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Author Topic: What IDE to choose ?  (Read 4068 times)
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Brosske
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« on: October 03, 2012, 03:12:27 15:12 »

Hi all,

I'm looking (for my high-school students) after an intuitive learning platform to give them a first approach in PIC-C programming. Of course there is the standard MPLAB, but in this IDE there is NO WAY to make a VISUAL SIMULATION other than in text. Frustrating for a first approach. I would like to visualize it....
Of course, we can use FlowCode, but hell-no ! (I refuse to call this programming anyway because even my grandma could build a sequence to program a PIC). There is no fun about using FlowCode and not all PIC's functional blocks are available (altough some interesting libraries are available).

Actualy we're using WIZ-C From http://www.fored.co.uk/.
Here a sample of what I was testing lately:


BUT  Smiley I wonder if there is other/better IDE than the one in Wiz-C to start to develop ? Where better could I post this question other than on my favorite forum ? Smiley

Thank you so much for you're honorable contribution !!

greetz Smiley
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metal
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« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2012, 05:12:14 17:12 »

TBO, the registers names should deter the students away : )

Are you sure this is a beginners course? Usually when material is about advanced peripherals of the PIC, instructors divide students into groups and start using real hardware oscilloscopes, etc..
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Brosske
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« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2012, 06:14:37 18:14 »

Let's say they have 20h technical background about PIC's working (architecture,busses, memory mappings etc) and then they must progressivly program from easy(starting from blinking led) to more difficult things (SPI, I2C). More motivated students may go to MiWi & inter-PIC (server-client) applications (but they are few).

Second semester = PLD Wink but that's another story
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metal
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« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2012, 06:31:32 18:31 »

20h, seriously? AhmadK teaches PIC, ask him what he used and how many hours he taught per kurs.
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Brosske
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« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2012, 06:40:24 18:40 »

Thanks

Ok i will ask him to get around this post :-)
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Magnox
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« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2012, 06:49:59 18:49 »

Brosske, while I cannot help with what you ask, I applaud you for what you are doing. Can I ask, what age range are your students? 'High School' to me means 11 to 16 years old.

I was a teacher and head of science department for nine years, teaching GCSE level to 11-16s. I would love to have done something similar to you; I even thought about PLDs and discussed microcontrollers with the ICT guy.

It wasn't to be though due partly to the difficulty of getting the type of pupils we had through even the basics of general science. There simply wasn't time in the day to do anything extra for those few with the interest and ability to go further. That, and the fact that the school was being run by idiotic senior management who wouldn't hire enough staff or pay for anything not absolutely essential.

Good luck to you and your students!
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Brosske
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« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2012, 07:00:42 19:00 »

Hi Rick,

Mine are 18, students in electronics, next year they go for Bachelor or Master. We participate (if possible) to a robot lin follower contest (2010 first prize Smiley ) were they must develop autonomously (chassis & circuit & pcb) a little robot... Realy fun where they learn A LOT Smiley

Management leaves me alone and autonome. If not, I can show my teeth and stand up (in a way of speaking) and me, on the counterpart, I survey not to spent too much money Smiley. Since electronics are less popular they give me free run to push electronics to a more popular level... not easy, but then again the prof's attitude (mine thus) is significantly more important than the rest Smiley

Thanks for the encouragements Smiley
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Sideshow Bob
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« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2012, 07:34:14 19:34 »

If they have some hardware to play with. I can see no use use for tools like "WIZ-C" I would have used MPLAB. But from the first lab sessions emphasized on how to debug code both hardware and software.
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Brosske
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« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2012, 07:39:24 19:39 »

Hi,
I have against MPLAB that no visible simulation can be done.... WIZ-C, has lots of of external devices (Input & Output), ready for easy simulation:
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Ichan
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« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2012, 08:06:42 20:06 »

Never use them but Oshonsoft named their product as "Simulator IDE" worth to look into perhaps?

BTW Mplab have native support to Proteus VSM, and I think Proteus has special low price for educational institution.

-ichan
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Brosske
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« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2012, 08:21:49 20:21 »

Hi Ichan,

Thanks for the contribution (other people also of course Wink )
Yes I know Oshon and find them fine, but only if you know well about ASM... and that I is too low-level for them... it must be C-environment.
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metal
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« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2012, 08:37:23 20:37 »

Oshonsoft IDE has a basic compiler, not C.
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glenndr_15
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« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2012, 05:30:05 05:30 »

How about Pinguino? Check here http://pinguino.cc/index.php

Pinguino

-Open Hardware Electronics Prototyping Platform
-Open Source Integrated Development Environment (IDE)

Multi-target Hardware
Pinguino is an Arduino-like electronics prototyping platform. It supports different 8- and 32-bit microcontrollers, all with built-in USB module (no FTDI chip !).

Pinguino comes with a USB Bootloader. This small program running inside the microcontroller is responsible for transferring your application from your PC to the microcontroller memory and handing over the control to this program afterwards.

No programmer is needed(*), the microcontroller can be reprogrammed over USB with a PC.

8-bit : PIC18F2550, PIC18F4550 and PIC18F26J50 from ©Microchip.
32-bit : PIC32MX Mips familly from ©Microchip.

