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PICList Thread
'C Compiler Comments please'
1998\01\13@091027 by Stevenson, Brad

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Hello,

New guy on the list here. I've done a few projects with the PIC, the
last one being quite large. I've been doing all of the programming in
assembler, but now I'd like to use C.

I have not heard good things regarding the compiler offered from
Microchip (although it does support 12,14 and 16 bit devices).
On the other hand, I have heard good things about the CCS compiler even
though it appears to only support 12 and 14 bit devices. Bytecraft also
makes one, but I haven't heard anything about it.

Any comments on these compilers or other compilers I'm not aware of
would be really appreciated.

Thanks,


Brad Stevenson, CET
The DPL Group - Telecom Techniques
506-635-1055 or 1-800-561-8880
http://www.dpl.ca

1998\01\13@143801 by Martin R. Green

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Microchip have just dumped their own C compiler and replaced it with
the Hi-Tech compiler, which is _generally_ considered to be the best.
They realized that they were in the silicon business, not the compiler
business, and with the proliferation of 3rd party compilers, it was no
longer necessary for them to produce an admittedly inferior one.

CIAO - Martin.

On Tue, 13 Jan 1998 09:35:45 -0400, "Stevenson, Brad"
<spam_OUTSTEVENSBTakeThisOuTspamDPL.CA> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Martin R. Green
.....elimarKILLspamspam@spam@NOSPAMbigfoot.com

To reply, remove the NOSPAM from the return address.
Stamp out SPAM everywhere!!!

1998\01\13@143842 by Walter Banks

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Brad,

At this point in time we have the only PIC compiler that supports
all members of the Microchip PIC family. If you have any
specific questions about our products I will be happy to
answer them.

Walter Banks
Byte Craft Limited
http://www.bytecraft.com
{Quote hidden}

1998\01\13@192629 by Andy Kunz

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>I have not heard good things regarding the compiler offered from
>Microchip (although it does support 12,14 and 16 bit devices).

It's not very good.  Don't buy it.

I used to own the CCS compiler.  Don't buy it either.

It has been replaced by the HiTech compiler, which will "any day now"
support the 16-bit devices.  I've been using it since August and love it.

Hope this helps.

Andy

==================================================================
Andy Kunz - Montana Design - 409 S 6th St - Phillipsburg, NJ 08865
         Hardware & Software for Industry & R/C Hobbies
       "Go fast, turn right, and keep the wet side down!"
==================================================================

1998\01\14@033915 by John Payson

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> I used to own the CCS compiler.  Don't buy it either.
>
> It has been replaced by the HiTech compiler, which will "any day now"
> support the 16-bit devices.  I've been using it since August and love it.

What do you mean "it has been replaced by"?  No offense to HiTech, but for
many applications the CCS compiler works fine.  I haven't used the HiTech
outside of some beta testing, but could readily believe that it's superior
to CCS in essentially every way except price (and the user interface which
I at least like better on CCS).  For professional programmers, it may well
be that the extra $400 invested in HiTech is worthwhile.  On the other hand,
there is definitely a place in the market for a decent $100 compiler, and
IMHO the CCS compiler fills that role quite nicely.  It's not perfect, but
it's fast, convenient, and reliable at handling 8 and 16 bit unsigned maths
and parameter passing (it's also supported floating point and signed math
for awhile; I've gotten so used to coding for unsigned that I've not had
need to try out these new features so I can't comment on them).  I've found
that it has allowed me to do projects much faster than would have been
possible in assembly language alone, and adapting programs to fit customer
needs was FAR easier than had I used assembly language (tell me how to write
an expression evaluation routine like:

/*** NOTE: This is pretty close to an actual routine I wrote for a certain
    job.  The calculations are changed slightly, and the variable names
    are all different, but the approximate complexity is comparable.
****/

/* ui is a typedef for a 16-bit unsigned integer */

/* This routine computes mum( (measure1-base1)/(measure2-base2) ), checking
  to ensure all values are within acceptable ranges.  The reciprocol func-
  tion computes 2^24/x.
*/

ui result(ui measure1, ui measure2)
{
 ui foo,bar,boz;

 if (measure2 > base2)
 {
   foo = (measure1-base1)
   bar = (measure2-base2)
   if (foo >= 256 && foo < 4095)
   {
     boz = foo*recip(bar);
     if (boz < 4095)
       return mum(boz);
     else
       return 0xFFFF;
   }
   else
     return 0xFFFE;
 }
 else
   return 0xFFFF;
}

Certainly  it would be possible for me to code something like that in PIC
assembly language; changing the formulae, however, to add temperature comp-
ensation would have been a nightmare.  In C, however, adding the temperature
compensation was a relative piece of cake (the toughest part was writing a
square-root routine).

Perhaps professionals would better spend their time on a fancier compiler;
at the time I got CCS it was probably the best one out there.  Since that
time, the CCS compiler has improved, and I've gotten better at anticipating
and avoiding constructs that might cause problems.  With the newer versions
such anticipation/avoidance may no longer be so necessary, but for me it's
so instinctive it's hard to judge what the learning curve would be for a new
user.

1998\01\14@222923 by AllanJH

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Brad Stevenson wrote:

>Any comments on these compilers or other compilers I'm not aware of
>would be really appreciated.
>Thanks,
>Brad Stevenson, CE

I have used the HiTech Pic C compiler for about 4 months now,  converting from
the CCS PCW compiler.  I like it, except the optimization feature can give you
a headache because your not always sure what is will do with your code !  For
example, I use the 74a' and I am pretty close to memory capacity. When I
installed their newest patch, the optimization created larger code and pushed
me beyond the memory of the 74a.  Now what is strange is I can just move some
code around (without deleting anything) and re-compile it and it sometimes
uses less memory.
So, if your tight on memory be careful with c programming.

Allan

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