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Helpful ReplyHot!Automatic display of variables in watch window, and very slow debugging in MPLABX

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MartinDJohnson
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2012/07/16 06:28:50 (permalink)
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Automatic display of variables in watch window, and very slow debugging in MPLABX

Hi,
Is there any way to completely disable the automatic display of variables in the MPLABX watch window?
If you have a large array(s) contained in varaibles shown in the watch window it can take ages to update, which can be quite annoying and dramatically slow down debugging.
 
I also think that it takes far too long to retrieve the watch data in anycase, even if its just a few KB it can take considerable time. (Im using PicKit 3).
 
#1
mellis
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Re:Automatic display of variables in watch window, and very slow debugging in MPLABX 2012/07/16 07:57:15 (permalink)
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Hello,
 
If you move focus from the Watch tab to the Output tab in the Output window
area that should speed things up when you need to step through allot of code without
needing to review the Watch data.  The watch window will request updates for items
when the window is open and in focus. 
 
Regards,
#2
MartinDJohnson
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Re:Automatic display of variables in watch window, and very slow debugging in MPLABX 2012/07/16 08:11:05 (permalink)
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Hi Mellis,
Thanks for the info, its useful when stepping through code, while not investigating watch variables.
I have noticed that the watch window sometimes updates multiple times, in my view there is a problem with the way the code is working. Apart from the fact that each download is very slow.
For example, it will take 2 to 3 minuites to download the current watch data, then if you click to expand one variable it begins the whole download again.
Also if you delete a variable from the watch window, again it re-downloads the entire watch window data.
This seems a bit insane sad I hope the code can be improved soon [8)]
It seems also much slower with the new 1.30 release
 
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John H
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Re:Automatic display of variables in watch window, and very slow debugging in MPLABX 2012/07/16 14:57:08 (permalink)
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Hello I totally agree
 
MPLAB X is much slower when viewing VARIABLES / WATCHES very slow refreshes with multiple variables, this was never the case in the old MPLAB software
 
I have a separate monitor for showing the Variable window and really notice how slow items update
 
I agree, I am not sure the code written in MPLAB X to produce the watch and variables windows is very efficient, this part of MPLAB X seems to be a major bottle neck and I would agree 1.30 does seem slower ?
 
Here's hoping future releases will improve many more features for the watch / variable windows and dramatically speed up the refresh of these windows.
 
Regards
post edited by johnnyh - 2012/07/16 21:48:28

It is better to stay silent and be thought a fool, than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.
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MartinDJohnson
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Re:Automatic display of variables in watch window, and very slow debugging in MPLABX 2012/07/16 23:39:28 (permalink)
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Hi Johnny,
Thanks for your message, yes its far too slow. Being able to watch variables without waiting ages for something that should be relatively quick considering the small abounts of data is totally unacceptable.
Its pretty important that this gets fixed at some point soon, hopefully Microchip will notice this thread and take a look at improving the MPLABX code [8)]
 
I dont know why it has slowed down even more with the 1.3 release.
 
Anyone know why????
 
#5
John H
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Re:Automatic display of variables in watch window, and very slow debugging in MPLABX 2012/07/16 23:51:46 (permalink)
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Hi
 
I think the fact MPLAB X being designed on a NetBeans environment is not a great start for speed and performance as Net Beans is very heavy, or at least seems much more heavy than the experience you get running MPLAB 8.
 
It gives me a similar feel to the .NET / Java (again sluggish and Heavy)
 
Net Beans allowing MPLAB X to be Multi Platform, and very powerful with features, I fully understand why Microchip have built MPLAB X on this foundation. 
 
That said, with the power of Today's PC's I feel there should not be issues & slowness in updating various windows in MPLABX.
 
The whole environment of MPLAB X feels Slow and Sluggish but I'm sure in time things will hopefully speed up,
 
though before addressing performance issues, there are major hardware USB issues for the software DEV team to rectify and get there head around ![:-]
 
regards
 

It is better to stay silent and be thought a fool, than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.
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MartinDJohnson
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Re:Automatic display of variables in watch window, and very slow debugging in MPLABX 2012/07/17 00:16:29 (permalink)
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Hi Johnny,
 
Yes, the USB connectivity and debug issues are the most important thing to first get right [8)]
 
It would be useful if Microchip could release beta versions of MPLABX on the forum so that they could be better tested by experienced developers before launching official release.
 
