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'PicBasic compiler performance?'
1997\02\11@113102 by Goeran Stigler

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Hi,

has anyone analysed the efficiency of Microengineering's PicBasic compiler?
Compared to the C compilers?

Any rumors of added features (like Stamp 2 compatibility)?

TIA,



Goeran Stigler                      http://www.pe.chalmers.se/people/ghost/

1997\02\11@150207 by Andrew Warren

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Goeran Stigler <spam_OUTPICLISTTakeThisOuTspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU> wrote:

> has anyone analysed the efficiency of Microengineering's PicBasic
> compiler? Compared to the C compilers?

Goeran:

The PicBasic Compiler is actually not a compiler at all; it's an
interpreter, just like the BASIC Stamp.  The only difference between
it and the Stamp is that it stores the user's program in the PIC's
code-space EPROM, rather than in an external EEPROM.

The user's program is still stored as a series of tokens, however,
which are parsed and executed by the interpreter.  The PicBasic
"compiler" is faster than the Stamp only because it doesn't incur
the overhead of reading the user's program from EEPROM.

The various C-compilers, on the other hand, are TRUE compilers; they
translate the user's programs directly into PIC assembly language.

Code produced with nearly any of the C-compilers, therefore, is MUCH
faster than code written with the PicBasic thing.

-Andy

=== Andrew Warren - .....fastfwdKILLspamspam@spam@ix.netcom.com                 ===
=== Fast Forward Engineering - Vista, California          ===
===                                                       ===
=== Custodian of the PICLIST Fund -- For more info, see:  ===
=== http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/2499/fund.html ===

1997\02\11@155319 by Antti Lukats

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At 11:44 AM 2/11/97 -0800, you wrote:
>Goeran Stigler <PICLISTspamKILLspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU> wrote:
>
>> has anyone analysed the efficiency of Microengineering's PicBasic
>> compiler? Compared to the C compilers?
>
>Goeran:
>
>The PicBasic Compiler is actually not a compiler at all; it's an
>interpreter, just like the BASIC Stamp.  The only difference between
>it and the Stamp is that it stores the user's program in the PIC's
>code-space EPROM, rather than in an external EEPROM.

Andy you are mistaken!
referrd here is meLabs PicBasic which is TRUE compiler.

There are 3 more PIC Basic TRUE compilers available!

>The user's program is still stored as a series of tokens, however,
>which are parsed and executed by the interpreter.  The PicBasic
>"compiler" is faster than the Stamp only because it doesn't incur
>the overhead of reading the user's program from EEPROM.

This is true what goes:
* Parallax Stamp Compiler (C58 internal prog mem used as token storage)
* BS/4 uses C84 internal EEPROM
* and I think (not sure) that FED 74 Bsic compiler is like Pax, ie
 stores tokens in prog mem as TOKENS

>The various C-compilers, on the other hand, are TRUE compilers; they
>translate the user's programs directly into PIC assembly language.

correct and not - if the compiled C code is running on a virtual
machine interpretrer then the compiled code is interpreted!
this is true for CFLEA kernel based microcontoller systems that
use a REAL C compiler to compile programs that are then executed
from serial EEPROM much like stamps

>Code produced with nearly any of the C-compilers, therefore, is MUCH
>faster than code written with the PicBasic thing.

Agree

our non-optimizing basic compiler BASCO produces almost asm
speed code, much fasted than PIC basic. Well a good optimizing
C compiler will sure better.

antti

-- Silicon Studio Ltd.
-- http://www.sistudio.com

1997\02\11@161550 by Don McKenzie

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Antti Lukats wrote:

> * Parallax Stamp Compiler (C58 internal prog mem used as token storage)
> * BS/4 uses C84 internal EEPROM
> * and I think (not sure) that FED 74 Bsic compiler is like Pax, ie
>   stores tokens in prog mem as TOKENS
> antti
>
> -- Silicon Studio Ltd.
> -- http://www.sistudio.com

The FED Basic Compiler actually calls MPASM to compile code.
The idea is you use a PIC16C74 Interpreter and external 24LC65 8K EEPROM
for Basic code development. When finished, you then compile the code and
burn the object file into a 74 OTP. FED only supports the 74 chip with
their compiler.

Don McKenzie  .....donKILLspamspam.....dontronics.com   http://www.dontronics.com

SLI, the serial LCD that auto detects baud rates from 100 to 125K bps.
SimmStick(tm) A PIC proto PCB the size of a 30 pin Simm Memory Module.
Covers all versions of the PIC16cxx family plus the Atmel AT89C2051.

1997\02\11@165615 by Don McKenzie

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Andrew Warren wrote:
>
> Goeran Stigler <EraseMEPICLISTspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTMITVMA.MIT.EDU> wrote:
>
> > has anyone analysed the efficiency of Microengineering's PicBasic
> > compiler? Compared to the C compilers?
>
> Goeran:
>
> The PicBasic Compiler is actually not a compiler at all; it's an
> interpreter, just like the BASIC Stamp.  The only difference between
> it and the Stamp is that it stores the user's program in the PIC's
> code-space EPROM, rather than in an external EEPROM.

Sorry Andy.
The microEngineering Labs PicBasic Compiler is a compiler, not an
interpreter.
It not only generates machine code, but allows for machine code calls as
well.

It uses the 84's data space EEPROM for its Basic language Read/Write
routines, however external EEPROMs can now be used with a variety of PIC
micros, as IIC routines have just been added to Version 1.30

The only Stamp like device I know that stores the tokens in internal
code EP/ROM is the Parallax PIC16C58 version of their Stamp. This will
store 256 basic tokens and is said by Parallax to be a Compiler, when in
fact you are burning the Interpreter followed by the 256 tokens into the
internal EP/ROM.

SiStudios at http://www.sistudio.com has the only Interpreter I know
that uses the Internal data EEPROM of a PIC16C84 for 64 Basic tokens.
This will be extended to 2K in the future.

snip-----snip----

> The various C-compilers, on the other hand, are TRUE compilers; they
> translate the user's programs directly into PIC assembly language.
>
> Code produced with nearly any of the C-compilers, therefore, is MUCH
> faster than code written with the PicBasic thing.
> -Andy

In principle on the speed issue as per the original question by Goeran,
I may agree that a C Compiler ***could*** be faster than a Basic
Compiler, but not for the reasons given.

The microEngineering Labs PicBasic Compiler is a true Compiler.

Don McKenzie  donspamspam_OUTdontronics.com   http://www.dontronics.com

SLI, the serial LCD that auto detects baud rates from 100 to 125K bps.
SimmStick(tm) A PIC proto PCB the size of a 30 pin Simm Memory Module.
Covers all versions of the PIC16cxx family plus the Atmel AT89C2051.

1997\02\11@172057 by Andrew Warren

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I wrote:

> >The PicBasic Compiler is actually not a compiler at all; it's an
> >interpreter, just like the BASIC Stamp.  The only difference
> >between it and the Stamp is that it stores the user's program in
> >the PIC's code-space EPROM, rather than in an external EEPROM.

and Antti Lukats <@spam@PICLISTKILLspamspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU> replied:

> Andy you are mistaken!
> referrd here is meLabs PicBasic which is TRUE compiler.

   Thanks for catching my mistake, Antti; I somehow missed the
   "microEngineering Labs" reference in the original question and
   was describing the Parallax "compiler".

   -Andy

=== Andrew Warren - KILLspamfastfwdKILLspamspamix.netcom.com       ===
=== Fast Forward Engineering, Vista, California ===
=== http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/2499 ===

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