Hopefully, that sounds exciting enough for people who started with ESP8266 recently, but folks who are around since early days of ESP8266 adventure may wonder: "Why only now?"
Indeed, MicroPython was among the first, if not the first, OpenSource scripting languages available for ESP8266. I really mean that, the first commit was made on Nov 27, 2014, immediately available as Open Source. NodeMCU started earlier, but was not open-sourced until end
of year, as readers of this forum know.
So, again, why only now? One of the big problems a project may face is spreading too thin, working on too many things at once. MicroPython had its own very capable board, and we also worked on desktop ports (important for testing, debugging, and rapid prototyping). So, while we focused on these parts, ESP8266 port was run as community-driven project (people contributed patches, or asked us for features, and we implemented them when had time). And indeed, the port has enjoyed quite a progress since early days (as can be seen from earlier thread - btw,
I started a new thread to avoid confusion of "old" vs "new" ports, hope that's ok).
Though the great progress, there were few issues. One was lack of testing - many features were contributed not fully tested, the other issue was that there were ... not enough of Python in it! Unlike other small scripting languages, Python is expressive language with powerful, well-defined API, and that's what people love Python for and expect from it.
So, we started to get questions "Why feature X doesn't work?" or "Why feature Y isn't available?". And we had to start think seriously what to do about the port: as it stood, it worked quite differently from other MicroPython ports, and not in the better way. So we faced tough choice - either give up the port altogether, or regroup and treat ESP8266 as one of the main MicroPython ports.
Anyone who played with ESP8266 knows the choice we made. We - each of us, as well as whole community - already put a lot of effort into it, and there are lot of ideas how to make it truly better (better than many other projects have it). But we are well aware that there're widely known competitors now. So, we decided to go for a Kickstarter, to solve few issues at once:
1. To ensure that we are on right track and do what people actually need and appreciate.
2. To build big active community around MicroPython ESP8266 port.
3. To secure some funding to ensure steadfast progress with the development and allow us to provide adequate support for it.
That was personalized foreword I wanted to give on this forum. I received many invitations to post about MicroPython on this forum, and sadly, didn't have much chance to do that - until now. But I'm a reader of this forum literally since its first days, it's just I preferred to do
my "writing" directly on github - hope some folks here can recognize me as a maintainer of https://github.com/pfalcon/esp-open-sdk and a contributor to few other community projects on ESP8266.
You can learn much more directly on the Kickstarter page:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/21 ... y-easy-iot
I would like to thank all contributors and users of MicroPython who waited patiently (or impatiently) for such changes to come forward. I hope what happens now is what you wanted. So, it's time to act then - please help to spread the word!
And of course, I'm open to answer any questions in this thread!