I usually start using a serial connection with ESP8266 but add OTA support asap. Sometimes I disable this to use serial again etc. I can't see the reason for having to rebuild binaries for this type of change. The build rules should ignore changes that do not require rebuild. Alternatively, add a separate .ini file for those types of settings.
Just reate 2 different environments and switch between them via -e option. See http://docs.platformio.org/en/latest/userguide/cmd_run.html#cmdoption-platformio-run-e
It seems that this will require command line?
It would be better if selection of upload ports was done in a separate file.It should at least not affect the building of binaries since this is not required for this type of change.
PlatformIO IDE proposes per environment processor where you can select which task/target to run/build. In PlatformIO IDE for Atom, see left bottom corner where you can switch between environment. PlatformIO IDE for VSCode with dynamic tasks is planning for releases this week. The first beta is available
Don't understand. In Atom I have "PIO build" at bottom left, no environment information. Must I define environments from command line?
When you have more than one environment in platformio.ini, you will see extra targets per them in that list. Just create environments manually