Espruino Clones :(

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  • Well, it was bound to happen eventually:

    They've cloned the firmware and changed the title banner on it, cloned the Web IDE and changed the text on that too, and even cloned the module repo.

    Pretty frustrating really, as if they wanted a Russian language version they could have just contributed to the proper Web IDE and helped everyone.

    Their list of modules as actually just forwards to and they've left the compiler linking to so it uses my processing power too :(

    To be fair to them they have given credit and left the donation links in. Overall, not great though - especially given this is the first I've heard of it.

    Please don't support them, and instead get official Espruino boards.

    If you do buy this board and have problems, contact I won't be providing any support for users of their boards

  • What a shame!
    This is not the way - open source community is working.
    Hope they turn by and switch on the original espruino and just add custom language support.

  • Hi

    Sorry to hear about that, it's just not fair to do so !

    Additionally to the given credit & donation links, if they also still forwards to your repos & left the compiler linking to use your computing power, they could have at least forward part of the money they'll be making from the boards to support the project :/

    Did you have the chance to have a chat with them ?

    For what it's worth, I'll be supporting the project, & buy official boards ( additionally to ESPs ;p )

    Also, did they even add some modules or participate with some lib ? ..

    Wishing you the best on this ( .. )

  • Did you have the chance to have a chat with them ?

    No, they never contacted me as far as I know. However it looks like I did get a recent bugfix PR to do with the Web IDE, so at least they are contributing fixes back to Espruino rather than keeping them in their fork - that's very positive.

    I guess it's just the problem with being Open Source. I could have kept the Web IDE closed source, but then chances are @mattbrailsford wouldn't have let me use his nice shiny Web IDE design, so nobody would be able to copy it - but nobody would want to :)

  • Pretty rough Gordon. It's a pity they felt the need to fork the whole thing when they could have just produced an Espruino compatible board - still not what you want - but a bit more congruent, certainly better than forking and passing off the whole project as their own!

  • Yeah :( They could have produced an Espruino compatible board, contributed some multi-language support for the IDE and paid something per board sold towards Espruino.

    It would have cost them more per board, but being linked on might well have got them enough publicity to make up for it. IMO it would have been good for all involved.

    Still, in the scheme of things this is actually pretty good. They've obviously been pretty conscious about doing the right thing - I mean, they could have copied everything, removed the credits and all mention of Espruino, and pretended they'd made everything (although it's very questionable whether that's legal)

  • Hello!

    I'm from Amperka, the company with the clone mentioned.

    The mistake perhaps is in fact I didn't mention the plans before the release, but I'm quite astonished that emerging of a new board with Espruino got such negative reaction. Isn't it the aim of making project open source to make things ubiquituous and to benefit from this as a firstprimary source?

    About the fork. There are two actually: one for IDE and one for core. I'm not happy that we have to fork. Its not the fork to replace logo. Let me explain.

    There are critical things that should be in the IDE, but we can't get them tracked by upstream. For example unicode support (yes, its matter for our audience) and Arduino-like code flashing (save()) on upload so that they get familar behavior. We can write a plugin and create pull request, it even get merged but not enabled. To enable a plugin you should tweak the code. This is not user friendly. So the fork is about enabling plugins that are already in upstream and changing path to modules…

    Path to modules, again, there is no easy way to make humane 3rd-party module without pre-moderation. So our module repo is a proxy that returns one of our modules if found and original otherwise. The system is still locked and we are looking toward creation of independent repository platform for espruino modules in nearest future.

    Regarding computing power for compilation, it's fair. We'll deploy infrastructure on our servers.

    About attribution. All mentions of Iskra JS and JavaScript in MCU are accompanied by Espruino credit. If you would like to be more explicit in a concrete place, no problem, just let me know.

    Summary. Amperka is a Russian company that sells in Russia. It's tiny market comparing to EU and US. It's hard to imagine that Iskra JS can affect Espruino sales since we're not operate outside of Russia. Symmetrically it's hard to imagine that Espruino in it's current state can get traction on Russian market.

    So I see no commercial conflict and see many points of synergy in software part of development. @Gordon, I have wrote you an e-mail with few points. Check it once you'd have a minute thank you. And sorry for disappointing, no offence.

