Because there weren't enough Raspberry Pi puns to go around, "Raspberry and Chips". Thanks Arduino folk. https://blog.arduino.cc/2021/01/20/welcome-raspberry-pi-to-the-world-of-microcontrollers/
This is the reason I was excited for Precursor (https://www.crowdsupply.com/sutajio-kosagi/precursor) for a long time; it came with the premise of being hackable down to the lowest levels. Though I can't justify putting the money for it down now—I'm pretty sure it'll just collect dust, and a $500 dustpiece is not really a good investment, in my humble opinion—I still find it really really neat. If you wanted to implement Wi-Fi, you'd have to mostly do it by yourself.
ESP-IDF is tempting because it's preloaded with useful stuff, but with that comes a cost in that you're constrained by the environment. It's a fair constraint and it's definitely not Linux, but I posit it'd still be fun to write just the bare minimum of code to suit your needs and not pull in the whole scaffolding.
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