Four Topics and an Interview

Four Topics and an Interview

Welcome to the show

Full transcript available here.

Level up at CircuitPython (Paul #1)

Professor John Gallaugher of Boston College recently released two videos related to CircuitPython: The first is for how to migrate from using Mu in CircuitPython to using PyCharm with tio and the second covers using circup to install and update CircuitPython libraries.

Embedded Swift (Tod #1)

Apple has been developing the Swift programming language for the last 10 years. They now use it on all their platforms and is the officially-recommended way to write apps for iPhone, iPads, Apple Watch, etc. Swift is heavily influenced by Haskell and Rust, which emphasizes type safety and functional programming, allowing the compiler to catch many bugs before the code ever runs. It was initially created by Chris Lattner, who also developed LLVM and the Clang compiler, which has been a revolution for compiled C-like languages.

Now Apple has released Embedded Swift, a version of Swift that runs on microcontrollers. They have demos for the Raspberry Pi Pico, ESP32-C6, nRF52840, and STM32.

These are pretty exciting, especially the Matter examples they’ve provided. (Matter being a new standard for home automatition, and part of Apple’s HomeKit API) The Swift Matter example for adding a “smart light” controllable with Siri or other home assistants is only about 60 lines long.

Accessibility Matters (Paul #2)

A new prototype for the Micro:bit and a new Adafruit product to help those with limited or different mobility:

CadQuery (Tod #2)

I’ve been on a journey to move to open source tools for my engineering work. I use Fusion360 for my 3D CAD modeling. It’s pretty good but I’m always irritated after using it. CadQuery is a tool for building parametric 3D CAD models, but you do it all in text, no GUI. Similar to OpenSCAD, but its language is standard Python, available as a library. And can export STEP! Not just STL, making its output useful in engineering contexts.

Justin Myers Interview

Interview with Justin Myers, author of the CircuitPython ConnectionManager library