Ok the original Arduino IDE is good but not great. It’s pretty basic as it’s intended to be. I needed something better, something advanced. I didn’t try every alternative out there. I tried using Eclipse (it’s actually an eclipse plugin, see here) but I couldn’t get it work. I believe it didn’t work because I needed 32 bit Java. Anyways, I tried Visual Micro. This is something I liked. It’s also a plugin for Visual Studio. (FYI Visual Studio now comes in a free community edition, see here) Two things I didn’t like:
1) Creates too many files, that’s just how Visual Studio works. It creates several folders and files which I don’t need.
2) Some of the compilation errors didn’t show up. I was pulling my hair trying to figure out the cause of the error. I eventually figured out it after I compiled it using the original Arduino IDE.
The other “problem” for me was that I’m using a PC and laptop (it’s one of those convertible tablet/laptop) for development. I wanted to same the software on both systems. I didn’t want to install a big IDE like Visual Studio (with Visual Micro) on my laptop (it doesn’t have much space).
So I have decided to use Notepad++ for development and then use the original Arduino IDE with the “External editor” option activated.