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Poll
Should WinAVR be continued?
Yes, please.
94%
 94%  [ 95 ]
Whatever
2%
 2%  [ 3 ]
No, thank you. I'll use the official Atmel tools.
2%
 2%  [ 3 ]
Total Votes : 101


Author Message
EW
PostPosted: Mar 03, 2011 - 03:01 PM
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Hi Again,

So...

Do you remember the post I did a while back that people thought was a bit odd? It had a poll in it that asked if I should do another release of WinAVR.

Well, here it is again. Should I do another release of WinAVR?

Also, I would like some feedback on the feasibility of continuing an all open-source, community directed and made toolchain for the AVR (and, sure let's throw in for the AVR32 too).

The problem is this: WinAVR is a lot to do. A lot of people make requests, but it takes time and effort to implement new features and fix bugs. And it seems that we're always short of volunteers to help.

Luckily, the toolchain is broken down into multiple self-contained projects, and one does not have to be an expert to help out. You could also learn some good skills along the way, and I'm willing to provide help for the skills needed.

Ideally, I would like to see WinAVR contain:

- A fully functioning, cross platform IDE. Programmers Notepad has been nice, but it didn't progress like I thought it would. There's an AVR Eclipse plug-in open source project on SourceForge. I would like to include that in WinAVR, and also see it continue to advance.

- We have talked about adding a "core library" (corelib) to avr-libc for a while. We started a mailing list for it a while back, but it hasn't gone far. This library would provide functionality for on-board peripherals across the whole AVR family. I would really like to see this progress, and I have code to contribute to this.

Maybe you have some other ideas?

Let me know.

Eric


Last edited by EW on Mar 03, 2011 - 07:16 PM; edited 1 time in total
 
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uracolix
PostPosted: Mar 03, 2011 - 04:19 PM
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When I work with Windows XP on a netbook, WinAVR is the ultimate choice. WinAVR is also good to upgrade the Arduino tool chain, since the original tool chain does not support modern AVRs.
 
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EW
PostPosted: Mar 03, 2011 - 04:37 PM
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uracolix wrote:
When I work with Windows XP on a netbook, WinAVR is the ultimate choice. WinAVR is also good to upgrade the Arduino tool chain, since the original tool chain does not support modern AVRs.


Would you be willing to help out when you can, Axel? Would you be willing to have me include your uracolix project in WinAVR?
 
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dl8dtl
PostPosted: Mar 03, 2011 - 04:44 PM
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> Would you be willing to have me include your uracolix project in WinAVR?

Do you think that makes sense? I.e., is there enough audience for it
shared with the (potential) WinAVR users?

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clawson
PostPosted: Mar 03, 2011 - 04:49 PM
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I voted yes but please don't go filling it with bloat as that's the fault of the "official" offering. In fact I'd vote STRONGLY for an AVR8 only one (like it used to be).

(I've lost count of the number of avr-gcc toolchains I now have on various disks - this morning I just deleted an old Arduino-nnnn and recovered another 160MB - it would benefit from being kept fairly small).

Actually, talking of Arduino, I'll bet they'd vote a HUGE "yes" as I'm pretty sure they just lift their toolchain from WinAVR and don't build it from scratch in a Win32 environment.

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ezharkov
PostPosted: Mar 03, 2011 - 05:27 PM
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I have not voted yet.

I do not care about an IDE. The way I use WinAVR is that I install it, then zip the resulting directory, and then use that zip file to reinstall or install on other machines. I have seen a link to a portable WinAVR, but never cared to try it. If WinAVR lives, I would like to have an option to have a zip distribution in addition to the installer.

Do I want WinAVR to be continued? That depends on what will come with the official Atmel distribution. I definitely not going to be using the official IDE. But if I can install it once, then zip just the avr-gcc part (i.e., make my own portable avr-gcc zip distribution), then, I guess, I can live without WinAVR.

Eugene
 
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EW
PostPosted: Mar 03, 2011 - 06:01 PM
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Ok, to address the above issues, then how about this?:

Would you be ok with WinAVR and it contained some new libraries, the Eclipse plug-in, and both AVR and AVR32 toolchains, IF the installer allows you optional installation for these various components, and the installer is not overly big?

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EW
PostPosted: Mar 03, 2011 - 06:11 PM
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To date: 146 views, but only 8 votes! C'mon people! Vote!

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smileymicros
PostPosted: Mar 03, 2011 - 06:34 PM
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I voted yes.

