bgolab
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Re: Pi Pico - the most user un-friendly MCU?

Wed Jul 28, 2021 6:56 pm

We have 300 post int this thread. What about closing it? Sorry. Joking.

ejolson
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Re: Pi Pico - the most user un-friendly MCU?

Wed Jul 28, 2021 6:58 pm

WizIO wrote:
Wed Jul 28, 2021 6:52 pm
BTW I make this adaptation:
all header files in one folder include
this give only one -Ipath/include ( not need more -I attributes )
all hardware C codes in one folder ( all is compiled )
and the peripheral libraries remain - as they are
It's very complicated, isn't it?
( build time approximately one seconds, depends on PC )
This work with Make, CMake, SConns, Arduino ... etc ( whatever you can think of ), tested on Win,Lin,Mac
https://github.com/Wiz-IO/framework-wiz ... e/main/SDK
This work sounds interesting. I've thought about making a similar reorganization but got interested in other things.

Is the procedure used to create the unified include directory and libraries automated in a way that tracks upstream changes?

Are the resulting executables bigger?

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Re: Pi Pico - the most user un-friendly MCU?

Wed Jul 28, 2021 7:04 pm

as you do ( builder ), so it will be...
it just saves a lot of headaches

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Re: Pi Pico - the most user un-friendly MCU?

Wed Jul 28, 2021 7:13 pm

ejolson wrote:
Wed Jul 28, 2021 6:58 pm
Are the resulting executables bigger?
upload BIN file not ELF ( exist not used functions )

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Re: Pi Pico - the most user un-friendly MCU?

Wed Jul 28, 2021 7:26 pm

ejolson wrote:
Wed Jul 28, 2021 6:45 pm
…the fact that most students at the university own a Windows laptop and are happy using it makes support for the Pico SDK useful from my point of view.

Having been a University professor I'm sort of surprised by that statement. In my experience, most physics students are on Macs, while most computer science students are on Linux, with a few Macs. There are very few Windows using students in the hard sciences in general. However I presume it varies very wildly by subject, and possibly (probably also) by country.
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bensimmo
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Re: Pi Pico - the most user un-friendly MCU?

Wed Jul 28, 2021 8:43 pm

And probably University and course.

UK, the two uni's I went to for four different courses used Windows (Physics and related engineering and semiconductors/lasers).
Computer Science at them was Windows as they used a lot of Windows dev tools.
Of course Linux was also used when needed and where needed.

Currently I think the AstroPhys lot there are using macs as they like the laptops. But then most of that is just Python code locally and running on supercomputers.

---- updating..
distro* updates are handled by Windows Store and Windows and WSL2 is updated by the usual mass means of Windows Update and Windows Store using all the supplied tools etc.
Many small school have managed this pretty well*.


They have added Linux for the main and originally sole purpose of dev work.

Android is not there yet, so has nothing to do with it. I honestly cannot remember when WSL (and the move to WSL2) was added to all. But if the people making all of the RP2040 dev tools do not know it well enough, they'll either need to spend money on somebody that does or spend a lot of time checking it all and working it all out and WSL2 iirc would not have been in mass roll out.

But the tools are there for somebody to make a setup instruction and or script to do it.


*Which to be honest is no harder then having a load of different Linux setup secured and updated, at least Windows tries to keep itself up to date out of the box, a big plus in my eyes (not everyone's of course . And from the school I talked to, much easier than Apple was.
RaspberryPi OS gets 'out of date' very quickly as it doesn't attempt to keep up to date, bar the first boot.

One downside to WSL is it needs hardware virtualisation, quite possibly a lot of 'school' computers cannot do this.

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Re: Pi Pico - the most user un-friendly MCU?

Wed Jul 28, 2021 8:58 pm

Anyway, does it really matter.
For most Easy users micropython is there.

Anyone else, RPT have made a setup that must work for most people.

The community has now managed to get that system to work in other ways as mentioned for more people in different programming communities.

