Are we approaching “cloud computing” like all those IBM-HP-INTEL-Whateverz ads? Should we start to use web based compilers for microcontrollers? We were checking out “mbed – a $99 tool/board for Rapid Prototyping with Microcontrollers” the hardware looks great, the libraries look great, but we noticed that you do not actually get the compiler, instead you need to use their web based compiler. What if they go out of business or get sold, the site goes down or something else? Someone asked this question too – and here’s the response
You can export projects from the online compiler and store them locally if you wish. The mbed microcontroller is just an LPC1768/2368, so it would still be possible to build binaries for in the event that the online compiler was unavailable. Having said this, we’ve no plans on going out of business!
What do you folks think? Web based compliers, good idea? How much does the ARM RVDS 4 compiler cost now?
It also seems like the project won’t be fully open sourced… bummer -
The core libraries are also free for commercial and non-commercial use, but are just supplied as compiled libraries; i.e. we wont be releasing the source yet – the main reason is we want to maintain responsibility for fixing and supporting them without fragmentation (fork is cheap!), and they aren’t quite right yet in terms of architecture.This will ensure the architecture ends up in the right place for the majority. The schematic should be available soon, but we won’t release the gerber for the core module (similar support/control reasons). Some of the baseboards we’ve done are there, and we will make sure it is clear they use the MIT license (or similar if there is something more appropriate for PCBs?) So a careful balance of open source and openness, based on what we think will help the project be successful, sustainable and supportable.
We’re still looking forward to the first fully open source ARM development system – firmware – hardware – software, are there any? So far only Arduino on the AVR side has managed to get 3 out of three… and likely why there are 100k units out there, yay OS tool chains.