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  • Picaso GFX debugging

    I have just purchased Picaso GFX2.

    To my surprise there isn't IDE for debugging.(!!!!?????)

    I have waste my time.

    YOU OUGHT TO DEVELOP AN IDE WHICH SUPPORTS BREAKPOINTS, PAUSE, STEP AND RESET COMMANDS.

    I hope this helps to improve your products.


    Best regards

    John
    pichatsu

  • #2


    Supporting debugging in the IDE is easy.

    The difficult part is supporting debugging in the display
    a) Having it permanently in the display will slow the display, and no one wants that happenning.
    b) This would take up valuable 'code space' in the display, really which functions should we drop to enable it's support?
    c) You have lots of useful functions to enable you to debug your own code, print, serout and more. If used thoughfully this can make you far more productive than any debugger.

    We have thought about this many times, the only half practical way is to have a debugging PmmC that drops some, actually quite a bit of, functionality. Which funtionality? There is no easy answer.
    Mark

    Comment


    • #3


      If used thoughfully this can make you far more productive than any debugger.!!!!!!

      No a debugger makes you more productive.


      Just image a source code of 2000 lines which suddenly an unexpected behavior occurs. I do not dare to image debugging using print and serout functions.

      Since Picaso is not able to support debugging, you should release a simulator.

      Also a debugging PmmC is good idea.

      a) Having it permanently in the display will slow the display, and no one wants that happenning.

      Debugging could be optional so as someone could debug (some) routines easily.


      b) This would take up valuable 'code space' in the display, really which functions should we drop to enable it's support?


      Pragma commands could be a solution.

      #pragma DEBUGGING

      Function

      # pragma END_DEBUGGING


      I think this would be very useful.

      I have just purchased a board with ARM and 3.2' TFT display. Its IDE is by far better than 4D systems (supports sumulation, hardware debugging, projects e.t.c). On the other hand Picaso is by far the easiest solution.... I am wondering which is the best choice....

      Best regards

      John
      pichatsu

      Comment


      • #4


        Please do tell, what board is this that you got with the ARM on it?
        While I like the 4D stuff, programming it feels like i'm playing with a tinker toy crossed with a micro implementation of opengl. Like it needs a coprocessor with the bulk of the code running on it in order to do anything really useful (besides graphics).

        No debugging support is a biggie, especially since it's a soft core which should be easier
        to debug.

        Comment


        • #5


          Have a look at the following links:

          for PIC and AVR
          http://www.visualtft.com/

          for ARM
          http://www.mikroe.com/eng/products/view/738/mikromedia-for-arm-board/

          also have a look at the following video
          pichatsu

          Comment


          • #6


            I just have to say, WOW.
            Way more hardware, better IDE, same pricepoint. I think the GFX module I have will be very useful as a rapid prototype system, but for any serious work i'm going to have to pick up some of the mikromedia boards.

            Comment


            • #7


              twoolie and John,
              Mikroe are good friends of ours and they offer good development platforms. Please pass on our regards and tell them 4D sent you.
              Atilla

              Comment


              • #8


                But before you go perhaps you should watch

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-Cf681Qurw[/video]]

                And compare it to

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5jm7TdvhrQ[/video]]
                Mark

                Comment


                • #9


                  Please don't mistake me, I'm very happy with the module I got from you as far as display features are concerned. There are some very cool features there. I guess i was just disappointing that although it has such great IO broken out and hardware UARTS it doesn't really have the constructs for data-manipulation that I'm used to coming from a C background.

                  This still looks like a fun piece of hardware and I'll do my best to implement the project I have in mind on it.

                  Comment


                  • #10


                    One thing I really Like about the 4D Products and 4DGL is the price. I feel there is a great ballance between cost and features. The thing I feel the other display are missing that 4D does well is that ballance. For instance the ARM version of the Mikro is yes it has Debug support however at what cost. The IDE costs $100. The Workshop 3 doesnt cost a thing. In addition if you want the JTAG debuging capibilities you will need a good JTAG debugger that is more cost. So the cheep display now costs 3 to 4 times that of the 4DGL display. There are ways of debugging 4DGL. Such as Displaying text to the screen useing the print command. You can also use the UART and send out debug strings that way. Debug always takes more memory. 4DGL may not be C or have the VISUAL Studio or Eclipse Debug Capibilities, but the easy use is nice. I find it much better than most IDE's that are developed for embdded development. There is also the ability to use the SGC version which allows you to not user it as the main uC. useing the SGC PmmC allows you to make it a display device. You can also do the same with the 4DGL. I see 4DGL as a great way to do nTier development in an embeded world. With 4DGL you can build a great UI layer and control it over many of the different IO's avaliable. Off loading the UI to the 4DGL also allows your main uController to focus on the back end processing and not deal with all the graphics needs. Making your embedded system that much faster. In this scneario you can write your C code for the back end and the Ui in 4DGL. The Other nice thing is 4DGL is optomized for graphics. Now these are just my thoughts. Every project has specific needs, but I feel 4D Systems displays meets that ballance for most projects. Yes there are things I would like to see more of in the 4D modules such as more ram and flash. However, I feel that way about every microcontroller.
                    Just my thoughts,

