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'ASM v. C Development Time'
1998\12\18@101257 by lilel

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Kevin Fisk wrote:

> ASM v. C Development Time?
>
> I've been pondering this question for some time as I do development
> in both worlds.
>. Here's what I figure based on experience through the
> years ; I figure it takes me roughly 10 times longer to develop an
> ASM project vs. a C project (code and debug) when considering


Now this question is NOT [OT]:  What is the best C language compiler
to use with PICs?  I've seen the light - after years of saying "I'll
get around to learning C someday"  I've decided to take the plunge,
if it will mean I can reduce my development effort.  I've got a
relatively limited budget, so I may not be able to afford the most
expensive ones.

The factors I am probably interested in are:  Stability, customer
support and documentation, ease of use/learning curve, and increase
in productivity.  I also need to be able to program pretty much the
full range of PICs, from 12c508's to the Big Boys.


What is a good way to go about learning (other than just doing it...)
?


-- Lawrence Lile

"Nyquist was an optimist."

=> Median Filter Source Code
=> AutoCad blocks for electrical drafting

at:  http://home1.gte.net/llile/index.htm

1998\12\21@095505 by lilel

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Walter Banks of ByteCraft wrote:


>
> We have the the only C compiler that covers the full range of
> PIC's.  We have the largest installed base of customers . As
> a company started developing embedded system products and
> discovered our tools were as important as our consulting.


AND you come highly recomended by Andy Kunz.  That counts for a lot.

I'll look into your demo.





>
-- Lawrence Lile

"Nyquist was an optimist."

=> Median Filter Source Code
=> AutoCad blocks for electrical drafting

at:  http://home1.gte.net/llile/index.htm

1998\12\21@102135 by lilel

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OK, I keep hearing about ANSI C.  Does anyone have a suggestion as to
how to find out what ANSI C is?  Is the ANSI (American National
Standards Institute)  definition of C useful in learning the stuff?
Or would this just be a waste of time?


-- Lawrence Lile

"Nyquist was an optimist."

=> Median Filter Source Code
=> AutoCad blocks for electrical drafting

at:  http://home1.gte.net/llile/index.htm

1998\12\21@104642 by Gerhard Fiedler

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At 09:20 12/21/98 +0000, Lawrence Lile wrote:
>OK, I keep hearing about ANSI C.  Does anyone have a suggestion as to
>how to find out what ANSI C is?  Is the ANSI (American National
>Standards Institute)  definition of C useful in learning the stuff?
>Or would this just be a waste of time?

i'd say it is interesting to know when you want to participate in the
respective discussions, but otherwise you're better off knowing your
specific compiler(s) and their ANSI/non-ANSI features, especially in the
microcontroller area. ANSI is especially important when you want to know
about portability, but since most microcontroller environments require some
non-ANSI extensions of the language, it is of limited use here anyway.

for learning, the book by kernighan&ritchie was most useful to me.

ge

1998\12\21@112122 by evan

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> At 09:20 12/21/98 +0000, Lawrence Lile wrote:
> >OK, I keep hearing about ANSI C.  Does anyone have a suggestion as to
> >how to find out what ANSI C is?  Is the ANSI (American National
> >Standards Institute)  definition of C useful in learning the stuff?
> >Or would this just be a waste of time?
>
> And then Gerhard Fieldler wrote:
> i'd say it is interesting to know when you want to participate in the
> respective discussions, but otherwise you're better off knowing your
> specific compiler(s) and their ANSI/non-ANSI features, especially in the
> microcontroller area. ANSI is especially important when you want to know
> about portability, but since most microcontroller environments
> require some
> non-ANSI extensions of the language, it is of limited use here anyway.
>
> for learning, the book by kernighan&ritchie was most useful to me.

On the contrary, I find a solid knowledge of ANSI-C is needed for
microcontroller programming.  Knowing & following it will allow you to
easily port your code (and yourself!) from one processor and compiler to
another.

I wouldn't agree that most microcontrollers require non-ANSI language
extensions; rather I find the smaller 8-bit-and-under microcontrollers
support a subset of ANSI-C, and all others fully support it.  Most compilers
will come with their own additions to ANSI-C, such as function libraries,
but most often there is no need to use these.

And even though limited processors like the PIC can't support the full
ANSI-C specification, and some compilers likewise limit the C language for
the PIC, you can still write code within ANSI spec for a PIC that will work
on your Pentium II (not necessarily the other way around).