Then at least each official release would have much less problems, and Microchip get the IDE tested for free.
 
Otherway its to just assume that each MPLABX release is beta, then i guess its already happening!
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John H
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Re:Automatic display of variables in watch window, and very slow debugging in MPLABX 2012/07/17 00:43:22 (permalink)
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I agree, there should NEVER have been a Final Release of MPLAB X  yet !
 
It is doing more damage for Microchip reputation than good ! Every day on this forum I keep seeing posts saying "I give up  MPLAB X!" ,   "MPLAB X Is A REAL HEADACHE", and so on
 
Engineers are moving over to other makes of chip / Dev systems !
 
I have been with Microchip for about 17 Years now ! I purchased two of there Dev System years ago called the PIC MASTER In Circuit Emulator, you then had to purchase different PODs for the PIC Chip you were working with !
 
The PIC MASTER was about £1800 and each POD was about £400,  ... I Purchase 2 PIC MASTERS, ABOUT 15 PODs & The PROMATE II with a range of Different Programing Plates.
 
A small fortune...., that's before any other development cost,   BUT... everything WORKED faultlessly.
 
back then Microchip built tools to a much higher standard ! everything back then was very high quality, Metal enclosures and long lasting RELIABILITY !
 
Everything has gone very cheap and cheerful these days with Microchip tools, plastic flimsy cases for programmer / ICE's,   I own the Pro Mate II and the PM3 although the PM 3 is newer you can not compare the quality of the two !  the PRO MATE II far better made.
 
The chips have got more advanced and the Tool Quality & Software Reliability have gone backwards. ?? For such a big advanced company that was so respected years ago for QUALITY & RELIABILITY, they need to be careful engineers don't start looking at Microchip as toy town outfit.
 
Please don't get me wrong... I understand the Microchip Products are much cheaper today, but I'm not sure if that is such a great thing !! I preferred working years ago on my very expensive DEV tools, mainly because they WORKED !!
 
You get what you pay for in life ! MicroChip should offer a budget range of tools & a professional range as they did years ago, well that's my opinion anyway, I know what range I would purchase ... Sadly there is no high quality tools today, not to the standard there was years ago. It's very true Microchip has changed it's image over the last 15 Years.
 
And yes I feel we are all be used as guinea pigs regarding MPLAB X
 
Microchip need some serious software engineers to rectify the ever growing  list of problems with MPLAB X 
 
and they should call on us hardware engineers to beta test pre release versions, rather than keep doing damage to there reputation & image of MPLAB X!!
 
I do understand people frustration and time that has been wasted with MPLAB X as I am going through the same pain, but MPLAB X is the way forward if they can get it right ?
 
The end result is to get MPLAB X Stable with the DEV tools so us engineers can crack with our designs and more importantly.... choose Microchip parts in our designs !

He ho
 
Regards
 
 
 
post edited by johnnyh - 2012/07/17 00:57:42

It is better to stay silent and be thought a fool, than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.
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MartinDJohnson
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Re:Automatic display of variables in watch window, and very slow debugging in MPLABX 2012/07/17 01:01:24 (permalink)
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Hi Johnny,
 
I must admit, i do currently consider MPLABX to be beta software. 
There are just too many problems with MPLABX to consider it as release quality.
I do currently find MPLABX only just about workable.
 
However i do think that MPLABX has great potential if the problems with it can be fixed [8)]
 
I have used Microchip tools and devices for a long long time now, and in my view the PIC does offer great performance, great features and at very low unit cost, which is important for developers.
 
Lets hope that the 1.40 release is a big improvement Smile and that the bug fixes are well tested.
 
 
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John H
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Re:Automatic display of variables in watch window, and very slow debugging in MPLABX 2012/07/17 01:04:17 (permalink)
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Here Here,
 
I agree totally, thus why I have been with Microchip  for so many years
 
here's hoping 1.40 is a vast improvement 
 
Kind Regards

It is better to stay silent and be thought a fool, than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.
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wrljet
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Re:Automatic display of variables in watch window, and very slow debugging in MPLABX 2012/10/06 10:59:25 (permalink)
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I know this is flogging a dead horse, but I have to agree with the above comments and opinions.
 