  • Thanks - it's probably better to keep talking about this in e-mail...

    As I said above, I appreciate you keeping the credit in - you've obviously thought about doing it fairly.

  • It's the new world and we have to learn to live and communicate and be happy within!

    Easier said - talked - than walked, especially when lively hood is involved.

    The 'model' - i hesitate to call it 'business model' - shows obviously vulnerabilities / sustainability issues... and I ask myself how to remedy.

    There is no simple answer... there will always be delta that creates imballance between there is and somewhere else there is not and have and have not, and it is plain human nature to take advantage of that.

    It's not the first time this happens to Espruino! The last such thing died in itself... at least I did not see and hear anything anymore.

    If 'this' thing is surviving - and I see great chances - I'm. Sure a mutually positive - AND monetary beneficial - cooperation can grow out of it. I give it great chances because connects a lot of well trained engineers into the community.

    May be Espruino is entering a new phase in its journey... I'd like to boldly compare it with Linux... even though Linux is still tightly watched, it is not a single person's thing anymore, and the parttaking individual's roles have shifted too.

    Getting your @Gordon's vision and understanding into more heads of the community and accelerate growth of ease of use, familiarity, versatility,... to make it #1 alternative to the lower level, less sophisticated, but oh so popular MC platform(s)...

    You may remember the Sirius/Victor vs IBM PC and Motorola vs Intel and every OS else vs Windows times? Just to talk Win: was the worst (hell) ever made when it shied up, but you could be assured of comforting company when only Ctrl-Alt-Delete let you live on... and you were lost and in a frying desert with any better of OS xyz.. sorry OS X 'you' we about as lonely as everyone else with your modified ..ix and not os w-ish.

    Back to Espruino:

    For me there should be no reason to run forks... and 'familiarity' variations should be resolved in user configuration options.

    To popularize - evangelize - the event oriented programming model is a different story... getting plain users hooked on it and it's benefits and code simplifying effect - on a higher level - will for sure boost the board demand. To make that happen, modules (popular term: libraries) for that have to become available first. I'm sure I could have done a better job in my related example: use a bit more self-explanatory variables... include some doc... may be even a tutorial. Some bay steps happened with this post about configuring, initializing, and sequencing.

  • Yes, it was bound to happen if Espruino got popular - and this has actually been forked it in a very thoughtful way.

    The problem for me is when features are added on top which aren't shared with the Espruino community.

    Then I'm left in a difficult position - I have a competitor product that uses all the work I'm putting in - for free - and then adds features on top to make it more appealing than Espruino.

    About the only way to be better than the clone is for me to deliberately add non open-source features that are only for the official boards, but to be honest that's bad news for everyone.

    Of course I do offer proper support on the forum - but I imagine that what will happen is IskraJS users come to this forum asking for help, and just deliberately not mentioning that they are not using Espruino.

  • As for the extra features - just by looking at these pictures - Iskra definitely looks more appealing and user friendly because of clear pin labels. I really hate looking up the Espruino reference just to double check where PWM or ADC is, and for that reason alone I would often choose Arduino for simple toy projects.

    The good thing is you can get improvements/ideas like that back to Espruino when the time comes for your next kickstarter campaign - which I will happily support :)

  • I have Espruino and Arduino pinouts printed and laminated. You can't really fit nice pin labels on the board unless you make it a lot bigger. I'm not as hard-line on this as @Gordon is (as you've probably noticed, he's obsessed with board size) - I'm fine with a board that isn't as small as humanly possible, but the number of things you need to write on the solder masks is such that you have to make the board significantly bigger to fit it. I mean, Iskra boards are the size of a house, use the lobotomized Arduino pinout, and still don't seem to have markings for PWM or I2C/SPI, which is what I most often find myself checking docs for.

    Espruino Original, Espruino Pico, Arduino Pro Mini, Arduino Nano, bare '328p-pu, bare '328p-au, ATTiny84/1, ATTiny85, ATTiny1634, ESP8266-12F. Usually 2 on a page, double-sided.

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Espruino Clones :(

Posted by Avatar for Gordon @Gordon