The company I most recently worked for demanded pure ANSI-C for all
microcontroller firmware, and it was a very wise move given all the code
that's been successfully shared (yes, 100% shared, not ported) onto 68k
processors, 6811's, x86's, pentiums, TI DSP's, PowerPC's, and more (PIC's
were rarely used and done in assembly).

If you want to really learn ANSI-C, and even C++, get yourself "The C
Programming Language", Second Edition, by Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis M
Ritchie.  It's not as thick as the prettier "Learn C in a Day!" books out
there, but that's because the authors (who invented C) know how to be brief
(unlike me).

-Ed V.
Agile Controls.

1998\12\21@122459 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
At 08:22 12/21/98 -0800, Ed VanderPloeg wrote:
>(PIC's were rarely used and done in assembly).

i think that's the base line of your comments. i thought this was the pic
list, and the guy was talking about using C with pics. while your comments
are valid (as i said, the main issue for ANSI-C is portability), in some
situations portability is not the primary concern. (and i didn't advocate
using non-ANSI-C, i just said that getting the ANSI spec and reading it
from a to z is probably not necessary for someone who wants to program his
pics in C. it's better to get an as much as possible ANSI-compliant
compiler, and learn how to use it -- with all extensions and maybe
limitations provided.)

>If you want to really learn ANSI-C, and even C++, get yourself "The C
>Programming Language", Second Edition, by Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis M
>Ritchie.  It's not as thick as the prettier "Learn C in a Day!" books out
>there, but that's because the authors (who invented C) know how to be brief
>(unlike me).

yes, =the= book. probably the only one you ever need about C.

ge

1998\12\21@123059 by John Sanderson

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Hello Lawrence & PIC.ers,

>What is the best C language compiler
>to use with PICs?  I've seen the light - after years of saying "I'll
>get around to learning C someday"  I've decided to take the plunge,
>if it will mean I can reduce my development effort.

The Coronado C tutorial at the following site was recommended some time ago
by Andy Warren (not the other one):

   www.simtel.net/pub/simtelnet/msdos/c/gencsrc.zip
       http://www.simtel.net/pub/simtelnet/msdos/c/genctxt.zip

I looked at it briefly at the time, but didn't follow thru with it
(-story of my life-).
..
In case you use it, I've no doubt there are many on this list - self included-
who'd be keen to know if it was a worthwhile effort.

Best regards & Happy Xmas y'all,   John
..
email from John Sanderson at
JS Controls, PO Box 1887, Boksburg 1460, Rep. South Africa
Manufacturer & purveyor of laboratory force testing apparatus
and related products and services.
Tel/fax: Johannesburg 893 4154    Cellphone 082 453 4815

1998\12\21@134454 by evan

picon face
> At 08:22 12/21/98 -0800, Ed VanderPloeg wrote:
> >(PIC's were rarely used and done in assembly).
>
> i think that's the base line of your comments. i thought this was the pic
> list, and the guy was talking about using C with pics. while your comments
> are valid (as i said, the main issue for ANSI-C is portability), in some
> situations portability is not the primary concern. (and i didn't advocate
> using non-ANSI-C, i just said that getting the ANSI spec and reading it
> from a to z is probably not necessary for someone who wants to program his
> pics in C. it's better to get an as much as possible ANSI-compliant
> compiler, and learn how to use it -- with all extensions and maybe
> limitations provided.)

Ok, ok, you got me there.  If you're only ever going to program PICs or
equivalents, learning full ANSI-C may not be necessary.  Silly me, I
understood Laurence's question to be more general.

Oh, I failed to mention that my current work includes my own code I share
between multiple processors (including several PICs) and simulation on a PC
(I sometimes build my code on a PC as a NT console app, for the sake of
testing state machines, string parsing, math, etc.).

And come to think of it, I do make heavy use of the unique features of MPASM
and the MS Visual C++ library, to name a few.  And all along I thought I was
so pure ...

-Ed V.
Agile Controls

1998\12\21@143506 by Walter Banks

picon face
> From: Lawrence Lile <spam_OUTlilelTakeThisOuTspamtoastmaster.com>

> OK, I keep hearing about ANSI C.  Does anyone have a suggestion as to
> how to find out what ANSI C is?  Is the ANSI (American National
> Standards Institute)  definition of C useful in learning the stuff?
> Or would this just be a waste of time?

It is quite useful to learn about ANSI C.You can contact
the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) at
11 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036 (212) 642-4948.

