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Pros and cons of using Qt Creator with ROS plugin vs. VS Code with ROS plugin

I’m new to ROS and I’m trying to setup C++ development environment for simulated robotics scenarios with Gazebo 10 and ROS Melodic on Ubuntu 18.04. I don’t have a preferred C++ IDE on Linux, so consider Qt Creator and VS Code with C++ plugin about equal in that respect. I’m curious what are the pros and cons of Qt Creator with ROS plugin vs. VS Code with ROS plugin, purely from ROS application development perspective.

There’s a wiki page for this.
ROS Answers is a better place to ask questions like this. Also this question has been asked before, although I can imagine that asking it again will result in different answers due to improvements to the IDE’s that have happened over time.

It has only a single line links to tool’s websites. I’m trying to replace two learning curves with one here.

I thought that pros and cons questions are frowned upon at ROS Answers.

That’s not what I’m asking about. I’m interested only in ROS plugin comparison for these two IDEs (Qt Creator and VS Code).

As far as I know it’s OK. In any case I agree that this kind of question is in the grey area between Discourse and Answers.

I’ve used Qt Creator for more than 5 years now and the ROS plugin for 2 years. I’ve used VS Code intermittently for the last couple of years (never as my main IDE) and tried it with the ROS plugin when an update was announced.
Both IDE’s work fine for me, at first glance in terms of major features they are at a similar level. I did not miss features in VS Code when I tried it, I did not find features in VS Code that convinced me to switch from Qt Creator. Qt Creator feels quite a bit faster on my system and since I was already used to Qt Creator, I decided to stick with it.

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I personally use VSCode with the ROS Plugin. Works really well for getting the linting, autocomplete etc. right. Doesn’t really get in the way and would help you learn in the long run because it isn’t really a full on IDE like Qt Creator.

In addition, I think Microsoft took over the plugin from the original creator, so it might be supported for longer now.

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I personnaly use both. When I create an HMI or any graphical interface, I use QT creator. When I develop drivers / python packages, I prefer Code. I guess for your case you don’t need really the QtCreator / Designer and you might use some extra plugin of Code (like docker, which can be usefull for development), so I would recommand Code.

Pro and cons are very hard to list because they are very different.


Take a look at CLion as well. I used 2 IDEs you mentioned. Between QT creator and VS code the last one is definitely more modern and convenient. But CLion I believe surely exceeds them both. One disadvantage - it’s commercial. But you can use free(community) version and download it again every month to prolong trial time.

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