source works.

    3. bl is this a fact? I can’t seem to find any information on Arduino LLC’s income (not familiar with US compamy searches) I understand it is an NPO. I would imagine although you can buy them for £3 on ebay many people buy them from places like Pimonori, Adafruit, Mouser, Farnell etc for convienience and the fact they are starting out or experimenting. Plus dont forget at a higher profit margin than the unbranded ebay ones, one official Arduino must have profit 100x that of a £3 one. So it doesnt matter if less are bought, it matters who sells the ‘official’ ones.

      Again I have no solid facts just speculation too, I just think that perhaps the money is in the brand and not the hardware.

        1. Arduino wasn’t designed for engineers. People don’t seem to like the idea of a product that isn’t built with them in mind, and it does seem a decent portion of Arduino haters are that way because of snobbery.

          As sparse as the Arduino tool chain is, it took a lot of irritation and hardship out of building things.

          1. They’re great for putting together test jigs designed to be maintained by other engineers. Not worth making other engineers spend a good part of a day trying to understand your PIC code (and how to modify, recompile, and reflash) just to save a few dollars per unit on a device that would only be made in small quantities.

          2. We use them for quick prototypes and testing ideas, used them for test jigs in assembly lines too, they work great, but when you go into production you can redesign for low power, cost or size and then the engineering gets a bit more serious

          3. There is a lot of room to bitch about the Arduino IDE without trying to repurpose it from being designed for art people to being designed for engineers. It is missing really simple stuff that is pretty much common to any other computer program, even ones like Photoshop for example that ‘art people’ would be expecting.

            For example, why doesn’t alt- open up the file/edit/etc.. menus? Why doesn’t Ctrl-s save a file? How about the fact that when you compile it saves a copy of the ‘sketch’ and compiles that rather than the original file. Meaning.. if you haven’t saved your work, then build… you still haven’t saved your work! It is so easy to get everything working the way you want the forget to save it! Ok.. I admit.. I expect it to save when I build because of prior experience in other programming environments. An artist will probably have no expectations there. But. wouldn’t the more usual behavior, promptinig the user to save be a better sollution anyway?

          4. They’re user-interface problems, and I’m sure they can be fixed. No idea who to ask, though.

            The non-Alt usage thing I think is a problem with Java. Can’t quite remember why but I think Java programs have a problem with Alt. There’s others too that don’t use it, weirdly. There’s some that do, of course, perhaps it’s the desktop library they use. Brain’s not on 100% right now, pardon me.

          5. “why doesn’t alt- open up the file/edit/etc.. menus?”

            It does for me(Windows 7) as far back as 1.6.5-r5. I do agree that it’s crazy they took so long to implement something so standardized.

            “Why doesn’t Ctrl-s save a file?”

            It does for me as far back as 1.0.6 or earlier

            ” I expect it to save when I build”

            That’s the default setting(File > Preferences > Save when verifying or uploading) as far back as 1.6.0 or earlier . I actually find that super annoying so I turn it off.

            When was the last time you used the Arduino IDE, 2007? This is the problem with the Arduino haters, most of them don’t know what they’re talking about. I get it, why should you stay up to date on software you can’t stand, but don’t try to act like you’re an expert.

            Not to say there aren’t legitimate issues with Arduino but amazingly you haven’t managed to list a single one.

        2. So true, but it’s a point of focus for the community. So much that if you’re developing open hardware using an Arduino or Arduino compatible chip is pretty much expected. I learned electronics and programming PICs so I’m no stranger to C. I use Arduino to keep the project as accessible as possible despite it sometimes being painful to do so with performance issues that the micro should be fully capable of.

    1. seems ok on the surface; has lots of wireless connectivity. at least on paper, its ok. what’s the issue?

      for me, though, highly integrated boards are of no interest to me. I want simple chips that are easy to bring-up, don’t require a doctorate in soldering (lol) and will be around in single unit qtys for years. the atmel 328 is such a chip and I use dozens of them. I can solder one together air-wired and have it run code from raw mouser parts in 15 minutes flat. try that with these other ‘learner boards’. if you have to use their board, you have already lost the maker edge they are trying to sell you on!

