MPLAB Harmony .vs. UECIDE

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FredCailloux
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MPLAB Harmony .vs. UECIDE

Post by FredCailloux » Sat Mar 12, 2016 5:19 pm

Hello Majenko, I think you are probably one of the best person to answer these questions.
I am contemplating MPLAB Harmony as a possible IDE. The interface is visually appealing which may transpire a deep level of tweaking capabilities.
I am pretty much planning to use Microchip PIC32 for my projects but lately I was playing with a ATtiny85 from Atmel so I had to install MPLAB Harmony to program the chip.
The one thing I want to avoid is investing many hours in learning a new programming environment only to find out one or two major negatives that will lead me to go back to MPIDE or UECIDE and loose these precious learning hours. I am tempted to give it a try because I perceive that since Microchip made the PIC32 and made the MPLAB Harmony environment, most probably they are tweaked to go together in "harmony" if you see what I mean. I did some reading and as far as I understand, to implement the Harmony with my proMX7 board I must use some chipKit core definition in order to get the proper pins names and other definitions. I don't know how to do that exactly so this is going to take more time. So, here are a few questions I'd appreciate if you could comment on.
1- How complicated would it be to implement Harmony to be compatible with proMX7 ?
2- Is there something to gain from using Harmony ? ( the free version, that is )
3- Is it worth the learning curve to go Harmony ?
4- Can I program a ATtiny85 with UECIDE ?

Thank for your time.
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majenko
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Re: MPLAB Harmony .vs. UECIDE

Post by majenko » Sat Mar 12, 2016 8:11 pm

1- How complicated would it be to implement Harmony to be compatible with proMX7 ?
You ignore the fact that it's a Pro MX7 and just program it as a raw PIC32MX795F512L chip.
2- Is there something to gain from using Harmony ? ( the free version, that is )
There's lots of low-level drivers, like different kinds of USB access.
3- Is it worth the learning curve to go Harmony ?
If you want the things that Harmony can give you then yes, otherwise no. By the way, some parts of Harmony have been released to us under the Apache license and we are working on integrating them with chipKIT.
4- Can I program a ATtiny85 with UECIDE ?
Yes.

Harmony is a software framework that can give you a quick route to market for some things, but I have found it a very obscure system to try and understand what is going on (and I am a pro). For someone without a good grasp of C it'd be a nightmare.

Couple that with Microchip's ***EVIL*** habit of abstracting EVERY SINGLE data type with STUPIDLY NAMED CUSTOM TYPES ALL IN CAPITALS (I'm not shouting there, honest - I am merely emulating Microchip's data types ;) ) and you have something that is designed specifically to drive people insane.

So I would say, unless there is something specifically in Harmony that you really can't complete your project without then stay well away from it unless you enjoy having brain haemorrhages.
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