New IDE for Mac OS X written in Cocoa (WIP!)


I'm a newbie to Arduino development, but quite some experienced in Cocoa and Mac OS X. Arduino is fun and you all know that. But the IDE sucks, because it's written in Java and not a native Cocoa app. Because of that I'm glad to tell you that I've made quite some progress in developing my own IDE in native Cocoa which makes use of all nice features you want to have in such an IDE like Autosave, Versions, Fullscreen support and more.

The goal of this app is to make a SIMPLE, ELEGANT and DECENT IDE for the Arduino on Mac OS X. It is not! meant to be the most powerful IDE you've ever seen, but something that as well beginners as experts can use to program their Arduinos.

It's not finished yet and it will take some more time, because I have my school leaving examination soon. I'm going to make the app open source on GitHub so everyone can improve it over time. What I need is a decent icon! I thought I'd post here before hiring a professional designer to see whether someone is willing to do it for free. So, if you're good in graphics and interested in the app, you could help me a lot by making a really nice-looking icon for the app (16x16 to 512x512 as .icns) and the document icon (similar to the official .ino document icon and 16x16 to 512x512 as .icns).

Here are two screenshots of the editor and the serial monitor in its current development state:

Best regards, Fabian

Nice job, well done.

But the IDE sucks, because it's written in Java and not a native Cocoa app.

Pretty much useless for those of us using Windows.

There is a reason that Java is the basis for the IDE. It does work on all platforms, out of the box. Perhaps not the most useful app ever written, but it does work. And, it is open source. You are free to modify it, adding useful features. Submit them to the Arduino team, and maybe they will be added to the official distribution.

@PaulS: I didn't mean to offend the official IDE, don't get that one wrong. I think it's great for its purpose. I understand that the developers can't develop a native Cocoa version and one for Windows and one for Linux. But that's where I come into play and develop one myself.

@avenue33: Templates don't work anymore with Xcode 4 and therefore you'd have to copy the whole project, rename it and mess with the build settings when importing a new library. That's okay for many, but as I was already working on a text editor like interface, I decided to rebuild the official IDE with its simplicity in Cocoa to make a really nice user experience. Messing with makefiles and build scripts isn't something everyone is interested in. ;) (But I knew of the option to use those Templates, thanks.)

Hallo Fabian,

I fully agree with you: makefile is a nightmare!

I've found the very interesting project Ino. Basically, Ino is a command line Arduino IDE and does all the dirty job of pre-processing, build and compiling, uploading and monitoring. Once Arduino is installed, Ino requires no additional configuration.

Most important, Ino does work on my MacBook.

Take a look: it may help you and speed up your development dramatically!

So you could focus on adding nice features to the editor as code completion with quick help, automatic delimiter balancing, placeholders in code completion text for parameters, object browser, jump to definition, ... All the niceties a more professional IDE brings.

Good luck with your final examinations! :)

Yes, I know of Ino and I might end up using it. I'm currently working with the official Arduino source code in the hope to get the official but disabled command line interface to work.


Just a quick update:

I got the build process working using Ino and the app is more or less finished now. I’ve found somebody to make the icon and once it’s done, I’ll release the app on GitHub.

Best regards,


avenue33: OS X brings a free and nice IDE: Xcode.

Instead of working on another IDE, why not work on a plug-in for Xcode?

What do you think?

Something like this?

It is possible to configure it and use everything from XCode. I've done it before, but I'm a geek and I like the makefile.

Cocoduino is now available on GitHub:


fabiankr: Cocoduino is now available on GitHub:


I noticed in the readme file is said 64-bit O/S. Is 64-bit necessary or can I run on 32-bit?

I just checked it out. Looks pretty awesome :) Anyway to change the colors of text?