Arduino 1.0- the good and the bad

Arduino 1.0 was released (relatively) recently and having had the chance to do some coding with it I’ll share some impressions.

The first time I used 1.0 didn’t go too well. I was showing my school electronics teacher how to program arduinos and it wouldn’t load a duemilanove board with a Blink sketch. This was with a freshly downloaded hot off the press 1.0. I tried the usual wrong board or comport but that wouldn’t fix the problem. It had me stumped. This had never happened before to me. This was on a Dell computer running Windows XP. However, when I got home I loaded up 1.0 on my computer and it worked fine. I think there may have been some issues with the early release files. After a while his worked fine as well. So it must have just been a one-off.

Let’s now look at the good and the bad of the new IDE having used it for a few weeks. This is not from some article which tells you what the new code features are or anything like that. This is just the stuff that I’ve noticed while using it and thought “that’s nice”. Or, why hasn’t that been fixed yet.

The good

Awesome new load screen with a nicely designed logo. Much better than the old one. But it doesn’t make it load any faster.

I like the loopy love heart thingys......

I like the loopy love heart thingys.....

New icons make it look much sleeker than the old version. This provides a better and cleaner experience. Having the upload button next to the Verify button should also makes things a bit easier for beginners. Not that I ever really use the verify button anyway. I mean, your code is automatically verified before it is uploaded so what’s the point?

Progress bar! This surely has to be the best improvement of all! No more staring at the little black console window to see whether it is actually going to load your code or not.

It does seem to be quite jumpy however...

It does seem to be quite jumpy however...

Another very useful feature is the line of text in the lower right hand corner ofthe window telling you what board and serial port you have selected. It is nice to know what these are as these are the settings you change the most. It’s also means you don’t have to use the super slow Java menus.

It also tells you what line of code you're on... but the old one did that as well...

It also tells you what line of code you're on... but the old one did that as well...

The blue colour scheme is slightly lighter…. doesn’t really affect functionality but I thought I would mention it anyway.

The bad

Java. I’m told it’s what makes the whole thing super slow. Arduino is a massive international open source project. Surely we can make something together that can load a menu bar in under 5 seconds. I have never used a windows app that is so slow.

It’s killed off quite a bit of old code. Things like LCD CreateChar sketches required some modification. I’ve heard it’s rendered some other things useless as well. I guess it’s all in the way of progress….

There’s not much more I can complain about. It’s pretty darn good for something that is free….