Even the most die-hard Arduino fan boys have to admit that the Arduino development environment isn’t the world’s greatest text editor (they’d probably argue that its simplicity is its strength, but let’s ignore that for now). If you are used to using a real code editor, you’ll probably switch to doing your Arduino coding in that and then use the external editor integration in the IDE.
That works pretty well, but there are other options. One we noticed, PlatformIO, extends GitHub’s Atom editor. That makes it cross-platform, powerful, and with plenty of custom plug ins. It also supports a range of platforms including Arduino, many ARM platforms, MSP430, and even desktop computers running Linux or Windows.
The author claims the plug in will generate code for over 200 embedded boards. It handles all the common development tasks and even includes a terminal window. There are command line tools if you want to build scripts or make files and bypass the GUI.
You can install Platform.io on Windows, Linux, or Mac. It uses Python, so porting it elsewhere might be easy, too. The feature list is broad: code completion, linting, multiple projects, and library management. It can even import projects from the Arduino IDE. There are plenty of plug ins to add features (like Emacs keybindings, although that took a little troubleshooting).
There is also something attractive about having a single IDE that targets different platforms if you switch back and forth a lot. In all fairness, the Arduino IDE isn’t as bad as it used to be, and they both have significantly improved versions in the works (Arduino Create and Arduino Studio). We’ve seen plenty of other IDE hacks for Arudino in the past.
Thanks for the tip [Martin]