The present ANSI C standard X3.159-1989  was created by the
ANSI C Programming Language Committee X3J11 The international
body ISO adopted the ANSI C standard in 1990 as  ISO/IEC  9899:1990.
ISO has created an international  committee known as WG14 to
further define and refine the language. (I am part of the Standards
Council of Canada representation on this commitee)

The ISO standard recognizes that embedded systems are non
hosted environments. Quite a bit of work is currently being done
by WG14 on embedded systems. In practical terms embedded
systems need additional library support, formal understanding
of multiple address spaces, additional data types, and additional
data formats.

Byte Craft's policy is to create compilers for 8 bit data processors
that conform as closely as possible to the ISO / ANSI standards
within the practical limitations of target processor. Internally we
have been working on portability issues of transporting code
from one embedded system platform to another.

The last time I checked no embedded systems compiler for 8 bit
data processors had ANSI C certification.  In spite of advertisements
to the contrary all commercial 8 bit compilers that I ran through
the standard ANSI C recognized test suites produced literally
hundreds of exceptions

There are two books that are worth adding to your bookshelf

 ANSI and ISO Standard C Programmer's Reference
    P.J. Pauger and Jim Brodie,
    Microsoft Press ISBN 1-55615-359-7
    This book has been published in a number of editions including
    at least one with a HTML version of the book on disk.
    This is a good reference book.

 The Annotated ANSI C Standard annotated by Herbert Schildt.
     Osborne/McGraw Hill ISBN 0-7-881952-0. This is a reprint
     of the ANSI X3.159-1989 document with annotations. It is
     now somewhat dated but has a full copy of the original document.

Walter Banks
http://www.bytecraft.com

1998\12\21@145703 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
At 10:44 12/21/98 -0800, Ed VanderPloeg wrote:
>Ok, ok, you got me there.  If you're only ever going to program PICs or
>equivalents, learning full ANSI-C may not be necessary.  Silly me, I
>understood Laurence's question to be more general.

i think we agree that learning C means learning ANSI C, and that any useful
book on the subject is based on the standard.

but -- for getting actual work done, it is usually more important to know
how your compiler defines int than to know whether this is ANSI compliant
or not (unless portability is an issue -- but in this case it is not a good
idea anyway to use the built-in standard types like int).

>(I sometimes build my code on a PC as a NT console app, for the sake of
>testing state machines, string parsing, math, etc.).

useful and one of these places where you better not use the ANSI types like
int.

ge

1998\12\21@164118 by Andrew Kalman

picon face
I port directly back and forth between PICs and the PC while writing in C,
and I've found another excellent reference to use while learning C -- it's
the manual to Mix PowerC, a very inexpensive C compiler for the PC. It's
663 pages long, and has insight into C and the behavior of compilers that
I've found very useful.

The entire Mix PowerC complier w/manual  can be ordered through their web
site (http://www.mixsoftware.com) for $29 (!).


___________________________________________
| Andrew E. Kalman, Ph.D.   .....aekKILLspamspam@spam@netcom.com  |
|        standard disclaimers apply         |
|___________________________________________|

1998\12\21@165910 by Adam Bryant

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face
Another excellent author for beginning C/C++ texts is Herbert Schildt.  His
presentation of the subject matter is extremely clear and easy to
understand.  His books start off at the level of "this is how you spell C"
and always end up with cool projects like how to write a lexical scanner or
even a "C" program interpreter (in "C"!!).  While definitely longer than
K&R, Schildt's books get my vote for the ones to buy for a beginner.






listsspamKILLspamHOME.COM on 12/21/98 10:21:24 AM

Please respond to .....PICLISTKILLspamspam.....MITVMA.MIT.EDU

To:   EraseMEPICLISTspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTMITVMA.MIT.EDU
cc:    (bcc: Adam Bryant/PEAK/MOORE)
Subject:  Re: ASM v. C Development Time




At 08:22 12/21/98 -0800, Ed VanderPloeg wrote:
>(PIC's were rarely used and done in assembly).
i think that's the base line of your comments. i thought this was the pic
list, and the guy was talking about using C with pics. while your comments
are valid (as i said, the main issue for ANSI-C is portability), in some
situations portability is not the primary concern. (and i didn't advocate
using non-ANSI-C, i just said that getting the ANSI spec and reading it
from a to z is probably not necessary for someone who wants to program his
pics in C. it's better to get an as much as possible ANSI-compliant
compiler, and learn how to use it -- with all extensions and maybe
limitations provided.)
>If you want to really learn ANSI-C, and even C++, get yourself "The C
>Programming Language", Second Edition, by Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis M
>Ritchie.  It's not as thick as the prettier "Learn C in a Day!" books out
>there, but that's because the authors (who invented C) know how to be
brief
>(unlike me).
yes, =the= book. probably the only one you ever need about C.
ge

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