If you don't like it, don't use it Or join in and try to make it work with your system/IDE/methods/whatever.
Pop the info up, share it, sing and dance about it.

Then people like me and other users can find what suites them as friendly.

At some point I'm sure someone will make some plug and play tick box firmware to do all the things most people want and you just flash it. And tick a few bits an bobs.

As for the chip itself, I've been taken back by the number of people making weird and wonderful boards with the chip. It can't be that unfriendly ;-)

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Re: Pi Pico - the most user un-friendly MCU?

Thu Jul 29, 2021 3:21 am

Does WSL have USB support?

ejolson
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Re: Pi Pico - the most user un-friendly MCU?

Thu Jul 29, 2021 3:47 am

aallan wrote:
Wed Jul 28, 2021 7:26 pm
ejolson wrote:
Wed Jul 28, 2021 6:45 pm
…the fact that most students at the university own a Windows laptop and are happy using it makes support for the Pico SDK useful from my point of view.
Having been a University professor I'm sort of surprised by that statement. In my experience, most physics students are on Macs, while most computer science students are on Linux, with a few Macs. There are very few Windows using students in the hard sciences in general. However I presume it varies very wildly by subject, and possibly (probably also) by country.
I think the popularity of Linux as well as Macintosh varies significantly around the world. As seen at

https://gs.statcounter.com/os-market-sh ... /worldwide

The share for OS X is 26% in the UK or US; 10.7% in Estonia and 4.2% in India.

The share for Linux is 5.5% in Russia; 3% in India; 2.3% in the US and 1.8% in the UK.

In the Mathematics department where I work roughly 5% of students have Linux. I'm think the percentage is greater in computer science, but less among the 17,000 students that comprise the total student body.

The introduction to programming courses run by computer science teach C++ with Visual Studio on Windows in the first semester and switch to Linux for the second (at least they used to). The first course is taken mostly by students outside computer science; the second is more balanced. As the role of a university is to lead rather than follow, I find it interesting that all student computing labs on campus boot Windows except the Macintosh media lab. While many of the computers in the engineering labs have a menu that allows them to network boot Linux as well, could the future really be Microsoft? Even for the Pi?

As games are one of the well-known routes towards becoming comfortable using a computer, the popularity of Windows is not surprising. It's simply better for playing games. In practice young people first use Windows for playing games, they continue with the same at school and finally support what they are familiar with in corporate decision-making positions later. Thus, the user supply drives the supply of developers.

What this means for the Pico SDK is that Windows support is important.

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Re: Pi Pico - the most user un-friendly MCU?

Thu Jul 29, 2021 3:57 am

lurk101 wrote:
Thu Jul 29, 2021 3:21 am
Does WSL have USB support?
Does the method described in

https://www.scivision.dev/usb-tty-windo ... for-linux/

suffice?

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Re: Pi Pico - the most user un-friendly MCU?

Thu Jul 29, 2021 4:07 am

ejolson wrote:
Thu Jul 29, 2021 3:57 am
lurk101 wrote:
Thu Jul 29, 2021 3:21 am
Does WSL have USB support?
Does the method described in

https://www.scivision.dev/usb-tty-windo ... for-linux/

suffice?
It might do for serial emulation, but what about making it look like a mountable file system for copying uf2 files to?

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Re: Pi Pico - the most user un-friendly MCU?

Thu Jul 29, 2021 6:31 am

lurk101 wrote:
Thu Jul 29, 2021 4:07 am
ejolson wrote:
Thu Jul 29, 2021 3:57 am
lurk101 wrote:
Thu Jul 29, 2021 3:21 am
Does WSL have USB support?
Does the method described in

https://www.scivision.dev/usb-tty-windo ... for-linux/

suffice?
It might do for serial emulation, but what about making it look like a mountable file system for copying uf2 files to?
I don't think that's going to happen very easily. The Pico will hangup after anything is written to its pretend block device. Given all the layers between Windows subsystem for Linux and the USB device, I think something is just too likely to cause the Pico to hangup.