      1. I bought a programmer and a handful of 328s a while back. My plan was to never buy a board again. Then I finally ran out of 328s and discovered that inexpensive as the raw chip is I can’t buy one for as cheap as I can buy a ‘knockoff’ Nano which has what certainly looks like an authentic 328 on it and works just fine. Unless I ever make a product that I am going to mass produce… what’s the point of buying a standalone chip anymore?

    2. I think they’re trying to invent the Arduino of wireless. Sticking everything in, just for good luck, and I suppose they’ve got a chip that does the lot, all based in software. Might well take off. Maybe they’re a bit worried about the ESP8266, which a lot of people, certainly on HAD, are using in projects. It’s got advantages even if you don’t want the Wifi.

      Biggest problem seems to be difficulty of connecting the ESP to stuff, and software. And both those problems are coming along nicely, an Arduino-like community is forming, and there’s already Arduino software for it.

      So on the principle of “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”, they’ve put an ESP in their product, and are going with it. If they do a good job, if it becomes as easy to use as ordinary Arduino is, I can see it doing a lot of good. Maybe they’re trying to bring all the community effort towards that, so that standalone ESP community interest dies off.

      It’s a bit like how Microsoft buy up companies that compete with them. Perhaps. If it’s cheap enough, it might work. Would be lovely too if the Chinese manage to knock them out for $5.

  2. I bought an official version of each board that I have used then went on to clones. I wanted to help Arduino on each board I use so buy one official then clones.
    I am not sure I will continue this now until the whole case settles. The way they have treated Pimoroni is a disgrace, They should have been happy someone wanted to buy official in the first place instead of trying to force them into buying products Pimoroni may not even be able to afford. The Arduino trademark needs settled fast as it is damaging the brand.

  3. Sometimes people’ s function in life is to serve as a warning to others. Sad to see though. At a 10:1 price ratio to Chinese clones, making life difficult for resellers is not a good business move.

    1. As I said here, the story is really quite complicated. We absolutely wouldn’t have the Arduino ecosystem that we do if Banzi hadn’t picked the project up. But there was also some skeezy maneouvering and self-aggrandizement. That’s business.

      But we wouldn’t have any of it if it weren’t for the community doing all that work on software, documentation, and projects. And to me, the late-stage Arduino battles look like fighting over which company gets to sponge off the previous good works of the community. Unless they start paying us back, either in cheap/awesome hardware, or by hiring/funding the people who do the best/most work, I don’t feel like we owe them anything.

      It’s up to them to prove to us that they’re offering value.

      1. I think that it would have happened without Banzi, just slower.

        The time was right, components were becoming inexpensive and have only continued to do so. Meanwhile the OpenSource movement was creating all sorts of suff that had previously only come from big commercial software shops with budgets.

        I think that most likely some of the Chinese cloners would have cloned Wiring, maybe making some of the same changes that Banzi did along the way. Look at how they sell prebuilt versions of open source projects today, transistor testors, eeprom programmers, etc… they don’t have to be as popular and well marketed as Arduino to get cloned.

        Anyway.. once the cheap clones became available I think the market would have started taking off by word of mouth. It just would have taken longer.

    1. Yes indeed, Pimoroni makes lots of their own competing boards. I’ve never seen them make any code contribution back to Arduino. Their opinions may be valid, but probably shouldn’t necessarily be taken as objective from a neutral 3rd party.

      1. Problem? Oh, you mean with the business model?

        Selling open hardware, with a trademark attached, at markup? That only works as long as you have community goodwill, and the markup isn’t exorbitant. Mess up the goodwill, or push for too high a markup, and you’re selling overpriced goods to a price-sensitive audience.

        1. Less the specific instance, more the general mentality.

          But in this particular case, yes, you’ve got a point… it’s decidedly a middle-ground situation given its open-source underpinnings and the way(s) in which the leading manufacturer(s) have conducted themselves. There are no true innocents here, just varying degrees of guilt.

  4. Just yesterday I was wondering what’s up with the lawsuit. So I did a little searching. The most recent document I could find available for free was from July 2016. Here’s a link:


    TL;DR = Key phrases are “settlement negotiations have continued to progress and drafts are being exchanged” and “substantial progress in reaching an agreement to resolve this matter” and “focused on negotiating the worldwide settlement agreement”.

