CircuitPython Happenings Hack Chat With Adafruit

Join us on Wednesday, July 26 at noon Pacific for the CircuitPython Happenings Hack Chat with The folks from Adafruit!

join-hack-chatIt’s always a party when the good folks from Adafruit stop by the Hack Chat, and we expect no less than that this time around. It’s hard to predict where the conversation will go when [LadyAda], [pt], and [Scott] roll in, but we strongly suspect it’ll center on what’s new in the world of CircuitPython.

We’ve heard that they’ve got some cool stuff going on with CircuitPython on the RP2040, which just might lead to a Python-based fix for the current Bus Pirate supply chain problem. It’ll be a swashbucklingly good time, so make sure you stop by.

Our Hack Chats are live community events in the Hack Chat group messaging. This week we’ll be sitting down on Wednesday, July 26 at 12:00 PM Pacific time. If time zones have you tied up, we have ahandy time zone converter.

29 thoughts on “CircuitPython Happenings Hack Chat With Adafruit

    1. I fully agree with you. The clutter of import adafruit_something which then import adafruit_something (and again) makes me cringe everytime. Especially when i want to use them with micropython. And the quality of the adafruit drivers is quite random.

  1. It’s a difficult place to be. C is a terrible programming language for beginners learning to code on embedded systems. The language is antique and long past it’s due date.
    BASIC was pretty good for learning but frowned upon and it did not thrive.

    Adafruit seems to be the main parent of Micropython, I have not tried it. I dislike programming languages dumbed down and letting a variable be anything, having no type. Kids don’t have to worry about it, but adults should. Implicit typecasting in C, polymorphism is why C++ became a nightmare and let’s let that legacy continue lol.

    1. As an embedded software engineer I extensively use C, C++, Python (for scripts on PC) and occasionally MicroPython . All languages have their ups and downs.
      With Python you can test your code snippets live using the interactive interpreter instead of compiling and debugging. It’s quicker than using sites like or to test a C/C++ code snippet. Scraping some data via a rest API of the web or from a JSON or XML file. You can convert it easily to native objects and process it in a loop or often in a single short line. It does have more overhead, though you can use a threading library to process data in parallel. And it runs on Windows and Linux (I use both) and you can use a virtual environment with requirements.txt so your dependencies are properly documented.
      I’m not a fan of MicroPython for the same reason as I’m not a fan of the Arduino library; it just has too much overhead. But it does open the embedded world to a larger audience (I leave it in the middle if that’s a good thing)
      C and C++ are better for hardware access and have less overhead, so they are better for embedded.
      With C++ I use a subset of its features for embedded. I disable RTTI (run time type checking) and exceptions. I use constexpr, RAII and try to use static polymorphism instead of dynamic polymorphism if possible. I’ve found it allows me to write cleaner code (no macros) than C with no additional overhead.

      1. I use Micropython on several platform, together with jupyter notebooks and Belay lib as glue. It´s a powerful combination that is perfect for data logging, fast prototyping, and tests automation

  2. Not hidden, but definitely there in your face. As for me, I’ve started looking around for other vendors because of it. Not appropriate for a business, in my mind.

    That said Curcuit Python works well. Has modules for their products which is nice. Think of it as a tool, use it for this, but use microPython for that… Not a big deal. Adafruit has good documentation on most the stuff they sell…

  3. Question:

    If I was to roll my own ESP32-C3 and ESP32-S3 board. Could I load CircuitPython onto the board?
    What are the basic requirements of CircuitPython for hardware? How much memory? is a button or led required, etc…

    Does CircuitPython support Bluetooth on the ESP32?
    What Bluetooth functionality is supported?

    Does CircuitPython support OTA (over the air) updates?
    Call home functionality

    1. you´re going to split your brain because of some boards supported by circuitpython, better platform support by micropython, and less drivers by micropython than circuitpython.

      I suggest letting alone circuitpython, give a try on micropython, then _if you need_ get the circuitpython drivers you absolutely need, and rewrite them for micropython

      It´s not satisfying _AT ALL_ and i wish circuitpython would just stick to contributions to micropython, bringing their already whole lot of drivers in a standard way inside the main micropython code.

      1. Everyone is missing the major point: Adafruit provides critical user/customer support. Top-tier microPython would be too complex to support for novice programmers. Thus, downgrading and customizing and packaging a subordinate product in Circuit Python makes perfect sense for microcontrollers incorporated into Adafruit’s hardware portfolio. If one would just think about the interplay between CircuitPython and Adafruit’s Arduino products, the dummy-down microPython makes complete business sense; after all, it is optional.

        Limor is running a business in New York City and making investments in her community. Her politics and hair should not color her achievements and the profound influence of her company, Adafruit to made-in-America items. Let’s all be big boys and girls and refresh our memory of John Lennon’s “Imagine” lyrics.

  4. Kinda shocked(well..not really..ARS this is not) at the “ada bashing” here.
    At least with ada you get a quality product unlike the hit or miss from
    most everywhere else(China/Ebay/Amazon)
    When I find I need a board that they carry, I buy there.
    Goof stuff. and you DON’T have to run python folks!!
    (at least not on the stuff I buy)

    1. I dunno, where do you think Sparkfun and Adafruit components come from?

      For many a year, I used to eschew the ‘China/Ebay/Amazon’ markets for S/F and A/F. As of late, I have had problems with both. Recently received an Alibaba order. All of the stuff was functional and within specs. Half the cost, similar quality.

      The only thing that keeps me buying the over-priced stuff, of marginal quality, from A/F and S/F is my worries about supporting a questionable regime. But then again, many consider the USA to be ‘questionable’.

      1. “Half the cost, similar quality.”

        The U.S. based forum support is an insurance policy for novice hobbyists; plus Adafruit supplies needed on-shore jobs. Yea, think of it like tipping a server for a meal if Adafruit’s part price offends you.
        When I order from AliExpress, I usually pick a multi-quantity selection because I expect some shipping damage or a defective module: novices are scared over such insecurities and often are unable to diagnose defective hardware when purchased in quantity one. Anyone who has worked the Arduino forums know a novice with defective hardware is a most difficult case to work. Back when I did support, I can assure you that Adafruit earns that bit of extra cost by performing a needed service for lesser-knowledgeable hobbyists.

    1. I am not certain what her MIT education has to do with anything. Any ABET-accredited school is a decent engineering school, regardless of the low admission rates.

      Ms Fried deserves respect for her business acumen and a seemingly well-run company. Her engineering acumen has yet to earn my respect.

      Mr Torrone is the person worthy of our over-all respect. You do know that he was the Hackaday founder?

      Us mere plebiscites that were only able to go to a state college, are the ones in the trenches, making this society go. We may be subject to our corporate over-lords, but we solve problems and design stuff every day of the week.

  5. Oh, I’m not following Adafruit closely so I may have missed the woke bits. Or maybe I’m just too European to care about American politics. But when I hear things like “I won’t buy from them because they are woke” I chuckle.

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