Adafruit WebIDE – new alpha release available

News from across the pond arrived last night, UK time. Our good friends at Adafruit have been working on their web-based integrated development environment (IDE) – hence WebIDE – for the Raspberry Pi, and have made a number of changes based on your requests. This is a big update (“Huge!” says PT), and if you’re already using the WebIDE you’ll notice some changes.

We’re big fans of Adafruit’s WebIDE for the Pi. It offers a nicely structured, easy way to learn how to program, and there’s already lots of support for it (check out Adafruit’s materials or click on the picture above), even though it’s stil in alpha. Beginners should find the visualiser especially helpful; it’s a good way to work out how simple scripts really work, and allows you to see how objects are created, how processes are stacked and so on. We’ve found it’s a real aid to understanding how things fit together, and a great way to explain concepts to people who’ve only just started programming.

Please be aware that because the WebIDE is still a product under development, you may encounter bugs. If you do, please report them using the tool in the editor; user feedback’s really valuable when developing this stuff, and LadyAda, PT, Justin, Tyler and the team want to hear about your experiences.

PT says:

We now have a new offline mode that you can enable with an –offline flag when you install the WebIDE.  This mode allows you to bypass using Bitbucket or Github, and should work when not connected to the internet.

We also have a new experimental GitHub mode that allows you to sign in with your GitHub account.  This feature is for advanced users that want to use GitHub as their provider.  This can be enabled with the –github flag during installation.  Please note that GitHub mode does not do some of the automated things (git ssh key setup, etc) that the default installation mode will do.

You can now refresh the left navigator from within the WebIDE, as well as manually update any repositories you have by right-clicking on them, and choosing the option to “Update Repository”.

The full list of new changes for the 0.3.7 version of the WebIDE are as follows:

Github support
• Ability to enable with –github as the default
• Advanced setting
• Requires manual ssh key setup as of yet.
• Most commands are treated as manual mode for now (manual commits, etc).

New Offline mode
• Ability to install with –offline as the default
• need to manually commit, and push changes (similar to the manual git setting)
• Bypasses bitbucket OAuth
• Ability to refresh directories from within the navigator

• New option to clone repositories without updating remote to bitbucket
• New right-click context menu option to update repositories from remote (origin/master for now)
• New Report Bug Link added to footer
• New confirmation dialog for navigating away from unsaved changes…Save Files/Don’t Save/Cancel
• Editor is set to readOnly for any files that shouldn’t change (README, update notes), including empty editor window while navigating.
• Deleting a file or project will now also delete a corresponding scheduled job from the queue.
• Errors cloning repositories are sent to the front-end now.
• Error handling for most git commands now. Notifications visible in WebIDE for failures.
• New Error pages for any issues with the system failing to show pages. Links to ALS WebIDE FAQ for help.
• New Error page specifically for OAuth failures. Adds a button to execute a script to help set the date and time.
• Attempt to set the date on the Pi during installation to prevent OAuth errors.
• Creating files and folders will automatically open them in the editor and navigator.
• Uploaded files will always use the current working directory, instead of uploading to the parent directory now.
• git pull commands are now using the quiet (-q) flag.
• Editor setting for supporting adding a Make link in the editor action bar if a Makefile is detected in the cwd. Not enabled by default.

If you are already running v0.2.0 or higher, you will be able to upgrade (and may already have done) from inside the editor. If you’re running an earlier version, you’ll need to completely remove your old editor and reinstall again. You can find out more at Adafruit. Thanks so much for all your work on this, Adafruit folks – we continue to be bowled over by all the work you’ve been putting into the Pi platform, and we couldn’t be more grateful. We’re looking forward to seeing you when we’re next in NYC!