5 years ago.

Nooo! Eclipse? Really?

Eclipse is *awful*. Even Google eventually realised that. It's slow, bloated, really confusing (explain how workspaces work again?) badly designed (look how long the right click menu is) and did I mention slow?

I know there aren't exactly a plethora of C++ IDE platforms out there but there are a few. Eclipse is by far the worst. The is a bad decision. You will regret it when you - like Google - eventually realise how bad Eclipse is.

Sorry to be so negative but have you *used* Eclipse? I feel like this is one of those decisions that was decided based on a list of requirements which mysteriously excluded "software isn't total shit", like when Dyson chose to use Teamcity (universally hated by those that were forced to used it, and also uncoincidentally Eclipse-based).

VSCode, Qt Creator or KDevelop would have all been far better platforms. Hell I'd rather used Arduino's "IDE" than Eclipse. mBed is great, don't ruin it with Eclipse.

Question relating to:

I'll keep an on open mind but I'm also a little disappointed to hear you've gone down the Eclipse route. I spent the good part of a week trying to get Eclipse set up to allow on-chip debugging and found it a disorienting and ultimately unsuccessful experience. Nowadays I use VSCode exclusively which seems to have an extraordinarily active development push behind it.

posted by Neil MacMullen 02 Mar 2018

[Deleted, because of my answer below... Sorry for that - could not find a delete button]

posted by Milen Stoychev 05 Mar 2018

13 Answers

5 years ago.

I second this answer, eclipse is a really poor choice. They way the CLI installer works now, with integration into VSCode and QTCreator, it is good enough. People who want to start programming quickly, now use the online IDE. People who want to program more professionally and have experience with mbed / microcontrollers, they will install the CLI and are able to setup VSCode for example.

I think it is better to put in more effort in the online IDE, something like code competion would be nice. Perhaps it is possible to use VSCode for the online IDE ?

"I think it is better to put in more effort in the online IDE, something like code competion would be nice. Perhaps it is possible to use VSCode for the online IDE ?"

We've got an ongoing project in this area - stay tuned!

posted by Joe Alderson 02 Mar 2018

Very good. I personaly and my students use the online IDE a lot. It is not a ground-breaking editor, but the interface is clean and useful and gets the job done. I tell my students they can use an offline editor like VSCode, but practically all choose to use the online IDE and dont bother to install the offline toolkit. I think this already shows the editor is good enough for its intended purpose.

posted by Wouter van Kleunen 02 Mar 2018
5 years ago.

Hahahaha, loved this: "I feel like this is one of those decisions that was decided based on a list of requirements which mysteriously excluded "software isn't total shit""

5 years ago.

Can't say I have much experience with Eclipse, I tried an Eclipse based IDE for a bit because I wanted to try out STEMWIN and I don't think you can use it in the MBED online compiler, but I still have no idea how the project was structured and as I wasn't being paid to use it I gave up.

On the bright side I feel much happier using MPLAB X than I did before.

5 years ago.

Thanks for your feedback, I understand where you're coming from. We've chosen Eclipse as the base IDE because it's cross-platform, has a good existing level of support for our debug tools, and because it gives us a common framework with other Arm tools. As I mentioned in the blog, we're putting effort into simplifying the UI, and because this is an alpha, there is plenty of scope to change things based on feedback.

IDE choice is one of those polarising things - and that's why Mbed has support for plenty of different tools, so that you can work in the one you're most comfortable with. For some people, that will be Eclipse, for some people that will be Keil, for some it will be VSCode.

Don't forget that on-line compiler is most important unique point!
Because we can creat exactly same bin code.
We don't need to thing our indivitual diffrent PC environment.
Recentry, I feel Mbed society (not society but driver who makes future in arm) goes to different way.
If so, I cannot agree to introduce other programing IDE.
If you are keeping the online-compiler as 1st priority, I'm welcome several different IDE 's as 2nd and following programming environments.

posted by Kenji Arai 02 Mar 2018

Yes, we are committed to supporting and improving the Online Compiler as well!

posted by Joe Alderson 02 Mar 2018
5 years ago.

I feel that someone should come to Eclipse's defense. I have a lot of experience with Eclipse and Eclipse-based IDE's and have had very few problems using them. While pure Eclipse may be a bit too flexible (and therefore confusing) for the average user, most proprietary IDE's that are Eclipse-based have been effectively customized by the IDE vendor to create a solid user experience. Renesas' e2Studio, with its graphical OS-building ad-in, is a good example of that customization. (And, I believe, a great example of user-friendly OS-based application building.)

So, my point is that Eclipse can be, and I think should be, customized for the target technology (in this case ARM processors running mbedOS) in such a way as to be both user-friendly and sufficiently powerful for production development.

I hope ARM will pursue this level of customization.

I guess your point is that Eclipse is flexible and can be used for both good and bad IDEs, and it depends on the company that does customization. You believe that ARM will customize it very well, but my guess it that it cannot be perfect , and like in TrueStudio case - they will miss something ( like bad imports or no Run configuration at all) and we have to spend nights and days in changing something that should take minutes (which is the main problem with Eclipse - its configuration is like being in Maze of Hell) I hope you are right and not me :)

posted by Milen Stoychev 06 Mar 2018
5 years ago.

I have tried two different IDEs for ARM development based on Eclipse, and neither was a good experience. One just crashes on launch - simply after installing the download - didn't they test it? In the other, I was completely unable to get the debugging tools working, despite wasting a whole day on it. I too am thus unhappy to see this based on Eclipse. While I applaud the idea to make this cross-platform, and am a Mac user myself, I would prefer to see it based on something else. I'm currently successfully using Visual Studio Code (despite not being a Microsoft fan).

