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'[PIC]: MPLAB opinions sought'
2003\03\01@132208 by Dave Dilatush

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I've been using the 16-bit versions of MPLAB for several years,
and have so far put off switching over to MPLAB v6.10 out of a
general dislike for being the first to try out new- and
potentially buggy- software.

To those of you who've been using v6.10: Do you like it?  Is
there anything particular you find about v6.10 that's markedly
superior (or inferior) to v5.70?  Have you had any serious
problems with v6.10?

At some point I'm sure I'll want to start doing all new work in
the 32-bit version of MPLAB; I'm just trying to decide whether to
go ahead and start now, or wait until it's a little more
"mature".

Soliciting all opinions, of which I'm sure there must be many...

Dave D.

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2003\03\01@140415 by Dwayne Reid

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At 06:20 PM 3/1/03 +0000, Dave Dilatush wrote:
>I've been using the 16-bit versions of MPLAB for several years,
>and have so far put off switching over to MPLAB v6.10 out of a
>general dislike for being the first to try out new- and
>potentially buggy- software.

Version 6.12 is what I've been using for the past couple of weeks.  It is
far from complete.

Things are done pretty much completely different from the 16 bit
version.  Some things are better, some things worse.  I have found no
outright bugs yet but there are certainly many things I don't like.

Case in point: the new version seems to hide stuff that used to be readily
available.  OSCCAL bits are not visible - you can't change them, you can't
even view them.

Controls seem to be scattered all over the place - stuff that affects the
debugger or emulator is NOT all gathered in one easy to locate area but
instead spread throughout the whole MPLAB interface, often hidden several
levels inside functions that you would not normally think off.

Help functions are a joke.

My opinion, for what its worth, is to get the current version, use it, then
start giving feedback to Microchip.  I think that is the only way were
going to get a useable version.  It *is* the future - Microchip needs our
feedback to make it a future we enjoy using.

dwayne

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2003\03\01@151603 by Rick Regan

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>At some point I'm sure I'll want to start doing all
>new work in
>the 32-bit version of MPLAB; I'm just trying to
>decide whether to
>go ahead and start now, or wait until it's a little
>more
>"mature".

If you want to experiment with 6.10 you can install
it without uninstalling 5.70.  I have both installed
and use both (although I never tried to RUN them at
the same time).



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2003\03\01@155216 by Dwayne Reid

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At 12:14 PM 3/1/03 -0800, Rick Regan wrote:

>If you want to experiment with 6.10 you can install
>it without uninstalling 5.70.  I have both installed
>and use both (although I never tried to RUN them at
>the same time).

I have run both MPALB 5.70.40 and 6.12 at the same time without any
noticeable problems.  6.12 was running the ICD2 via USB while 5.70.40 was
running the PS+.  Both worked just fine.

For what its worth: ICD2 with 12f675-ICD does not handle the sleep
instruction properly.  I didn't expect it to - no surprises there.  But it
was NOT documented as a limitation anywhere that I could see.

dwayne

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2003\03\01@162648 by Nick Veys

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For what I do, PICC coding without bothering w/simulation or ICD, it's
100% complete and perfectly stable.

It finally has a semi-modern project interface, adding object files and
source files cause them to be compiled in or linked when applicable.
Very complete (for me).  I uninstalled MPLab 5 months ago, I hated that
old decrepid piece of shoot and love MPLab 6.

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> {Original Message removed}

2003\03\01@181932 by Mike Harrison

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On Sat, 1 Mar 2003 12:03:19 -0700, you wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Is there any likelihood they'll actually listen though - there are umpteen years-old problems in the
older MPLABs that I gave up complaining about.
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2003\03\02@042307 by Ian McLean

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I have been using MPLAB 6.10 for a few weeks only.  Not game yet to try 6.12
as it is not yet complete.  I only use it for coding and assembly of MPASM,
and my observations are:

a) I like the context colouring, except MPLAB gets it screwed up from time
to time, particularly with literals.  Example 'movlw 0Ah' shows the '0Ah' in
red as it should, but 'movlw 0Dh' shows the '0D' in black, and the 'h' in
purple.  Seems to compile properly, but seeing things like this makes me
paranoid that the assembler too might get it mixed up.  Duh!  Is this
Microchip's way of saying "be more consistent with your literal definitions"
?

