Yes, I use the UFQFPN-48 package pin package. It uses ~50mm²
of board space, compared to LQFP64 which uses 160mm² - so it's significantly more compact. It means that realistically if I use 4 pins (or 5?) for something like the flash, those are pins some people will miss.
With putting things on the bottom of the board, it's more about assembly - in this case a pick and place machine would do the top, and I imagine the ESP8266 would be hand-soldered to the bottom afterwards. If I can avoid a second pass through the pick and place it saves money, as does reducing the number of hand-soldered parts.
The extra GND is a nice idea. I guess potentially the big capacitor could be moved and I might get it in next to the button after the USB diode is removed. However there wouldn't be a pin on it normally, because I really need the boards to work with breadboard and protoboard out of the box.
@DrAzzy you'll probably hate this, but what I tend to do for devices that don't draw much current is to just use one of the GPIOs as GND - it works quite nicely, and especially with software SPI you can just plug everything into adjacent pins.
Sure, the board could be made longer - but a lot of people really like the small size - and small size is one of the obvious things Espruino has over the raft of Linux-based boards. I'd be crazy not to take advantage of that. I honestly think I'd get more buyers through it being small and tidy than I would through it having some extra pins.
Realistically it's never going to be perfect for everyone, but hopefully it can be perfect for some and good enough for most others :)
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