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Hot!MPASM Removed? !!!

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fos
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2020/07/19 16:15:22 (permalink)
5 (1)

MPASM Removed? !!!

Now that MPASM has been removed. Is there an alternative? Is there a source for an earlier version that still supports MAPASM?
 
What a terrible decision!
 
fos
#1

18 Replies Related Threads

    katela
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    Re: MPASM Removed? !!! 2020/07/19 16:30:29 (permalink)
    +2 (2)
    Read this thread for more info: https://www.microchip.com/forums/m1145168.aspx
     

    Free online Microcontroller Tutorials and Projects for Hobbyists and students. From beginners to advanced. Website: www.studentcompanion.co.za
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    #2
    dan1138
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    Re: MPASM Removed? !!! 2020/07/19 16:31:36 (permalink)
    +2 (2)
    You just now waking up to the fact that Microchip has done you wrong?

    This has been under discussion for weeks.

    There's another assembler but you're not going to like it.
    #3
    ric
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    Re: MPASM Removed? !!! 2020/07/19 16:31:56 (permalink)
    +2 (2)
    fos
    Now that MPASM has been removed. Is there an alternative?

    Yes, MPLABX v5.40 expects you to have XC8 installed, which includes "pic-as".
    However, that still has a number of teething problems.
    There are several topics on this board discussing this. Start at https://www.microchip.com/forums/f16.aspx
     

    Is there a source for an earlier version that still supports MAPASM?

    Do you mean an earlier version of MPLABX?
    You can download all the previous versions from: https://www.microchip.com...spic-downloads-archive
     

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    #4
    fos
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    Re: MPASM Removed? !!! 2020/07/19 17:29:01 (permalink)
    +1 (1)
     
    Just back into PIC programming and thought I would use the latest MPLAB X. Didn't work - no MPASM.
     
    Just tried 5.35 - It works but includes an "MPASM - no support on 64 bit OS".
     
    I guess I will back up to 5.3 not to get the deprecated warning.
     
    I have a lot of legacy PIC equipment. :(
     
    Oh well. I guess I'm a luddite.
     
    fos
    #5
    ric
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    Re: MPASM Removed? !!! 2020/07/19 18:34:13 (permalink)
    +2 (2)
    Bad timing.
    v5.40 is the first version to drop MPASM.
     
     

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    #6
    Jerry Messina
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    Re: MPASM Removed? !!! 2020/07/20 03:39:19 (permalink)
    +2 (2)
    fos
     Just tried 5.35 - It works but includes an "MPASM - no support on 64 bit OS".

    Depending on the OS, you can ignore that warning (at least you can if you're using windows). 5.35 includes mpasm and it works (win7 x64).
     
     
    #7
    fos
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    Re: MPASM Removed? !!! 2020/07/20 12:51:21 (permalink)
    0
    Hi Jerry,
     
    I did try 5.35. It works with MASM but includes a warning message about deprecation.
     
    I backed to 5.30. It works without the warning. I will use it for now.
     
    Thank you,
    v/r
    Jeff
    #8
    ric
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    Re: MPASM Removed? !!! 2020/07/20 13:19:23 (permalink)
    +2 (2)
    The warning was just to let you know it was going to be discontinued in the next release.
    You can just ignore it.
     

    I also post at: PicForum
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    #9
    mpgmike
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    Re: MPASM Removed? !!! 2020/07/20 15:07:21 (permalink)
    +2 (2)
    I seriously hope Microchip rethinks this pic-as crap and invests the resources to upgrade MPASM.  I know Charles Leo at MP Labs & he says he is at a loss on how to maintain PBP3 with the new stuff.  So, not only is Microchip putting a hurting on the PIC users, but also it's Trusted 3rd Party Vendors.

    I don't need the world to know my name, but I want to live a life so all my great-grandchildren proudly remember me.
    #10
    dan1138
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    Re: MPASM Removed? !!! 2020/07/20 16:07:56 (permalink)
    +1 (3)
    mpgmike
    I seriously hope Microchip rethinks this pic-as crap and invests the resources to upgrade MPASM.  I know Charles Leo at MP Labs & he says he is at a loss on how to maintain PBP3 with the new stuff.  So, not only is Microchip putting a hurting on the PIC users, but also it's Trusted 3rd Party Vendors.

    I wonder how many other PIC tools vendors are going to need to decide to cowboy up or get out of the business?
     
