Announcing robot_folders -- your new workspace management tool

Hi everybody,

Do you enjoy workspace management as part of your ROS developer life? Or are you tired of sourcing your workspace in every new shell and navigating to your workspace root in order to build your workspace every time? If you feel more like the second, we might have something for you:

Introducing robot_folders, your new tool to make your life as a ROS developer even more enjoyable.

robot_folders helps you with

  • Easy sourcing workspaces in a new shell with fzirob change_environment
  • Easy building of workspaces (from everywhere, in every sourced shell) with fzirob make
  • Easy navigation to your workspace folders with fzirob cd
  • Using underlay workspaces in a breeze with fzirob manage_underlays
  • Adding libraries to your workspace that can’t be built by colcon by using a misc_ws
  • Defining entry points for your applications by using fzirob run
  • Exchanging workspaces (“environments”) with others containing everything that is needed to get you running.
  • Builtin zsh support no more thinking about which setup file to source
  • Rich tab completion for all commands and environments

While being originally designed around the use-case of combining catkin workspaces with a custom cmake-based build system over the years robot_folders has evolved. Support for our custom build system got removed as the build system got deprecated and support for colcon workspaces was added.

We now decided to go open-source in order to share that experience with the community and for opening up the development for new feature ideas in order to make it the best work companion for doing ROS development.

If you’d like to try it yourself, check it out today by installing it via pip / pipx. See the installation instructions for details on installation.

Documentation can be found here.

Any issue reports, suggestions or any other feedback are very welcome on GitHub.

Happy robot folding :robot:

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