Toit opens up its IoT programming language

November 26, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
Toit opens up its IoT programming language
Toit has been made available as open source on Github to take on Python and Rust for IoT microcontroller applications

The Danish developers of the Toit language for microcontroller applications in the Internet of Thigs (IoT) have made it open source.

“A few years ago, a bunch of software engineers got really frustrated with the state of the Internet of Things (IoT). Armed with plenty of experience from having built the V8 JavaScript engine and the Dart language for Flutter at Google, we set out to invent the best platform to build, deploy, and maintain software for embedded devices connected to the internet,” said Kasper Lund, CEO of Toit in Denmark. “We had to solve some hard technical problems, but at the beginning of 2021 we had a working platform, and we started enabling developers to build high-quality functionality for their microcontrollers. Today, we’ve got customers all over the world building their products on the Toit platform,” he said.

The language is aimed at IoT applications as an alternative to C as well as other newer languages such as Python, Rust and Julia which have been available for several years.

“Back when we started building the platform, we quickly realized that we needed an efficient, high-level programming language specifically designed to meet the needs of IoT. It didn’t exist. We looked at Python and JavaScript, but on a microcontroller the two languages were just impossible to make fast enough and we were not willing to be hindered by poor performance or lack of robustness."

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“We went into crunch mode and some months later, we had the first results. We were executing code more than 30x faster than MicroPython on an ESP32 with a high-level language that abstracts away memory allocation and that can be learned in a few hours by a Python developer: the Toit language.”

The move was inevitable, he says.

“We knew from the beginning that the Toit language had to be open source at some point. All major programming languages are open source, and the vibrant ecosystem you can get from open source is required to get large-scale adoption of a language. At the same time, we wanted to make sure that the fundamentals were in place before opening up. The way we chose to do that was to initially focus on making the paying customers of the Toit platform succeed,” he said.

“After several iterations and lots of experience in using Toit in real-world settings, we now know that the Toit language is an immensely useful building block for writing robust software for microcontrollers and we’d like more developers to be able to benefit from this. We have been waiting for this day for quite a while, but we are excited to share that we have open-sourced the Toit language and our implementation and made it available through GitHub.," he added.

Toit is available at https://github.com/toitlang/toit

www.toit.io

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