Running low.js Professional IDE debugger on generic board



  • Before I purchase the low.js Professional IDE, I want to verify the board I have meets the minimum hardware requirments.

    Overview: I had onhand a generic ESP32-WROVER that provided the opportunity to quick test the functionality that NeoniousOne provides. Beyond the standard 'Hello World' and external 'Blinky' LED test, I've reached a reasonable limit of productivity and now time to explore more. Reading over the low.js Professional debugger IDE has generated
    some curisoity questions.

    From the opening paragraph at:

    https://www.neonious.com/Store
    'If you have a generic ESP32-WROVER based board with a minimum of 16 MB Flash, you can flash low.js Professional'

    indicates that a board requires 16MB of flash, to install the IDE,

    and from:
    https://www.neonious.com/neoniousOne

    beneath heading 'INTRODUCING NEONIOUS ONE The reference board for low.js Professional':

    '240 Mhz, 4 MB RAM, 4 MB Flash dedicated to your application, with all files being compressed on the fly'

    yet the NeoniousOne board itself only has 4MB.

    According to the Espressif documentation, boards are 4MB flash
    https://www.espressif.com/sites/default/files/documentation/esp32-wrover_datasheet_en.pdf
    p.7 'ESP32-WROVER integrates a 4 MB of external SPI flash and an 8 MB PSRAM for more memory space'

    Q1) Is the 16MB notation a documentation error? or, how does the NeoniousOne board differ such that the IDE runs with 4MB there?

    Q2) How to determine the amount of flash using either Javascript or maybe a low.js command itself? e.g. like getFlashSize()

    From:
    https://www.neonious.com/Store
    'To flash, call lowsync flash --init --port=theport --pro --pro-key=thekey'

    https://www.neonious.com/neoniousOne
    'THE ON-BOARD IDE Develop from any PC'
    'Full file manager'

    The IDE appears to be that of a MAC browser instance image, and the verbage 'Develop from any PC' is present along with a 'File Manager'
    reference.

    It is quite possible I haven't grasped how this environment works, but as the IDE seems to be installed onto the board, it is a bit puzzling how the IDE manages files. Are they the files on the PC, or files that are written to the board itself?

    Q3) How is the IDE launched, once the key has been entered? From the Node.js Cmd Window perhaps or maybe the 'Key' somehow ties a PC based browser to the board the 'Key' pair has, only allowing comm between those specific devices. In which case launched from PC as a browser instance app and the 'File Manager' only accesses those files in the local Node development folder on the PC and no access to files on the device.

    Should the later be the case, this seems problematic as:
    A port need be specified to provide the key, but on Windows10, Com Ports are (can be) reassigned. I'm constantly blowing away the assignments in order to continue development, each time a new (any variety) device is connected, as when jumping between Arduino and other USB devices that retain previous overlapping Com port values.

    Q4) Would this mean I might have to (when Com port assignments overlap) re-install (lowsync flash) the key each time I fire up the PC then?

    With a better understanding, I may push forward to the IDE purchase.



  • Hi,

    wow, many questions 🙂

    Please read this:

    https://neonious.com/lowjs/documentation/flash-space.html :
    low.js on ESP32 organizes user files in an on-board file system.

    Configuration Available for user's file system
    low.js Basic Available Flash minus 3 MB (= 1 MB on 4 MB ESP32-WROVER)
    low.js Professional Available Flash minus 8 MB (= 8 MB on 16 MB ESP32-WROVER)
    neonious one 4 MB (manually upgradable to 12 MB using instructions below)
    Custom Firmware depends on settings

    So, reworded:

    neonious one has more than 4 MB of Flash because the 4 MB is only for the user files. Additional Flash is used for low.js and IDE.

    On generic boards there are no two Flash spaces, so you have to subtract low.js and the IDE to get the amount of space for the user.

    ESP32-WROVERs and ESP32-WROVER boards with 16 MB Flash exist. The documentation you linked is only for the 4 MB chips.

    Of course the files are saved on the microcontroller. The whole idea of a microcontroller is that it run without PC.

    As you can read on https://neonious.com/neoniousOne : The IDE is accessed over the web browser via Wifi or Ethernet (on the neonious one), without any software installed on your side. lowsync is no longer needed with the IDE.

    All in all I think you have many questions. I am sorry that I cannot provide much support - otherwise the products (low.js Professional or neonious one with low.js Professional) would be much more pricier. Are they really too expensive to just buy and try out?

    Have a nice day!

    Thomas



  • Thank you Thomas for the clarification. The clarification and reworded section confirm and clear up that confusion.

    re: 'Are they really too expensive to just buy and try out?'

    Well, that was the reason for the post to start with. Attempting to get validation on how to determine whether the board I have would install the IDE, or will I need to purchase yet another, say the Neonoius board as well.

    low.js Professional vs Neonious one + low.js Professional

    I guess one technique would be to flash a version of Arduino over this now working low.js and use their functions to get at the available Flash, then re-flash with low.js Each time I perform this task, time consuming and 'bricked' adverse.

    It just seems to me that there should be an easier means. I just don't
    want to make the assumption that the command:

    'To flash, call lowsync flash --init --port=theport --pro --pro-key=thekey'

    will gracefully exit should there not be enough onboard Flash. I'm also concerned with this statement:

    https://www.neonious.com/Store
    'The key is only valid for the first device you use it on'

    Should I attempt to flash low.js Professional and the board I have doesn't have the 16MB required, what happens? An aggravating message which indicates the board doesn't have enough available flash maybe, which means I'd then have to seek out yet a different board, or try to negotiate a lower price for the Neonious one + low.js Professional combo, as I now have a paid version that is not installable, and the order page doesn't provide a Neonious board option without low.js Professional. I have more than enough flavors of micros in my arsenal as it is.

    So at that point, just to 'try out' is in fact too expensive in both part cost/S&H and unrecoverable waste of time.

    I would much rather flash the IDE/Debugger on a full blown development board, such as the ESP32-Ethernet-Kit Board with POE, with this one per device requirement. But that is also price adverse just to test out whether the NeoniousOne family is suitable for the project direction I wish to go.


Log in to reply