I expect there will be 3 types of Pi-Pico users (and thus Questions).

  1. The first will be Pi users who also want to use/program Pi-Pico from the Pi.
  2. There will be a group who just want to use as a microcontroller, similar to Arduino.
  3. There will also be those who want to use Pi & Pi-Pico for a project. (I look forward to some projects using the Pi-Pico as an enhanced GPIO extender.)

There are already Questions from the first 2 groups.

Strictly use as a microcontroller would seem to be off-topic, but it is inevitable that they will be asked, and this Forum should be able to handle these questions.

I expect the Arduino forum https://arduino.stackexchange.com will also get its share of questions and the Arduino app will get RP2040 support, but this hasn't happened yet.

It would be great if we could proactively subdivide questions into different categories.
Ask Different has Mac, iPod, iPhone & iPad questions interspersed, which makes most of the site irrelevant to some users.

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    And if a Linux-running SBC ever gets made under the Arduino brand, the sites get even more confusing. I guess that's what comes with having brand name centric topics.
    – ilkkachu
    Feb 6, 2021 at 15:30

2 Answers 2


Strictly use as a microcontroller would seem to be off-topic

Well, not by the terms of our topic statement:

If your question is about:

  • Raspberry Pi hardware, including GPIO and other related electronics.
  • Raspberry Pi peripherals.
  • Software specific to the Raspberry Pi.
  • Materials published or provided by the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

It doesn't say we only deal with the multicore models or we don't deal with the compute module.

I suppose if we wanted to get legalistic about semantics, either:

  1. It should be understood that when these rules were written this was not foreseeable therefore the rules stand to be amended now.


  1. Taken literally at face value we must include questions about the Pico, or else change the rules.

Which are probably two spins on the same question. My point is that if the goal of the discussion or argument here (if there is one) is not about what people would like or want but our responsibility to our mission as a community, then to the extent that these two clash I think reasonable arguments could be made either way.

But I could be wrong -- it could be that after sufficient discussion someone could come up with a logical gem so perfect that any who read it would see and succumb to the crystal truth of it.

Personally, I would rather skip the quest for one ring to bind them all and just consider it in terms of what most users will probably want, which will be to leave the rules as they are and understand that they are inclusive of the Pico.

I do not see this as hypocritical vis. our stance on non-Raspberry flavour pi. It is in an obvious sense even in keeping with it -- we don't do, eg., all linux powered microprocessor driven dev boards, we do the Pi. If we were categorically the latter, excuding the Pico, then we would have included those other flavours.

  • A well-reasoned answer, but it makes me wonder: Since we've apparently decided that other Linux-based SBCs are off-topic, doesn't this put us in the position of "favoring" a single company/organization? In other words - what if The Foundation or the Trading Company began selling... pocket protectors with flashing LEDs - or mobile phones, or...?
    – Seamus
    Aug 7, 2021 at 22:09
  • doesn't this put us in the position of "favoring" a single company/organization -> I don't see how we get out of that one short of heavily revamping the site (changing the name, etc.) in ways that probably aren't available to us, or at least would require petitioning SE for something unprecedented (as far as I am aware).
    – goldilocks Mod
    Aug 8, 2021 at 14:45
  • what if pocket protectors with flashing LEDs I guess we'd have to have another Meta debate. >_>
    – goldilocks Mod
    Aug 8, 2021 at 14:47
  • re: favoring" a single company: but the Raspberry Pi is distinct from the Pico and pocket protectors. I don't quite see that being in contravention to our topic statement - am I missing something?
    – Seamus
    Aug 8, 2021 at 21:45
  • You mean Foundation blessed pocket protectors would not be in contravention? I suppose not, but in the event it would still likely be cause for discussion here. That statement is not on tablets of stone, BTW, it is something we are free to change, so if we did want to ban Pico questions we could edit something to that effect in -- my point above was that as things are now, I don't see a contradiction.
    – goldilocks Mod
    Aug 9, 2021 at 14:15

I think we definitively should allow the Pico questions here. Not allowing such questions on a Raspberry SE site will be very confusing and stating so in the site rules won't stop newcomers from posting such questions.

Likewise, Arduino SE will be better suited for question about Arduino Nano RP2040, or whatever RP2040 boards Arduino releases, and will likely revolve around Arduino IDE, not so much around MicroPython.

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    That there could be a substantial overlap w/ Arduino.SE is really no different than our existing overlap with SO, EE, and U&L.
    – goldilocks Mod
    Feb 3, 2021 at 19:12

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