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'The Best C Compiler'
1999\03\30@090630 by Lou Calkins

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I hate asking these questions, and I get tired seeing these kinds of
subjects posted, but they are really beneficial to a lot of people.  Now
its my turn I guess.

I would like to look into getting a C compiler for the PIC (any of several
versions) and I would like to know what others would recommend as a good
compiler.  In the past couple of years, things have seemed to be changing
fast in this area with quite a few compilers now available.  I really would
appreciate any sincere advice anyone has to lend.

As part of my research into getting a good compiler I really need to ask
others what they think.  What good or bad experiences they have had with
certain compilers.  Good advice helps me to narrow the search a little.  I
do most of my non-PIC programming in C for the 68HC11 processor and I
really like my (Whitesmith's) compiler.  It took me quite a while and a lot
of research to find a compiler of this caliber and it was not cheap, but
was worth the money.  I am NOT looking for something free or cheap since
this will be used for professional work and not just a hobbie.  My reasons
for going to C on the PIC are to reduce develpment time (significantly) and
reduce errors in coding.  Also, unit testing is easily done in C whereas in
assembly language it would take forever.

If you recommend a compiler, please tell my why you like it.  Does it write
small code?  Is it not as terrible as all the others?  Was it cheap?  Was
it the one that ran on the most platforms (DOS, Win9x, Linux)?  Was it the
most bug free of all of them?  Why do you like it?

Thanks in advance for your help.  If you do not wish the whole list to
benefit, I would appreciate any e-mail directly too.

Lou
spam_OUTlcalkinsTakeThisOuTspamismi.net

1999\03\30@093334 by Lawrence Lile

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I'll try to beat Andy and Tjaart to the punch.  To quote one or the other of
those guys:

"you get what you pay for"

I use the CCS http://www.ccsinfo.com/picc.html compiler at $99 plus $99 per
year maintenance (which is mandatory given the number of bugfixes)
I've found the support to be adequate, I write some good, compact code with
it and I am continually surprised by the tricks it knows.  I've also had
some bugs and some "features" that required workarounds, and some
unexplained behaviour.  For now, I'm sticking with it.


If I could buy Hitech I would - It has been highly recommended and has had
few complaints that I am aware of.

Sorry I don't have the URL for Hitech - I'm sure it'll be posted within
minutes...

This topic DOES get a lot of discussion here - if anyone has some
SIGNIFIGANT new information please add it -


-----Original Message-----
From: Lou Calkins <.....lcalkinsKILLspamspam@spam@ISMI.NET>
To: PICLISTspamKILLspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU <.....PICLISTKILLspamspam.....MITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Date: Tuesday, March 30, 1999 8:06 AM
Subject: The Best C Compiler


>I hate asking these questions, and I get tired seeing these kinds of
>subjects posted, but they are really beneficial to a lot of people.  Now
>its my turn I guess.
>
>I would like to look into getting a C compiler for the PIC

1999\03\30@093544 by Tjaart van der Walt

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Lou Calkins wrote:
>
> I hate asking these questions, and I get tired seeing these kinds of
> subjects posted, but they are really beneficial to a lot of people.  Now
> its my turn I guess.
>
> I would like to look into getting a C compiler for the PIC (any of several
> versions) and I would like to know what others would recommend as a good
> compiler.  In the past couple of years, things have seemed to be changing
> fast in this area with quite a few compilers now available.  I really would
> appreciate any sincere advice anyone has to lend.

Before Andy Kunz jumps in, (Hi Andy!) I'll quickly give you
my (opiniated) opinion.

I have legal copies of MPLAB-C, CCS, NITPIC, and MPC.

There are only two 'serious' compilers today : MPC, and Hitech.
<flamesuit>
There are plenty of PIClisters who swear by CCS and other
cheapies, but that is the way of frustration and despair.
</flamesuit>

Neither are cheap, but they are worth the money (I am assuming
this for Hitech). The authors of both are present on the PIClist,
and will support you with (real) issues.

I am shamelessly biased towards MPC, because it supports ALL
the PICs, works great with MPLAB, and I haven't seen a bug in
it for ages. You can use the C code examples on Mchip's site
virtually without changes.

