Before purchasing my Uno/r3, I came across some tutorials on YT by OpenSourseHardwareGroup, and the narrator walked his students through the basics of plugging in, downloading the .exe, opening a sketch and beginning code writing using the IDE. Being the noob I am, I proceeded to begin research thinking this was the easiest and fastest way for me to develop an understanding for computer coding and working with the Arduino to develop the project(s) I have in mind.

Within the past two days however, I am finding out that there is another platform to write program that the IDE was actually developed based on, PDE (Processing Development Environment) and my studies thus far might suggest that PDE through use of Firmata can simplify my learning curve even more.

I am still investigating as thoroughly as I can, but there seems to be divide in opinions of these 2 programming environments and I have yet to find a comparison either in written or video format that I the newbie can use to decide which would expedite my learning curve.

Can someone that has experience with these 2 platforms explain the differences between PDE (Processing) vs. IDE (Arduino Sketches), pros and cons of each, and any other information you might think would be useful for someone new to all of this such as myself.

I am completely new to electronics, but I have a little actual experience of circuit building in a home and am more confident in my ability to learn how to use all the transistors and diodes and ICs to build that kick ass project I have in mind, but to be honest, I am very hesitant to get my hands dirty in the coding aspect which is why I do want to approach my arduino from the environment that is easiest to begin using. I'm quite sure after I get decent with one, picking up the other would be that much easier.


Processing is a language for writing programs that run on a PC.

Some of the concepts that are included in the Arduino system owe their origins to similar concepts in Processing. You can use Processing (and most other PC languages) to communicate with a program on an Arduino.

Processing is a "version" of Java and the Arduino IDE is written in Java but the Arduinos are actually programmed in C/C++.

Save yourself a lot of agonizing and start having fun - just use the Arduino IDE for programming Arduinos.

If you don't like the editor in the Arduino IDE you can select an option in "preferences" to use an external editor (any suitable editor) and the IDE will just compile the latest version of the file that has been saved from the external editor.