  5. It appears in the question of Arduino vs. Arduino, the answer now seems to be neither. I didn’t buy the other company’s PR line and this one’s behavior is on shaky ground at best. I’m surprised Pimoroni even bothered to try after being ignored for so long.

    The IDE is barely a text editor with compiling & upload functionality, they couldn’t bother to add global search, variable completion or much by the way of debugging features, much less any kind of simulation. The library should be a lot more efficient than it is.

    I don’t have any pretenses to assume they’re in for a crash and burn, but if they do, I really won’t shed a tear.

          1. Provided the new owners of domain name do not block availability with robots.txt. Archive.org respects current domain owners robots.txt irrespective of ownership pf previous content on that domain. So…. Leech own copy while you can.

    1. I’ve had to teach and train people (fresh) on the arduino system. fwiw, the simplicity of its IDE is actually good enough to get many jobs done and it does not scare aware the non-hardcore developers.

      they did get that part right. you have to remember, its NOT eclipse and never was meant to be. if you want gcc and eclipse, you can have it; but its not fair to force newbies (‘art majors’, lol) to use real IDEs. real IDEs are just way too complex. I’m a pro developer and even I prefer to avoid eclipse for many jobs.

      1. No, the IDE sucks.

        It has bugs. Click a menu, you may get the whole menu or entries may be missing. Click again, maybe the missing pieces are back, maybe not. I’ve seen this on several computers, both under Windows and Linux. I’m positive it isn’t just me.

        It is missing common keyboard mappings like alt-_ to access the menu bar, C-s to save, etc… Things your art-majors are already used to at least have that. (photoshop, web browser, etc…) EVERY program should do this when ran in Windows or Linux. Mac I think has it’s own set of key mappings which also should be respected when in that environment.

        What’s up with not saving when you do a build? It’s so easy to mess up and forget to save!

        I would say these kinds of things make the Arduino IDE just plain broken. There are other issues, features which I wouldn’t say it is broken for not having but that newbies and pro coders alike could benefit from without over-complicating things.

        How about things like ‘intellisense’ or a help system where you can right-click or maybe left-click then press F1 or something like that and get a description of a function? How about being able to jump to the definition of a variable using it’s right-click menu or maybe finding all references to it. Those are ‘professional level’ features that I don’t necessarily falt Arduino for not having but also don’t think that including them would make it harder to learn.

        I really do get it that something simpler than a professional programmer’s IDE is called for when reaching out to people with non-technical specialties. That does not excuse the Arduino IDE for being broken.

        1. C-s does save. Always has. Most of the other ctrl character shortcuts seem to be in their usual places. They are on Mac as well (except they’re CMD-x)
          There’s now an option to save before compiling, so that’s “fixed” too.
          So – not broken after all? (This isn’t really the thread to discuss this, though…)

  6. Was at HuaqiangBei today, actually yesterday – night now, in Shenzhen, probably the biggest electronics component shopping place on earth.
    Checked around for any new Arduino accessories…and found that most shops were closed. Other vendors were already there.
    Just an up to date observation.

  7. Interesting times…
    ARM Holdings belongs to Japan now; C.H.I.P. looks like the ‘real deal’, particularly with their $69.00 PocketCHIP Linux computer and $9.00 CHIP; Arduino is self-destructing; new SBCs are being introduced weekly; and there’s absolutely nothing to be excited about concerning the Raspberry Pi.
    Perhaps Pimoroni needs to change its name to ‘Moroni’.
    Don’t laugh. I guarantee you the RPi folks aren’t.

  8. The day I gave up on Arduino.

    I had always used the Arduino IDE version 1.0.x as it always worked for me and I don’t use any Arduino 32 bit cores. It’s a bit cumbersome in that you have to copy folders into the Arduino directory structure to import libraries but I used it for many different chips and not just the officially supported ones so I was quite comfortable modifying the IDE so that it was compatible with chips like the ATmega1284 that has more pins and much more memory (RAM).

    I had a system crash and decided to try the latest version 1.6.x (from memory). It was around the time that the IDE was forked and a newer version created that was no different except the version number. Just generally around that time perhaps later but still a long time ago now.

    I downloaded and installed the version 1.6.x (from memory) and then I wanted to add some of my libraries. I did this the same way as I did with the earlier version and that is NOT the correct way to do it now and I ended up with an error message.

