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Which IDE to start with?

Discussion in 'Microcontrollers, Programming and IoT' started by Bondo86, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. Bondo86

    Bondo86

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    Oct 10, 2012
    Hi, I'm new to the forum, and haven't introduced myself yet. I just thought I'd jump right in. I've got about as far as I can go with my electronics hobby without getting into microcontrollers. So, I had to choose a starting point. I thought about getting a NerdKit or someother microcontroller kit, so I'd know what I don't need in C, but I figured it can't hurt. I'm going through some tutorials right now where I need a good IDE. I've picked Visual Studio Exprees 2012 for Windows Desktop, over Visual C++ 2010 Express. I guess my question is this, have I chosen a good IDE for my level, are there any downfalls over others I need to know about? Thanks ahead of time.
     
  2. CocaCola

    CocaCola

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    Apr 7, 2012
    Those development suites are for PC based software developement, not really focused on electronics applications or programming... Is your goal electronics and micro chips or programming computer software?
     
  3. Bondo86

    Bondo86

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    Oct 10, 2012
    Definitely going to revolve around microcontrollers. I wouldn't mind learning PC based design. But, I'm getting that felling you're going to tell me I made the wrong choice lol. What am I looking for?

    Edit: I went ahead and downloaded the IDE I was talking about. I don't see how pursuing that can be a loss, but I do need to find out what I'm missing for using with a PIC.

    Edit: Ok, I've done a little bit more reading and it seems all I need is a compiler. Do you know what one would be best for beginners? Or do you need to choose the compiler by the PIC you buy?
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
  4. CocaCola

    CocaCola

    3,635
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    Apr 7, 2012
    Both, in some cases... Most compilers will work for a broad variety of PIC chips... Others will only work for a select few... Shop around and look at the details of each one...

    Best is really a loaded question... The best for you is the one that works best for you, not what works best for others... There is a lot of personal preference in your choice over actual performance issues... Regardless of claims of this or that compiler, compiling the best code there are always counter claims showing the contrary... If optimization is you goal than learn assembly and skip the compiler, IMO...

    There is also the cost, what you can or can't afford comes into play...

    MPLAB and HI-TECH are the C compilers pushed by Microchip...

    http://www.microchip.com/stellent/i...E&nodeId=1406&dDocName=en534868&redirects=c30

    But, there are others like CCS, MikroC as well as others (just Google search) that shouldn't IMO be dismissed just because, as many offer some unique options or features...

    As I have said in other threads I find the offerings from Mikroe to be both cost efficient as well as quality... They also offer a lot of lateral movement between languages as well as micro brands, all within the same companies offerings... This has it's advantage on the developer boards they offer as most of the plug in accessories can be moved between different micro brand developer boards they offer without hassle... And many of the libraries to use these accessories are bundled into all their compilers...

    I have used and will continue to use many of Mikroe's offerings (both hardware and software) even though my primary compiler is PicBasic Pro...
     
  5. Bondo86

    Bondo86

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    Oct 10, 2012
    Thanks CocaCola, what you said helped me make my decision on the direction I need to take my studies. From my browsing around this forum your answer doesn't disappoint as usual. I think I'm going to work on C for a little bit then come back to working on PICs so I'm not so lost when I start to program them.
     
  6. CocaCola

    CocaCola

    3,635
    4
    Apr 7, 2012
    Learning the C syntax is never a waste, it will open up a lot of opportunity... You will likely get annoyed with all the little quirks between say computer programming and micro programming but having the basics of the language down will allow you to gain ground much faster than not know it... This is the reason I still use BASIC, I learned it so long ago and have just built upon it over the years as I moved from platform to platform, none of the past learning was a waste it all benefits in some way in the future...
     
  7. BobK

    BobK

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    1,641
    Jan 5, 2010
    If you are planning on using PIC I would reccommend MPLAB and whichever C compiler is provided for the PIC you are using (Hi-tech, C18, C30, or C32 ) for 2 reasons:

    1. They are free, at least in limited versions that don't have full optimization.
    2. You have access for very good support in the Microchip forum.

    I would also reccomend a PICkit 2 programmer / debugger, which cost $35 is is far superior to third party programmers. The only drawback with PICkit 2 is that it no longer supports all the latest chips, but it's successor PICkit 3 still has many problems.

    Bob
     
  8. Bondo86

    Bondo86

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    Oct 10, 2012
    Thanks guys, very useful information. That's the way I looked at it, it won't be a waste.
     
  9. docb

    docb

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    Feb 11, 2010
    I'd like to ask that same question about what IDE/Tooolchain to pick, but for Arm processors.

    I'm leaning towards the StMicro F4's but what tools to use?
     
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