Stepping up in Arduino development

Ok, you have done some experience with your arduino, wired up some examples and you feel proficient with the Arduino IDE, but you feel you are missing something on the software side: a real integrated environment with auto completion, source code formatting and all that stuff.

Why don’t you switch to Eclipse? Well, that’s an easy task nowdays, thankfully to Jantje and the rest of the Eclipse Arduino team.

The learning curve, which was the reason why I waited so long to try it, is actually not steep at all: I actually managed to compile and upload a very basic sketch to my Arduino Micro in just 5 mins.

The installation wasn’t issue-free though, but if read carefully the instructions on the official web site and Google a little bit about the issues you might encounter, you will get up and running in no time.

My environment is set up on a Windows 7 64bit laptop with a Java 7 64bit runtime. I decided to go for the most advanced (and most complicated) configuration by setting up Arduino Eclipse on top of Arduino IDE version 1.5.5-r2 (aka version 1.5.5-beta).

I’ve tried to follow the almost step-by-step instructions available on the Eclipse Arduino Plugin website, but I found a couple of misleading/missing bits of information:

  • when using the 1.5.5-beta Arduino IDE, you need to update a quite high number of source files, the best way to do that is by running the script reported on the plugin website using CygWin, but you have to run the script from the top Arduino IDE folder, rather than from the hardware subfolder as advised
  • when you install the Arduino IDE, do not install it in a folder containing strange characters, including brackets like the Program Files (x86) directory as I am used to: that will cause a weird make error to occur
make: Interrupt/Exception caught (code = 0xc00000fd, addr = 0x4217b3)

I actually haven’t had any other issues and I’m now an happy user of the Arduino Eclipse Plugin, looking forward to contribute to those guys effort as much as I can: come join me!