    The error message more or less said that my personally written libraries were not officially accepted by Arduino and for that reason it would not load them.

    This probably happened because all the efn around I did trying to get them to load but that’s not the point for me.

    The point is that there even was some code installed that had the purpose of rejecting libraries that were not official!!!

    No doubt this code was a result of the Arduino vs Arduino but in any case I find it completely unacceptable that ANYONE can take what has been created by open source community effort and pretend that they in some way OWN it or even need to approve it.

    So now I use the IDE 1.0.x if at all and Arduino has no future as far as I am concerned.

    So if you want to use the Arduino IDE then go right ahead with IDE version 1.0.x and some ‘made in china’ cheap ebay clones with 8 bit micro-controllers but remember that there is no forward path from there unless you risk the official Arduino team pulling support for YOUR code at any time and without reason or explanation.

    Just remember the day Arduino died. RIP

      1. I normally have Atmel Studio loaded (new PC). That’s why I only used the Arduino IDE for the 8 bitters.

        I more or less used the Arduino for ‘Proof of Concept’ or getting communications protocols right before moving on to something better.

    1. Sounds to me like you just had screwed up your installation and then proceeded to misunderstand things. None of the libraries I’ve used or the ones I’ve written myself have had to get any sort of official approval or anything.

    2. There’s nothing in the Arduino toolchain that locks out third-party libraries. You probably just failed to do the required code changes to make them compatible with the new version.

      1. The text of the error message made it very clear that the libraries would not be loaded because they were not officially approved by Arduino!

        Sure, my dicking around may have inadvertently invoked the error message in error BUT my point is that the error message even exists in the first place and that is an indication the author is preparing to make the IDE itself a part of the battle ground for Arduino vs Arduino by locking out non-approved code.

        1. I’ve never seen this error, and I maintain several of the widely used 3rd party libraries for Arduino (OneWire, Encoder, TimerOne, CapacitiveSensor, etc). I’ve also made many contributions to the IDE’s code over the years, including one to improve the File-Examples menu, which was just merged yesterday and will be in the upcoming 1.6.11 release. I’m pretty familiar with IDE’s code and I’ve never seen any sort of restriction like this.

          Recent versions of Arduino do recognize a metadata file called library.properties. A variety of syntax errors in that file can cause the IDE to give an error about incorrect format. My guess is you saw this error and misunderstood it. Of course, without even a copy of the text of the error, nobody can say.

          If you simply delete that file, the IDE handles your library in “legacy” mode which is meant to preserve compatibility with the many old libraries not updated with the metadata file. Thousands of old and not widely used libraries exist for Arduino, scattered across blogs, instructibles, wikis and other sites. They do work without Arduino officially approving them.

          Arduino did add fields to categorize libraries into 3 tiers when presented by their library manager that automatically installs libraries. But there’s no restriction for any of the tiers. They’ve also not done a particularly good job of really curating the list of recommended libs, so those tiers are pretty much meaningless when using their tool. All of them are installable.

          Anyone can get their library added to the library manager list, simply by asking on an issue on Arduino’s github account. I follow their issue tracker and almost every day I see them approve new libraries. The only criteria are publishing the code on github, the metadata in correct format, and github release tags (which is done so their automated software only offers your releases to end users, not every commit of code you haven’t specifically tagged as your release). When they deny a request, it’s because the library doesn’t conform to these simple requirements. I see these cases regularly and in every one of them the library author has fixed their metadata or added the release tags, and then the Arduino devs added their library to the automated install list.

          The Arduino devs are human, and like all humans they sometimes write imperfect code. The recent release of 1.6.10 in particular has exposed a number of bugs, partly due to upgrades of the underlying toolchain, partly due to the increasing number of 3rd party boards and libraries making use the IDE’s features. Several of the 3rd party boards are currently failing to work on 1.6.10, not because they’re disallowed, but because of bugs. If you look at Arduino’s github commit logs, you can see the Arduino devs are responding with a pretty amazing effort over the last 2 weeks to really improve how they handle metadata errors, all of the sake of allowing 3rd party boards to work properly even when things aren’t quite right. The 1.6.11 release is expected sometime next week, pretty much to fix lots of issues that have impacted unofficial boards not made or sold by Arduino.