    <rant>
    Vendors that built tools on MPASM have been "cutting bait" for a few decades now, guess it's time to "start fishing" or go home.
     
    MPLABX seems to support around 3000 controller targets. Most of them are 8-bit controllers. The tools team at Microchip has ported the XC8 tool chain to the 64-bit world. I bet that was a lot of fun. And now you want them to spend a similar effort to port a tool chain that "appears" non-essential to Microchip as the assembler for XC8 is already ported?
     
    The pic-as(v2.20) tool chain is an archaic assembler except when compared to MPASM.
     
    What I would like from Microchip is for pic-as(v2.20) to directly support all the MPASM directives without evading the issue by suggestion the developer implement the missing directives using assembly macros. I cannot find a comprehensive way to implement the MPASM "DA" directive that packs two 7-bit ASCII character in one 14-bit instruction word of a mid-range PIC.
    </rant>
    #11
    1and0
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    Re: MPASM Removed? !!! 2020/07/21 07:46:18 (permalink)
    0
    mpgmike
    I seriously hope Microchip rethinks this pic-as crap and invests the resources to upgrade MPASM.  I know Charles Leo at MP Labs & he says he is at a loss on how to maintain PBP3 with the new stuff.  So, not only is Microchip putting a hurting on the PIC users, but also it's Trusted 3rd Party Vendors.

    I did say this is an enormous blunder when I first learned of this news. ;) My chart in Post #15 in this topic lists (no) support of 3rd party vendors: https://www.microchip.com/forums/m1131714.aspx
    #12
    Beau Schwabe
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    Re: MPASM Removed? !!! 2020/07/21 23:15:39 (permalink)
    +2 (2)
    This is a poor decision microchip .... I am a pure Assembly programmer, programming professionally for the last 30 years teaching myself 6502 Assembly on an ATARI computer when I was only 12 years old in the early 80's.  Currently I am an automation Design engineer where we use Assembly extensively.  There are many things you can do under the hood to a micro in Assembly that becomes cumbersome with C.  I think you might be losing a big portion of revenue by dropping MPASM support.
     
     
    #13
    GlennP
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    Re: MPASM Removed? !!! 2020/07/22 00:32:17 (permalink)
    +2 (2)
    This is just a personal perspective.
     
    I no longer consider using PIC16s as a direct result of the loss of MPASMX.  The reason to keep using a family is its suitability OR one's knowledge base (or a combination).  Since my library of assembler code is essentially useless*** going forward (sans a huge translation effort), I now look at the alternatives.  The relative cleanliness of other architectures (both PIC and non-PIC) makes them more attractive.  I haven't been able to match the low power of the newer PIC16s, but it's close enough.  So I doubt I'll use PIC16s in any future products.
     
    That said, I doubt anything said on a forum will modify MCHP's behavior.  Only a huge customer saying "I'm leaving the fold." will do that.  And the evidence (so far) is that that has not happened.  So each of MCHP's customers will decide how to proceed and most don't use that much assembler code (if any) and therefore don't care about this.  From this, you can deduce what I think will happen: the decision will stand.
     
    [***  I realize I can keep my v5.35 forever (or until Windoz eliminates 32-bit support - whichever comes first).  And I'll do that for all the products that need it.  But I think that's pushing back the sea with a broom - one has to keep up or be left behind.]
     
    GP
     
    "Alas poor PIC16s! I knew them, Horatio: a family of processors of peculiar but useful design, ... ."  Apologies to WS.
    #14
    k.amps
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    Re: MPASM Removed? !!! 2020/07/24 04:29:09 (permalink)
    +1 (1)
    Over the years I have been in business, there have been about five companies that have treated me badly. In one case it was a large multinational connector manufacturer that messed me around so much that I designed the connector out of the product. That product is still made today without their connector (or anybody elses for that matter).
    Today NONE of those companies exist in this country. Why would that be? The amount that I was buying was less than a millionth of their annual turnover, I did not protest on the internet or take any direct action against the companies concerned.

    The reason is an attitude thing: First you treat your smallest customers badly, they are after all insignificant and contribute almost nothing to the bottom line, they are a nuisance. When they have all gone elsewhere, you continue treating your smallest customers badly, (they used to be your medium size customers) and they go elsewhere and then you continue to treat your smallest customers badly, (they used to be your big customers) and they go elsewhere. Finally your expenses exceed your income and you go bust.

