Hardware hackers domain?

Hey,

I was wondering if we could get a hardware/hackers/makers domain?

Interest in Julia has reached out to microcontrollers, 3-D printers, neural interfaces, IoT, tablets, scientific cameras, yadda yadda. Can us matter hackers have a little subdomain to call home?

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Are there some tags that people who fit your description above? To get a feeling for how big of an audience there is?

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I don’t think it’s huge but it is specific and has some specific challenges. Largely the projects kind of extend outside of Julia world, but they do need to hook into it, and do so sometimes specifically.

What do you mean by tags? :slight_smile:

Do you mean search words? Maybe things like “arduino”, “USB”(serial means too many things), “Andor”, “camera”, “bluetooth”, “RS232”, “3d print”, “modbus”, “raspberry pi”(sometimes).

Could end up extending to other things eventually like “gcode”, “CAD”, etc. Could replace things like LabView, or those MatLab toolbox thingies. We have awesome access to optimization algorithms, I can only imagine what we could do by letting Julia do path planning for CNC’s or optimize CAD models from FEM results and things.

Now that we have an awesome way to handle binaries I think these types of projects could be more realizable. I used to have to hack around in java to build interfaces to my arduinos and write slow complicated computations in java on the data to avoid other languages. No more!

Maybe register JuliaMaker on github? Once there is a github pages website with some basic content, we can then get juliamaker.org or something similar.

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Oh shoot… I didn’t realize this had to be a big thing. I can do that. Let me look at some of the other GH-pages to see what they contain. Now I’m all worried it won’t take off, but hey, I have at least 1 project in the works for this.

I made an org for it, who should I invite as co-owners? How do I invite package maintainers to add their work there there’s some good packages that could fall in here!

@ckneale - I’d be happy to join, though I’m a hardware guy of a slightly different nature (mixed-signal IC architecture / management). In fact, my primary Julia interest is in what you tagged above as CAD (e.g. right now, integrated circuit connectivity extraction). Too data-intensive for Python, so I’ve historically used Haskell. Working on moving to Julia now.

Are you intending this for the microcontroller software crowd (implied by “maker”), or can us silicon guys join as well? :slight_smile:

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I’m an analog circuit, slap things together, to get data over some digital interface to look at kinda guy. I want anyone in this space to be able to contribute there/here.

Maybe Maker isn’t the right name for this… Do you have a suggestion for a more encompassing but still recognizable name? I just know the stuff I play with, not so much the scope of the entire area.

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My kinda guy. :slight_smile:

“Hardware” might be too broad, so since I have no better alternative, “Maker” is fine with me. I’m pretty new here - is there much hardware-related activity?

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tro3 - not too much. A lot of that falls under the real heavy lifting that senior contributors have brought on. So we have things like NVidia integration (see CUArrays.jl, GPUArrays .jl). I think I read that Julia runs fine on the Jetson Nano SBC :). Then there’s the LibSerialPort.jl which lets you talk over the USB via a wrapper (it works well). There are some efforts for things like, Arduino.jl, but I think that library has become defunct? Either way all you really need is a USB :), but that could be nice to see fleshed out.

Then there’s people working with Andor(.jl) cameras, and camera’s in general(Cameras.jl? and a half dozen other libraries). I saw some stuff about FLIR cameras! Really cool.

I imagine we could see some IoT type efforts. We have people running Julia on raspberry pi’s, tablets, and other ARM devices.

There’s lots of interest in CAD: CAD in Julia? and a OpenSCAD type package in the works (https://github.com/sjkelly/Descartes.jl). People eluding to things like 3D printing, Interest in FEM http://www.juliafem.org/.

Maybe there’s also a SPICE simulator somewhere? I forget.

Lots of things brewing, lots of open areas to explore.

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Thanks for the link - very interesting indeed. I’ve only got GDS file and Spectre netlist parsers / analyzers lying around right now - I normally come up with the baseline infrastructure on the fly to get around whatever problem is at hand, but only package it for my use. And I am new to Julia - most of my stuff is in Python if it is human (or I3C/SPI) speed and Haskell if it is computational.

My hope is that I can unify the two on Julia. I’d be happy to clean up some of the stuff I do have and publish it if someone finds it useful. And certainly happy to help on others’ projects, as I do speak fluent hardware. (Technically speaking, my degree is Mechanical Engineering, I just play a EE on TV. :slight_smile: )

How are you thinking about getting the community going? I’m happy to help.

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If you’re looking for gds stuff give https://github.com/PainterQubits/Devices.jl a spin. It’s not registered but has a lot of goodies for microwave circuits (and complicated gds generation).

That org also has a lot of Julia interfaces to lab equipment, not sure where that falls within the hardware/maker category.

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Oh, it falls into both. :slight_smile: Thanks for the link - the VISA wrapper, in particular, is something I may find need for. The GDS driver looks legit, so I likely won’t publish a redundant one unless someone needs a standalone version. Anyone know the PainterQubits folks? Looks like they are a quantum computing group out of CalTech.

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Well I don’t have any major plans for getting the community going. But, I’ll see what I can drum up :). I’d love any help, contributions, ideas, anything. If you have a github I can make you a co-owner on the Organization there. Feel free to message me your account name on here :).

Basically I see a place to compartmentalize some efforts, and realize it could be an interesting driving point for a group of subject matter experts, and/or mad scientists.

I could write a blog post for a small project I’ve been kicking around(once it’s finished), maybe that’d get some external attention.

As far as the really fancy EE stuff, I’m really far from an expert :).

Might be a good idea to curate the space too! Lots of efforts scattered around that could be integrated into this one. May even be some old packages we can bring back to life?

I think maker can work. Other terms might include embedded systems, and rapid prototyping.

P.S. I’m an electrical engineer using Julia in simulations of electromechanical systems (DiffEq stuff), Monte Carlo sims of tolerances, color science work, and I’m interested in using it on Raspberry Pis for rapid prototyping in place of micropython/pyboard setups.

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I was trying to gauge the audience size :slight_smile:

tags are https://discourse.julialang.org/tags that authors can use to categorize their topics
and before creating a new domain I try to understand how many people are already on this discourse talking about topics related to that.

An active Github community would be another argument for creating a domain.

From Adding a domain "Control"?

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I went ahead and created a Maker domain (I was briefly considering whether it would make more sense under the Community tag). The post at About the maker category is a wiki and the first paragraph is used in the system as a description, so please go ahead and change that to describe what you want the category to be.

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@vchuravy - thanks! Is there any chance “Maker” could be capitalized? (Makes it look like an afterthought compared to the rest. :slight_smile: )

@ckneale - want to take a shot at an About? I assume ME/EE/Control sims are covered under Simulations and Modelling, so here we are more about embedded systems, CAD infrastructure, etc?

Good stuff

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how’s this look to you @Tro3 ?

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