Just to confuse you (and to not disappoint me), Andy Kunz will
now tell you why he gets off on Hitech. Take it away Andy....

--
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1999\03\30@094414 by Tjaart van der Walt

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Lawrence Lile wrote:
>
> I'll try to beat Andy and Tjaart to the punch.  To quote one or the other of
> those guys:

...and I thought I only had Andy to beat! <G>


> This topic DOES get a lot of discussion here - if anyone has some
> SIGNIFIGANT new information please add it -

I would like to know :
1) Does Hitech supports all the PICs?
2) Is its current release stable?
3) What does it do with the 'mapped' 16 bytes in the 8k parts?

I am in the dark on these points, and wouldn't like to
unfairly jump on poor Clyde (Hi Clyde!) on a non-relevant
point.

--
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1999\03\30@104045 by Andy Kunz
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>Just to confuse you (and to not disappoint me), Andy Kunz will
>now tell you why he gets off on Hitech. Take it away Andy....

I agree with everything Tjaart just said.

I too have legal copies of HiTech (http://www.htsoft.com Lyle<G>) and
Microchip's stuff, and have used CCS in the past but sold it to somebody
who wanted a cheap setup.

I don't like the HiTech IDE - I work in Windows all the time, and try to
avoid project files.  Fortunately, HiTech integrates well with the Mathias
emulator (and I'm told with MPLAB also).

My experience with both Bytecraft (for other stuff) and HiTech is that both
provide excellent support, and both know compilers and a variety of chip
very well.  I originally went with HiTech due to having used the Avocet
compilers for eons.

I don't regret my decision one bit.  I've encouraged my customers and
employers to purchase it as well.  Another thing - the HiTech assembler is
FANTASTIC.  It supports all the things that a "real" assembler should, and
does it quite well.

Andy

  \-----------------/
   \     /---\     /
    \    |   |    /          Andy Kunz
     \   /---\   /           Montana Design
/---------+   +---------\     http://www.montanadesign.com
| /  |----|___|----|  \ |
\/___|      *      |___\/     Go fast, turn right,
                              and keep the wet side down!

1999\03\30@105709 by Michael Rigby-Jones

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HiTech C  http:\\http://www.htsoft.com

An excellent compiler.  I have had very few problems and the support is
second to none.   I am looking forward to a Windows IDE though.

Lou Calkins [RemoveMElcalkinsTakeThisOuTspamISMI.NET] wrote:

       <snip>
> I would like to look into getting a C compiler for the PIC (any of several
> versions) and I would like to know what others would recommend as a good
> compiler.  In the past couple of years, things have seemed to be changing
> fast in this area with quite a few compilers now available.  I really
> would
> appreciate any sincere advice anyone has to lend.
>
       <snip>

1999\03\30@110724 by Andy Kunz

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>...and I thought I only had Andy to beat! <G>

Guess all my talking has caused someone else to go this way.

>I would like to know :
>1) Does Hitech supports all the PICs?

It's table driven, so it probably will.  You can define a new part with
include files easy enough.

>2) Is its current release stable?

It's been out for several weeks and I haven't had to re-download it.
Current version is 7.83pl2 I believe.

>3) What does it do with the 'mapped' 16 bytes in the 8k parts?

??  You mean the common bank?  They are used properly.

ANdy

  \-----------------/
   \     /---\     /
    \    |   |    /          Andy Kunz
     \   /---\   /           Montana Design
/---------+   +---------\     http://www.montanadesign.com
| /  |----|___|----|  \ |
\/___|      *      |___\/     Go fast, turn right,
                              and keep the wet side down!

1999\03\30@111312 by Matt Bonner

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Tjaart van der Walt wrote:
>
> I am shamelessly biased towards MPC, because it supports ALL
> the PICs, works great with MPLAB, and I haven't seen a bug in
> it for ages. You can use the C code examples on Mchip's site
> virtually without changes.
>
I've used MPC on 6 different PIC16c series - no problems whatsoever.  As
Tjaart said, it's expensive but support is great, free updates seem to
be available forever... and I like to buy Canadian, eh!

