Micropython support and commercial use

General discussions and questions abound development of code with MicroPython that is not hardware specific.
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Micropython support and commercial use

Post by doublevee » Sun Jan 10, 2021 8:28 pm

I have been a long time fan of Micropython since the initial Kickstarter launched and I have been using MP for several years now. I am not a professional programmer but would like to use MP to develop several commercial products I am working on, one of which is nearing maturity.

But I have a couple of concerns:

1 - The second paragraph in the MP GitHub is a warning that the project is still in Beta and can be changed etc etc. If I am trying to release commercial products using MP, I am concerned future clients could challenge the suitability of MP for a product I am looking to sell, given it is in Beta?

2 - A very small group of dedicated people on the forum support almost all queries that are raised. I am immensely grateful to these people (you know who you are) but again I am concerned about what would happen if these people leave the project.

I would welcome the views of others regarding these 2 points I have raised. I am super grateful to the project and it’s key supporters and have spoken positively about MP to many people whenever I can.

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Re: Micropython support and commercial use

Post by stijn » Mon Jan 11, 2021 8:05 am

The 'beta' part has been there since the beginning but by now the meaning changed a bit (as far as I can tell). I.e. things have matured and in any case it is unlilkely you 're going to see major system-wide breaking API changes because the userbase is too big to pull that off. However even if this were the case, clients can not always simply use this as an argument against MicroPython because it heavily depends on how it is been used. E.g. if the product does not rely on MicroPython internals but just uses the interpreter not much can go wrong, because MicroPython will always implement Python. I.e. print('Hello World') worked from the beginning and will continue to work indefinitely.

Wrt the community: same as for any other open source community: you can only hope that in the worst case scenario others stand up. Be it volunteers, or a company. There's nothing you can do about that (though spreading positive words around could help of course). Being open source is beneficial here: if you instead rely on a company and it goes overboard and there's no buyer, you're usually left with nothing at all.

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Re: Micropython support and commercial use

Post by pythoncoder » Mon Jan 11, 2021 8:19 am

A number of companies use MP either directly or by maintaining their own forks. Adafruit and Pycom come to mind, but the European Space Agency adopted it some years ago. Doubtless there are many others.

As for people leaving, this can happen with closed source commercial projects too; or the source can go bankrupt or choose to discontinue the product. In my view open source adds a virtual guarantee of continued availability. If the original maintainers suffer some awful calamity, if the thing is useful, a group of people will emerge to fork and maintain it. After all, CPython itself is open source and I can't see it going away...
Peter Hinch

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Re: Micropython support and commercial use

Post by doublevee » Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:39 am

Many thanks for taking the time to reply to my post.

I wonder if the Beta comment can now be removed or at least reworded on the official GitHub page? I would think this could put off quite a few potential serious users.

I also accept the pros and cons of open source code and like yourselves, would like to think this is now well enough established that it will continue to roll no matter what might happen at an individual level.

Thanks again for the responses - again from the expected ‘pool’ 😉

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Re: Micropython support and commercial use

Post by lorenz » Sat Jan 16, 2021 10:05 am

thanks for asking that question. I am in a similar position where I would like to launch a small commercial product and decided to use micropython. I am not an expert embedded developer but have worked with python for over 5 years. The availability of micropython on the esp32 has helped me a lot. So a big thanks here to the maintainers and the "dedicated people" here on that forum.

My thinking is if the product is a success and some customers really want sth other than micropython you can always port what is working to another platform (but I think if your product is a success it also show to the customers that micropython is mature).


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