Codebricks for Arduino is a plug-in for the standard Arduino IDE that provides a graphical programming environment based on code blocks or bricks. Its origin is based on Ardublock, developed by David Li. Like this one, Codeduino leans on the OpenBlocks MIT library; but customized by us for the desired functionality.
Why a new change and not a contribution to Ardublock?
My first idea was such, to make some contributions to existing Ardublock. The problems arose when I tried to run Ardublock on ARM platforms, such as Orange Pi or Raspberry Pi. Ardublock was very slow to load and failed when you tried to open a existing project. As I believe that Pi hardware platform is essential for the educational world, I decided to reorganize and review each and every Ardublock’s module, supressing superfluous parts, improving others and adding a number of new features, all with an executable size three times smaller. Basically, I deleted all images of the blocks, I reviewed the contributions of others and suppressed most of them due to being little or nothing documented. After this first optimization, and after verifying that it could be run on Pi hardware, I started adding new features which in my opinion were essential for learning and developing programs with a certain complexity.
Since Codebricks files were no longer 100% Ardublock compatible, we opted for new names and file extensions.
Which are these improvements and changes?
Well, without trying to make an extensive list, here they are those that I consider most significant. About programming enhacements, I must highlight:
- Parameters in subroutines
- Functions with parameters
- Local Variables when defined for the first time within a function or subroutine
- Byte Type to save RAM
- Variables with const, static, volatile and unsigned modifiers
- Direct Array Inicialization
- Full support for Strings
- Bitwise operations
Refered to the IDE functionality, it allows partial code export and import from/to Codebricks; and the merge of external code within the current project. These improvements are only recorded the PRO version.
To celebrate the launch of CB4Arduino, we offer for free the download of Codebricks-1.0.0-RC1 version from which you can get a free license until the end of 2016.