Tjaart - any problems using MPC on the 16C77?

--Matt

1999\03\30@111522 by Barry King

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I cannot agree with Lawrence's conclusion that the CCS compiler is
OK. It seems to be OK, if used carefully, for the smaller RAM sizes.

WARNING: The CCS compiler DOES NOT work correctly (even the latest
version) for four-bank parts using the straightforward "long" address
compiler mode.

The insurmountable bugs that I found are in the large RAM support
mode.

I have three open bug reports with CCS.  Telephone support is not
available in fact.  And they have not answered my emails AT ALL, even
to say something like "sorry, you're 20th in line".  NOTHING.  (In
case you are wondering, I paid for support- what a sucker.)

> "you get what you pay for"
Is probably the driving force.  CCS is a small company and
seems not to have adequate resources to support the product.  There
is ONE support person, AFAIK.  Which would be OK, if they actually
did support, but he seems not to be available much.

> I write some good, compact code with it and I am continually surprised by
> the tricks it knows.
I does write good code for the mainstream cases on small RAM parts.
I chose CCS over Hi-tech because I2C support was built in
(preprogrammed in the library).  Unfortunately, it doesn't work right
in Master mode (contrary to claims in the manual.)

And finally, the manual is awful.  It is incomplete, has significant
typos, tons of unsignificant ones.

So my conclusion is that for hobbiest level cost, reliablility and
support, and size of project, it may be adequate.

But for pros who are using the compiler to do a project that is a)
Big, OR b)on a limited schedule OR c)needs to be verifiably correct,
I cannot recommend it.

------------
Barry King, KA1NLH
Engineering Manager
NRG Systems "Measuring the Wind's Energy"
Hinesburg, Vermont, USA
spamBeGonebarryspamBeGonespamnrgsystems.com
"The witty saying has been deleted due to limited EPROM space"

1999\03\30@115504 by David Wong

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What is the web site for MPC.  Who makes it

DW

1999\03\30@123715 by Andy Kunz

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At 11:52 AM 3/30/99 -0500, you wrote:
>What is the web site for MPC.  Who makes it

http://www.bytecraft.com

  \-----------------/
   \     /---\     /
    \    |   |    /          Andy Kunz
     \   /---\   /           Montana Design
/---------+   +---------\     http://www.montanadesign.com
| /  |----|___|----|  \ |
\/___|      *      |___\/     Go fast, turn right,
                              and keep the wet side down!

1999\03\30@134627 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
At 08:28 03/30/99 -0600, Lawrence Lile wrote:
>"you get what you pay for"
>
>I use the CCS http://www.ccsinfo.com/picc.html compiler at $99 plus $99 per
>year maintenance (which is mandatory given the number of bugfixes)
[...]
>If I could buy Hitech I would - It has been highly recommended and has had
>few complaints that I am aware of.

the thing is that if you think in a few (ie. a rather small number of)
years, the ccs compiler gets actually more expensive than the others, since
the $99 per year are mandatory, and with the others bugfixes are free (so far).

so if you can take out a small loan (from your bank or your pocket :), the
financial argument is not valid anymore.

ge

1999\03\30@144045 by Walter Banks

picon face
> What is the web site for MPC.  Who makes it

http://www.bytecraft.com/impc.html or

a general WEB site  for Byte Craft Limited at

http://www.bytecraft.com


MPC was developed by

Byte Craft Limited
421 King Street North
Waterloo, Ontario
CANADA N2J 4E4

Voice  519 888 6911
Fax     519 746 6751

email TakeThisOuTinfoEraseMEspamspam_OUTbytecraft.com


w..

1999\03\30@152850 by Lawrence Lile

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I hope I DID NOT leave the impression that I was insanely happy with CCS.
Buyers beware!   CCS is remarkably  MEDIOCRE.  I'm just STUCK with it.  CCS
is not a cheap compiler if you count your time and the yearly maintenance.
You'll note that the CCS support people are notably silent on the PIClist -
unlike Hitech and Bytecraft.




