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Electric Imp Developer

by electricimp ST3

Sublime Text 3 plug-in for Electric Imp applications development



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Electric Imp impCentral Sublime Plug-in (Beta)

Sublime Text 3 plug-in for Electric Imp applications development.


The Plug-in is designed to improve developer productivity. It allows you to rapidly build and maintain applications by providing:

  • Code auto-completion for Electric Imp’s imp API
  • The ability to use a source control system to manage application code and configuration
  • Advanced Squirrel code highlighting
  • Integration with impWorks™ Builder to enable multi-file projects and code pre-processing
  • Live logs with clickable stack traces for errors, including navigation to the file and line in question
  • Key shortcuts for frequent operations (build and run, show console, etc.)
  • Leverages Sublime Text 3’s rich set of features.

The Plug-in requires connection to the Internet as it leverages the Electric Imp impCentral™ API to work with the Electric Imp impCloud™.


Note The Electric Imp Sublime Plug-in supports Sublime Text 3 only. No other versions are supported. Tested on macOS only.

1. Install Node.js

Note The plug-in requires Node.js 4.0 or above.

Please follow these instructions to install Node on your machine.

2. Install the Builder Node.js Module

The plug-in uses the Builder Node.js module for source code pre-processing. To install Builder, please use Node Package Manager (NPM):

npm i -g Builder

3. Install Sublime Text

Sublime Text 3 can be downloaded for a variety of platforms, here.

4. Install the Electric Imp Sublime Plug-in

Using Package Control

If you already have Package Control installed in Sublime Text:

  • Select Install Package from the Command Palette: Ctrl+Shift+P on Windows and Linux or ⌘⇧P on macOS
  • Search for Electric Imp Developer and click Enter
  • Restart Sublime Text 3

Using the Sublime Text Terminal

You can install the plug-in with the following command in the Sublime Text terminal (ctrl+`) which utilizes git clone.

Note Please make sure you have git installed on your system when trying this method.

import os; path=sublime.packages_path(); ie_plugin_path=os.path.join(path, 'imp-developer'); (os.makedirs(path) if not os.path.exists(path) else None); window.run_command('exec', {'cmd': ['git', 'clone', 'https://github.com/electricimp/ElectricImp-Sublime.git', 'imp-developer'], 'working_dir': path}) if not os.path.exists(ie_plugin_path) else window.run_command('exec', {'cmd': ['git', 'pull'], 'working_dir': ie_plugin_path})

Manual Installation

Alternatively, follow these steps to install the plug-in manually:

  1. Create the plug-in folder:

    • macOS /Users/<username>/Library/Application Support/Sublime Text 3/Packages/imp-developer
    • Windows “%AppData%\Sublime Text 3\Packages\imp-developer%”
  2. Do one of the following:

    • Download the full GitHub source repository as a .zip file and extract its contents into the plug-in folder (Sublime Text 3/Packages/imp-developer) or
    • Clone the contents of the source repository ElectricImp-Sublime into the plugin folder (Sublime Text 3/Packages/imp-developer)
    • Restart Sublime Text 3

Sublime Text Plug-in Usage

Creating a New Project

Your first step should be the creation of a new project. Do this by selecting the ‘Tools’ > ‘Packages’ > ‘Electric Imp’ > ‘Create Project’ menu item. You will then be asked to specify the project folder.

The project folder will be set up with the following:

-- <Project Name>
  |--> settings                           - Electric Imp settings folder
  .   |--> auth.info                      - SENSITIVE: impCentral API tokens and 
  .   |                                     GitHub authentication information
  .   |--> electric-imp.settings          - Generic Electric Imp settings
  |--> src                                - Source folder
  .   |--> device.nut                     - Device code
  .   |--> agent.nut                      - Agent code
  |--> .gitignore                         - .gitignore file to exclude auth.info file 
  |                                         from git repository
  |--> electric-imp.sublime-project       - Sublime project file

Important settings/auth.info should not be put under source control as it contains sensitive information

The electric-imp.settings file contains:

  • A unique project identifier.
  • A unique Device Group identifier.
  • The most recent deployment made by the plug-in.
  • Device and agent code file names.
  • Builder preprocessor configuration
  • The impCentral API base URL (can be changed to work with private impClouds)


{ "product-id"    : "<product id>",
  "devicegroup-id": "<device group id>",
  "deployment-id" : "<deployment id>",
  "device-file"   : "<path to device source file, src/device.nut by default>",
  "agent-file"    : "<path to agent source file, src/agent.nut by default>",
  "cloud-url"     : "<impCentral base endpoint URL>",
  "builder-settings": { "variable-definitions": {<Builder variable definitions>}, 
                        "builder_cli_path": "<Path to the Builder's cli.js>", 
                        "node_path": "<path to Node.js (node) executable>" },  

When a project is created, empty device and agent code files (device.nut and agent.nut) are automatically created and stored in the <Project Name>/src folder.

