Blog > Re: Raspberry Pi

Home Forums 12Blocks Raspberry Pi Re: Raspberry Pi



From what I understand, the RPi is a full-blown computer capable of Linux with HD video, and composite video capabilities. If 12Blocks could be cable of generating usable binaries or usable Python scripts, I think that potentially it would be very desirable for the target audience of the Pi. Young, new programmers could be almost instantly be capable of building viable, useful programs. A couple of things which would be very useful. You would need to have a way to leverage at least some of the hardware on the Pi, such as the HD output, the networking capability, and the GPIO. Secondly, a mechanism which would allow for a novice programmer to utilize multiple threads or programs. If that is not possible, a mechanism to allow multiple process threads to communicate with each other may work almost as well. For myself, I was always impressed with the Prop-12blocks programming able to keep adding new "start" blocks, until you were quickly utilizing all the available cores. Although multi-core programming is easily accomplished in the Proptool using COGNEW, I’ve always felt 12blocks’ method was much more intuitive to grasp, especially for younger programmers. If you could achieve a comparable mechanism with 12blocks and the RPi, you would have an incredibly useful tool. Something so useful, would need a better method of building really large programs, since in the limited window currently in 12blocks, you would quickly run out of room with a large project. Maybe some way to have nested 12blocks programs, that could call other 12block programs/libraries. A useful method I’ve seen for accomodating multiple programs is the method currently being used in high-end industrial PLC systems. In most of these PLC enviroments, particularly those based on IEC-6-1131 languages, a "tree" hierarchy is used to bundle multiple programs (called POUs in PLC speak). Something similar might be neceassry on hardware as powerful as the RPi. It would allow for large projects with potentially hundreds of small 12blocks program modules, that could all be tied to the global target hardware. I’ve been using recent PLC systems which even allow for multiple targets in a single project – i.e. multiple RPis potentially.

Just my opinion, of course. My ultimate goal, eventually, is to develop systems utilizing RPis networked together, possibly utilizing Prop I or Prop 2′s as smart IO controllers. I think the possibilities could be pretty impressive, especially if you had your vision capabilities, like OpenCV libraries integrated in as well, such as using a USB camera, and later the CS port when it opens up. I’m all for it! I’d even be willing to pay again for a version of 12blocks on that.