{Original Message removed}

1999\03\30@234645 by Tjaart van der Walt

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Matt Bonner wrote:
>
> Tjaart van der Walt wrote:
> >
> > I am shamelessly biased towards MPC, because it supports ALL
> > the PICs, works great with MPLAB, and I haven't seen a bug in
> > it for ages. You can use the C code examples on Mchip's site
> > virtually without changes.
> >
> I've used MPC on 6 different PIC16c series - no problems whatsoever.  As
> Tjaart said, it's expensive but support is great, free updates seem to
> be available forever... and I like to buy Canadian, eh!
>
> Tjaart - any problems using MPC on the 16C77?
I've been hammering MPC on the 16C77 ever since the 8k parts came out
without problems. I recently had a miscompile (bitwise & became a
logical &), but I think I was pushing my luck. I was and-ing multiple
variable indexes in an array (baaaaad Tjaart!).

As soon as I get my hands on a 16C877 (16F877 - whatever), I am
going to try MPC on them too. Providing they are no more expensive
than the (already pricey) 16C77, of course.

--
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1999\03\30@235309 by Tjaart van der Walt

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Lawrence Lile wrote:
>
> I hope I DID NOT leave the impression that I was insanely happy with CCS.
> Buyers beware!   CCS is remarkably  MEDIOCRE.  I'm just STUCK with it.  CCS
> is not a cheap compiler if you count your time and the yearly maintenance.
> You'll note that the CCS support people are notably silent on the PIClist -
> unlike Hitech and Bytecraft.

I think (hope) that everyone will agree that there are only two
serious compilers for Mchip so far (MPC and Hitech). I also
think that these discussions will benefit both these companies
(and they deserve it too).

The only problem I have, is that Andy and I seem to be agreeing
more and more on the topic of compilers <GRIN>. I suggest that
from now on, I include Andy's standard Hitech plug with mine,
and he includes my MPC plug with his. hehehehe.

--
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1999\03\31@005835 by Martin Mayr

picon face
Tjaart wrote:
>I think (hope) that everyone will agree that there are only two
>serious compilers for Mchip so far (MPC and Hitech). I also
>think that these discussions will benefit both these companies
>(and they deserve it too).

Why do you (and I think most on the list) ignore the IAR C-compiler.
It's very new, ok and maybe expensive. But the workbench and the
simulator are great. Projects with many files are no problem, different
releases (debug, release, test, ..) are no problem and if you are able
to generate the first code in a short period, you can buy an expensive
compiler. Another advantages are the very good support and there are
other compilers for different controllers available (under the same
workbench).
Ok, the code could be better, but IAR is working on it. I think a few
more releases and it's as efficient as the hitech compiler.
Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com

1999\03\31@084933 by Andy Kunz

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>As soon as I get my hands on a 16C877 (16F877 - whatever), I am
>going to try MPC on them too. Providing they are no more expensive
>than the (already pricey) 16C77, of course.

My source had them 10 cents more in big quantities.  They look like a '77
to the compiler, with a few extra features borrowed from the 17C parts (I2C
Master), and 256 byte internal EE.

Andy

  \-----------------/
   \     /---\     /
    \    |   |    /          Andy Kunz
     \   /---\   /           Montana Design
/---------+   +---------\     http://www.montanadesign.com
| /  |----|___|----|  \ |
\/___|      *      |___\/     Go fast, turn right,
                              and keep the wet side down!

1999\03\31@084935 by Andy Kunz

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>The only problem I have, is that Andy and I seem to be agreeing
>more and more on the topic of compilers <GRIN>. I suggest that
>from now on, I include Andy's standard Hitech plug with mine,
>and he includes my MPC plug with his. hehehehe.

Sounds like IAR is going to try to be a serious contender.  From what I
understand from the Mchip guys, IAR worked with them to make the newest
parts (18C??) more compiler-friendly.

IMHO, the the IAR IDE stinks worse the CCS's.  That is, if it's anything
like their Z-80 product.

