[SOLVED !] Proton Roadmap / Development


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  1. #1
    petec
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    Default Proton Roadmap / Development

    Hi all,

    Potential new user here.

    I have spent a number of days going around in circles trying to decide which compiler to start with in order to get started in PIC programming in order to get a demo version of a product i'm working on, working in a very short time.

    The device I originally planned to use wa from the 24F family, but unfortunately the only pic basic compiler that 'supports' these devices is mickro basic, which I was all up for buying until I read the reviews about code efficiency and then noticed that it hadn't been updated since 2007. Also it had a very small device library which didn't appear to have been updated.

    OK, so I realise that proton doesn't support the 24F devices, but I may be able to do what I want on the 18 series and use a software UART (I wanted to use the 24F devices because of the 2 Hardware UARTS).

    Anyway, my question. How regular are the updates with proton, and do people see this product developing? Are new devices added to the library on a regular basis? Is there any plans to support the 24F series in the near future? I ask the question because the sales site for proton picbasic.org does not appear to have been updated since 2006?

    Many Thanks

    Peter Curtis

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  • #2
    wastrix
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    Hello,
    Proton is being updated on a fairly regular basis; the current copmiler version is 3.2.5.5 and this would have had the device list you've read about, but once you register, you will be able to download the newer 3.3.4.8 which supports many more PICs (there's a list at the bottom), along with various other new features.

    I presume you have downloaded Proton Lite which will give you a taste of what a neat programming language it is (IMHO much better than Mikrobasic)

    There are some plans to support 16bit PICs (24F, 24H, dsPIC, etc.), and development is underway, but I am not too sure whether it will ever be finished.

    BTW, there are quite a few 18F PICs with 2 USARTs: 18F8722, 18F6627, etc. I recommend you download Microchips advanced part selector program.

    Hope you choose PDS!

    12-bit core.
    10F200, 10F202, 10F204, 10F206, 10F220, 10F222, 12C508, 12C508A, 12C509, 12C509A, 12CE518, 12CE519
    12F508, 12F509, 12F510, 16F54, 16F57, 16C505, 16C54, 16C54A, 16C54B, 16C54C, 16C55, 16C554
    16C558, 16C55A, 16C56, 16C56A, 16C57, 16C57C, 16C58A, 16C58B, RF509AF, RF509AG

    14-bit core.
    12C671, 12C672, 12CE673, 12CE674, 12F629, 12F635, 12F675, 12F683, RF675F, RF675H, RF675K
    16C432, 16C433, 16C61, 16C62, 16C620, 16C620A, 16C621, 16C621A, 16C622, 16C622A, 16C62A, 16C62B, 16C63, 16C63A, 16C64, 16C642
    16C64A, 16C65, 16C65A, 16C65B, 16C66, 16C662, 16C67, 16C71, 16C710, 16C711, 16C712, 16C715, 16C716, 16C717, 16C72, 16C72A
    16C73, 16C73A, 16C73B, 16C74, 16C745, 16C74A, 16C74B, 16C76, 16C765, 16C77, 16C770, 16C771, 16C773, 16C774, 16C781, 16C782
    16C84, 16C923, 16C924, 16CE623, 16CE624, 16CE625, 16CR54, 16CR54A, 16CR57A, 16CR57B, 16CR57C, 16CR58A, 16CR58B, 16CR62, 16CR63, 16CR64
    16CR65, 16CR72, 16CR83, 16CR84, 16F506, 16F610, 16F616, 16F627, 16F627A, 16F628, 16F628A, 16F630, 16F636, 16F639, 16F648A, 16F676
    16F684, 16F685, 16F687, 16F688, 16F689, 16F690, 16F716, 16F72, 16F73, 16F737, 16F74, 16F747, 16F76, 16F767, 16F77, 16F777
    16F785, 16F818, 16F819, 16F83, 16F84, 16F84A, 16F87, 16F870, 16F871, 16F872, 16F873, 16F873A, 16F874, 16F874A, 16F876, 16F876A
    16F877, 16F877A, 16F88, 16F882, 16F883, 16F884, 16F886, 16F887, 16F913, 16F914, 16F916, 16F917, 16HV610, 16HV616

