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shaun_any
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2020/09/16 04:54:34 (permalink)
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My MPLAB X Alternative

Information really for anyone who finally gives up with the joke of an IDE.
 
I have a new 32-bit project to do and decided to upgrade my tools first including harmony 2 to 3. I had all assorts of issues with XC32 not working with 5.4, harmony 3 errors etc.
 
After a week I gave up went back to 5.35, XC32 now works, harmony 3 works.
 
I finally thought enough is enough, it might be free, but I spend 95% of my working week using MPC**P X, there must be another way.Cutting a long story short, I’ve now been using Vscode for my microchip development for over a month and things are going well.
 
I have setup tasks to,
Make production / debug images, makefile generation and clean the project and I’m working on using the IPECMD to build and program in one hit.
 
I have a 4 core CPU (8 logical) and although I have parallel build set inside MPC**P X my PIC32 project was taking 3 minutes to build, (420K image) inside Vscode using make -j6 my build is down to 63 seconds.
 The only downside is debugging will only work in MPC**P X unless I write an extension for the MDB, which is a bit over my head. However, in Vscode if I build a debug image, MPC**P X will skip over the build and go straight to programming / halt at main.
 
I basically now use MPC**P X for project created with MCC / harmony when needed and a debugger. I tend to write sections of code / functions, build regularly for errors and then debug that section, so I’m down to only using MPC**P X 15 – 20 % of the time, which is better day all round.
 
Last week I had to update a project and did the whole thing without opening the IDE once. The project used a PDIP device so rather then debug I just made the changes in stages, editing / building inside Vscode, used our Dataman to flash the chip, drop in circuit to check etc.
 
Having never used Vscode, I spent a couple of hours setting everything up and I can now copy the setting to new projects and tweaked accordingly. XC16 & XC32 work almost out the box as these are gcc based, so supply the path and Vscode probes the compliers for the headers etc. XC8 is a strange one and I’ve had to supply the complier path along with the header locations etc.
 
There are some great features inside Vscode, it’s a joy to use and I’m spending my time coding and not fighting / restarting the IDE. The joke is MPC**P has been developed since the 90’s and is a mess, Vscode is 5 years old and is far superior in every aspect.
 
How you release updates that break more than they fix is beyond me and I would be fired for doing this, this is “Redmond” territory, must be something in the “Micro” name
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    KTrenholm
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    Re: My MPLAB X Alternative 2020/09/16 08:51:55 (permalink)
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    shaun_any
    There are some great features inside Vscode, it’s a joy to use and I’m spending my time coding and not fighting / restarting the IDE. The joke is MPC**P has been developed since the 90’s and is a mess, Vscode is 5 years old and is far superior in every aspect.
     
    How you release updates that break more than they fix is beyond me and I would be fired for doing this, this is “Redmond” territory, must be something in the “Micro” name



    I find this at least a little ironic to say considering VSCode is a MS product mr green: mr green.
     
    On-Topic, I should really try this for my XC16 projects since I never use MCC for those.  In an ideal world there would be a nice microchip plugin for VSCode.
     
    Would you mind sharing your configuration files for VSCode to work with XC16?
    post edited by KTrenholm - 2020/09/16 09:38:18
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    Murton Pike Systems
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    Re: My MPLAB X Alternative 2020/09/16 11:38:54 (permalink)
    +1 (1)
    I see quite a few threads complaining about MPLAB x and Harmony.
    I am not having the same problems.
    My projects get created and run fine.
    MPLAB X and Harmony are very complicated but helped a bit by the visual interfaces.
    I struggle after 40 years in programming controlling a 300,000 line program so heaven knows how Microchip supports something as big as MPLAB X and Harmony.
    Some stuff can be buried a bit so you need to dig around and find out what each menu does.
    The first Harmony 3 project is hardest, once you get past that its not so bad.
    I recently blamed MPLAB X for multiple BSOD's on opening MPLAB X.
    Turned out to be a duff DRAM chip !
     
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    shaun_any
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    Re: My MPLAB X Alternative 2020/09/17 01:36:29 (permalink)
    +1 (1)
    nigelwright7558 my friend you have hit the nail on the head.
     
    MPLAB X takes up 4.6GB of space on my computer.
     
    I’m having a better experience, coding / building faster and working better using a program that has an install size of 250 MB…
     
    You have highlighted yourself that many people are complaining so maybe you’re a luck one in the minority and the IDE actually has some major issues.
     
    I’ve used QT to develop GUI for android, MAC and windows the install is 6.7GB and it works like a dream. A few years ago, I built the complier from source to cross-compile for the Beaglebone Black without issue.
     
    So, it’s massive is not really an excuse.
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    shaun_any
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    Re: My MPLAB X Alternative 2020/09/17 02:33:50 (permalink)
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    Hi KTrenholm, I thought someone would see the irony, I actually like Windows and use it daily.
     
    Happy to share and I zipped up the shell projects but can’t post on the forum with it attached, you have to love it really.
     
    Try the following,
    https://1drv.ms/u/s!AkKNpxfu5VjBl8FDy3cGDiTtD9__Ew?e=jvaake
     
    I’m on holiday until the 28th so I might not be able to post, but when I get back, I’m planning on implementing the following,
  • Creating a script to clean->build->program using the ipecmd and PICKIT3 / ICD3
  • Sort the makefile generator as this is a bit flaky and try to the remove the hardcoded project address
  • Play with the C/C++ Extension settings so intellisense works better with the compliers, I still have a headers it can’t find, mainly in XC8 and my harmony project due to the logical folders MPLAB uses.Once I have sorted the above, I plan on producing shell projects for the 10/15 PIC we commonly use, this would reduce MPLAB to just a debugger and I can do everything else externally.
     
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