    Microchip built its business by giving away excellent tools that actually worked at a time when the competitors charged big bucks for their assemblers. So anybody that could afford a programmer, an EPROM eraser and a couple of windowed devices could develop products using Microchips silicon. Microchip got the money back by selling one time programmable microprocessors. The barriers to entry were extremely low.

    I do not think the barriers to entry are low nowadays. Personally I have spent more time fighting with three versions of C and two versions of assembler and MPLABX not working or even worse partially working than I have spent progrmming microprocessors. I think I am going to delete MPLABX 5.40 now that I know it is the first 64 bit version
    and has little or no chance of working properly. I was also horrified when it filled up my root partition due to its bloated 8.5G size. This is largely due to the packs for every processor known to Microchip, 99% of which I have never used and will never use. Shows how much thought has been put into it. Surely the way to do this is leave the packs in zipped form and only unpack that pack when a processor in that family is used.
    Then you have development boards that were made for one version of C that no longer work. Surely the best way to demonstrate the new C syntax is to have the code for said development boards in the old and the new style. Maybe I am dillexic or stupid, but I do not learn well from code snippets because you cannot see how the whole system fits together, and I speak English at home so I understand the language nuances. God help people who speak English as a second or third language.

    So, is Microchip treating its smallest customers badly? Without a doubt. Making a decision that at the stroke of a pen obsoletes thousands of lines of code that have taken years to develop depite numerous pleas on this forum to retain MPASM and even more pleas to be able to switch between assembler and C depending on the circumstances have been ignored. Like GlennP I am not going to re-write hundreds of lines of pretty efficient assembler into PIC-ASS or C or anything else. In fact if Microchip is going to almost dictate that I program in C (by making the ASM so unwieldy that it is impossible to use) then I will rather ditch the C and use assembler only. It may take 10% longer to write in assembler, but I will spend far less time fighting with the development tools, the code will be 50% smaller and I will manage to keep whats left of my hair on.





    #15
    Lipidex Corp
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    Re: MPASM Removed? !!! 2020/07/30 12:03:42 (permalink)
    0
    What's the latest version of MPLAB that will work with MPASM and the ICD4?
     
    Have a 16F1503 project and a lot of legacy code.
    I get an error that the ICD4 can't access header database.
     
    thanks,
    Jason
    #16
    mpgmike
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    Re: MPASM Removed? !!! 2020/07/31 09:47:11 (permalink)
    +1 (1)
    MPLABX v5.35, although many expressed a preference for v5.20 for some reason.

    I don't need the world to know my name, but I want to live a life so all my great-grandchildren proudly remember me.
    #17
    NorthGuy
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    Re: MPASM Removed? !!! 2020/07/31 12:36:20 (permalink)
    +2 (2)
    k.amps
    So, is Microchip treating its smallest customers badly? Without a doubt.



    I don't think so. Today, most of the software (IDEs included) is bloated and buggy. How's that translates into Microchip treating small customers badly?
     
    I don't think Microchip have lots of employee who program in assembler (just as any other company). Thus there's no one who can judge whether the move to the new assembler is good for assembler programmers or not. From the viewpoint of C programmers it certainly is. That's all there's to it. I'm sure they didn't meant it as an assault on small customers.
     
    #18
    dan1138
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    Re: MPASM Removed? !!! 2020/07/31 22:44:01 (permalink)
    +2 (2)
    The issues that small developers (you know, us) experience with Microchip tools seems to be caused by how the corporation has changed from innovating with technology to acquiring companies that have innovated.
     
    The primary focus of Microchip is distracted by integrating and merging the stuff that purchased with the existing infrastructure. The rate of acquisitions has be so frequent that they never seem to reach stability. The online support staff and Field Applications Engineers are hit with new products to push every few months.
     
    MPLABX, Harmony and MCC together support 3000 controller targets and from 8 to 12 hardware debug tools.
     
    The development tools from Texas Instruments, NXP, Renesas, Silicon Labs, ST Microelectronics are all bloatware nightmares. And those are just the ones I have been using for the last 18 months.
     
    Microchip killing off MPASM is a nothing burger compare to what I'm dealing with from the other bozos on this bus.
     
    So to all you other assembler weenies like me: Just lighten up will ya?
    #19
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