0

Bryan’s Plans for CircuitPython in 2020 #CircuitPython2020 @siddacious

Hi! I’m Bryan, otherwise know as @siddacious on the Adafruit discord and GitHub. I was excited to write this post and share my thoughts on CircuitPython. Writing this and keeping it concise has proven harder than I expected because after nearly a year of working for Adafruit, my brain is overflowing with ideas. It doesn’t help that I tend to be overly verbose and use too many fancy words

So, here are my goals, aspirations, and ideas for CircuitPython in 2020 (which is, officially the future):

Documentation

We already have a lot of documentation. There is a lot of good work to be done in organizing it, keeping it up to date and making it easier to find. Things that might help:

  • Cross linking between relevant API documentation and code examples. 
  • Creating tools to make keeping documentation up to date easier. Computers are bad at writing documentation, but they’re good at connecting things and doing the same thing over and over, so making more use of automation and templating could prove useful
  • Search Engine Optimization we could probably do things to make it easier for search engines to find documentation

Libraries

The extensive catalog of libraries is a core strength of CircuitPython. Empowering more people to help write and maintain them is all upside. Things that could help here are

  • Better ground up documentation on how to write a driver and how to write it in a “pythonic” way that plays to the strengths of Python
  • Standards or best practices on what is a sufficient level of documentation for new code. Everyone writing new libraries has to balance their time between code features and documenting them; guidance here would help both the author and consumers by making it clear what expectations are.
  • More tooling to make writing drivers easier.  After nearly a year of writing drivers as a large percentage of my job, it’s quite clear that there is a non-trivial amount of doing the same things library to library. Code that can generate the skeleton of a library from a structured representation of the register map of a sensor would take a lot of the repetition out of writing libraries and allow the author to focus on how the library should work, not the low level details like bit manipulation

My canonical example of this type of automation done well is the generators that power the “How to Write a Blog Engine in 15 minutes with Ruby on Rails” demo from 2005. This demo is arguably responsible in no small part for making Rails as popular as it is today:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gzj723LkRJY

The Register Library is a huge step in the right direction here. Adding SPI support and writing better documentation for it would be excellent, as well as supplementing it with additional tools.

Other Ideas:

  • Supporting people that want to do workshops with documentation, syllabuses, and general help
  • Concurrency is useful and important. It’s time we tackle it with aplomb
  • Thinking about pedagogy and how best to help people learn. Visual examples and well crafted metaphors would help people new to programming
  • Encouraging and supporting mentorship

I could write another 10 posts worth of ideas, but I suppose this is a good start. Good luck to all my fellow learners in 2020.


Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Join 15,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

What do you want from CircuitPython in 2020?

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7:30pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more https://www.instagram.com/adafruit/


Maker Business — Apple’s Mac Pro doesn’t fall far from the tree

Wearables — How to twist light

Electronics — Proceed with caution

Biohacking — Vitamin-C + Gelatin for Accelerated Recovery

Python for Microcontrollers — CircuitPython powers the Open Hardware Summit for 2020! #Python #Adafruit #CircuitPython @circuitpython @micropython @ThePSF @Adafruit

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Learning from IoT Projects, Adafruit Joins the LoRa Alliance, Ring Ransoms, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode: Opening a World of Possibilities

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !



No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.