VEXcode Preview

#1

As most people have noticed by now, it’s been a while since the last update to VEX Coding Studio. We understand your frustration, but due to some unforeseen issues the next release is still not quite ready for the public.

That being said, we’ve heard many of your concerns. We’re happy to announce that we’ve been working with Robomatter to create a new, text-only programming software named VEXcode. We have realized that many of the advanced text editing features that our users need do not fit in the model of VCS. By creating a separate environment for C++, we can add these advanced features without affecting the users that are comfortable with VCS.

While version 1.0 is still not quite ready for a public release, we still wanted to get a fully functional preview version in the hands of our users to hear your feedback and keep you informed about our ongoing efforts to improve the VEX programming experience. The preview version can be downloaded here:
PC - https://link.vex.com/vexcode-preview-pc
Mac - https://link.vex.com/vexcode-preview-mac

image

A few additional notes about this release:

  1. This preview is a fully functional text-only V5 coding tool. This uses the standard C++ language and V5 API.
  2. Autocomplete is functional but will continue to improve in future releases.
  3. Real time syntax error detection and suggestions are still being improved.
  4. Robot configuration is currently text only.
  5. This preview is for Windows and macOS.
  6. The first New Project screen is a placeholder and will be replaced with a more complete Home screen.
  7. The current visual theme is dark only.

Please use this thread to post your questions and comments. Your feedback and ideas will be used to influence all future development directions for VEXcode during the preview phase.


Description
VEXcode is a text-only programming environment built specifically for VEX robots. It incorporates all of the code editing tools programmers need to efficiently build and maintain complicated robotics projects. VEXcode is for VEX competitors and students alike and is based on the same coding environment and tools that professional programmers use.

  • Computers only (no tablets).
  • Text only (no graphical code blocks).
  • Simple, intuitive, and feature rich.

VEXcode is intended for experienced programmers who are comfortable with file management. The user interface is simple, yet powerful. The text editor is front and center with all of the advanced tools needed to bring your project to life. Users can easily create, compile, download, and monitor robot programs. All project related files, including source files, are stored on the user’s local storage device. This allows users to incorporate these files into the software version control system of their choice. VEXcode even offers built-in VEXos firmware updates, no longer requiring users to use separate programs.

VEXcode is built on Monaco, the same platform as Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code. Using Monaco will allow VEX to add more features and fix issues faster than ever before. Future releases will add support for Chromebooks, GitHub, and will also add more languages.


Screenshots

Editor with split screen
SplitScreen%20(1)

Autocomplete
AutoComplete3

Peek to definition, then Go to definition
Peek3


Features

General

  • Free
  • VEX V5 Hardware
  • Windows and macOS
  • [future release] Chromebooks support
  • C, C++
  • [future release] Python, javascript
  • Competition templates

Text Editor

  • Autocomplete
  • Auto indent
  • Syntax coloring
  • Bracket matching
  • Code Collapsing
  • Split View (multiple files at once)
  • Find and Replace
  • Undo/Redo
  • Goto Definition
  • Peek to Definition
  • Real time syntax errors, suggestions
  • Code Clean Up (Format Code)
  • [future release] Bright theme

VEX Vision Sensor

  • Integrated Vision Utility
  • Automatic Vision Sensor code generation File Management

File Management

  • Files Saved Locally
  • Files Saved Automatically (on Build)
  • Standard Code Extensions
    (.cpp, .h, .c …)
  • Solution File for Project Settings
  • Import (C++).VEX files from VCS
  • Create New Projects from Templates
  • Create New Projects from Examples

Build Process

  • Integrated with the latest VEX SDK
  • Automatic SDK Updates
  • Integrated compiler and linker
  • Compiler Logs (Errors, Warnings)
  • Customizable build scripts

Download

  • Wired Downloading
  • Debug Log from User Program
  • Wireless via V5 Controller
  • [future release] Wireless via Bluetooth

VEXos

  • Automatic VEXos updater
  • Integrated VEXos diagnostic tools
  • Read event logs from the brain
  • Generate tech support system report

Support Documentation
Find help to get started with VEXcode via the VEX Robotics Knowledge Base at https://help.vex.com

Installing VEXcode:

Creating / Opening / Importing Programs:

Configuring Devices:

Building and Downloading Your Project:

16 Likes

#2

So its a dark themed Notepad++ with NotVCS?

I might have to give this a try. Any chance of thid getting an Atom extension for those of us who like using Atom better than other IDEs?

2 Likes

#3

What are the odds of the old RobotC language being adapted for V5?

1 Like

#4

I think someone made something for this.

0 Likes

#5

How about extending this to VEX IQ as well? It is in great need of a refresh as far as coding options is concerned as well!

Please ensure that Chromebooks are supported!

1 Like

#6

Looks great! Cant wait to use it.
Also will there be an auto updater so we wont have to uninstall and reinstall each time there is an update?

Edit: made it nicer sounding

1 Like

#7

Thanks DRow and VEX, this looks promising! Any chance of Linux support on future releases? Currently I see that as a plus of choosing PROS.

3 Likes

#8

Monaco is a lot more than Notepad++, I don’t think they compare.

Monaco is the core editor for VS Code, giving VEX / Robomatter the ability to quickly achieve features like the following https://code.visualstudio.com/docs/editor/editingevolved

This is a really exciting announcement, should give our students a solid platform.

2 Likes

#9

Good job using a MVS looking interface, i just never liked atom’s interface for some reason

0 Likes

#10

Ok, so I already found a problem. I cannot import all of the .cc source files that have most of my code (notvcs). I am able to import .h files fine, though.

2 Likes

#11

Nice adapting Monaco to directly support V5 programming.

I can now start my MS off with this, and then move them to PROS progressively.

4 Likes

#12

Lol that was quick. If this gets an update I’ll be impressed!

0 Likes

#13

That’s my thoughts also, this will be a good entry point for our 7th & 8th graders.

0 Likes

#14

I know. I was joking about it being Notepad++ with NotVCS because I made a thing and it now competes with this I guess.

1 Like

#15

Are you able to import .cpp files?

0 Likes

#16

Hey quick question, if we already have Visual Studio Code, is there plans to just make an extension for VEXCode?

Actually - Similar to the WPILib extension used in FRC, why doesn’t VEX do something like that so your coders can just download the marketplace extension

4 Likes

#17

I think so. <please remove the 20char limit>

0 Likes

#18

You can try to change the .cc to a .cpp and attempt to import it

0 Likes

#19

@vexteacher,

We haven’t finalized any decisions on IQ yet. But we will keep that in mind.

We do plane to support Chomebooks in a future release. We will keep posting updates as we nail down these features.

1 Like

#20

@Gabriel_D,

This preview contains a way to update the VEX SDK without uninstall/re-install. But currently you will have to re-install to update the app. But our goal is to make the app updates as painless as possible by the time we reach the 1.0 release.

1 Like