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PICList Thread
'Contacting Butterfly via Email?'
1994\11\15@220856 by crocontroller discussion list

Does anyone have current email contact info for Butterfly Signal Processing
(the maker of B.LO.C)?  I tried to email them at the address in the
dcoumentation ( and got a bounceback on a bad domain

For those who've been wondering about the compiler,  my impression from
using it is that it's a very clever adaptation of C syntax to the PIC,  and is a
good compromise between assembly and "real" C.

In theory,  at least:  in practice,  there are a couple of pretty bad holes in t
implementation.  Notably,  that you can't effectively use INCFSZ and
DECFSZ instructions without dropping into assembly (it has some cute
tricks that allow the use of C-like bit test expressions to generate BTFSCs
and BTFSSs,  so you can create really tight code).  And it can't generate
RETLWs,  as such:  it doesn't recognize the special case of a function
returning a constant,  and does some klugey stuff for returning a variable
result even when it doesn't need to.

Its handling of subtraction in expressions is also bad:  if you code a
statement like "x = y -  z",  it subtracts y from z,  and complements the
result (at a cost of 5 extra instructions,  if you're using a 16C5x!!). I don't
think it's a coincidence that the demo version I downloaded doesn't have any
subtractions in it...

I consider these fairly serious flaws,  and we'll probably exercise the return
option that we got by buying it from Parallax if Butterfly doesn't make a
convincing case that they're going to fix them.

The "C-like" syntax is a bit annoying,  sometimes,  because it's just
different enough to trip you up.  But,  if Butterfly gets those "unfinished
features" added,  it'll probably be worth the hassle for most people.  It's
cheaper than "real C",  and lets you get closer to the hardware to wring out
the performance from low-end PICs.

(Speaking of Parallax,  I was talking to their tech support people today,  and
asked them about getting on the net:  they're working on it now,  and
waiting for their domain name to be approved.  I also found out they have no
in-house net expertise.  Not even a netsurfer on their staff.  So the
introduction may be a bit rocky...)


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