Over the past few months my good friend Zak and I have been working on a project that uses the Firmata protocol (more on this coming soon). If you're not familiar with Firmata it's a very light-weight communication protocol based on MIDI that is largely used to communicate between a computer and an IoT device like an Arduino. What's neat about it is you can program your Arduino with a sketch called StandardFirmata.ino and then send packets to it to accomplish things like digital read/write and I2C operations. So the Arduino isn't running any of your own custom code, just the StandardFirmata sketch and you do all of the heavy lifting somewhere else. The biggest advantage to this, in my mind, is that beginners can start controlling hardware from a computer without actually having to write firmware.
Several years ago a version of Firmata was created to run on the Spark Core but a lot has happened since then in the Particle world including the release of the Photon, Electron, and Raspberry Pi integration. While I love Arduinos I thought it would be awesome to have Firmata available across the Particle ecosystem as well so I spent some time bringing the project up to the latest version supported on Arduino (2.5.6 at time of this writing).
As of today you can use Firmata in your Particle projects by including the published library. This will work in all 3 development environments (Web IDE, Local Dev IDE, and CLI tools).