          RÖB, whatever went wrong I do not know, but I can say with confidence Arduino LLC doesn’t have a practice of disallowing 3rd party libraries. The reality is pretty much the opposite, as anyone can plainly see, especially by looking on github at the pretty substantial effort of these last 2 weeks.

          1. Quote: “My guess is you saw this error and misunderstood it”

            Well [Paul Stoffregen], I don’t have to guess. I was there at the time and my eyes were open and the text of the error message was on my screen. Sorry if that sounds a bit defensive but this question has been repeated and answered before.

            I’m not some idiot that sees things that doesn’t exist. I spent 25 years as a computer maintenance engineer and network maintenance engineer and in that time I did actually learnt the value of reading error messages.

            You seem to have misinterpreted the circumstances. I was NOT trying to have ANYTHING approved. I was trying to use my own libraries on my own PC.

            It was after the start of LLC vs SRL so perhaps it was the other team. I made noise about it at the time so I expect it would have been removed and the evidence destroyed but it may well still be there in a previous version archived somewhere.

            Thanks, for the heads up anyway. At least now I know there some process by witch code can be approved or disproved and if that can be done on the fly then it certainly would be a tool that could be used in Arduino vs Arduino by screwing over the code author because his code is supported by the “wrong” team.

            Now, I am not saying that the above is currently true. I AM saying that it certainly seems possible and in the current Arduino vs Arduino environment, do code authors have trust either Arduino will NOT pull their code as battle grounds expand???

            There is limited trust in Arduino now. Having IDE functions like this lessens that trust even further.

            For me, the complete and absolute and permanent lost of trust was instant when I saw that error message.

            Arduino Ah-men.

  9. It’s worth noting that diehard Arduino supporters like Adafruit and Sparkfun have been selling their own implementations of Arduino-compatible boards (“Metro” and “Redboard” being the most direct copies, but there are more) for quite some time now. (So far, those are “in addition to” real Arduinos. Sometimes both origins of real Arduinos.)

  10. FYI, if you need a wireless IMU with with open source hardware and better support than the “curie”, have a gander at the FemtoBeacon (dime sized). Works with ASF + BOSSA, or Arduino IDE. I finally fixed some USB issue, so if you just need it to work, sketch uploads are functional.

    1. Not quite sure how you can claim “better support” for a product that is only in “pre-order” state :-(
      (Presumably you’re assuming based on their other products, which is probably OK, but…)

      1. …well, if you ask for support for the femtoBeacon, you actually get a Real Human® to help you out, via Google Hangouts. FWIW – The FemtoBeacon is made in small batches, and has sold out a couple of times. That’s what I implied by “better support”

  11. Codevision for AVR’s is a nice compiler and IDE, and uploads the hex file directly from the IDE to Arduino bootloaders.
    It has a very useful code wizzard to setup pins, counters, pwm, uarts and so on.
    And very effecient compiling.

  12. My two favourite arduino platforms are the Teensy boards and the ESP8266 boards. Both are not official Arduino boards. I think that Arduino.cc should focus more on their software ecosystem (which is what they seem to be doing BTW) and make sample hardware designs available. I highly doubt that they’ll be able to make any serious money selling hardware when Chinese clones (or similar Chinese boards e.g. esp8266 vs MKR1000) can be had for a tenth of the price….unless they can come up with a design that can be manufactured cheaply …i.e. cost at most 2X as much as Chinese clone versions as opposed to 8-10X as much.

    Arduino.org focus seems to be more based on hardware. This is very likely why they won’t succeed or at least out-succeed arduino.cc.

    I’ve been using Arduinos since the beginning and I always go to the Arduino.cc site to download IDEs, look-up documentation, use forums e.t.c. I’ve never downloaded an IDE or used the forums on the Arduino.org site ever. I’m sure this is the case for the majority as well.

    1. The PRJC Teensy stuff is outstanding in both support and design. For many years, Paul Stoffregren has provided bug fixes and new stuff for the Arduino mess, and has helped Massimo out of a few holes that he dug for no good reason. As such, if you are making stuff that really needs a Teensy 3.x, you probably should be using SCons.

