A Micro:Bit IDE
Micro:Pi is a pure python IDE (Intergrated Development Enviroment) designed to run on any system with python. It has a simple interface and features including built in examples, file inporting, and even different themes to suit how you are feeling.
Why use Micro:Pi over alternatives?
For starters, once you have donloaded the yotta build setup (included with the pip package) it’s entirely offline and doens’t require any internet connection at all. Seccondly, it is an IDE for C++. C++ if the langauge that all of the other editors are build arround, but none of them atchually allow you to program in it. All except for Micro:Pi! Other than that it is self contained, simple to use, contains lots of little features to speed up your day. And, oh! Did I mention that it’s open source?
On a raspberry pi (the intended platform) it’s simple. Open up a terminal and type the following:
sudo apt-get install srecord cmake ninja-build sudo pip install micropi
Then to start it simple type sudo micro-pi into a terminal window. On other platforms, you may need to download and install cmake, ninja-build and srecord manually, but Micro:Pi can still be installed with pip. On Windows (also posiably mac) you need to run python -m micropi to start it. If pip is unavaliable, you can download the .zip file from the PyPi Warehouse, extract it, then run python setup.py install
- In the top left corner are 4 triangles that indicate the status of your Micro:Bit. You highligh colour to say it’s plugged in. Orange if it’s uploading, and red is if Micro:Pi can’t find you Micro:Bit.
- Just underneath the 4 triangles, is your tab view. This allows you to create multiple files in your project.
- On the far right are 4 icons. From left to right they are, build, build and upload, toggle console and menu.
- The menu can be shown by clicking the menu icon and in it you have the option to do things like save, load and quit, but there are also some things like “import file” which allows you to add a file to your workspace and “reset build” which resets the enviroment in which Micro:Pi creates your finished code.
- If you hover over “Examples” a submenu appears from which you can chose pre-made examples to help you get started.
- If you click on settings from the menu, you will be greeted with the screen show in the screen shot and the options are as follows:
- Quick Start: This toggles whether to reset the build enviroment every time you start Micro:Pi. It is reccomended to put this on and just use “Rest Build” from the menu if you need to.
- Micro:Bit Location: This is where Micro:Pi tries to find your Micro:Bit. On windows change it to something like “E:” or whatevery your Micro:Bit’s drive letter is. (Use the arrow keys to move the cursor)
- Theme: Use the round buttons to select your chosen theme.
- The large white box in the top half of the screen is your text editor. This is where you write your code to put on your Micro:Bit
- Just under that, if you have the console toggled on, is the console. Here you will see status on how your build is doing and any errors in your code.
If you want to contribute, then at the moment there isn’t a paypal button or anything like that, but if you are any good at art then you could contribute by creating some new buttons for the top right. At the moment, they are a bit rubish and are only really placeholders. Also you could create some more splash screens as veriety is cool. This website could also do with some work if someone is willing to put in the time. In fact, if you really wanted you could help with the code because things like dragging to select text, copy/paste, Xscroll aren’t yet implemented. You can find the source code either at http://github.com/Bottersnike/MicroPi or by downloading the zip from http://warehouse.python.org/project/MicroPi. If you have created something, you can email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- The MBED team for developing yotta and alot of the build process
- Lancaster University for the microbit-dal runtime that this entire project is built upon
- Joe Finney from Lancaster Uni. for helping me when I was facing problems settings up yotta on my pi
- The entire Raspberry Pi Forums community for answering all my questions
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