Andy

  \-----------------/
   \     /---\     /
    \    |   |    /          Andy Kunz
     \   /---\   /           Montana Design
/---------+   +---------\     http://www.montanadesign.com
| /  |----|___|----|  \ |
\/___|      *      |___\/     Go fast, turn right,
                              and keep the wet side down!

1999\03\31@104540 by mwalsh

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Martin Mayr wrote:

> Tjaart wrote:
> >I think (hope) that everyone will agree that there are only two
> >serious compilers for Mchip so far (MPC and Hitech). I also
> >think that these discussions will benefit both these companies
> >(and they deserve it too).
>
> Why do you (and I think most on the list) ignore the IAR C-compiler.
> It's very new, ok and maybe expensive. But the workbench and the
> simulator are great.

I don't know about MPC or the Hitech compiler, but IAR requires
dongles on its AVR and I would guess the PIC compiler.  I can
appreciate their wanting to protect their software, but I wish they
would find a better way than dongles.

If you don't mind the nuisance, it's worth considering.

Mark Walsh

1999\03\31@111650 by Andy Kunz

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>I don't know about MPC or the Hitech compiler, but IAR requires
>dongles on its AVR and I would guess the PIC compiler.  I can
>appreciate their wanting to protect their software, but I wish they
>would find a better way than dongles.

You know how much hassle I had trying to get the dongle to work on my
machine (a 233 Dell)?!?!  I lost a WHOLE WEEK with the stupid thing.

Dongles are BADDDD for business.

Andy
  \-----------------/
   \     /---\     /
    \    |   |    /          Andy Kunz
     \   /---\   /           Montana Design
/---------+   +---------\     http://www.montanadesign.com
| /  |----|___|----|  \ |
\/___|      *      |___\/     Go fast, turn right,
                              and keep the wet side down!

1999\03\31@164911 by Henrik

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any one have the url for the IAR c-compiler
regards
   henrik
-----Oprindelig meddelelse-----
Fra: Martin Mayr <RemoveMEmartin_mayrspam_OUTspamKILLspamHOTMAIL.COM>
Til: RemoveMEPICLISTTakeThisOuTspamspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU <EraseMEPICLISTspamspamspamBeGoneMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Dato: 31. marts 1999 07:58
Emne: Re: The Best C Compiler


{Quote hidden}


'The Best C Compiler'
1999\04\01@005952 by Martin Mayr
picon face
Henrik wrote:
>any one have the url for the IAR c-compiler

You will find a limited demo on http://www.iar.se .  I hope it's a newer one
that I downloaded a few months ago. Now I use the full version (with a
dongle?!?) and I got a newer compiler version...

Best Regards
Martin
Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com

1999\04\02@025033 by Dr. Imre Bartfai

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Hi,

Theoretically agree.

However, that "small loan" equals for me the total of my quarterly salary.
No feed, no water, no flat. :-(((( Simply I can not afford. Such way I
must accept CCS and mainly CVASM (for free).

Imre

1999\04\02@094538 by Andy Kunz

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Agree to what?

At 08:51 AM 4/2/99 +0200, you wrote:
>Hi,
>
>Theoretically agree.
>
>However, that "small loan" equals for me the total of my quarterly salary.
>No feed, no water, no flat. :-(((( Simply I can not afford. Such way I
>must accept CCS and mainly CVASM (for free).
>
>Imre

1999\04\03@074221 by Dr. Imre Bartfai

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Hi,
the original opinion was: it is better to fetch a small loan from your
bank or own budget and with this afford Hi-Tech C compiler (for $750),
than buy CCS for $99 and pay the same amount practically every year due to
their upgrade policy. On the other hand, this way the perspective is about
6 year. Who knows whether he/she will work with PIC's also after 6 years?
Such way the decision process is multi-factorial and depends far more
factors than the quality (also not simple to describe exactly) of the
software and the support. Individuals also tend to treat the importance of
support differently (I personally handle it as a last resort, bcus for the
cost of a call I could buy a new software...). This is a well-known
problem: can you compare vectors if the different element pairs have not
all the same relation? It depends on weight factors then, and they - as
said - tend to diverge.

This is my $0.02 word.

Imre


On Fri, 2 Apr 1999, Andy Kunz wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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