                    Comment


                    • #11


                      I agree with you on the majority of your points. The 4dgl stuff is a great platform, especially for prototyping. I just miss all the stuff which used to make my life so much easier, like a debugger, and it seemed to me that since they already have a softcore, implementing a debugger should be easier and requre no extra hardware.

                      Comment


                      • #12


                        Dear ESPsupport

                        4D graphic libraries are obviously better than microelectronika (less flickering), but 4D IDE is bad.

                        ESPsupport you should watch



                        and compare it to 4D IDE




                        One thing I really Like about the 4D Products and 4DGL is the price. I feel there is a great ballance between cost and features. The thing I feel the other display are missing that 4D does well is that ballance. For instance the ARM version of the Mikro is yes it has Debug support however at what cost. The IDE costs $100. The Workshop 3 doesnt cost a thing. In addition if you want the JTAG debuging capibilities you will need a good JTAG debugger that is more cost. So the cheep display now costs 3 to 4 times that of the 4DGL display.!!!!!!


                        Making your embedded system that much faster. In this scneario you can write your C code for the back end and the Ui in 4DGL. The Other nice thing is 4DGL is optomized for graphics.


                        tmassey,


                        You are right about the 4D graphics (fast, less flickering) but you are wrong about the cost. Actually it is a huge mistake. Let me give you an example. I have developed a device using a PIC micro for graphics and the main program which cost about $5. We have sold about 500 devices so far. Picaso solution (for big projects) requires a uC and Picaso it self. Could you calculate the extra cost? 500 x AU$12.95 = AU$6475 x 0.76 = 4921 euros. (the actually cost is much smaller; the cost of 500 picasos probably is less than 12.95 each). This extra cost covers the c compiler, the in-circuit debugger and the IDE.

                        Also PIC, AVR and ARM users already have debugger and c complier, so there is not extra cost.

                        I find it much better than most IDE's that are developed for embdded development.


                        An IDE without debugging capabilities is bad. Just imagine a source code of 3000 lines which an unexpected behavior occurs. How you should debug your project? Print and serout functions is bad solution.


                        Please do not think that i hate PICASO. I like very much its graphics, but 4D ought to make our work to be easier.

                        If i were a student, PICASO would be a solution, but i am not.


                        pichatsu

                        Comment


                        • #13


                          Of the two examples below One uses up almost all of the largest Pic Microchip make, the other uses only 20% of the available code space, has much more functionality and does not make any use of the 'Program call' function which increases the available code space even more.

                          So I can't quite follow your implication that the Picaso solution needed an extra uC whereas the other solution didn't.

                          Can you elaborate?
                          Mark

                          Comment


                          • #14


                            ESPsupport

                            You are right, picaso does not require extra uC. I was trying to say that the lack of debugging, forces someone to use an extra uC. Large projects needs debugging environment. The bigest PIC has 512kb flash memory and 131kb ram memory, and costs about US$8.00 for 100 parts. PIC18F87J50 has 128kb flash and 4kb ram and costs US$3.54 for 100 parts Picaso costs AU$12.95 x 1.0941 = US$14.16 for one part. I do not know the price for 100 parts.

                            Also Picaso firmware supports only SD memory. My device uses 1.8Mb for images, so SD memory is an expensive solution.

                            My suggestions:

                            4D system, you must release debugging capabilities so your clients be able to use picaso as the only processor in their devices. Also SPI flash would reduce the final cost.

                            Could you calculate the extra cost?

                            500 PICs(for graphics) x US$3.5 + 500 PICs x US$3.5 (for main program)

                            and compare it to

                            500 Picaso (for graphics) + 500 PICs x $3.5 (for main program)

                            picaso solution would have faster graphics and less flickering, but the final cost is not something that i can ignore.
                            pichatsu

                            Comment


                            • #15


                              Every time we reevaluate adding flash support it comes out as way more expensive that uSD.

                              Even at 1.6mb flash costs around $3 (if you can get it for less please let us know where).

                              You can get 2Gig of uSD for around $2 (in quantity) so why not use the extra capacity for added product functionality.
                              Mark

                              Comment

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