tcMenu - A menu system for Arduino with IoT capabilities

A menu system for Arduino that is modular enough to support different input methods, display modules and remote control methods. TcMenu is more than just an Arduino menu library, think of it as a framework for building IoT applications that includes the ability to render menus locally onto a display.

Initially, you can use the menu designer UI that is packaged with every release, and available for both Windows and MacOS. The designer UI takes care of building the core menu code and putting any callback functions into your sketch file. Think of the designer like a form designer in the desktop domain. Furthermore, It's non destructive on the sketch file, so can be round tripped during development.

Questions, community forum and support

You can get help from the community forum, there are also support and consultancy options available from TheCodersCorner.

Installation and documentation

Nearly all users should probably choose the designer UI package; it's available for Windows and MacOS and includes all the embedded libraries. The designer UI will copy all the required libraries into place for you. However, should you wish to go it alone, the embedded libraries are in the embedded directory in the above repository, and can be copied directly into the Arduino/libraries folder.

Windows 10: Get from the Windows Store: [https://www.microsoft.com/store/productId/9NHJNH9BCNJN]

Get the latest TcMenu Designer release, it's available as an executable for Windows, a disk image for MacOS. Linux instructions here

UI user guide, getting started and other documentation

Full API embedded documentation

Generating a menu from the UI for the impatient

If you don't want to read the above documentation this gives a very quick start. Open the tcMenu Designer UI to start with and ensure the embedded libraries are up to date.

Load the EMF file from an example closest to the hardware you have. You'll see the menu tree structure on the left, and the details for each menu when selected on the right. Below the menu tree are buttons that manage items in the menu tree.

Once you've arranged your menu using the UI how you'd like it, choose Code -> ID & Eeprom analyser from the menu to check that you've not got any overlapping ranges, then choose Code -> Generate from the menu, choose appropriate hardware arrangements and hit generate.

The Generator is capable of round trip development too - most of the code is offloaded into associated CPP and Header files.

Priorities for the next versions

TcMenu saves memory in many ways

Memory usage is so low that it's even viable for Arduino Uno and other smaller boards, by holding all static data possible in static RAM, and only including the display drivers and remotes that you're using.

This means:

Types of input supported

Display types that are supported

Remote endpoints that are supported

This menu library provides complete remote control, presently over serial and ethernet. The full menu structure is sent over the wire and the Java API provides it as a tree that can be manipulated. There is also a defined protocol for other languages. In addition to this the menu can be programatically manipulated very easily on the device.

Ready built remote control for tcMenu

Is now included from 1.3 onwards and provides complete control of a menu without needing to build anything.

[https://www.thecoderscorner.com/products/arduino-libraries/tc-menu/tcmenu-remote-connection-arduino-desktop/]

Accessing TcMenu remotely using an API

Java / JVM API

There is a java API for accessing the menu remotely, source includes JavaDoc to help getting started. There is an example JavaFX UI built with it within the above Repo. Include the following into your maven build file:

    <dependency>
        <groupId>com.thecoderscorner.tcmenu</groupId>
        <artifactId>tcMenuJavaAPI</artifactId>
        <version>1.3.3</version>
    </dependency>

Coming Soon C# / .NET API

We are currently quite far along on a C# port of the API. There's an issue in the issue track for the port and we'll let you know when it's further along.

Loading and saving menu items

tcMenu can also save menu item state to EEPROM storage. On AVR that will generally be internal EEPROM, on 32 bit boards generally an AT24 i2c EEPROM.