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'No help from Microchip for MPLAB Xwisp Integration'
2004\03\31@024535 by Hulatt, Jon

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Hi all,

I emailed microchip last week asking for COM interface information needed to
implement a COM wrapper around Xwisp (or some other programming tool) so
that MPLAB can drive it. They mailed be back this morning:-

"The MPLAB IDE COM interfaces are proprietary Intellectual Property and are
only released after a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) is in place and a
business review has been performed.  To start the NDA process, please put
together a business proposal and send it to..."

Which I though was a little dissapointing. NDA-protected IP is unlikely to
be releasable Open Source :(


Now I will have to contemplate reverse engineering :O

Jon

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2004\03\31@051540 by Mike Harrison

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On Wed, 31 Mar 2004 08:35:37 +0100, you wrote:

>Hi all,
>
>I emailed microchip last week asking for COM interface information needed to
>implement a COM wrapper around Xwisp (or some other programming tool) so
>that MPLAB can drive it. They mailed be back this morning:-
>
>"The MPLAB IDE COM interfaces are proprietary Intellectual Property and are
>only released after a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) is in place and a
>business review has been performed.  To start the NDA process, please put
>together a business proposal and send it to..."
>
>Which I though was a little dissapointing. NDA-protected IP is unlikely to
>be releasable Open Source :(
>
>
>Now I will have to contemplate reverse engineering :O
>
>Jon

I never cease to be amazed by this sort of  rubbish that big companies come out with - what could
they possibly lose by making this information generally available.....
Might be worth talking to your local FAE, who may know who to contact to get things moving. The reply you got may just be a stock reply to deter timewasters.

I'm not sure that NDA and open source are incompatible - the NDA is likely to only cover any
documentation they send you - I've never seen an NDA that would cover code written using info
disclosed under an NDA.
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2004\03\31@053617 by Hulatt, Jon

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I might try again, yes. I think in this case it likely an NDA would cover
parts of the source code.

The real thing that I need are IDL files for the interface specifications.
These would become a part of the source code, directly.

I guess the only possible reason they can have for protecting this IP is to
help protect the business of selling programmers, both their and third party
ones.

Jon

{Original Message removed}

2004\03\31@103236 by Sergio Masci

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----- Original Message -----
From: Mike Harrison <mikespamKILLspamWHITEWING.CO.UK>
To: <.....PICLISTKILLspamspam.....MITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2004 11:14 AM
Subject: Re: No help from Microchip for MPLAB Xwisp Integration :(


On Wed, 31 Mar 2004 08:35:37 +0100, you wrote:

{Quote hidden}

out
> with - what could
> they possibly lose by making this information generally available.....

Possibly competitive advantage.

Lets face it, if I want to sell chips and I have support software for them, I'm
going to do much better than someone who has a clone of my chips with subtle
differences and NO support software. Can you use Microchip's MPLAB to develop
code for the Ubicom SX MCUs 100% effectively? I really doubt it.

Regards
Sergio Masci

http://www.xcprod.com/titan/XCSB - optimising structured PIC BASIC compiler

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2004\03\31@105548 by Wouter van Ooijen

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> Can you use Microchip's
> MPLAB to develop
> code for the Ubicom SX MCUs 100% effectively? I really doubt it.

Definitely yes, apart from the fact that PS+ and the otheruChip proggers
don't support SX.

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\03\31@114644 by Scott Dattalo

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On Wed, 31 Mar 2004, Sergio Masci wrote:

<snip stuff about why Microchip does not open their tools>

> Possibly competitive advantage.
>
> Lets face it, if I want to sell chips and I have support software for them, I'm
> going to do much better than someone who has a clone of my chips with subtle
> differences and NO support software. Can you use Microchip's MPLAB to develop
> code for the Ubicom SX MCUs 100% effectively? I really doubt it.

OTOH, A completely open PIC-development environment exists and it doesn't
support Ubicom processors either. This leads me to conclude that either
the open environment really sucks or that no one using SX processors is
motivated to make the minor changes necessary to support them. It's not
clear (to me anyway) that a more open MPLAB would entice SX add ons.

Scott

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2004\03\31@124147 by Sergio Masci

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----- Original Message -----
From: Wouter van Ooijen <KILLspamwouterKILLspamspamVOTI.NL>
To: <RemoveMEPICLISTTakeThisOuTspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2004 4:51 PM
Subject: Re: No help from Microchip for MPLAB Xwisp Integration :(


> > Can you use Microchip's
> > MPLAB to develop
> > code for the Ubicom SX MCUs 100% effectively? I really doubt it.
>
> Definitely yes, apart from the fact that PS+ and the otheruChip proggers
> don't support SX.
>
> Wouter van Ooijen

So the timing facility in the MPLAB simulator will work correctly with an SX
executing 1 instruction per cycle instead of the PIC 1 instruction per 4 clock
cycles? Also the difference in hardware stacks?

Regards
Sergio Masci

http://www.xcprod.com/titan/XCSB - optimising structured PIC BASIC compiler

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2004\03\31@131958 by Sergio Masci

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----- Original Message -----
From: Scott Dattalo <TakeThisOuTscottEraseMEspamspam_OUTDATTALO.COM>
To: <RemoveMEPICLISTspamTakeThisOuTMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2004 5:45 PM
Subject: Re: No help from Microchip for MPLAB Xwisp Integration :(


> On Wed, 31 Mar 2004, Sergio Masci wrote:
>
> <snip stuff about why Microchip does not open their tools>
>
> > Possibly competitive advantage.
> >
> > Lets face it, if I want to sell chips and I have support software for them,
I'm
> > going to do much better than someone who has a clone of my chips with subtle
> > differences and NO support software. Can you use Microchip's MPLAB to
develop
> > code for the Ubicom SX MCUs 100% effectively? I really doubt it.
>
> OTOH, A completely open PIC-development environment exists and it doesn't
> support Ubicom processors either. This leads me to conclude that either
> the open environment really sucks or that no one using SX processors is
> motivated to make the minor changes necessary to support them.

Another possibility exists: that changes to the open source environment have
been made and that they have not been fed back. I have seen this attitude many
times in all kinds of commercial environments. People take open source code,
modify it and do NOT release the modifications back to the open source
community. Their attitude is that it has cost them money to add the new features
and they are not about to give their efforts away to their competition. Of
course we would be talking about people developing products using MCUs in this
instance and not the chip manufacturers.

>It's not
> clear (to me anyway) that a more open MPLAB would entice SX add ons.

I really don't think you can conclude this from your observations of the gnupic
tool chain. Sad but true fact is that most users do not want to get their hands
dirty tinkering with the internals of open source software. I think there would
be a totally different motivation involved if the tinkering allowed a chip
manufacturer to piggyback onto the tools provided by a competitor.


Regards
Sergio Masci

http://www.xcprod.com/titan/XCSB - optimising structured PIC BASIC compiler

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2004\03\31@134656 by Wouter van Ooijen

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> So the timing facility in the MPLAB simulator will work
> correctly with an SX
> executing 1 instruction per cycle instead of the PIC 1
> instruction per 4 clock
> cycles? Also the difference in hardware stacks?

I guess you have a different idea about 100% SX or what you want MPLAB
to do. I think I never used the simulator, so for me that is outside
100% :) And you can just run (corrcetly simulated) 12-bit core code
unaltered on an SX, including divide-by-4 speed and 2-level stack. Or
use the assembler etc. to develop divide-by-1 9-level stack SX code.

Wouter van Ooijen

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