Frankly WinAVR is the single greatest contributing factor to my moving to AVRs.

Arduino certainly never would have happened without it and we have no way of knowing what new great things might be build on WinAVR based on the lessons learned with the Arduino.

Over the years I've tried to find time to participate but never felt competent enough. To help me learn the processes involved, I started a project: avrtoolbox that I intended to be an intermediate step to the corelib. I’ve written several Nuts&Volts articles on it and will be writing more over the next year. My plan is to generate a C library of Arduino-like functions and once they get wrung-out seeing if they would be appropriate to the corelib project. You can see what I'm organizing at: http://code.google.com/p/avrtoolbox/ .

I chose to do this outside corelib because I needed to learn some more recent project management tools like SVN and I didn't want to burden you guys with my ignorance.

I think the killer problem with getting corelib moving was that there seemed to be a desire to make libraries that could be run on any AVR by changing a #define and I don't see that as being possible, without a mind-numbing set of #ifdefs and a huge effort not only at writing the libraries but quality testing.

IIRC the corelib was going to start with an SPI library. To avoid the #ifdef clutter I wrote an SPI library for three specific AVRs ATmega169, 328 and 644 - then I assume that with those as an example anyone needing the library for another device could learn by example and modify the library as needed.

I have this library, demonstration hardware projects, and a couple of Nuts&Volts articles that I'd be happy to put up and let folks critique to see if this is a direction we want to take with corelib.

Smiley

PS may I suggest you add WinAVR to the title?

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JohnWalton
PostPosted: Mar 03, 2011 - 06:45 PM
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I was the first to vote whatever.
I voted whatever because no was not a choice.

Please put all available effort into
avr-gcc avr-libc avrdude and other such
truely open source tools.

Dont really see the point of a lot of very able
people working to make open source run on
commercial operating systems.
I think there are better things they could use
their abilities for.
Maybe someone will explain.

The only explaination I can think of for not
using a totally open source system is that
you work for a company with some kind of rough
tough boss who insists otherwise.

John

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clawson
PostPosted: Mar 03, 2011 - 06:47 PM
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Quote:

IF the installer allows you optional installation for these various components

Sounds like a good compromise.

But PLEASE don't let the download grow to 522MB ! Wink

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EW
PostPosted: Mar 03, 2011 - 07:12 PM
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clawson wrote:
Quote:

IF the installer allows you optional installation for these various components

Sounds like a good compromise.

But PLEASE don't let the download grow to 522MB ! Wink


The 20100110 release of WinAVR contained both the AVR and AVR32 toolchains and it was only 28M, and that is using LZMA compression. I don't see it growing even twice that size.
 
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EW
PostPosted: Mar 03, 2011 - 07:15 PM
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Joined: Mar 01, 2001
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JohnWalton wrote:
I was the first to vote whatever.
I voted whatever because no was not a choice.

Please put all available effort into
avr-gcc avr-libc avrdude and other such
truely open source tools.

Dont really see the point of a lot of very able
people working to make open source run on
commercial operating systems.
I think there are better things they could use
their abilities for.


You have really good points, and I can respect your poll choice.

What you bring up is also one of the things that I hope I was referring to: it's a lot of work to make sure the underlying components, such as avr-libc, avrdude, avarice, etc., are keeping up to date. This is where it would be great to get a little more help.
 
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EW
PostPosted: Mar 03, 2011 - 07:27 PM
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smileymicros wrote:

Over the years I've tried to find time to participate but never felt competent enough. To help me learn the processes involved, I started a project: avrtoolbox that I intended to be an intermediate step to the corelib. I’ve written several Nuts&Volts articles on it and will be writing more over the next year. My plan is to generate a C library of Arduino-like functions and once they get wrung-out seeing if they would be appropriate to the corelib project. You can see what I'm organizing at: http://code.google.com/p/avrtoolbox/ .

I chose to do this outside corelib because I needed to learn some more recent project management tools like SVN and I didn't want to burden you guys with my ignorance.


Just my 2 cents, but it is NOT a burden! I would rather that we can join forces and work on projects together, than to have yet another AVR open source project. There is more power in working together than working separately.

If you want help in learning tools, just ask!

smileymicros wrote:

I think the killer problem with getting corelib moving was that there seemed to be a desire to make libraries that could be run on any AVR by changing a #define and I don't see that as being possible, without a mind-numbing set of #ifdefs and a huge effort not only at writing the libraries but quality testing.