It would be interesting to know if it could work. Unfortunately, I deleted WSL a couple years ago and Windows 10 along with it. The only thing left is a machine that boots into Vista. I wonder if that's Pico compatible. Hopefully someone else can help.
Last edited by ejolson on Thu Jul 29, 2021 6:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pi Pico - the most user un-friendly MCU?

Thu Jul 29, 2021 6:33 am

lurk101 wrote:
Thu Jul 29, 2021 4:07 am
ejolson wrote:
Thu Jul 29, 2021 3:57 am
lurk101 wrote:
Thu Jul 29, 2021 3:21 am
Does WSL have USB support?
Does the method described in

https://www.scivision.dev/usb-tty-windo ... for-linux/

suffice?
It might do for serial emulation, but what about making it look like a mountable file system for copying uf2 files to?
I can't remember and WSL2 and WSL behaved differently but that was some time ago. It also depends which version you are on, much could still be in preview versions still.

WSL2
I do know restrictions last time I looked, no USB flash drives (so I assume not) , just actual storage drives SSD/HDD and file system needs to be supported by the kernel itself.

Technically is doesn't matter as you can do it from Windows anyway.

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Re: Pi Pico - the most user un-friendly MCU?

Thu Jul 29, 2021 9:43 am

ejolson wrote:
Thu Jul 29, 2021 6:31 am
Unfortunately, I deleted WSL a couple years ago and Windows 10 along with it. The only thing left is a machine that boots into Vista. I wonder if that's Pico compatible. Hopefully someone else can help.
Possibly. The biggest issue is that most of the prerequisites dropped support for XP and Vista or their dependencies did. It might be possible to find older versions which run and provide all that is needed.

The Pico SDK itself, 'pico-extras', 'pico-examples, 'pico-playground', 'git' (2.10.0), 'cmake' (3.13.4), and 'python' (3.4.0) should be fine. That leaves the ARM cross-compiler and Microsoft Build Tools. Plus 'libusb' if wanting to build 'picotool', MingGW and MSYS if one wants to go that route, VS Code if one wants that.

ACM CDC virtual serial port drivers, FTDI and Prolific serial port drivers, work on XP so should on Vista, I can't recall when it comes to RNDIS networking over USB drivers.

Probably the only way to find out is to try it. Building 'blink' out of tree would be what I'd call "a win". Building MicroPython from source "success".

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Re: Pi Pico - the most user un-friendly MCU?

Thu Jul 29, 2021 1:24 pm

WizIO wrote:
Wed Jul 28, 2021 6:52 pm
BTW I make this adaptation ( just for info ):
all header files in one folder include
this give only one -Ipath/include ( not need more -I attributes )
all hardware C codes in one folder ( all is compiled )
and the peripheral libraries remain - as they are
It's very complicated, isn't it?
( build time approximately one seconds, depends on PC )
This work with Make, CMake, SConns, Arduino ... etc ( whatever you can think of ), tested on Win,Lin,Mac
https://github.com/Wiz-IO/framework-wiz ... e/main/SDK
Note the directory layout was not a mistake. We have actually had a good deal more people complimenting us on not dumping all the headers in the same directory, than complaining about it.

Of course on most operating systems you can just use symbolic links to put them all in the same directory should you want to :-)

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Re: Pi Pico - the most user un-friendly MCU?

Thu Jul 29, 2021 3:21 pm

history remembers a more severe cases...

two years ago, Microsoft decided to shine on the Embedded field with Microsoft Azure Sphere
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/servi ... #ecosystem
Nice project - Linux ( main core, Arm Cortex-A7 4M flash, 4M ram) Baremetal ( Arm Cortex-M4, a few cores, one is linux security )
https://www.mediatek.com/products/AIoT/mt3620

SDK: complicated ( only VS Studio ) and POSIX truncated ( ostensibly for protection ), connection only to Azure cloud
Donated over 100 000 boards ( reference AVNET )
advertising, advertising, advertising... exhibitions, fans scream with madness...