b) Had to go and fix much of my indentation after changing tabs to spaces.

c) Why, oh why, oh why has Microchip STILL not given us the ability to split
a code window?  I was really hoping they would have put this in :(  I have a
few projects with upwards of 10,000 lines of code in them, and would really
like to be able to split a window so, for example, I can see my register bit
assignments at the top of code whilst working way deep down somewhere else
using them.  I asked for it after version 5 but seems I was completely
ignored - which is why I attempted to use Visual Studio as my IDE, but that
is not a good option because you do not get the output window so cannot
click on errors to "go to that line".

d) It does not pick up the processor option from code.  First compile of my
f877 code generated a zillion errors and froze the IDE (!) because the
compiler was set for an 18C series chip.  I was hoping that Microchip may
have done something to pick the processor from the include line in code.  I
suppose this is asking a bit too much - except that even a zillion errors
shouldn't freeze the IDE :(

e) Cannot see much other difference seeing as I only use it for
coding/assembly except support for some newer PIC's.


{Original Message removed}

2003\03\02@050947 by michael brown

picon face
Ian McLean wrote:
{Quote hidden}

The best way that I've found to "fix" these problems is to use
UltraEdit32.  It's the best editior that I've ever seen or used.  Of
course the clicking on the error and going to the line problem will
still remain.  :-(

> d) It does not pick up the processor option from code.  First compile
> of my f877 code generated a zillion errors and froze the IDE (!)
> because the compiler was set for an 18C series chip.  I was hoping
> that Microchip may have done something to pick the processor from the
> include line in code.  I suppose this is asking a bit too much -
> except that even a zillion errors shouldn't freeze the IDE :(

Yes that is lame isn't it?

> e) Cannot see much other difference seeing as I only use it for
> coding/assembly except support for some newer PIC's.

Another thing that I don't like about the new MPLAB is the way that it
shrinks the "Output" window every time that I initiate a build.  I then
have to maximize it again after the build is finished to examine the
output messages.  I find this to be very annoying, since I don't use
their editor and only need to see the error messages.  Not to mention
the amount of time it takes to start up.

I also like to edit my code on a black background using a certain syntax
colorization scheme, and that just doesn't seem possible with MPLAB.
Long live UltraEdit32, it's truly the best text editor there is.

RANT:
All in all, I am very dissappointed in this tool.  We waited a long time
for a "windows" version, and this is all they could muster up?  IMO,
they should probably just give up and distribute code-warrior.  Given
the number of years it took to get this together, one can only wonder
how much longer it will be before they get it right, if ever.

Why can't MPASM deal with "unix" type files (no CR just LF seperators)?
They look fine in MPLAB's editor window, but MPASM has a caniption fit
about it and generates obtuse error messages.  :-(
/RANT

michael brown

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2003\03\02@110849 by Olin Lathrop

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> a) I like the context colouring, except MPLAB gets it screwed up from
> time to time, particularly with literals.  Example 'movlw 0Ah' shows
> the '0Ah' in red as it should, but 'movlw 0Dh' shows the '0D' in black,
> and the 'h' in purple.  Seems to compile properly, but seeing things
> like this makes me paranoid that the assembler too might get it mixed
> up.  Duh!  Is this Microchip's way of saying "be more consistent with
> your literal definitions" ?

Keep in mind that the syntax you are using is not officially supported.
The only officially correct ways of specifying an integer constant in
hexadecimal are H'<digits>' and 0x<digits>.  Some older syntaxes have been
allowed in the past, but these have not been in the documentation for
quite a while.  Actually it's too bad they didn't take the opportunity to
finally get rid of all the historical baggage.  It decreases the chances
of it finding genuine errors.  I suggest you fix all your code to use the
correct syntax.


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2003\03\02@111507 by Olin Lathrop

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> Why can't MPASM deal with "unix" type files (no CR just LF seperators)?

Um, because it runs on Windows and there is therefore no need for it?

