So-called upgrades

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I've posted this on the IAR discussion forum so apologies if you have read this already.

This is a major moan! These have been holding me up for about two weeks now. I used to run IAR Workbench for the AVR AT90, but compiling for the AVR Mega103. Perfectly happy was I until I was forced to buy the ‘upgrades’.

1) I installed the upgrade to MakeApp for the AVR and generated my files. These files do NOT compile under Workbench. I submitted a query to the support desk in London and after a week they came up with the answer which involved commenting out a line in the MakeApp files. Was MakeApp not tested fully? Whilst investigating this fault, I discovered that it is not possible to produce a COMPILER listing with expanded #include statements – you therefore have to guess what is going on. The AT90 had this (useful) option so why remove it?

2) For the AVR Mega 103, the AT90 version of Workbench had a default library type of (eg) “dl3s.r90”. The AVR version (ie the At90 upgrade version) has a default version of “dl3s.r90”. What are the differences in the two library types? “cl3s.r90” is still available in the library folder for the AVR. Why the change? Especially as the new library type gives a linker error of an undefined symbol in the I/O areas. The trouble is my project uses NO I/O so why is the linker/library dragging in unnecessary modules?

3) When I change the library type (to “cl3s.r90”) I get ANOTHER error. This time an undefined type of “_Small_Ctype”, referred in the library procedure “?strtod”. Now I DO call strtod in my code so the linker has got part way to getting the complete link process done but has tripped over somewhere. To solve this one I had to change the options in under the “input” tab for the linker. Selecting the radio button option “load as library” seems to get rid of the problem. In the old version (AT90) the option was the “inherent” radio button. Again, why the changes when the AT90 version worked?

4) With all the changes I have to make to the options for what should have been an upgrade, and having reduced all the errors down to at least warnings, the resulting .d90 file is only 1K big as opposed to about 300K. This is not correct. Why have I not got the correct sized file now?

5) I did try a ‘noddy’ program to see what was happening and when I tried to load the resulting ubrof file into AVR studio, AVR studio threw it out as an invalid file type. I am using an old version of AVR Studio (1.51) but, again, the AT90 version- generated files worked OK. I shall download the newest version of AVR Studio and see what happens then. Again, why is the output not compatible with older versions of available tools?

6) The documentation for the new system is rubbish. IAR have tried to improve it but have made obvious and glaring errors. For example, the “pictures” in the Tutorials that are supposed to be the options available for creating a project are not correct. (EG) page 31 shows the initial options but the box for “System Configuration” is not even shown and is not referenced. There are mistakes in keywords (eg referring to the standard library STDLIB as STLIB in the ACROBAT help file) and I am sure there are others that I have not yet encountered. The ‘upgrades’ have new options that are not described anywhere in the documentation – eg the “System Configuration” option described above. This option allows the user to override the options set in the .XCL file. However, there is no indication as to whether these (interactive) options takes precedence over the .XCL versions or vice versa. However, this is not surprising as the option has just been omitted from the documentation and so there can be no description of something that is not there.

So after about two weeks, I have found that MakeApp had a fault in it; I have had to alter a lot of the options that were working in the AT90 version of the AVR microcontroller workbench; after those I still cannot produce a viable executable it; a tiny executable that I DID produce won’t load into my AVR Studio when it used to; the London helpdesk (who have been extremely helpful and patient with me) must be getting a bit hacked off with yet another e-mail enquiry; and I am NOT impressed with what in effect was an UPGRADE to an existing toolset. Having paid several thousand pounds for licences for MSP430 and AVR versions of Workbench originally, AND having to pay for these “upgrades” (in the form of ‘new licences’), again costing several hundreds of pounds, I am lumbered with tools that do not work and are holding back the project which is already under severe time restraints. Is IAR aware of all these problems? Are there fixes available? WHY have all these problems arisen

Has anyone else out there had as many problems as I have had with Workbench/MakeApp/Studio?
Signed, a thoroughly pi**ed off, unhappy and frustrated software engineer.

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Well, would you please rewite your comments with all references to companies replaced by ****** as an easy to use form sheet for similar moans. We work with software tools provided by a number of companies, like Intel-Cadul, Siemens etc. They all seem to have the same kind of problems. I am already horrified, when I receive a new mandatory update - I see my carefully built NT system crash and the reply of the hotline - naturally after a couple of days - is: is it ok, if you rebuild the whole system from the basic NT installation ? Of course it is not ok, but it was the only way in a number of cases.
It all reminds me of an incident about ten years ago:
At that time a was putting a control system for a power plant into operation. I found three faults in the electrical wiring. So i ask the site manager for an electrician to find the faults and repair them. He was very cooperative and promised me, to sent his two "best" electicians. The came, they found the faults and repaired them. After they had left I found a new fault - something that had worked before they entered the game. So I asked the site manager: what about your "best" electricians - how are your "normal" electrians like ?
He answered - I presume that he was a man of wisdom : Well son, my normal electricians they will only find one of the three faults and when they leave, you will have five new faults to enjoy.
There seems to be a a large number of "normal" software developers around.

please be ensured of my full empathy

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