Multi-level Software

Pinguino boards can be used of different ways depending on your skills :

with the Pinguino IDE and the Pinguino Language (based on C and almost compatible with Arduino language)
with our own 32-bit MIPS-elf GCC toolchain (C/C++) or 8-bit SDCC/GPutils toolchain (C only)
with ©Microchip ©MPLAB X IDE toolchain
Pinguino is an Integrated Development Environement (IDE) which gives everyone the ability to write, compile and upload programs on a Pinguino board.

Pinguino Language is almost compatible with Arduino's Language, Libraries and Shields.

It makes you write easily your application without spending hours learning pragma, configuration bits or command line compiler.

Best regards,
glenndr_15
« Last Edit: October 04, 2012, 05:59:04 05:59 by glenndr_15 » Logged
Brosske
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« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2012, 05:57:03 05:57 »

Hi glenndr_15,

MPLAB again... so no descent simulation....
Concerning the hardware I'm not difficult... we program directly in our application with ICSP. It's more the IDE that I would like to change.
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metal
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« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2012, 01:29:27 13:29 »

Why don't you use proteus? You can view registers and debug C code inside it.
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Sideshow Bob
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« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2012, 02:08:11 14:08 »

Maybe I am both somewhat predisposed and old-school here. But to me tools like WIZ-C looks a little like flimflams Wink. And I can not see the students will benefit much from using it compared to MPLAB. Another thing that is important. The students will need to use WIZ-C both in the LAB and at their personal computer to do the homework. Have you checked out how much this will cost your school in software licences.
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dotm
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« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2012, 02:11:56 14:11 »

Why don't you use proteus? You can view registers and debug C code inside it.

I'd even say to use the proteus debugger plugin in MPLABX. That's the most comprehensive simulation that i can think of since you even can debug microcycles in the proteus debug logs and timing.
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Brosske
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« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2012, 06:55:51 18:55 »


Maybe I am both somewhat predisposed and old-school here. But to me tools like WIZ-C looks a little like flimflams Wink. And I can not see the students will benefit much from using it compared to MPLAB. Another thing that is important. The students will need to use WIZ-C both in the LAB and at their personal computer to do the homework. Have you checked out how much this will cost your school in software licences.


Posted on: October 04, 2012, 06:53:53 18:53 - Automerged

Hi Dotm & Metal,

Hi bob,

I posted the medecine for Wiz-C here somewhere ;-)


Metal & Dotm,
I will give it a shot for Proteus ... and keep intouch Smiley
« Last Edit: October 04, 2012, 06:58:23 18:58 by Brosske » Logged

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dotm
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« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2012, 01:39:29 01:39 »



Posted on: October 04, 2012, 06:53:53 18:53 - Automerged

Hi Dotm & Metal,

Hi bob,

I posted the medecine for Wiz-C here somewhere ;-)


Metal & Dotm,
I will give it a shot for Proteus ... and keep intouch Smiley

so use proteus INSIDE mplab. look here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRk-PXJrEwc

in mplab you can set breakpoints and watch variables in the locals window.
in proteus you can  use diagnostics by right clicking on the pic and choose 'configure diagnostics' (includes timing and so on..) and you can also monitor a wide range of things like registers and memory and even source code and variables (when .elf is provided) by right clicking on the pic and choosing what you want in 'PIC CPU' down at the bottom.
have fun.
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metal
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« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2012, 01:58:04 01:58 »

Don't do it this way, sometimes it will be very slow inside MPLAB, write the code in MPLAB, open proteus, build the schematic and load the *.elf file into the PIC.
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Ahmad_k
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« Reply #20 on: October 05, 2012, 04:50:47 16:50 »

Well for me as a teacher of PIC Microcontroller, i use two methode. if someone has no programming knowledge he needs aproximatly 120Hours to become a small developper. if he has some knowledge on C or basic or any programming laguage 60Hours is sufficient.

As you know it is not only the programing language that is important, it is the experience that the student will get it by time.

For me here what i did to my students:
* Start with assembly language in MPLAB X
* Then simulate with PROTEUS, and i think it is the only tool that contains a lot of interface circuit to simulate (COMPIM, USB emulation, Network Emulation, SPI debugger and spice simulation)
* After that i start the C programming with the new C compiler from microchip, i love it so much
* Stay away from Mikroe compilers (My students have a lot of problems in their final project when using them)
* if someone dosen't know C programming, i recommend PROTON IDE.

So i think proteus is the only simulator that give me good result with a nice interface 
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dotm
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« Reply #21 on: October 05, 2012, 10:52:46 22:52 »

Don't do it this way, sometimes it will be very slow inside MPLAB, write the code in MPLAB, open proteus, build the schematic and load the *.elf file into the PIC.

a beginner normally does not program things that need specially fast simulation. At the start you will face challenges like correct initialisation ,flags , correct variables and so on.
Additionally, since MPLABX , the simulation does not run in a window in MPLAB , but in ISIS linked to MPLAB.
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metal
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« Reply #22 on: October 05, 2012, 11:09:34 23:09 »

In short: ISIS is very slow inside MPLAB.
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dotm
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« Reply #23 on: October 05, 2012, 11:15:53 23:15 »

In short: ISIS is very slow inside MPLAB.

really , i think it's fixed in MPLABX, have you tried it out yet?
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metal
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« Reply #24 on: October 06, 2012, 12:34:21 12:34 »

Yes, simulation is extremely slow.
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