Why isn't Arduino in Debian / Ubuntu?

Wed 12 August 2009

After my review of the Sparkle Labs Discover Electronics! kit I thought I'd look for related software in Ubuntu. I did find gResistor (Hat tip: Debianized by tuxmaniac), and some drafting tools. But I also found a lot of stuff that wasn't in Debian or Ubuntu.

For example, Arduino makes an interesting platform for hobbyists, students and apparently artists. It's lineage is confusing, inheriting from both Processing and Wiring. I'm not yet clear whether Wiring is a language, hardware or an IDE, but it in turn is based on Processing and adds some microcontroller-y stuff as I understand it. Processing is a language and IDE, and has been used for amazing things. It's all open source, and reportedly works on Ubuntu. People have built amazing things with the Arduino platform as well.

Strangely, hub of activity hasn't resulted in a .deb package, only a two year idle Request For Package for Processing, and nothing on the subject of Arduino's IDE. Having packaging available for this stuff can do a lot to remove trip ups for budding developers and artists. I'd much rather they spend their time fixing their own bugs rather than trying to remove any bugs in integrating the platform with Ubuntu. Does anyone know why or where these efforts have stalled out? Is it legal issues, build problems, or just too convenient already?

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