With the release of Arduino 1.6.2 we turned a page in the history of Arduino: The “old” IDE 1.0.x is replaced by a more modern and more modular development environment which introduced a lot of usability improvements for Makers.
The community responded energetically to these new features by packaging up cores for other processors and boards that are not officially supported by Arduino. There is so much cool stuff being done out there that we figured out we wanted to make them available to the whole Arduino community.
We want a more open Arduino development environment where the community contribution can be made available more easily to all the users alongside the officially supported code.
To do this we are adding new features in the next release of the Arduino IDE that will allow adding community contributed cores just by adding a line to the IDE configuration. This will allow these community contributions to be made available simply and quickly. In the future we’ll also make it possible for those contributions to be hosted on our servers for quicker deployment.
We also decided to get rid of the popup notifying users they were using a non-certified board. Our issues with a specific manufacturer are now well known in the community that the popup just got in the way our desire to be more open and making life simpler for people. This change is already active in the current Arduino IDE.
A lot of people use boards that do not contribute back to Arduino and, honestly, we rather work with whoever wants to positively collaborate with us rather than annoy people.
We have added a “donation” option for the people who would like to contribute to the development and support of the whole Arduino ecosystem. When you download the IDE you’ll be asked if you want to donate, you can skip it or chose an amount.
In roughly 6 weeks we had more than 1 million downloads of the Arduino IDE: it’s an amazing number that we want to see grow constantly so if you appreciate what we do you can support our work directly even if your board manufacturers don’t.
This is just the beginning of a new phase where we want to make the Arduino IDE truly everybody’s development environment.
In the meantime if you have suggestions on how to further open up Arduino please post a comment!