  13. How I see things is that we’re mostly hackers, so we treat an Arduino as a sort of AVR dev board, so you do your dev, and if you’ve proved your concept and want to reduce vampire power, and physical size, you’ll re-implement with just an AVR, maybe your own board, maybe dead bugged, or it’s not worth that hassle and the $2 nano clone fits the bill.

    Anyway, hacker mode perception of these devices doesn’t really lean towards repeat purchases.

    1. Why? It’s 10 times the power of the CPU that guided the moon landing, if you can’t do anything worthwhile with an Arduino, you should go and ask the Amish if they take converts.

  14. The only winner here is the Chinese. Unencumbered with IP or trademark laws, they’ll happily continue to make any copy of any popular tech thing for 10% the original price. Most “genuine” equipment is made there too, so it’s even easier to copy with ever improving quality. It’s very difficult for any european/silicon valley tech company to survive these days, especially the hardware and chip companies. The margins are almost 0. IoT is already a lost cause. There will be more lawsuits and more consolidations. But until there’s a major change in the environment, many of these companies will very likely disappear entirely in the near future. “Arduino” will become just another obscure buzzword that represents a defacto board layout, software API, and a (pretty lousy) IDE/text editor.

    1. That IS what Arduino means. And if the Chinese are just gonna clone it anyway, you may as well open-source it on purpose! With everything published, they’re gonna get it right.

      Arduino might have destroyed any market for dev boards other than those made by chip manufacturers, but nobody was really in that for a profit anyway, seemed to be people were doing it for the love, to get more people into the microcontroller hobby, to encourage development. Particularly with the Internet, having more people working on something can mean everyone benefits from the gained knowledge.

      Overall, Arduino is one of the winners, the shining examples of open source. That, Linux, and I can’t really think of anything else on the same scale.

      Massimo and the other guy’s trademark scuffles aren’t really relevant to anyone. I can’t think why anyone would care. I wish the guy well and everything, but nobody owes him their custom. A few of the Linux guys have made money from supporting Linux, selling the tech support was the big idea in profiting from open source, a few years ago. Maybe Massimo should write books, his name will certainly sell as an authority on the subject. Although ironically there’s probably others who actually know it better, by now.

      Having a trademark row over an open source project is more than a bit weird to start with.

    2. Oh, and as far as getting stuff for 10% of the price, the winner is us!

      IOT btw is nonsense. Any “thing” with network access is now an IOT apparently. And they all connect to “the cloud”, even if that’s just the company’s own server. Two buzzwords that have lost all meaning.

  15. For quick prototyping and wanting to personally evolve, I think the jump from the, what, 20 year old AVRs to 32 bit STM32, 2000 pages datasheet is too much of a jump. A valence jump.

    Specially if ST doesn’t have any more user friendly than their CubeX concept. I mean so much money and cleverness into a chip, and zombies writing the IDE’s, clearly they can not be enginers, or too much engineers. Why not do something more balanced. Or the Arduino community will stay with 8 bit and not evolve to 32 bit. We need to do. But need less engineered IDE and better wizzards, or it wilk just wither.

  16. Give Up the Funk, We need the Funk
    Give Up the Arduino, We need the Arduino.

    Good IDEs exist now: PlatformIo and Codebender are just a few examples.

    Arduino needs to be alive again. What I mean by that:
    1. Arduino API needs to be alive and improving.
    2. Continue to add more platforms. Every single chip vendor should have an entry Arduino board
    3. Libraries need to be fresh and tested
    4. More advanced features need to exposed in libraries
    5. Existing SPI/I2C need to support multiple SPI/I2C as well as feature complete implementations
    6. Open Source TCP/IP stack
    7. The starter/default examples need to be verified and updated to new best practices
    8. Does not have to be backwards compatibility breaking


    1. That’s a very good list of goals (with the possible exception of 6 – much of the small percentage of networked arduino things uses devices with external stacks. Perhaps “good TCP/IP API” would be more important.) However, that’s an awful lot of work (as you know, having contributed a lot to ChipKit/MPIDE.) It pretty much takes dedicated employees, or people working somewhere where they’re allowed to spend significant time on such projects while getting paid for “something else” (universities come to mind), (or maybe a few independently wealthy developers or patrons?)
      Hmm. I’d describe Energia as one of the more impressive Arduino off-shoots (works on a bunch of TI eval boards) – do you happen to have any idea to what extent the Energia project is funded by TI?

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