Team, SDK is too hard and too big: NO NO NO !!! this is the way... you do not understand
Team VS Code? NO NO NO !!! only VS Studio... you do not understand
Team Mac, Linux support? NO NO NO !!! only Windows... you do not understand
Team POSIX is truncated? ... you do not understand ... you do not understand ... we are the best

OK !!!
PlatformIO - VSCode ( Win, Lin, Mac )
SDK Linux, SDK Baremetal
Arduino for Linux, Arduino for M4 cores...
"hack" the POSIX
send data to Google, AWS... etc

You're a nasty dirty hacker !!!
OK...

after a year and a half... their minds came
"free" posix, connections everywhere, VSCode, Linux & Mac support...
but, without sales...

nothing personal, just a fairy tale

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Re: Pi Pico - the most user un-friendly MCU?

Thu Jul 29, 2021 3:55 pm

WizIO wrote:
Thu Jul 29, 2021 3:21 pm
history remembers a more severe cases...

two years ago, Microsoft decided to shine on the Embedded field with Microsoft Azure Sphere
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/servi ... #ecosystem
Nice project - Linux ( main core, Arm Cortex-A7 4M flash, 4M ram) Baremetal ( Arm Cortex-M4, a few cores, one is linux security )
https://www.mediatek.com/products/AIoT/mt3620

SDK: complicated ( only VS Studio ) and POSIX truncated ( ostensibly for protection ), connection only to Azure cloud
Donated over 100 000 boards ( reference AVNET )
advertising, advertising, advertising... exhibitions, fans scream with madness...

Team, SDK is too hard and too big: NO NO NO !!! this is the way... you do not understand
Team VS Code? NO NO NO !!! only VS Studio... you do not understand
Team Mac, Linux support? NO NO NO !!! only Windows... you do not understand
Team POSIX is truncated? ... you do not understand ... you do not understand ... we are the best

OK !!!
PlatformIO - VSCode ( Win, Lin, Mac )
SDK Linux, SDK Baremetal
Arduino for Linux, Arduino for M4 cores...
"hack" the POSIX
send data to Google, AWS... etc

You're a nasty dirty hacker !!!
OK...

after a year and a half... their minds came
"free" posix, connections everywhere, VSCode, Linux & Mac support...
but, without sales...

nothing personal, just a fairy tale
Not entirely sure what you are getting at, but I am guessing you think that our CMake system (which works with VSCode, Eclipse, CLion and other IDE's) is not suitable. I guess if you come back in two years time, and we can see whether that is a fair statement. I'm pretty confident what you will find.

VSCode is the IDE we *recommend*, not one we force you to use. The docs have instructions for others.
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Re: Pi Pico - the most user un-friendly MCU?

Thu Jul 29, 2021 4:15 pm

WizIO wrote:
Thu Jul 29, 2021 3:21 pm
Team, SDK is too hard and too big: NO NO NO !!! this is the way... you do not understand
Team VS Code? NO NO NO !!! only VS Studio... you do not understand
Team Mac, Linux support? NO NO NO !!! only Windows... you do not understand
Team POSIX is truncated? ... you do not understand ... you do not understand ... we are the best
I think others have been pretty polite so far but I had a rough night, I'm tired, and I'm not in the mood.
Team, SDK is too hard and too big: NO NO NO !!! this is the way... you do not understand
There are many people out there who are successfully building Pico C++ projects with the toolchain that's described in the documentation. Why you can't (or more likely won't) is, frankly, more a reflection on your inability (or unwillingness) to do so.
Team VS Code? NO NO NO !!! only VS Studio... you do not understand
Nowhere has anyone at RPF/T said that you absolutely must 100% use VS (or any other software, for that matter). If you want to build using the setup they came up with and documented, go ahead. If you want to use something else, go ahead.
Team Mac, Linux support? NO NO NO !!! only Windows... you do not understand
This is utterly wrong and I'm surprised you included this in your rant. Build environments for Linux and Mac exist and are documented. There's a script that sets everything up automatically on a Raspberry Pi. And we all know which OS Raspberry Pi OS is, right?
you do not understand
You keep saying this - implying that nobody's listening to you. They ARE listening to you, but just because they're not suddenly saying, "OMG WizIO, you were right all along, we'll have that new IDE and compiler built and documented for you by Monday" doesn't mean that they're patting you on the head and saying, "you poor thing, you just don't get it". Everyone admits that there are improvements that could be made in various places. If you don't believe that will happen, then you really need to read up on the history of the Raspberry Pi. There's a reason it's so much different now than it was in 2012, and that's not just because the technology changed. It's because they listened to the folks in the message boards and actually incorporated some of the changes over time.

