Happy anniversary NETMF 4.3

Yes the RTM was released on 4 Dec 2012, that may have been the latest post made by Colin too !


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What’s the long-term future for NETMF? Does anyone know?

I can predict this is going to be a long thread… :clap:

NetMF based prototyping is uncomparable to other options. And I think exciting stuff is going to happen with embedded stuff from Microsoft.

Where I work we use NETMF for prototyping AND in production. Essentially we put as much as we can in managed code, if we need better performance, etc. we write native code and invoke it from managedland. Prior to 2012 everything was in native code. Why is NETMF only a prototyping technology?

Its not only, but just freaking good at it. Because you mock up stuff really quickly.

My 2c so take it with a grain of salt…

The more production projects that can be showcased the better it will be for the long term enhancement and bug fixing of NETMF.

Just like any other project there needs to be justification for resources to be assigned for the work to be assigned and completed.

If there are more examples of real world applications then that will increase the pressure for more engineers to work on NETMF.

But then again i could be completely wrong… :whistle:

It think the Gadgeteer module concept is the rapid prototyping stuff.
As soon as you go to higer numbers, you make a specialized PCB, then you can reuse the modules for next prototype.
The software might stay the same or just Needs to be slightly modified for the RTM Hardware.

I for example use a G120HDR for prototyping, but I only use plain NETMF Software (no gadgeteer).
But I have several Gadgeteer HW modules which I connect to my HDR (directly or via Breaout boards) to reflect the upcomming specialized PCB as good as possible.

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NETMF is a “gift” to the community, the remnants of the abandoned SPOT initiative from years ago. Support from Microsoft is “light”, new versions are released occasionally. Support from GHI and other vendors is usually better, releasing new versions more often, but still based on old (or very old) Microsoft releases.

Recently there was a small indication that there might be more resources dedicated to NETMF on Microsoft’s end, but we’ve seen no movement yet.

Commercial products based on NETMF might move GHI to improve/continue support, but I see no reason why they would move Microsoft to improve/continue support, as it’s open source anyway, and Microsoft has no “skin” in the game, receiving no compensation for any resources dedicated to it. It shows up only as a “loss” in the RoI calculations.

In summary, if GHI’s current products meet your needs (and likely they do…), then go for it, you won’t be disappointed. If, on the other hand, you’re waiting for some big advancement of NETMF, then don’t bank on it, there’s no guarantees that Microsoft will ever take it anywhere.

Can anyone argue for this, because I am not sure what the motivator for Microsoft should be?

If Microsoft drops support for NETMF anyone could take over the project.
From my point of view GHI would be someone who could do this.
It also could be maintained by the community.
I think if NETMF would be enhanced by the community and the results are monitored by someone (like GHI), then NETMF could be much more already.
But since it’s good as it is, I can live with the current situation.

IoT to the cloud would be a good start…

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I agree. Someone with a more vested interest in the technology should be in charge of the releases. GHI is all-in but I’d rather it be a board comprised of companies & contributing community members. Gadgeteer should be much further along by now than it is.

+1 for Mr Lee to start the NETMF Foundation :slight_smile:

It could be solidly argued that GHI is already “enhancing” NETMF. Certainly the base PK distribution is of little (or at least, significantly less) value compared to GHI’s distribution(s). The problem here is that GHI has little to no motivation to enhance the PK distribution, or even any OSS distribution, because they make money off their “Premium” enhancements.

That’s a proposed enhancement (or, application, really), not a motivation?

Unless you’re proposing that NETMF be altered to require access to the (for-profit) Azure cloud service?

Or, it just occurred to me, that you’re most likely saying that if NETMF and IoT were more widely deployed, it would result in additional Azure utilization. That makes sense, but I doubt it’s a big enough market at this point to drive the needed resources.

GHI has a financial interest in keeping enhancements out of the PK that would compete with their Premium products. Forming a coalition that would result in the improvement of the PK would go against their best interests.

@ godefroi - I just wanted to say that GHI could take over if MS drops it.
This does not mean GHI has to integrate the Premium lib into the framework.
But they could integrate the OSH lib.

Also anyone else with a deeper insight could monitor a community driven development.
A fully open development without supervision might also work, but bears the risk of unstable enhancements and a inconsistence framework.

@ andre.m - yep, I could too, if my Family gives me a couple of month to dig into the framework and porting kit 8)
If we (at the company I work for)integrate NETMF devices more into our system, then we ‘would’ have a good reason to take it over too :smiley:

A world where GHI “took over” the PK would look, essentially, exactly like the world we live in.

The PK gets little to no development love now, and wouldn’t if GHI “took it over”. There’d be no reason to. They’d put their energy into the premium and (to a lesser extent) OSH libraries.

@ godefroi - My thinking was that GHI has an interest that NETMF does not die, because a good part of their products depend on it.
May be that’s not the best for new features inside the framework, but still better than seeing it die.

Another approach would be to have an open branch where the community can add new features, bug fixes, …
Then use some kind of voting which should make it into the next release.
Then someone would have to take the duty of creating such a release.

Well, but as long as MS officially supports NETMF this is just day dreaming (not sure if nightmares or not :think: ).