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Author Topic: Alternate IDEs? or how to get more from the standard IDE ?  (Read 3401 times)
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I find the standard Arduino IDE quite inefficient / difficult in some respects. For example when errors are reported they include a line number, but there are no lines numbers showing in the IDE?

So do you gun Arduino developers use other IDE's ? Or are there some useful setup tricks / techniques for the standard IDE?

(my questions is not only about error messages - more about wanting a better IDE)

TIA
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If you put your cursor in the code box, the line number it is on shows on the screen as well. Has been sufficient for me. But then I'm more of a hardware guy.

Use CTRL-T to standardize the code presentation, will also alert you to mismatched ( )s. { }s, and [ ]s.

If you're really stuck, there are some very good guys down under as well.

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Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years. Check out the ATMega1284P based Bobuino and other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  www.crossroadsfencing.com/BobuinoRev17.
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nr Bundaberg, Australia
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The IDE sucks, I don't know why people use it except for the simplest of programs and quick tests.

I've been using Notepad++ and a separate makefile for some time, however you can now use VS 2008/2010 for your Arduino dev work.

There's a current thread about it.

http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,74770.0.html

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Rob

« Last Edit: October 31, 2011, 07:02:55 pm by Graynomad » Logged

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Thanks graynomad.

Ironically someone mentioned notepad++ today at work (first time I'd heard of it). But where does one get to know the appropriate makefile commands / switches though ? (e.g. for varioous Arduinos)
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There are several threads about makefiles IIRC.

I can post one as well if you decide to go that route.

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Rob
« Last Edit: November 02, 2011, 04:40:31 am by Graynomad » Logged

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doubly ironic , yesterday immediately after I posted above I jumped back out only to see the very next thread was about "Ino" a makefile tool (by nailxx). pity it's for Linux!

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I second graynomad. The IDE sucks for anything >1 screen. However I prefer Linux + scons + Kate.
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You guys are all spoiled. I wrote a 13,000 byte (compiled) program using the IDE and spreading it over 7 tabs once PaulS clued me in to them, worked just fine.
And with all the coding I rarely have errors with ; or mismatched ( ) and { } and [ ] anymore.
And of course CTRL-T to make it all look pretty for posting.

That said, I do way more hardware related stuff than software, and it took me quite a while to grudgingly accept eagle; and now its not too bad except for making symbols (a struggle every time as I do so few).
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Why spoiled? Of course I could use the IDE. But why? The only thing it really excels is that it works out of the box. In all other aspects it is below par even compared to a decent text editor.
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Oh, I figured you were using some fancy C editor.
The IDE with its color coded command is nice to see that you have syntax correct without having to look it up or wait for the compiler to fail it.
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The only thing it really excels is that it works out of the box.


An attribute not to be discounted for the hoards of new people entering the Arduino world, many with little programming experience. I don't doubt that there are higher quality more powerful editor/IDE platforms out there but in over three years at this site I haven't seen a IDE upgrade solution yet that is a load and go type installation that the vast majority of arduino users would be able to perform on their own. Possibly the challenge is the cross platform nature of the arduino platform where any real IDE upgrade needs to have three different installation procedures/instructions to be able to support Win/Mac/Linux.

Like CrossRoads I come from a hardware backround, so I look/need software that is simple to install as well as to learn to use.

Lefty
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I haven't seen a IDE upgrade solution yet that is a load and go type installation
That new VS2010/2008 port looks like it will be close, certainly it loaded easily for me. You don't get the examples from a drop down list though (I think) and it's possibly a bit overwhelming for an absolute beginner I admit.

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All
I think "Alternate IDEs? or how to get more from the standard IDE ?" is a good question.
Like most people here I feel the IDE is great to get started. I'm coming from a software developers world and I would not have become a Arduino fan without the IDE.
The greatness of the IDE to get started also limits the IDE when you are doing library development or have 10+ files in your project. Therefore I also looked at alternatives.
"Alternate IDE's?" Coming from a windows world I only know "kind of" 2 alternatives. I know visual studio and I know Eclipse. Talking about these tools without the plugin for Arduino. In my mind visual studio beats eclipse by far. But they both beat the Arduino IDE from a developers point of view by far.
From a financial point of view Eclipse is free. The visual studio express is also free but does not allow plugins. Visual studio professional is not free (today 999Euro in Belgium  smiley-mr-green)
As I can buy plenty of arduino's for that money I looked into the eclipse possibilities.
I find the eclipse + "avr eclipse" solution -described in the playground- extremely powerful but also to complex. The main problem is that there are so many options that you don't know which are important nor how to set them.
So I decided to write a plugin on top of avr eclipse to set Arduino settings to make it easier to get started. I released a version some time ago. If you are interested please read this article on usage and installation http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,70547.msg589022.html#msg589022/ it is 100% free and the source is available like Arduino.

Best regards
Jantje
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I am also from the software world and I appreciate a lot that the standard IDE works out of the box. This actually was the single most important point to get me started. However I see no point in sticking to beginner's tools once you move on to advanced. I also evaluated different IDEs. Visual studio is no option for me because I use Linux at home. Eclipse seems also like overkill to me. So I just started to switch to Kate (plus scons, plus ISP plus some trivial python monitoring script). Since Kate allows immediate command line access version control is also no issue. This setup is not tied to any specific editor and beats Arduino IDE by far. It also gives much better control of the compiler. Turnaround for compile + deploy is 2-40s less than compared Arduino IDE (depending on project size). Since then I figured that I am satisfied and feel no need to push this to Eclipse. I figure that Emacs wizards would opt for Emacs and VI advocates for VI though smiley-wink
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Hi,

The Arduino IDE is indeed great for quick sketches and learning. It is definitely one of the reasons why Arduino is so popular.

For more advanced users, who work with a lot of home-made libraries and do bigger projects, the Arduino IDE might be a bit limited. Especially if you are used to work with something like XCode, you get used to code completion and all the other nice features.

It seems there are two types of users: the beginners and quick sketchers who don't need to have many files open or code completion, and the more practiced users who are used to write C++ with header files etc... who want to use a more feature rich IDE.

Because of this me and some other people have been making XCode project templates for developing for Arduino with XCode on Mac OSX. Rey Vilo seems to be working on XCode4 support here: https://github.com/rei-vilo/Xcode-for-MPIDE-Arduino
and mine (only XCode 3.2) is here: https://github.com/timknapen/Arduino-With-XCode
Also there is this nice page: http://www.quietless.com/kitchen/setting-up-xcode-to-compile-upload-to-an-arduino-atmega328-duemilanove/

I am not a makefile specialist, so anyone who knows a bit about that kind of stuff is very welcome to suggest changes to make it more flexible and easier to use (especially the including of libraries and switching between UNO/Duemillanove/... )

best,
tim.
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