    16-bit core.
    18F1220, 18F1230, 18F1320, 18F1330, 18F2220, 18F2320, 18F2331, 18F2410, 18F242, 18F2423, 18F2431, 18F2439, 18F2455, 18F248
    18F24J10, 18F24K20, 18F2510, 18F2515, 18F252, 18F2520, 18F2523, 18F2525, 18F2539, 18F2550, 18F258, 18F2580, 18F2585, 18F25K20
    18F2610, 18F2620, 18F2680, 18F4220, 18F4320, 18F4331, 18F4410, 18F442, 18F4423, 18F4431, 18F4439, 18F4455, 18F448, 18F44J10
    18F44K20, 18F4510, 18F4515, 18F452, 18F4520, 18F4523, 18F4525, 18F4539, 18F4550, 18F458, 18F4580, 18F4585, 18F45J10, 18F45K20
    18F4610, 18F4620, 18F4680, 18F6310, 18F6390, 18F63J90, 18F6410, 18F6490, 18F64J90, 18F6520, 18F6525, 18F6585, 18F65J10, 18F65J15
    18F65J50, 18F65J90, 18F6620, 18F6621, 18F6622, 18F6627, 18F6680, 18F66J10, 18F66J15, 18F66J50, 18F66J55, 18F66J60, 18F66J65, 18F6720
    18F6722, 18F67J10, 18F67J50, 18F67J60, 18F8310, 18F8390, 18F83J90, 18F8410, 18F8490, 18F84J90, 18F8520, 18F8525, 18F8585, 18F85J10
    18F85J15, 18F85J50, 18F85J90, 18F8620, 18F8621, 18F8627, 18F8680, 18F86J10, 18F86J15, 18F86J50, 18F86J55, 18F86J60, 18F86J65, 18F8720
    18F8722, 18F87J10, 18F87J50, 18F87J60, 18F96J60, 18F96J65, 18F97J60

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  • #3
    petec
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    Default Limitations?

    Hi,

    Thank you for your fast reply - gives me a level of confidence that the product is well supported by its users..

    Another thought popped into my head?

    What are the limitations with a basic programming language over say 'c' on a hardware level. Does anyone program in both language and have an opinion. I haven't spent much time (well less than 1/2hr) on any of the compilers yet, but it has occured to me that I will need access to interrupts for my application, infact most of the user interface operations will be interrupt driven so does proton handle this well?

    Thanks

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  • #4
    wastrix
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    I use both Proton and assembler fairly regularly, and I must say that Proton handles interrupts/other low level things just fine.

    Even so, if you just cannot do it in Basic (for some reason) you can insert assembler commands directly into your basic code, and they will be properly recognised and compiled. There are of course all sorts of high level functions like printing text/graphics directly to common types of GLCDs + alpha LCDs, you can do software/hardware I2c/SPI/asynchronous serial, do advanced floating point and large integer math - trigonometry, etc. the list goes on!

    If you download the Proton lite compiler, you can have a look at the help file for more info; I think it is the same for both versions.

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  • #5
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    According to the Microchip MAPS there are 76 chips in the 18F series with 2 UART's and several of them are on the list above.

    The only advantage I C are some of the higher level PIC's are optimised for C which gives a speed advantage if you are doing DSP but for most applications BASIC is just as good and much easier to learn.
    My RAM is failing

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  • #6
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    What are the limitations with a basic programming language over say 'c' on a hardware level.
    C and Proton are different. You can do anything you want in Proton however as Mchip brings out more and more libs for there devices you cannot use them as unless you do a conversion from C to Proton all the current commands USB etc your going to use what's available now.

    That said Proton seems to enable you to work from a quick program up to a complex monster. It's strength is its ease of use and simple syntax, coupled with very efficient code generation, and a mature stable language that is fantastic value for money.

    It is by nature a flat language but there are add ons like Library manager were you can add commands.