I agree with you. I don't want a bunch of #ifdefs everywhere. It's difficult to maintain.

With that, I also don't like having to import source code into an application (like the definition I have seen of a 'software framework').

This is why libraries were invented. I would much rather see something like:
libcore_<device>.a
And that library then contain everything for that particular device. Have all of those libraries in a single directory, where you can point the compiler to link the specified library. And we must have killer documentation to make sure that it is easy to use. Keep all conditional compilation to a bare minimum.


smileymicros wrote:

IIRC the corelib was going to start with an SPI library. To avoid the #ifdef clutter I wrote an SPI library for three specific AVRs ATmega169, 328 and 644 - then I assume that with those as an example anyone needing the library for another device could learn by example and modify the library as needed.

I have this library, demonstration hardware projects, and a couple of Nuts&Volts articles that I'd be happy to put up and let folks critique to see if this is a direction we want to take with corelib.


I have an SPI library for the ATmega640/1280/1281/2560/2561/128. I also have libraries for a SW (bit bang) SPI, ADC, and Ring Buffer (to be used in a future UART library), plus others in the wings.


smileymicros wrote:

PS may I suggest you add WinAVR to the title?


Done.
 
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ka7ehk
PostPosted: Mar 03, 2011 - 07:36 PM
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More than happy to help how ever possible.

Be forewarned - I have nearly zero skills with Linux though I can handle modest c tasks. My working platform is MacOS.I am trying to become more familiar with the underlying linux stuff, but it is a painfully slow process for me. I'm not even comfortable with "building" something, yet(!)

Jim Wagner

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EW
PostPosted: Mar 03, 2011 - 07:53 PM
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ka7ehk wrote:
More than happy to help how ever possible.

Be forewarned - I have nearly zero skills with Linux though I can handle modest c tasks. My working platform is MacOS.I am trying to become more familiar with the underlying linux stuff, but it is a painfully slow process for me. I'm not even comfortable with "building" something, yet(!)



We appreciate any and all help! Would you be willing to help review documentation? Perhaps even write a little of it? avr-libc can always use some help in this area?

Learning to use 'diff' (in order to create a patch) is also not too difficult. If you're willing to learn that, then you can help work on avr-libc on fixing bugs, and immediately adding a feature to help notify the user about deprecated items.
 
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ka7ehk
PostPosted: Mar 03, 2011 - 08:24 PM
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Documentation is something I would enjoy working on! Reviewing OR writing.

Jim

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smileymicros
PostPosted: Mar 03, 2011 - 08:57 PM
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EW wrote:
Just my 2 cents, but it is NOT a burden! I would rather that we can join forces and work on projects together, than to have yet another AVR open source project. There is more power in working together than working separately.
Just to make sure folks understand, the avrtoolbox project [http://code.google.com/p/avrtoolbox/] is not meant to be an alternative to the corelib, but a way for me to learn what I'm doing before submitting stuff to the corelib. It is also meant to be a repository for my Nuts&Volts stuff which is written for the 'baby talk for pothead' crowd and not the level of professionalism I see in the avrlibc/avrgcc mailing lists.

I have a lot more to say, but it would be a distraction here so I'm going to post to the corelib mailing list. I should have some stuff ready for discussion by Sunday.

Smiley

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Last edited by smileymicros on Mar 06, 2011 - 08:22 PM; edited 2 times in total
 
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js
PostPosted: Mar 03, 2011 - 10:01 PM
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I voted yes...don't know why. Smile I don't see me using AS5, at least the way it looks like it is going.

Maybe they are just teasing us.

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wek
PostPosted: Mar 04, 2011 - 12:00 AM
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EW wrote:
This is where it would be great to get a little more help.
I don't understand your posts in the last months, Eric. I thought you were an Atmel employee. Isn't that the very place to ask for a little more help?

In the various AVRStudio related threads, we've seen responding half a dozen or more people who overtly act as Atmel employees supposedly working on various aspects of AS. And that must be only the tip of the iceberg. Yet except you, I've seen only one (1) whom I'd guess is payed by Atmel, to contribute to the stuff which really counts.

Does this relate somehow with the percentage of Atmel's developers who are proud to avoid the stuff with serial ports?

---

I voted Yes even if I agree with John and Cliff, because I believe that *some*thing is better than *no*thing.

Jan Waclawek
 
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