> They look fine in MPLAB's editor window, but MPASM has a caniption fit
> about it and generates obtuse error messages.  :-(

There are lots of tools out there to convert LF to CRLF.  You could
probably write one in half an hour yourself.  My COPYA program does this
among other things.  The Windows version accepts files with either CRLF or
LF, and writes the output file with CRLF.  COPYA is included in the PIC
development tools which you can download at
http://www.embedinc.com/pic/dload.htm.


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2003\03\02@114416 by Ian McLean

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Thanks Olin.  I should be more consistent with my contant definitions.  I
use 0x<digits> all over the place, so I think I'll take your advise and
change everything to this format - at least all my hex constants will then
appear in the same colour.

On the other hand, perhaps h'<digits>' would be better, because it is more
in line with how we declare binary, decimal, octal, and string constants as
well, i.e.
Binary: b'<digits>'
Decimal: d'<digits>'
Hex: h'<digits>'
Octal: o'<digits>'
String: '<chars>'

0x<digits> seems a little out of place in this line up.

Rgs
Ian

{Original Message removed}

2003\03\02@144939 by Eric Schlaepfer

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IIRC, you can use Wordpad (which comes with windows) to perform the
conversion.

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2003\03\02@150637 by Steve Murphy

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>
> > Why can't MPASM deal with "unix" type files (no CR just LF seperators)?
>
> Um, because it runs on Windows and there is therefore no need for it?

It may run on windows, but that doesn't mean the disk file is
kept on windows. My experience shows that Unix file systems are
more robust and reliable than windows, including NTFS (albeit I have
little experience with the new W2K and XP versions of NTFS) I keep the
source for my projects on my Unix machine. And use unix tools and utilities
to process them. When I start a new project, it is a pain to temporarily send
it over to the windows machine to Edit (add a comment line) and then
back to the Unix box so MPASM won't error. I really wish Microchip would
make this modification. It is the only program I know of that exhibits
this behavior

Steve
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2003\03\02@180613 by Olin Lathrop

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> It may run on windows, but that doesn't mean the disk file is
> kept on windows.

I don't keep all my source code on Windows machines either.  However, it's
not the job of an IDE written for a particular platform to deal with file
formats of other platforms.  This should be handled by whatever transfers
text files between systems.  This is one reason that programs like FTP, for
example, have text and binary modes.


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2003\03\02@222343 by Dave Dilatush

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I wrote...

>I've been using the 16-bit versions of MPLAB for several years,
>and have so far put off switching over to MPLAB v6.10 out of a
>general dislike for being the first to try out new- and
>potentially buggy- software.
>
>To those of you who've been using v6.10: Do you like it?  Is
>there anything particular you find about v6.10 that's markedly
>superior (or inferior) to v5.70?  Have you had any serious
>problems with v6.10?

Thanks to all who replied.  Sounds like MPLAB 6 hasn't acquired
much of a cult following yet...

Dave D.

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2003\03\02@225727 by David Duffy

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> >I've been using the 16-bit versions of MPLAB for several years,
> >and have so far put off switching over to MPLAB v6.10 out of a
> >general dislike for being the first to try out new- and
> >potentially buggy- software.
> >
> >To those of you who've been using v6.10: Do you like it?  Is
> >there anything particular you find about v6.10 that's markedly
> >superior (or inferior) to v5.70?  Have you had any serious
> >problems with v6.10?

Dave Dilatush:
>Thanks to all who replied.  Sounds like MPLAB 6 hasn't acquired
>much of a cult following yet...

I started using it a month or so ago and haven't had any problems
but I've only used it to edit & build projects and program. (PS+)
I like the syntax highlighting (long overdue) and the workspaces.
David...
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2003\03\02@233756 by Ned Konz

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On Sunday 02 March 2003 03:04 pm, Olin Lathrop wrote:
> > It may run on windows, but that doesn't mean the disk file is
> > kept on windows.
>
> I don't keep all my source code on Windows machines either.
> However, it's not the job of an IDE written for a particular
> platform to deal with file formats of other platforms.  This should
> be handled by whatever transfers text files between systems.  This
> is one reason that programs like FTP, for example, have text and
> binary modes.

Or just tell your CVS client to do it.

