0122: Organize Pigweed code samples#

Status: Open for Comments Intent Approved Last Call Accepted Rejected

Proposal Date: 2024-01-09

CL: pwrev/187121

Author: Ted Pudlik

Facilitator: Kayce Basques


This SEED describes how Pigweed code samples will be organized. Implementation bug: https://pwbug.dev//322816792.


Pigweed users need to see code samples that demonstrate Pigweed in action. However, there are a few different use cases for such code samples. Historically, we’ve not been explicit about what the use cases are, and how they should be served. This SEED will fill this gap.



Pigweed will maintain the following types of code sample repositories:

  • Quickstart: minimal, complete, reproducible projects you can clone to understand the basics of Pigweed and start a new greenfield project. There will be one Quickstart repository for each build system that Pigweed supports.

  • Examples: granular, comprehensive code examples of every Pigweed module’s API. The Examples repository can also demonstrate core use cases that require using multiple modules together. There will only be one Examples repository.

  • Showcase: Showstopper examples that demonstrate how to use Pigweed to implement complex real-world applications. There will be many Showcase repositories, each demonstrating a different application. These repositories should inspire users, show them how to implement complex integrations, and convince them that Pigweed is the best way to develop embedded projects.

Standard board#

The Quickstart and Examples repositories will eventually focus on a single Standard board. But selecting the standard board is out of the scope of this SEED.

Detailed design#

Quickstart repository#

  • User journeys these repositories serve:

    • “I want to clone a minimal repository to create my own project from scratch.”

    • “I want to understand the smallest set of steps needed to add Pigweed as a dependency of my own existing project.”

    • “I’m just getting started with Pigweed and want a tutorial that will put some code on device”.

  • Repository contents: One repository per build system that demonstrates the minimal set of Pigweed features:

    1. Bootstrapping (downloading required tools, third-party dependencies, etc).

    2. Building the minimal, viable, complete (MVC) application for host and for the Standard board.

    3. Flashing the application to the board.

    4. Communicating with the board via pw_console.

    Determining the exact content of the MVC app is out-of-scope for this SEED. This is the subject of SEED-0106. However, every Quickstart repository will implement the same set of MVC features.

    There will be tutorial documentation associated with each of these repositories, but it will be hosted in pigweed.git. Documentation generation with pw_docgen falls outside the scope of Quickstart.

    We may also add separate Quickstart repositories for boards other than the “standard board”.

  • Locations:

Examples repository#

  • User journeys this repository serves:

    • “I want to see an example of how a module’s API is used in the context of a full, building project.”

    • “I want to use tokenized logging, how do I hook this up?”

    • “I read you can customize the pw_console, can I see an example?”

    • “I want to see how to configure a backend of this module.”

    • “How do I use method X from Pigweed module Y?”

    • “How do I use Pigweed modules A and B together?”

  • Repository contents: One repository that contains a bunch of directories. Each directory is meant to be consulted in isolation. Common use cases such as logging over UART or blinking an LED, may get their own directories. Related examples (e.g., examples for an individual module) may be grouped into a directory hierarchy for clarity.

    The individual examples may define their own build targets, but they are not expected to set up independent builds. They’re all part of one top-level build.

    In general, it should be possible to build the examples using all of Pigweed’s supported build systems (Bazel, CMake, GN). However, if the functionality being exemplified is only supported in some build systems (e.g. pw_docgen is only supported in GN as of this writing), then its examples can be restricted to those build systems.

    Unlike Quickstart, this repository is a reference work: the user is not expected to read through it “from beginning to end”. Rather, they will come here to view a specific example. We eventually expect to have hundreds or even thousands of examples.

    The documentation for the Examples repo will be hosted at http://pigweed.dev, but will be built from source within the examples.git repo. Building documentation using pw_docgen is one of the things we’re exemplifying.

  • Location: https://pigweed.googlesource.com/pigweed/examples.git

Showcase repositories#

  • User journeys these repositories serve:

    • “I want to see a cool project built using Pigweed.”

    • “I’m looking for a full-fledged demo of what Pigweed is capable of.”

    • “I’m looking for a Show HN submission.”

    • “I want to convince my team Pigweed is powerful enough for our use case.”

    • “I need proof that Pigweed is a better way to develop embedded projects.”

    • “I need proof that Pigweed is production-ready.”

  • Repository contents: One repository per showcase project. These projects are standalone, with documentation that explains what they do. They’re not necessarily easy to stand up yourself, and may require custom hardware that’s hard to source. Kudzu and Gonk are examples of showcase projects.

  • Locations: Showcase projects can be hosted anywhere. Open-source projects created by third parties and not hosted on https://pigweed.googlesource.com can also be showcases.

    We will host a list of Showcase projects, with brief descriptions, at https://pigweed.dev/showcase.

Standard board#

Pigweed will select a “standard board” for use in our code samples. Today, the de facto standard board is the STM32F429I-DISC1, but we expect to select a different standard board in the near future. Standard board selection will be discussed in a separate followup SEED.


How do existing code samples map to this scheme?#

What about inline code samples in the documentation?#

We will continue to provide inline code samples in the documentation, and later in 2024 may prototype solutions for ensuring they compile and pass assertions. But this is out of scope for this SEED.

Open questions#

A followup SEED will discuss the selection of the “standard board” for Pigweed Quickstart and Examples repositories.

The exact feature set of the MVC application demonstrated by the Quickstart repos is the subject of SEED-0106.