5 years ago.

I hope that you don't just end up by adding to the maze, as I will attempt to explain. I was a happy Coocox user for awhile and then got nailed by their loss of support. Now this seems to be like a 50 ring circus, with broken acts in every ring. STM has moved to Atollic.... from AC6.....Mbed does not export to Atollic......documentation is very!!!! poor for most every thing and if you do find something... it doesn't apply to the version that you are using. The current situation in Arm software is just a mess I can't see where just adding another buggy, poorly documented compiler will help anything. BTW I'm currently trying to fight my way through Atollic and it makes me want to tear my hair out and scream.

5 years ago.

I am currently using System Workbench on a big project and it really works just fine, so I can't complain too loudly. But Eclipse is a giant beast of a program. If Eclipse could be trimmed down to remove a lot of the cruft, things would be a lot better. Can Eclipse be tamed?

System workbench ... that's the one. It was able to compile the Discovery demo, provided I completely ignored the "welcome" screen and followed the exact instructions to import the demo project. I think those instructions came from a forum thread.

posted by Oliver Broad 04 Mar 2018
5 years ago.

I totally agree with Tim H - I have tried 2 eclipse based IDEs ( I think Eclipse with workbench and TrueStudio) and they are terrible to use just because of Eclipse design.

BTW, could somebody recommend what IDE to use for STM32 MCUs that works on Windows ( Not VS, please, that one is too heavy and crashes even on Win10 with 8G RAM on HP ProBook), and, if possible the IDE should not be priced at 8K USD ( I do not have that budget yet:) Hopefully free or something like $100 for small projects. Thank you.

For STM32 I would not use anything but Atollic Truestudio (Pro version is now free for STM32). People complaining about eclipse based IDE's have obviously not used anything else. The rest of the IDE's out there are worse in my opinion.

posted by Tiaan Alberts 05 Mar 2018

Tiaan I have used Eclipse, Netbeans, Kiel, Qt Creator, Visual Studio, VSCode, KDevelop, CLion. Eclipse is by far the worst.

posted by Tim H 05 Mar 2018

@Tiaan Alberts: Not used anything else ?!

1)I used Keil for STML0 and I like it much more than eclipse - the only problem is that they ask about 8K USD for license to use it with STM32L4, which is out of my budget for now.

2)I also tried Atollic Truestudio - it is a bit better than Eclipse with workbench , but still , since it is Eclipse based, every simple change in configuration turns into nightmare . Import of project from other IDEs ( even eclipse workbench) do not transfer all configuration and I need to dig for hours in in the properties with no success. Also, for some reason , TrueStudio comes with configuration for Debug only and cannot Run as embedded app( just upload to board and run it, not switch to debug perspective every time) . This is not a big problem, but I do not see why they omitted the run configuration and I have to go and create it manually if I only want to run it , instead of debug it.

3) I used Visual Studio -it is OK for C# after some time working with it(except being heavy and sometimes unstable), but kind of clumsy and not intuitive for working with embedded C. However, it seems better and I might try to configure it - it could get better when I get used to work with it. For comparison Eclipse - it does not get better with experience, I just drives me crazy!

4) I used many IDEs since I first started with Borland IDEs in the beginning of 90s - these IDEs are very good for their time. Later Delphi and MS Visual Basic and similar ( not so good). I usd Eclipse for Java before etc, Arduino IDE is also much better than Eclipse:)

So, it is not like I never used any other IDEs :)

@ TIM H : Thanks for suggestions - I will try some of these :)

posted by Milen Stoychev 05 Mar 2018

I agree with Tiaan. I've used Atollic TrueSTUDIO for STM32 development and have been very happy with it. The full-featured Pro version is now free for ST Micro parts.

posted by Michael Curry 06 Mar 2018
5 years ago.

I also both fully agree with Tim H and appreciate the need for a cross-platform solution. Eclipse isn't the only cross-platform solution. Both Code::Blocks and NetBeans run on Windows, OS X, and Linux.

Mbed deserves a good IDE for offline development. I feel it hard to imagine how you are going to build that using Eclipse. From my point of view just about anything else will provide the user with a better experience.

Sincerely Tim

There may be problems with Netbeans, this is from a post http://www.microchip.com/forums/FindPost/557140 on Microchip's board: "Netbeans did not support the concept of an embedded debugger, you are assumed to be debugging on the same platform that you are writing for and that behaviour could not be overridden"

Then again apparently version 7.0 will remove that limitation?

posted by Oliver Broad 05 Mar 2018
5 years ago.

When I worked for Siemens, developing healthcare software for embedded systems, I used Eclipse extensively to track the convoluted legacy code we had, and found it wonderfully suited for the job. I don't share the negative feelings about Eclipse, and welcome the chance to try out this new compiler.

5 years ago.

real men use eclipse

You probably mean "real masochists use eclipse" :) This is not serious argument for eclipse anyway. Please, use something valid.

posted by Milen Stoychev 06 Mar 2018

I think all the hand-wringing about Eclipse being a flawed IDE is a bit pointless. ARM has chosen Eclipse for mbedOS. So let's see what the folks at ARM produce, test it, and provide good feedback that will help make it better.

And yes, real men do use Eclipse. I checked. I'm real.

posted by Michael Curry 06 Mar 2018

@Michael Curry : I also use it ( because I have no choice), but authors could save developer's time and nerves and make it less terrible to use:) I think people that complain about Eclipse need only that and when other people say Eclipse is perfect they prevent making it better.

posted by Milen Stoychev 06 Mar 2018
4 years, 5 months ago.

I am in full support, I find it better to being work on porting Keil uVision to other operating systems rather than a whole new IDE. Other IDEs already have very nice debugging experiences.