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lincoln
29th October 2006, 21:03
Hi all,
I have been reading over the last few day about different basic pic compilers and have managed to become somewhat confused about what one to go with. Proton is dearing than picbasic pro, so can people tell me what they prefer about proton (excluding VSM)? Are the syntax or commands different or better than picbasic?

My second query is is the code safe on a pic or could it be read - if the chip is programmed in a programmer rather that in circut can the code protection fuse be set?

Thanks,
Lincoln

Tim
29th October 2006, 22:56
There are a lot of similarities between Proton and Pbpro. There both flat languages, by that I mean there are no local vars, no procedures etc.

Proton is an evolving product, by that I mean the designers keep looking to improve it. Pbpro by comparison considers that is development cycle has ended and all they do is add new devices and fix issues. This makes it a sound compiler but hard work to tackle the more adventures programs. You can do just about anything in any compiler as long as you know the work around. Proton does its best to help you.

So the major differences are

Variable support Dwords floats etc
Data handling Cread Lread etc
Interrupts Write them in basic not asm
Optimization I think it will challenge any C compiler let alone Pbpro, this means smaller faster code.
Glcd support
User support look at how many people from Pbpro really put the effort into adding support for other users. Nothing like library manager exists for Pbpro.
Debugging support
Isis, P-ICD, Mplabs compatible etc

All this is biased as I love Proton why else I would put my own money into it.

I cannot comment on why it costs more but just think how much effort would it be to write this in Pbpro and work out how much you time is worth.

Include "proton18_G4.int"

Dim MyDword As DWord
Dim MyFloat As Float

MyDword = 1234567
MyFloat = 123.4

MyDword = MyDword * MyFloat
Cls
Print At 4,0,Dec MyDword

Stop
Include "font.inc"

On the subject of Optimization a good friend of mine wrote an implementation of TCIP using an add on chip and put it up against the commercial firm offering Mchips C equivalent with the same chip.
Results
C = 56k
Proton = 4k
Proton was 3 x faster

lincoln
29th October 2006, 23:58
Thanks Tim,
I have decided to go with Proton. Today I had a peek thru the light verson just to discover that all the code I have finished writing for my pixaxe to use a T6969 240x128 graphic lcd screen is a waste of time - proton can do it far easier, and most likely much quicker to - as I had to bit-bang the screen on picaxe! Oh well I guess I better understand how it works!

Thanks,

Lincoln.

cgriffin
29th October 2006, 23:59
I started with PBP, then upgraded to Proton+ Development Suite (PDS). I rarely go back to PBP... I think by now I've converted all of my projects. They now compile smaller, I have more commands available, more variable options, a better interface, and more frequent updates.

I think I just said what Tim said, but in a smaller space.

With a PIC, C has absolutely no advantage--it's 100% in the quality of the compiler authoring plus your code logic, and P+ is done well. Either code it in asm, or use Proton+. It's worth the extra money over any other basic compiler, and can do a better job than most C compilers. The ONLY reason to code with C on a PIC is the "status symbol" that C has to some engineers, vs the lack of "status" with Basic. Pretty stupid, if you ask me...I get paid to do a job, not look cool. The unique features of C code for a microcontroller are so overwhelming compared to C on a 'x86 system that if you can't read a basic PIC program, you wouldn't be able to read the C program anyway.

Oh, yeah...MELabs charges $10 for a PBP update (rarely with new commands) ...for me, it's not the $10, but the hassle of ordering it, then installing it. With the PDS, it's not only free, but more importantly, fast and automatic. Check out the updates... I bought PBP in about 2001, and got 2.33, I believe, so there are 8 updates:
http://www.melabs.com/support/upgrade.htm#pbp
Now check out the PDS updates. They've had more updates (11) in the last 1.5 years than 6 years with PBP. Sure, some of them are little more than bug fixes, but it shows how fast they address them.

The ONLY thing I don't like about PDS is the dongle. MELabs will let you install PBP on both of your computers (home & work, etc.). Crownhill will let you install it on as many as you want, but you must have the dongle to compile. If (and only if) you are very prone to losing small things like your keys and memory sticks, then go with PBP. Crownhill doesn't give you grace on replacement.

Oh, yeah... if anybody says anything about the PBP compiler having a separate development program, or it being written for DOS, I say "who cares." This is one area where PDS lovers often claim superiority (i.e. in the Crownhill "comparison chart", but I've used both, and really, there is NO difference, and if I were to really describe a difference, it would favor PBP--PBP does it in the background with info on the status bar. While I do like the editor program that comes with PDS better, the way it opens up several dialog boxes while compiling (and the way it messes with you if you try to change program focus) is actually a small minus for the PDS, for me.

PBP with MicroCode Studio is every bit as seamless, if not better, and MCS+ adds the ICD. With both compilers, you can select your programmer from a menu, and with both, it's one click to compile & open the programmer. The end result is the same. PDS gives you more options, PBP gives you a "cleaner" compile action.

I couldn't even find ICD in my PDS help file...if you get the MCS+, that's probably one advantage to PBP. I think you can do something similar with the VSM, though... but I never use either.




Hi all,
I have been reading over the last few day about different basic pic compilers and have managed to become somewhat confused about what one to go with. Proton is dearing than picbasic pro, so can people tell me what they prefer about proton (excluding VSM)? Are the syntax or commands different or better than picbasic?

My second query is is the code safe on a pic or could it be read - if the chip is programmed in a programmer rather that in circut can the code protection fuse be set?

Thanks,
Lincoln

Hans Chr
30th October 2006, 13:49
I have pbp as well and I never use it anymore. However, since it only adds new devices and does fixes only I guess the product will have less bugs, but complex projects may take much more time to develop because the lack of commands in pbp. And when there are bugs it will be fixed free of charge for proton! A product cant be static - there is no future for it. So proton is the best in my oppinion!

(Sorry if my spelling is wrong - but I hate looking up all the words!!!)

Regards

HC