remove confusing Processing UI elements

I just helped a student who was working in both Processing and Arduino and he was having problems due to their apparent similarity. In Processing, to make things go you press the play button. If you have something running and wish it to stop, you press the stop button. Unfortunately, this doesn't translate well to Arduino land (how could it?) and so the buttons don't really do anything. This student kept forgetting such and was wondering why his code wasn't working. He was only pressing the play button in Arduino and his code wasn't updating on the board.

Suggestion: either remove the play and stop buttons from the Arduino UI or change their functionality so that play uploads (instead of verifies). Perhaps change stop to a "reset" button (and change the icon) to trigger a reset of the board, if it's connected.

Isn't that part of the learning process?

There is a bit of a disconnect here with the UI controls. What Processing does is not /exactly/ what Arduino does.

Many others have complained about these kind of things too, file extensions, open dialog boxes, clunky UI issues such as the serial monitor button too close to the upload button, meaningless icons. There is some talk about finally fixing these things, and it may finally get done fairly soon.

Long time Arduino / Processing users have a fond memories for the quaint bugs that Arduino inherited from Processing such as the charming auto-format delete bug that would delete code if auto-format was invoked with unbalanced brackets. It worked the same in both programs and would delete the unbalanced code, and autoformat the rest, tidying up that messy code. Maybe it was a feature.

Probably these things would have been fixed sooner, if there were more people actually making decisions with the development, as opposed to the limited voices that control development now. But maybe not too. People still have to come to some kind of consensus, if they work in a democratic environment. With a czar system, the czar has to get around to deciding. Both systems have strengths and weaknesses, but one might wish for a more hybrid open-source system, to input more of the work that an increasing array of talented programmers have offered to do.

Keep asking for those features, as I said, there finally seems to be some movement on these UI issues.


paulb: agreed. I think there's a lot of effort that could be harnessed if they did some simple things, like started a bug tracker. It's tempting to start one outside of just so that there could be something more more sane than posting bugs to a forum or a wiki. Of course, then one risks fragmenting this space, but I suspect there's enough momentum that such wouldn't be a problem.

It is not exactly clear to me the relationship between the Arduino IDE (it really needs a name to distinguish it form the hardware) and Processing. If this is a true fork of Processing, then I agree that some sort of ownership with respect to bug tracking and development milestones would probably help.

Like many open source projects, though, I gather there is a small core group of people who actively maintain the project, and even the most famous open-source projects have a hard time harnessing the crowd. Typically, there tends toward an 80/20 split for involvement with projects like this. And even small projects take a lot of management by dedicated individuals.

That being said, I remain guilty of not being able to commit to my own ad hoc patches. Of course, I'm less inclined to participate without this framework in place.

It is not without irony that I point out that we are using the bug report/patch forum for discussion about the best way to co-ordinate bug reporting and patching. Perhaps this conversation could be shifted over to one of the other forums in order to attract more input and attention.

like started a bug tracker.

Have you considered Google Code Archive - Long-term storage for Google Code Project Hosting.?


I didn't know Google Code had a bug tracker. I thought it was a repository only.

Well, there you go. Why are we encouraged to post patches here, then? Other than the fact that, in my humble opinion, Google Code is a terrible interface, it should be sufficient for the purposes of maintaining a proper fork.