Codebender has just launched a Kickstarter campaign for codebender:esp, a newly IDE that supports ESP boards.
What is Codebender?
If you don’t know about Codebender, it is a cloud based IDE for Arduino, where you code your Arduino boards without the need to download an IDE, so you can share and embed your code online like this:
How is that convenient? I find it very handy in 2 things:
First, you don’t need to download libraries and import them into your offline IDE.
Second, we use it a lot when we do any workshops at universities, students just work online without having to download or share the +90 MByte Arduino IDE.
A lot of our community members use Codebender when coding Arduino using 1Sheeld library, since we post new shields and update the library on a regular basis, you must have used Codebender when using 1Sheeld getting started tutorial.
What is ESP?
The ESP8266 is a low-cost Wi-Fi chip with full TCP/IP stack and micro-controller capability. It is very common among makers because it has a huge community developing on it and because of its low price.
Now, imagine the same features that Codebender offers for the Arduino boards, and now it’s available for the ESP boards, that’s what codebender:esp is.
Here are 5 reasons to back their Kickstarter!
1. No IDE installation
The Espressif chips are known for having amazing hardware capabilities, but they are notorious for the long ramp-up path. codebender:esp gives you a pre-configured environment that runs in the cloud.
That means there’s no setup, just log in, open the IDE and start coding. Connect your device via USB, and program it straight from your browser.
2. Works with any ESP8266
Codebender:esp supports Adafruit, Sparkfun and NodeMCU boards
According to their Kickstarter page, Codebender:esp is open to all devices and manufacturers, but their plan is to officially support Adafruit’s HUZZAH and SparkFun’s The Thing boards.
Codebender team also successfully tested the Cloud IDE with generic ESP-12E and NodeMCU boards.
They also promise to support ESP32, and to support both Espressif’s SDKs as well as the ESP8266 Arduino support built by the community.
3. For less than $2/month
That’s right! The early bird rewards start at $18/year, that’s a $1.5 monthly subscription fee!
4. Codebender:esp is open source
Quoting Codebender on their Kickstarter page:
“Our goal is to Open Source as much as possible, though we might not be able to open 100% of our technology due to other limitations.
We’re definitely going to Open Source the Over-the-Air infrastructure & Arduino library so that you can run it on your own.
We’ll also release as many parts of the Cloud IDE as we can back to the Eclipse foundation, to be incorporated in the Eclipse Che IDE itself.”
5. No shipping risk
As a Kickstarter backer and creator, I know the troubles that come with shipping and fulfillment of the rewards.
A lot of Kickstarter projects do not ship on time and sometimes do not ship at all, that’s why you need to be careful who do you back on Kickstarter.
Companies who had previously proven transparency and shipping on time are worth backing. (At 1Sheeld, we are proud that we shipped on time). Other companies have enough credibility in handling shipping and logistics, like Seeed Studio who recently launched Respeaker.
In this case, you don’t have to worry, it’s a software product! We have worked closely with Codebender team and we know their dedication to this project, I am sure they will deliver 🙂
Photo of Vasilis of Codebender.cc (on the left) with me (in the middle) and Ben of Hackster.io (on the right) at the 2014 World Maker Faire in NY
I backed the campaign, I can’t wait to have the tool and I wish Codebender team the best of luck 🙂 Head over to their Kickstarter campaign and catch the Early birds 😉