arduino ide version 2 has been officially released

Arduino ( https://www.arduino.cc/en/software ) has released version 2 of their integrated development environment. Version 2 is a drastic redesign of Arduino’s earlier 1.x series. So what’s new?

The IDE looks quite a bit like Visual Studio Code, but it’s not based on VSCode. I’ll explain what it is based on further down. For example, it has everything you need in an Arduino IDE located on the far let, mimicking the VSCode layout. You’ll also note that it’s in dark mode. This was a mode that could’t be easily (if at all) set up in the Arduino version 1.x IDE. Here it’s just a configuration menu away.

A particularly welcome feature in the new IDE is having the board and library managers available as a first-level selection on the left bar. And if you find the opened manager’s too narrow, they can be easily dragged wider to make text easier to read. Another welcome feature are the filters available at the top, especially for the libraries. For example, I can ask for what’s installed in the display libraries and see what’s available. The whole point of this new version is to bring its work flow more in line with what the rest of the software development community is used to, such as Atom (now deprecated by Microsoft) as well as Visual Studio Code.

But the new Android IDE isn’t based on VSCode. It’s based on the Eclipse Foundation’s Theia IDE Platform ( https://theia-ide.org ). Unlike VSCode, Theia is fully open source. It’s a framework from which to build IDEs, not an IDE unto itself. According to the Theia website it’s heavily patterned after VSCode so that VSCode extensions could be used within Theia. Interestingly that feature is not available within Arduino IDE 2, and I’m not sure it would do any good to have it enabled. The Arduino IDE is a very focused tool for developing applications on Arduino boards (and other board makers, such as Adafruit and Sparkfun, to name but two) using C and C++ primarily. Being as this is the initial release of this tool, I look forward to seeing how it evolves over time and what new features might be added.

If you’ve been waiting for the official release before trying it out, now’s the time to give it a spin.

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