Gadgeteer Designer Source Code

It’s been a long (long!) time coming, a couple years in fact, but the day is here and I have managed to scrub and post the source code for the Gadgeteer designer.

You can find the source code here : GitHub - martinca-msft/Gadgeteer: Microsoft .Net Gadgeteer is a rapid-prototyping system for building small electronic devices targetting the .Net MicroFramework. This release is a reference and starting point for the .Net MicroFramework community.
I am hopeful that we can move it to the NETMF github org, but for now, it is in my Microsoft employee repo. I didn’t have access to create a new repo under NETMF · GitHub.

Please read the readme text carefully - This is not a turnkey, buildable release I had to do a lot of scrubbing to remove 3rd party code, trademarked material, internal process scripts and the Visual Studio Modeling SDK binaries from the tree. Removing some of those broke the build, but none of them are irreplaceable and all can be found on the public internet. The Modeling SDK is now part of Visual Studio 2017 and is available from the VS installer.

Ultimately, I decided that it was better to get the source code out there as a learning resource than to try to automate the retrieval of those external components. The Readme file has information on where you can find the missing pieces.

What can I do with this?

Well, you could clone it and fiddle with the install scripts, add some missing images and .snk files for signing and probably get a working Gadgeteer designer vsix for VS2017. Mostly, you should consider it a reference work.

Will you accept pull requests?

Yes, most certainly, but the first step is a big one. In order to verify pull requests the repo has to be able to create reproducible builds, and there’s considerable work to do to get there.

What is Microsoft’s role?

This repo is a Microsoft Open Source repo, so everything I do in that repo I am doing as a Microsoft employee. If I accept a pull request, I am doing that as a representative of a Microsoft Open Source project and as a steward of Gadgeteer.

Will you fix issues that I report?

Personally, No - Microsoft is not actively maintaining this code base. You can still file issues and other community members (including me) may address them. I am personally interested in starting a reboot of Gadgeteer, but that won’t happen in this repo and may not be open source.

What will you do with this?

I and a certain kiwi named @Justin plan to reboot Gadgeteer as something new and exciting supporting the 10-pin Gadgeteer hardware you know and love, but extending the programming model to other buses and hardware and perhaps beyond netmf 4.4 (nano? TinyCLR? native?) That work is NOT part of my Microsoft role, and won’t happen in the Gadgeteer repo. The plan is not fixed yet but it will involve some interesting new hardware and software supporting your favorite GHI hardware and some very interesting new things.

Predictable Comments

  • Well that took long enough. Why, yes. Yes, it did.
  • Gadgeteer is irrelevant now It certainly had flaws, and is a bit long in the tooth, but nothing about simple hardware and code orchestration is out of date. It just needs a reboot.

I do hope you find this a useful reference work. In the end, it may not solve your next project problem, but it is there if you need it or are just curious.


Milestone 1 complete.
Altium humming…


That is great, thanks for all the efforts. The question now is, where to go from here?

1 Like

That is great, thanks for all the efforts. I hope Gadgeteer will be reborn in VS2017 and more …


Gus: Well, we have some thoughts on that.
MNO: And those are roughly our thoughts, especially the ‘and more’ part.
We’re just getting started… Had to get the open-source code out there first.