Reviewing the Arduino IDE 2 0
We will have a look at the new Arduino IDE version 2.0.0 that was released last week mid september 2022.. It has taken quite a while for the Arduino team to come to an official release of their new IDE a in March 2021. More than one and a half year ago, I had a look at the beta 3 release of the IDE. At the time it didnt work very well. For me, as I encountered quite a lot of problems, the IDE V2 is now the official IDE. 1.8 versions are from now on Legacy versions. This means that the Arduino team must be pretty confident about the new IDE. A 2 of the IDE looks quite similar to version V 1.8. Its main differences seem to be its new looks with the menu bar on the side, a debug interface, autocomplete and better search functions. Also, a boards are detected automatically. Also different. Ide windows can have a different board without interfering with each other. Okay, so lets compare the new IDE version 2.0.0 side by side with the now Legacy, IDE version 1.8.19, the menus feature more or less the same options as before. Some things have disappeared and other features have popped up. The editor window offers more space, as the output window can now be closed. The search function is much better now and even got a button in the left menu bar a right Mouse button. Click in the editor window no longer simply opens the edit menu, but now proposes useful search functions as well.
Hovering over a function or variable brings up its definition, which is very helpful for figuring out what type it is and how to pass arguments. Autocompletion is practical, especially when using a custom library that you dont know how to use. Unfortunately, it is still not possible to quickly open a library to see what is inside and how to use it. It would be nice to have an open file option when you do a right. Click on a header file name a way around. It is by opening a library example. Then you can use the right Mouse button on a function and open its definition, which usually resides in the header file. The serial plotter now has its own button and looks a bit nicer. It also has a stop button. A very useful feature in the serial monitor this option is called auto scroll also new is that the serial, plotter and monitor can be open at the same time to have two different views on serial data. However, the serial monitor appears to have lost its copy function, making it less useful than before. The new IDE is supposed to be faster and there seems to be things going on in the background to speed up compilation, as indicated by short messages on the left. In the status bar, while you edit, the sketch the left menu bar, is a bit of a mystery to me. First of all, I dont really understand why these buttons arent in the top menu bar as there is plenty of space left.
Second, I dont understand the choice of these buttons file, open and search I can understand, but why do the boards and Library manager need buttons? I hardly ever need the board manager. Furthermore, the new ides board Auto detect functions opens it for you. If you connect a board that you didnt use before making the button even less important, the library manager is used a bit more often, but once you have installed all your favorite libraries, so you hardly ever need it again and then the debug button, the debug button, Opens a window where you can set several options: editing a debug configuration is comfortable with the kind of intellisense and auto completion, but why does this editor have intellisense while the main code editor doesnt? Now that would be a useful feature. Unfortunately, I do not have a board that is supported by this debug interface. It only works with the semd based boards, and I dont have any of these worse. If you read the fine print, you will see that the only board supported without needing a debug pod is the Arduino zero. I didnt expect the Uno to be compatible, but the Nano RP 2040 connect is not supported either, even though it is based on arms embed, which supports debugging. My portenta boards, which are targeted at professional users, arent supported either. Now, how can that be? To me? One of the best features of the now Legacy IDE was its portable folder.
When you created an empty folder named portable next to the Arduino executable, the IDE would put everything in there instead of somewhere in a hidden folder. As the portable folder held everything from botch packages and preferences to libraries and Sketchbook folders, it allowed the IDE to run from a USB stick. It made it also very easy to backup or share projects or to have multiple non interfering. Arduino installations. If you needed a clean installation, you could simply empty the portable folder or rename it and create a new one. Unfortunately, it seems that this feature was not ported to the new IDE. The new Arduino IDE V 2.0.0 is very similar to the now Legacy. Ide V. 1.8, compared to the beta 3 version that I reviewed one and a half year ago, it has been simplified a lot compared to version 1.8. The main differences are a new look with a menu bar on the side, a debug interface, autocomplete and more sophisticated search functions. Also, a boards are detected automatically. The portable folder feature of version 1.8 has not been ported to version 2.0, which, for me, is a great loss. The debug interface is, of course, an important new thing, but it only works with simd based boards, and there are not many of these. Even though I have a nice collection of Arduino boards, including portenta H7 and X8 boards, not a single one of them seems to support debugging.