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What do people think of the RoboWare IDE?


#1

Hello, this is my first time post on this forum so apologies if I don’t adhere to the community guidelines. Although I’m aware the Q&A website is for asking questions I thought this topic is farther reaching and more appropriate for a forum discussion.

I’m a university student who is just picking up ROS (linux and C++ as well) for a university robotics project. Reading the tutorials for ROS I have found the learning curve rather steep, and this is why I started to look for an IDE that can help me with getting started quickly. My search has lead me to the RoboWare package which is an IDE that helps users setup, manage and build ROS code (links lower down). It also features a graphical development tool that looks quite handy for a beginner.

I was really excited to find this, however I realized that not many people have used it before, and therefore I’m concerned whether it is safe or not (i.e. I’m uneasy with downloading and running random software from the internet)? The code is also not opensource, which might be a red flag. I also figured that it might be error prone and therefore might be more effort than what its worth.

So my question is this:
Is it safe to download and use Roboware?
If someone has used it before what is your experience with it?

Links:
Website: http://www.roboware.me/#/Home
Github: https://github.com/tonyrobotics/RoboWare
Only video I could find about it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NW-VFB0uMw
It is also briefly mentioned on the bottom of the ROS wiki IDE page: http://wiki.ros.org/IDEs


#2

Hello

My name is Lentin Joseph, author of 3 ROS books and running a robotics software development company called Qbotics.Labs which is mainly using ROS. For our projects, we are using Roboware. The advantage i have seen is easy to setup. Once we used to it, we can avoid running ROS commands. Everything can triggered from Roboware.

We are using Roboware for C++ programming, getting some issues during python programming. I think we can fix that too.

Overall we are happy with Roboware.


#3

Hi, I’m Jeff, software engineer from Tonyrobotics. As an IDE, RoboWare provides features such as auto-completion, go-to-definition, breakpoint, debugging, etc., which is suitable for ROS beginners and is easy to install without additional configuration. When handling ROS packages and nodes, it can help you do a lot of work under the hood, eliminating the hassle of typing commands and manually modifying files. As Lentin says, RoboWare starts ROS commands in a graphical way, and it’s a great convenience for beginners who aren’t familiar with Linux. We may not be paying much attention to the Python problem before, we will improve it later. In addition, ROS is safe, we have a plan for its open source. Thank you for your attention, welcome your feedback to help us make RoboWare better!


#4

Thanks for the reply Lentin, I appreciate it.


#5

Thanks for the reply Jeff, and thanks for developing this tool. I can really see its benefits in making ROS more widely accessible. If I install RoboWare will I be still capable of working with ROS in the traditional way through the shell?


#6

Sure, of course you can. Everything is just the same as the native way. The only side effect of RoboWare is that there will be several folders being generated in the workspace root. By the way, RoboWare also has an integrated terminal, you can run commands in it.


#7

I did a test-run of roboware on my Mac, and it seems useless for that platform.
I could not save anything, and when I placed an object, I would always get a string error, and then I could not remove said object.

I will try it on my Ubuntu station next.

D


#8

If you on ubuntu you may also try the ROS Qt Creator Plug-in found at the link below.

https://ros-industrial.github.io/ros_qtc_plugin/