snekde — an IDE for snek development

I had hoped to create a stand-alone development environment on the Arduino, but I've run out of room. The current snek image uses 32606 bytes of flash (out of 32768) and 1980 bytes of RAM (out of 2048). I can probably squeeze a few more bytes out, but making enough room for a text editor seems like a stretch.

As a back-up plan, I've written a host-side application that communicates with the Arduino over the serial port.

Python + Curses

I looked at a range of options for writing this code, from Java to PyTk and finally settled on Python and Curses. This requires a minimal number of Python packages on the target system (just curses and pyserial), and seems to run just fine on both Linux and Windows. I haven't tried it on OS X, but I imagine it will work fine there too.

This creates a pretty spartan UI, but it's not a lot of code (about 800 lines), and installing it should be pretty easy.

What Can It Do

It's not the worlds most sophisticated IDE, but it does the basics:

  • Get and Put source code to EEPROM on the Arduino.

  • Edit source code. Including auto-indent, and a cut/paste buffer.

  • Load and Save source code to files on the host.

  • Interact with the snek command line, saving all output for review

Where Now for Snek?

I think I'll let a few students give this a try and see if they can make anything of it. I expect to get lots of feedback for stuff which is wrong, confusing or undocumented which should help make it better pretty quickly.

snekde source: