NetBeans for Arduino development

Tired of the limited Arduino stock IDE, I decided to explore more sophisticated options.

NetBeans 7.3 seemed to have a good blend of advanced features and approachability, and I found some documentation for an Arduino plugin:

The instructions were clear and helpful up until the makefile configuration (note that the Path system variable can have multiple paths separated by semi-colons, e.g., “c:\programs\arduino-1.0.3\hardware\tools\avr\bin;c:\programs\arduino-1.0.3\hardware\tools\avr\utils\bin;c:\programs\GnuWin32\bin;”). Here, the author assumes previous experience messing with makefiles. So here are my hard-earned lessons over the last couple of days:

1) The COM port, Arduino base directory, model, and baud rate must be manually configured.

2) Including libraries other than Arduino.h, or those that are defined within the project, must be addressed by uncommenting the corresponding section in the build definitions. For example:

# LiquidCrystal:
${CMD_AVR_GPP} ${ARDUINO_LIB_DIR}/LiquidCrystal/LiquidCrystal.cpp -o lib/LiquidCrystal.cpp.o
${CMD_AVR_AR} lib/LiquidCrystal.cpp.o

Without doing these steps, compiling individual files is possible (indeed, right-clicking to navigate to the declaration works just fine for external libraries), but the linked build will fail.

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