If a project is created successfully, a new window with the project folder is opened.

Note If you need to apply the Squirrel language syntax highlighting to files with extension other than .nut, please make sure you have ‘Squirrel (Electric Imp)’ language selected under the ‘View’ > ‘Syntax’ menu item.

Important The code which is deployed to the Device Group is preprocessed and contains line control markers. When you select an existing Device Group, the plug-in pulls down the code, but it doesn’t transfer the project file/folder structure. So for collaborative work on the same project, please share the original Electric Imp plug-in project sources/structure via a source control system.

Opening an Existing Project

To open an existing Electric Imp project, select the ‘Project’ > ‘Open Project…’ menu option and choose the <Project Name>.sublime-project file from your project folder.

Note The plug-in won’t properly detect an Electric Imp project if it is not opened as described, ie. if it is opened as a folder (‘File’ > ‘Open…’), not as a Sublime Text project.

Building and Running

To build and deploy code, please select the ‘Tools’ > ‘Packages’ > ‘Electric Imp’ > ‘Build and Run’ menu item. This action uploads the agent and the device code to the server, and restarts all of the devices assigned to the target Device Group.

When you first build code (or perform any other action that requires access to the impCloud), you will be asked to provide:

  • The impCentral API base URL. The default value should be used, unless you are working with an Electric Imp Private impCloud.
  • The path to the Node.js executable (if not automatically detected by the plug-in).
  • The location of the Builder cli.js command line tool (if not automatically detected by the plug-in).
  • Your Electric Imp account user name, password and one-time password (OTP) as needed.
  • Whether the tool should create a new project or open an existing one.
  • A Product that belongs to another user who has granted your appropriate collaborator roles.
  • Whether the tool should create a new Device Group or select an existing one.
  • You may also be offered the opportunity to download the latest deployment if you select an existing Product and Device Group.

If you want to have you code running on a specific devices and view the logs from that devices, you need to select them using the ‘Tools’ > ‘Packages’ > ‘Electric Imp’ > ‘Assign Device’ menu item. The ‘Unassign Device’ menu item removes a device from the project’s Device Group.

Note To build and deploy your code it isn’t necessary to assign a device to the Device Group. If you don’t have a device assigned, you can still work on the code and see compilation errors reported by the server.

The Log Console

The Console can be popped up by selecting ‘Tools’ > ‘Packages’ > ‘Electric Imp’ > ‘Show Console’ menu item. The Console shows live logs streamed from the current Device Group if the group contains at least one device.

Adding a Device to the Project Device Group

To assign devices to the project’s Device Group, go to the ‘Tools’ > ‘Packages’ > ‘Electric Imp’ > ‘Assign Device’ menu item and select a device from the list. The newly added device is automatically attached to the console log stream.

Removing a Device from the Project Device Group

Devices can be removed from the project’s Device Group by selecting the ‘Tools’ > ‘Packages’ > ‘Electric Imp’ > ‘Unassign Device’.

Note The log will be restarted when a device is unassigned.

Retrieving a Device’s Agent URL

The URL of a device’s agent can be retrieved by selecting the ‘Tools’ > ‘Packages’ > ‘Electric Imp’ > ‘Get Agent URL’ menu item. The URL is saved to the clipboard.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Note Electric Imp-specific menu items are only available if an Electric Imp project is opened in the currently active window.

Command Keypress
Create Project Ctrl + Shift + Y
Build and Run Ctrl + Shift + X
Show Logs Console Ctrl + Shift + C

Preprocessor and Multi-File Support

Please refer to the Builder documentation for more information on the preprocessor syntax that you can use in your Squirrel code.

Specifying GitHub Authentication Information

Please use the project <Project Name>/settings/auth.info file to specify your Builder GitHub authentication information:

{ ...
  "builder-settings": { "github-user": "GitHub user name",
                        "github-token": "Personal access token or password" }

Specifying Builder Preset Variable Definitions

Please use the project <Project Name>/settings/electric-imp.settings file to specify the Builder variables definitions:

{ "builder-settings": { ...,
                        "variable-definitions": { "key1": "value1",
                                                  "key2": "value2" },
                        ... }


The Electric Imp Sublime Plug-in is licensed under the MIT License.