And while I'm at it: why can't we avoid the whole issue of selecting the right chip type, memory size, board model, manually? Why can't we just select a serial interface, and ASK the attached board what µC type it is and what board type even? It would be trivial for a boot loader to report this. Shouldn't we be stepping out of the stone age by now?
Normally, I'm the negative voice on the forum about moving too fast or too many changes at once - but
I really like the idea of falling back on AVRDUDE to perform the upload. And I particularly like the idea of having the bootloader report an ID that can be traced to a unique configuration. Perhaps my years in corporate IT is giving me a sense of comfort in that the technology could prevent much error-prone user interaction.
Now the downside to this is that the bootloader is not the same bootloader that comes on the Maple Mini. I think we can move beyond this since I have long ago gone to bootloader 2.0 to recover the 4K of SRAM held captive by the original bootloader.But
, the implication is that the new user must install the correct bootloader onto their board. A slip-up in identifying the correct bootloader will most likely be trouble at a later date. There is such a proliferation of bootloaders, I can see some newbies getting hung-up here. I really wish the ArduinoIDE had the ability to render in the editor graphic images such that the selection of a bootloader for a specific board configuration could display a representative JPG/GIF.
So far, I think your idea is far more positive than the negatives... it will mean that a significant amount of documentation be added (and maintained) in the WiKi.