Hey, you should check this thread out:
viewtopic.php?f=144&t=315944

In the first post in that thread, there's this:
with some help from the pico-sdk team, I manage to create an MDK project template for pico-sdk
Someone else found the interface different than what they were used to and decided to tinker and make an environment they were more comfortable in. Did you notice that they did it with the help of the pico-sdk team?

You could learn from their approach.

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Re: Pi Pico - the most user un-friendly MCU?

Thu Jul 29, 2021 4:37 pm

M_P wrote:
Thu Jul 29, 2021 4:15 pm
WizIO wrote:
Thu Jul 29, 2021 3:21 pm
Team, SDK is too hard and too big: NO NO NO !!! this is the way... you do not understand
Team VS Code? NO NO NO !!! only VS Studio... you do not understand
Team Mac, Linux support? NO NO NO !!! only Windows... you do not understand
Team POSIX is truncated? ... you do not understand ... you do not understand ... we are the best
I think others have been pretty polite so far but I had a rough night, I'm tired, and I'm not in the mood.
Team, SDK is too hard and too big: NO NO NO !!! this is the way... you do not understand
That tale was about Microsoft Sphere, which is a closed ecosystem. I think it was meant to be entertaining while at the same time conveying an important message.

That's what fairy tales are for.

The main differences with the Pico is the RP2040 is a hardware device provided for any vendor to build stuff with. Sphere is a software environment locked to ODM boards. According to the tale, it got little traction because it wasn't flexible enough to meet anyone's needs. Whether that is actually true of Sphere or not I don't know, because I've never tried it.

The message I understood is the software ecosystem for an embedded device has to be flexible to be useful. This seems obvious but went against the locked-in for security story told by the fairy tale.

The way I see it, the current build system for the Pico errors in the opposite way by being almost too flexible. As a result one needs cmake to manage the complexity. If you don't mind that, then it just works. If you want something simpler, the same flexibility can be used as building blocks to create a custom build system.

It would appear the main thing to learn from the fairy tale is that not any vendor should market a single development environment as one size fits all. The embedded community is too diverse and experienced for that.

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Re: Pi Pico - the most user un-friendly MCU?

Thu Jul 29, 2021 6:05 pm

WizIO wrote:
Thu Jul 29, 2021 3:21 pm
two years ago, Microsoft decided to shine on the Embedded field with Microsoft Azure Sphere…

Yes, I remember. The dev board cost $85. I'm not sure why you're even trying to compare it to Pico at that point. There is literally more than a x20 in the price point of the hardware... and frankly RP2040 is a whole lot more interesting than the Mediatek MT3620 they put at the heart of it.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
but, without sales...

nothing personal, just a fairy tale

…and we have plenty of sales. You seem to think we don't understand what you're saying, we do. We just don't agree with your argument. We think you're wrong. Time will tell which one of us is right, personally I'm betting on us.
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Re: Pi Pico - the most user un-friendly MCU?

