Chat freely about anything...

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By eriksl
#93346 @ChrisO, indeed you're not obligated to use ESP8266 (or any other of Espressif's products) in any way. That's also the mindset of Espressif themselves, take it or leave it. If you're looking for a fully documented and fully supported microcontroller, you're probably better off using one of Atmel, Microchip or Broadcom.

If you're looking for a nice hobby project where you can learn a lot and if you like it it's very cheap, then Espressif stuff can be interesting.

Either way, Espressif says: take it as it is and don't expect any support or documentation. The "Chinese" way.

Having said that, if you look at the ESP32, you'll find it's much better documented and supported. The downside is that Espressif will only let you use it with their SDK, no direct hardware access, which may be somewhat limiting (for me it is, indeed). And it's a bit more expensive, also having a tad too much features for most purposes.
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By ChrisO
#93348 @eriksl
You don't work for Espressif, do you? I hope for them you don't. ;-)
ESP8266-01 is not developed by Espressif, but Ai-Thinker.
It's what I was told by a very nice lady from "Documentation Group @ Espressif Systems" I had mail contact with.
As I said in my previous post, I found this tiny, cheep thing cool but having, IMHO, a bug. And I would love to have it fixed. I know I'm not the only one. That's all.
Imagine what would we achieve following the "might be buggy but move on if you don't like it" philosophy.
I don't want to copy-paste my previous post here.
Even if I won't use it for anything serious, it was a nice experience with ESP8266, playing with AT-commands like in old good days, programming with Arduino's IDE, etc.
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By eriksl
#93352 AI-thinker makes the PCB and assembles it. It does not contain much more than an ESP8266 plus a flash chip. AI-thinker does not make the base of the firmware (the SDK), that's done by Espressif. AI-thinker couldn't, even it wanted to, as the low-level-hardware specifications of the ESP8266 are secret. You cannot avoid using the (closed source) SDK code from Espressif. And there is where the problems are. AI-thinker has no role here.

In the case of an Atmel or Microchip you'd have the full low-level-hardware specifications so you would not need third-party code, that's how it's supposed to be (in my opinion).

And I never said you can't or should not use ESP8266. I said it's a consideration with pro's and con's. If you want something that's the hardware should be capable of, but it's not presented by the Espressif SDK code, you will never be able to use it, you'll hit a brick wall. Believe me, there are enough people that tried (and got frustrated because Espressif really doesn't care).

Many of these issues can be worked around and I made it my hobby. I think it's sort of fun. But if you get frustrated easily, don't go that path. And really, I am not talking of the arduino and at-firmware level...