The Arduino team has created a fantastic product and shared it with the world. I thank them greatly and admire their efforts. The package they have developed is and will continue to be a great way for people to get started in microcontrollers. My hat is off to them for some very fine work. But the full meaning of “Open” with the Arduino project is in debate. There has been some discussion on this isue in two recent Arduino forum topics, here and here.
I am sure that this trademark and open source hardware/software issue will be resolved. Until it is, I will do what I can to help clarify the issues. I need to start by explaining that we have been calling the Bare Bones Board made by Modern Devices Company, the “Bare Bones Arduino.” It is suggested that they be called the “Bare Bones Board Arduino-Compatible.”
“Bare Bones Board Arduino-Compatible” is a mouth full I know. It is intended to point out that these boards are not supported by the Arduino Team. Why not just call their version the “Official Arduino” and let the rest of us use “Arduino” without the “Official”?
This is a good time to explain that while the Bare Bones Boards Arduino-Compatible (:>) is not supported by the official Arduino Team, they are very fine boards and are fully and completely compatible with the Arduino software platform. In fact, I personally feel that the Bare Bones Boards are better for hobbyist because they work well with solderless breadboards. I have played with both and prefer the Bare Bones Boards.
I will, as time permits, be changing all references to “Bare Bones Arduino.” I will try calling them the “Arduino Compatible Bare Bones Board.” Maybe I should call them “Freeduino boards” after the recent movement to create a fully open hardware platform rather then adding “Arduino-Compatible.” Ultimately I believe that derivative Arduino boards will be called “Freeduino boards” as that name is easier to deal with.
Again, I want to point out that I am not upset with the Arduino team. They have done us all a great service. I am sure this trademark issue will get resolved. Until it does, it really is not too much to ask that hardware which is not “Official” be promoted as Arduino compatible.