Thu Jul 29, 2021 6:12 pm

ejolson wrote:
Thu Jul 29, 2021 4:37 pm
The way I see it, the current build system for the Pico errors in the opposite way by being almost too flexible. As a result one needs cmake to manage the complexity. If you don't mind that, then it just works. If you want something simpler, the same flexibility can be used as building blocks to create a custom build system.

It would appear the main thing to learn from the fairy tale is that not any vendor should market a single development environment as one size fits all. The embedded community is too diverse and experienced for that.
Then it falls on the embedded community's shoulders to grow that diversity. Somebody comes up with a better way of doing things... Great! Put in the work, polish it, document it, publish it, support it so others can benefit. You never know, it may take off!

Isn't that what open source ecosystems are all about?

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Re: Pi Pico - the most user un-friendly MCU?

Thu Jul 29, 2021 6:43 pm

ejolson wrote:
Thu Jul 29, 2021 4:37 pm


It would appear the main thing to learn from the fairy tale is that not any vendor should market a single development environment as one size fit all. The embedded community is too diverse and experienced for that.
Exactly! That is why the aproch RPF decided to use is so good!

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Re: Pi Pico - the most user un-friendly MCU?

Thu Jul 29, 2021 7:45 pm

lurk101 wrote:
Thu Jul 29, 2021 6:12 pm
Then it falls on the embedded community's shoulders to grow that diversity. Somebody comes up with a better way of doing things... Great! Put in the work, polish it, document it, publish it, support it so others can benefit. You never know, it may take off!

Isn't that what open source ecosystems are all about?
It appears that

https://github.com/Wiz-IO/framework-wiz ... e/main/SDK

is already exactly that kind of development in action.
aallan wrote:
Thu Jul 29, 2021 6:05 pm
WizIO wrote:
Thu Jul 29, 2021 3:21 pm
two years ago, Microsoft decided to shine on the Embedded field with Microsoft Azure Sphere…
Yes, I remember. The dev board cost $85. I'm not sure why you're even trying to compare it to Pico at that point. There is literally more than a x20 in the price point of the hardware... and frankly RP2040 is a whole lot more interesting than the Mediatek MT3620 they put at the heart of it.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
but, without sales...

nothing personal, just a fairy tale
…and we have plenty of sales. You seem to think we don't understand what you're saying, we do. We just don't agree with your argument. We think you're wrong. Time will tell which one of us is right, personally I'm betting on us.
The price of a development board could be much more than the final cost of the resulting cryptographically-secure washing-machine controller. Once a product goes into production, one is not buying development boards. The fact that the Pico is so inexpensive, however, also lends it to being used as a part in a product.

I see no reason to argue about which development environment is better. PlatformIO is likely to remain useful for what it does, the current SDK for what it does as well as many alternatives. I don't even see a serious disagreement here, but more something like
different project requirements wrote: Environment A: It's very flexible.
Developer B: It's too complicated.
Environment C: It's very simple.
Developer D: It's too limited.
Environment E: It's very flexible
Developer F: It's too complicated.
repeating the same pattern on through the alphabet.

Again, I think the moral of the story is that one size does not fit all when it comes to embedded development, especially considering the diversity of experience and applications that the Pico has attracted.

At the same time, there isn't any software development system for which additional polishing could not make better (or worse). Perhaps the best use of this thread is for discussing ideas related to improving the official SDK while a new thread would be a more appropriate place to discuss the merits of alternatives.

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Re: Pi Pico - the most user un-friendly MCU?

Thu Jul 29, 2021 9:53 pm

ejolson wrote:
Thu Jul 29, 2021 7:45 pm
Perhaps the best use of this thread is for discussing ideas related to improving the official SDK while a new thread would be a more appropriate place to discuss the merits of alternatives.
I disagree. If you have suggestion on improving the SDK, I think new threads or entries on the issue tracker are a better bet.

So I am going to close this thread which I think has run its course, none of the recent commentary is useful/improving anything.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Working in the Applications Team.

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