Arduino on Eclipse!

Eclipse compiling for Arduino target board

As of late yesterday, I’m now developing and downloading code for Arduino in Eclipse.

“Arduino” is the name of an open source hardware and software project. You can buy an Arduino board, download their editor and build tools, write some code, plug in the board, squirt your code out to the board and run it. Total cost is about $30, and that’s only for the board. Everything else is free.

But the Arduino software tools, if you are a professional, are kind’a lame. They don’t have the expressiveness I’m used to and every time I’ve sat down to use them, they’ve been more in my way rather than enabling me to work.

I’m used to software development. I’ve been doing it since the late 1960s.

And I don’t want to be forced to using toys to write software.

I want professional-grade tools.

Enter Eclipse.

Duemilanove target board (abt $30),
Powered from USB and running above program

Eclipse, also free, is a heavy-duty software development tool. It’s the one I’ve been using for more than a decade. It’s got all the bells and whistles I like. It’s the IDE — that’s Integrated Development Environment — that most software products come with now (except Microsoft and a couple of other minor exceptions).

But Eclipse didn’t work with Arduino.

Then, a couple of days ago I came across the needed instructions at http://horrorcoding.altervista.org/arduino-development-with-eclipse-a-step-by-step-tutorial-to-the-basic-setup/ and, after working through a couple of minor errors therein, I’ve got it working — including downloading and running on a Duemilanove (Arduino) board. (I put the errors in a comment to those instructions which is awaiting the author’s approval before you’ll see it so, if you see my comment there, you can adjust accordingly. Presumably, the author will update his instructions, too. But failing any of that, contact me and I’ll fill you in with the changes. They’re minor.)

Flashing the target board from Eclipse

Here’s the output in Eclipse from the download (burn FLASH) and run of the above (very simple) program.

In Eclipse, I’ve now got the really good searching, pop-up menus, call hierarchy, multiple source files, hot links, tool tips and all the professional-level features of Eclipse while working on the ultra-cheap and mega-fun Arduino boards.

Blinky lights, here I come!

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