I'm experimenting with PIC32 after spending years with Freescale micros, and their BDM debugger interface and tools.  With CodeWarrior single stepping over a line of code happens instantly.  As fast as it would locally on the real machine in Visual Studio.  Same with the displays of call stack and variables.  With MPLABX and PICkit 3 it takes *forever*.  Simply and totally unacceptable IMHO.
 
-Bill
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Suprazz
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Re:Automatic display of variables in watch window, and very slow debugging in MPLABX 2012/11/26 13:25:15 (permalink)
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any updates. I decided to move from mplab 8 to mplabx 1.50 but debugging is so painfull that I went back to mplab 8. Debugging is very important and it's very slow. Watch variables is very slow and I dont know why but cannot show value of a global struct. It was working very well with mplab 8.
 
Any idea to increase performance? I'm in a VM on XP with only mplab running (no anti-virus) with 2 gb of ram...
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wrljet
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Re:Automatic display of variables in watch window, and very slow debugging in MPLABX 2012/11/26 13:34:51 (permalink)
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I have recently noticed one thing (still using X 1.41) with PICkit3.  It single steps faster on a PIC32MX250 than on the '795.  At least for me.  But still agonizingly slow.
 
And there's no "return to caller" command.
-Bill
 
 
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MartinDJohnson
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Re:Automatic display of variables in watch window, and very slow debugging in MPLABX 2012/11/28 01:16:18 (permalink)
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Hi All,
I have not noticed any increase in performance with the newer versions of MPLABX, debugging is still far too slow.
It would be helpful if there was a button to turn off the automatic display of variables so that the debugger only watched the things you were interested in. I think then at least then the speed may be improved.
Also the debugger seems to re-read data for no apparent reason when changing say the format of the data view, which also slows things down.
Hopefully someone at microchip will eventually read these posts and at least apply some fixes to give improvement Smile
Until then we are stuck with it being slow on MPLABX... sad If it drives you too mad, use MPLAB instead if it supports the PIC you want to use.
 
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MHS
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Re:Automatic display of variables in watch window, and very slow debugging in MPLABX 2012/11/29 04:26:20 (permalink)
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Why don't you just use watches? Variables are automatic, Watches are manual.
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MHS
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Re:Automatic display of variables in watch window, and very slow debugging in MPLABX 2012/11/29 04:29:13 (permalink)
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Also the PICkit3 uses full speed USB. You may want to invest in an ICD3. It's faster. But as you mentioned, there's some inherent slowness in the Netbeans framework.
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wrljet
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Re:Automatic display of variables in watch window, and very slow debugging in MPLABX 2012/11/29 07:09:10 (permalink)
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How much faster?
 
As fast as, say, Freescale open source USB based BDM?  Where single-step will keep up with the keyboard auto-repeat?
 
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MartinDJohnson
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Re:Automatic display of variables in watch window, and very slow debugging in MPLABX 2012/11/30 06:44:49 (permalink)
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I have an ICD3 as well its a bit faster not really a huge improvement as most of the problem is the way MPLABX handles the debug data but in the past i found quite a few bugs when using it with the MPLABX IDE. The PicKit seemed more stable.
Perhaps those bugs have now been fixed, I have not tried it for a while [8)]
As far as adding watches, I normally do that but the auto variables slow the debug down.
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Re:Automatic display of variables in watch window, and very slow debugging in MPLABX 2012/11/30 08:57:48 (permalink)
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I think the problem is also Tied up with NetBeans!

no one seems to rave about this system and the feed back always seems to be that is is very slow and slugish
 
I think it is one of those things that we will just have to live with, a high price to pay for a multi platform system that work with all computer systems.

Come back MPLAB (PC Only) all is forgiven...... 
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wrljet
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Re:Automatic display of variables in watch window, and very slow debugging in MPLABX 2012/11/30 09:06:38 (permalink)
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In my case I've never been _into_ PICs and am trying this out just to get access to the vast Flash and RAM resources on the PIC32MX795.  Evaulating.  But really the tools are more important to me than chip features, and I'm not stuck with DIPs, so I'll be sticking with other makers' micros.
 
#20
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