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  • Programming Languages

    Why are we being restricted to using Java for next year's FTC season? It has been beneficial having the option to choose between different languages. This is a benefit due to different learning styles. I have both FTC and FRC teams and they use LabVIEW mostly to program both of their robots because of the similar interfaces and code structure. This year I did have an advance team try RobotC and liked it but having to pay for it was a big turn off. I have even had FLL teams use LabVIEW to program the NXT and EV3 for unofficial events and demos. Having the ability to have a language that can cross multiple platforms has been a huge benefit as a teacher and coach.

    Will other languages be available in the future?
    Will teams have to pay for the programming software?

    Thank you,

    FTC7309

  • #2
    Hi FTC7309 - Thanks for your post.

    For the 2015-2016 season, teams will be able to use Android Studio/Java (http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html) and the MIT/Google App Inventor (http://appinventor.mit.edu/explore/) to create programs for their robots. Additional tools could also potentially be available with the new platform in the near future. Note that Java can also be used to program FRC's new RoboRio platform, so the Java skills learned in FTC can also be applied to FRC.

    I agree that there are definite benefits to supporting multiple languages. However, there are currently only a limited number of development tools that could be used to develop robot programs (also known as "op modes") for our new platform. We are only able to offer the tools that are integrated with the Android operating system and our robot hardware (motor controllers, servo controllers, sensors, etc.).

    We would have loved to offer both LabView and RobotC as a choice for our teams, but unfortunately, these two development tools are not currently supported on Android.

    There could potentially be additional tools available at a later date. Currently, however, only Android Studio and the App Inventor are supported.

    Sincerely,

    Tom

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    • #3
      Tom,

      Specifically, on the FRC Java support. Our team has resisted moving to Java in FRC because it is not commercially supported and there is a feeling it is not the "focus" of First or NI in regards to support. If we are going to move to Java for FRC (which seems to make sense given this change), should we expect Java to be equally supported? To be clear I am not saying Java is not supported today. Just that, we have not used Java before in FRC and we don't want to move that direction if the primary platform from First will be LabView (as it seems to be today).

      Thanks,

      Eddie

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