Just Another Language

NEW (april 1999) : jal V0.4-10 suppors the Scenix SX18 and SX28

what is JAL?

JAL is a high-level language I for Microchip PIC 16x84 (16c84 and 16f84) and Scenix SX (SX18 and SX28) microcontrollers. I created JAL because I did not like any of the low-cost languages for the 16x84 and implementing a high level language looked like a nice project. Implementing an existing HLL seemed more difficult and less fun than creating my own, so I just started writing the compiler and the language evolved on the fly. JAL is for the PIC 16c84/16f84 and Scenix SX18/SX28 only, because those are the only chips I currently use.

Sorry for all C-lovers, but JAL is more like Pascal. I don't like C that much (although for practical reasons I use C a lot, the JAL compiler is written in C) and I wanted a HLL which is better mached to the PIC architecture, to my programming habits, and which I could explain to the kids of the young engineers club without giving a full course on computer architecture.

For a quick impression of JAL you could read either the summary or the examples section of the on-line manual. The release notes explain the difference between the public versions of JAL. Although I don't get much questions I wrote a JAL FAQ. For a first-time PIC users the english version of the 16x84 assignments I wrote for the local "young engineers" club might be interesting.

legal status

The JAL compiler is cardware: you are free to copy and use the compiler and the documentation for whatever purpose you want, but I would like to be notified of any significant use (by postcard, email or whatever). There is absolutely no warranty for the fitness of the provided software and documentation for any purpose. The use of JAL for life-critical or weapons systems is explicitly forbidden (I don't like the idea of anyone being killed because some JAL bug - or the absence thereof!).

The JAL libraries are covered by the GNU Library General Public License, which means that you are free to distribute either these libraries or derived versions. You are even allowed to ask money for it, but you are not allowed to remove the LGPL notice. There is no such obligation for the compiled version (hex file), so you can freely sell or (give away) a product which contains these libraries in compiled form.

Sorry, the source of the JAL compiler is not available.


Essentially the same JAL distribution is available for dos/windows (zip file, ~200Kb) or for linux (tgz file, ~100Kb).

The distributions contain:

Rindert Nauta has made a math library by wrapping some fixed point routines from the Microchip AN00617 and AN526B application notes in JAL procedures.

JAL projects

Some JAL projects I know of:

user response

All reactions (experiences, suggestions, projects, bugs, contributions, flames, whatever) are welcome.

Wouter van Ooijen