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2003\03\03@074543 by Alan B. Pearce

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{Quote hidden}

And how much easier is it to understand the code by declaring constants at
the beginning such as "CR equ 0x0D" and "LF equ 0x0A" at the beginning, and
then using "movlw  CR" where needed :))))

I prefer to do this with all my ASCII non-printing characters, as the
resultant code becomes more obvious in its purpose. It does need a little
caveat though in that some of the ASCII non-printing character definitions
possibly collide with MPASM reserved words (like SUB).


And as another aside, using Ultraedit as the editor, and Olin's development
environment sorts the original requestors problem about processor
definitions :)))))

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2003\03\08@131533 by michael brown

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Steve Murphy wrote:
>>> Why can't MPASM deal with "unix" type files (no CR just LF
>>> seperators)?
>>
>> Um, because it runs on Windows and there is therefore no need for it?
>
> It may run on windows, but that doesn't mean the disk file is
> kept on windows. My experience shows that Unix file systems are
> more robust and reliable than windows, including NTFS (albeit I have
> little experience with the new W2K and XP versions of NTFS) I keep the
> source for my projects on my Unix machine. And use unix tools and
> utilities to process them. When I start a new project, it is a pain
> to temporarily send it over to the windows machine to Edit (add a
> comment line) and then back to the Unix box so MPASM won't error. I
> really wish Microchip would make this modification. It is the only
> program I know of that exhibits this behavior
>
> Steve


Sorry to respond so late, but I've been away for a few days.  Now I have
>500 messages to peruse.  :-(

I agree Steve, if MPASM was written correctly (called the correct
function to read a line) there would be no issue.  After all it's a
cross assembler and IMO should behave like one.  It's just plain sloppy
work.  ;-)  I use various environments, and this is just one more
headache that isn't really necessary.  Plus the error message indicates
something is there that shouldn't be, instead of something missing.

Just because MS thinks that there is only one way to seperate text
records, doesn't make it the right way.  In fact they seemed to have
chosen their method solely to be different, as usual.  In fact, nobody
seems to use the proper character (0x1E) for an ascii record separator.
I wonder why that is?  :-?

michael brown

"In the land of the blind, he who has one eye is king"

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2003\03\08@133649 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
> I agree Steve, if MPASM was written correctly (called the correct
> function to read a line) there would be no issue.  After all it's a
> cross assembler and IMO should behave like one.

I don't think it should be the function of app software to tolerate file
formats from platforms it doesn't run on.  This is the job of whatever
software moves files between systems.

> Just because MS thinks that there is only one way to seperate text
> records, doesn't make it the right way.

Neither is any other way, but every system has to pick something.

> In fact they seemed to have
> chosen their method solely to be different, as usual.

This is just plain wrong.  The CRLF "standard" has been around a lot
longer than Microsoft.  If anything, the LF "standard" is the newcomer.

> In fact, nobody
> seems to use the proper character (0x1E) for an ascii record separator.
> I wonder why that is?  :-?

Because early text lines weren't usually thought of as records.  Even when
they were, text was usually displayed by sending characters to an ASR-33
or ASR-35 or equivalent teletype.  These actually interpreted the CR and
LF characters as what they are meant to be, carriage return and line feed.
The first moved the carriage back to the left margin, the second advanced
the paper by one line.  An ASR-35 running at 300 baud required two NULL
characters after CR and LF to give the mechanisms time to complete these
operations before writing the next character.


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2003\03\08@140644 by michael brown

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Olin Lathrop wrote:
>> I agree Steve, if MPASM was written correctly (called the correct
>> function to read a line) there would be no issue.  After all it's a
>> cross assembler and IMO should behave like one.
>
> I don't think it should be the function of app software to tolerate
> file formats from platforms it doesn't run on.  This is the job of
> whatever software moves files between systems.

No point in arguing as it's all opinion anyway.  ;-)

{Quote hidden}

Could you point me to something.  I'm interested in learning the origin
of CRLF.  :-)  Google is of no help whatsoever on this issue. :-(

{Quote hidden}

I remember those days.  ;-)

michael brown

"In the land of the blind, he who has one eye is king"

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