The Criteria on the Integrated Development Environment

In order to focus on the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) aspects specific to robotic programming, it is important to base the new IDE on an existing framework. This framework must provide code editing and basic debugging functionality. Frameworks under consideration were judged on five criteria:
1. Support for the Phyton scripting language is essential, so it can use the RADAR real unit extensions to the language. Additionally, Phyton is a flexible rapid-development language well suited to robotics research.
2. An open source license is also a requirement. This permits modifications the underlying code of the framework as well as a simplified distribution model.
3. Robotic development takes place across a wide variety of platforms. It felt that this should be reflected by adopting a cross-platform approach to the IDE. This meant that the base framework must be supported across a minimum of two platforms, preferably Linux and Windows.
4. As the project is intended to expand on the base functions of the IDE, the extend ability of the chosen framework is also important. Although an open source platform permits modification to the IDE source code, this is not an optimal solution; ideally the basis for the IDE will support such extensions without source modifications.
5. Finally, the IDE chosen must both be in popular use to ensure ongoing development and support and be user friendly. That is, it must include such modern IDE features as syntax highlighting and project management.

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