    BTW do not get taken in another compilers about the support for long type variables, its at a mighty big cost, basically you cannot even x's a byte by a byte with out using Dword maths. Over heads are massive!
    Tim

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  • #7
    cgriffin
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    Most people do not understand that C is efficient for coding, but not necessarily for code produced. The output that PDS produces is as close to assembler as it gets for any non-asm compiler. From what I've seen, it's the lowest level you can get without it actually being asm. This contradicts "traditional wisdom" because most people in the 70's and 80's were taught that basic is a high level language--and back then, it was true, since it was almost exclusively an interpreted language. Despite its advancements, some people have refused to acknowledge that many (but not all) basic compilers are lower level than C.

    Having said that, all basic compilers have their pros and cons. If you want to produce the tightest code, get PDS. If you want it 100% compatible with the basic stamp, get PBP.

    The biggest weakness in PDS is its parser--it loses a lof of its efficiency if you throw complex equations on one line. Personally, for PICs, I'd take a lesser parser over a lesser compiler any day. I get to pick and choose where my efficient code goes. Even though the parser in PBP is more capable, the code output is always 20% (on average) more bloated... so you don't even get a choice about making it efficient anywhere. PBP is more of a "copy & paste" macro "compiler" that just pastes pre-made code in place of your basic code. Proton actually makes multiple passes through the code to optimize it.

    I started with PBP about 8 years ago. It is a compiler for quick & easy code. It's only had one "major" update once in that time (adding 32 bit capability), with maybe a couple of commands added--but they seem to update for new pic's about quarterly, if not twice a year. Updates are sold for about $25 each--and you are not required to buy every one. I switched to Proton after a couple years. It's had two major updates since then (one of which was charged for, since it was a lot more than an update, more like an overhaul). Proton has had small (minor commands and PICs) on a regular basis.

    So... for the hobbyist not really wanting to learn more than the minimum regarding PICs beyond the Basic Stamp, go with PBP. Anybody wanting professional code output and take advantage of a PICs full potential, go with PBP.

    (And just because a PIC is "optimized" for C doesn't mean it will run C faster than PDS. It's a marketing term to mean it has a large stack and can use a software stack. Keep in mind that every time your code uses that stack you delay the execution of real program code.)

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  • #8
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    small typo there cgriffin

    PICs full potential, go with PBP.
    I'm sure you meant PDS

    But as always your analysis is spot on.
    Tim

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    cgriffin
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    Yup, typo. thanks. Too late to edit it.

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  • #10
    petec
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    Default bought it.

    After spending some time reading the help files and manual, playing with a sample program and with the speedy response from the forum and support; I've decided that proton is definately the best step forward and have purchased a copy.

    Thanks for your help so far chaps

    PeteC

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    Good choice! I am sure you will be pleased with it.

    As mentioned earlier upgrade your status to a licensed user as soon as you can via the user control panel. For one thing you will get much more help on the forum and you can also download the beta version which has many improvements, especially if you plan on using interrupts.

    The beta version has been out for a long time now and is widely used without issue. I suspect that it has been kept in beta for so long, only available to licensed users as a further guard against piracy, which has been a problem in the past. Anyway donít put off downloading it; it is to all intents and purposes the current version.

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    cgriffin
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    IIRC, it's not a beta version any more--I think it has been officially called a pre-release.

    It is far superior to the previous release, too. Not only does it have cool new features, it's also got fewer bugs.

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    Eh PeteC,

    Four posts already and you're not a Licensed User yet ?
    Fanie

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  • #14
    petec
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    I can't wait :-)

    I dug out an old 16f877 and played around with the demo version of PDS on the weekend. I was suprised how easy it was to get stuff working. Got RS232 comms between a pc and pic working, an lcd, buttons (all on my own hardware). need to tackle i2c and eeproms next ;-) in fact the only stalling point I had was connecting the xtal to the pic cos I can't count :-)

    all simple stuff, I know, but very satisfying and a great confidence builder.

    peteC

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    hello I have question about bootloader .

    all the loader hex file is 04 and 20mhz ,
    if we use 10mhz? what is the solution ?

    Can we use code-protect function ?
    can I protect my codes after the send from loader ?

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