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'[OT]: CCS C?'
2000\08\03@144618 by Lawrence Lile

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Well, you've read Andy's blistering review of CCS.  I'd like to respectfully
plead the other case.

I think CCS has improved since they earned Andy's vitriol.  I have had very
good luck with it.  I've got no complaints, really.   Wrote a lot of good
code with it. And I can expense $99/year, whereas my boss nixed $800 up
front for the other guys compilers....

CCS' pricing strategy is unusual.  Hitech and Bytecraft charge up front,
like everyone else.  CCS charges annual maintenance fees.  Get used to it -
My buddy across the hall uses software that has an annual maintenance fee of
$5000!  It is not all that unusual in high end engineering software.  (Not
that I claim CCS to be high end!..)

They are also very responsive these days if you have a problem.  I noticed a
problem in an obscure corner of their program, and they sent me an update
that fixed it in less than 24 hours!   They have a pretty aggressive policy
on bugs and bug fixes.

I think CCS has learned a little about the software biz..

-- Lawrence Lile


{Original Message removed}

2000\08\03@151910 by Dale Botkin

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On Thu, 3 Aug 2000, Lawrence Lile wrote:

> I think CCS has improved since they earned Andy's vitriol.  I have had very
> good luck with it.  I've got no complaints, really.   Wrote a lot of good
> code with it. And I can expense $99/year, whereas my boss nixed $800 up
> front for the other guys compilers....

This was pretty much my situation.  $800 was simply out of the question.
The $99 a year isn't too terribly attractive, but the built-in functions
and some other features were helpful.  My only real complaint about the
licensing and cost is the very short duration of the initial download time
frame -- why not the first year of downloads, instead of the 30 days?

From a usage and operational standpoint, I sure do wish they would
document the built-in functions.  You have to find out the hard way what
they disrupt -- for example, the delay_ms() function is nice to have, but
don't try to use TMR0-driven interrupts!  Documenting this (and a few
other gotchas) would have saved me time spent figuring out why things
didn't work.

All in all, though, I'd have to say it sucks less than the other
alternatives.

Dale
---
The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new
discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..."
               -- Isaac Asimov

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2000\08\03@153357 by Kevin L. Pauba

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Dale Botkin wrote:

> This was pretty much my situation.  $800 was simply out of the question.
> The $99 a year isn't too terribly attractive, but the built-in functions
> and some other features were helpful.  My only real complaint about the
> licensing and cost is the very short duration of the initial download time
> frame -- why not the first year of downloads, instead of the 30 days?

Besides, some of us hobbyist types find that it works well for what we are
doing.  I've spent $99 and am on my third year with no problems (although,
admittedly, I haven't written very complicated code yet).   I haven't spent
$99/yr. so at the present rate, the payback for an $800 package would be over 20
years.

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2000\08\03@154400 by Dale Botkin

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On Thu, 3 Aug 2000, Kevin L. Pauba wrote:

> Besides, some of us hobbyist types find that it works well for what we are
> doing.  I've spent $99 and am on my third year with no problems (although,
> admittedly, I haven't written very complicated code yet).   I haven't spent
> $99/yr. so at the present rate, the payback for an $800 package would be over 20
> years.

My thoughts exactly.  Even if I update only every other year, it's a long
stretch to that break-even point -- and do we really think we'll be using
PICs 20 years from now?  I hope not!

Dale
---
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discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..."
               -- Isaac Asimov

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2000\08\03@155657 by Scott Dattalo

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On Thu, 3 Aug 2000, Dale Botkin wrote:

>                                  -- and do we really think we'll be using
> PICs 20 years from now?  I hope not!

That's what they said 20 years ago!

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2000\08\03@155859 by M. Adam Davis

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Dale Botkin wrote:
> My thoughts exactly.  Even if I update only every other year, it's a long
> stretch to that break-even point -- and do we really think we'll be using
> PICs 20 years from now?  I hope not!

I don't know about that.  Look how old the z8 is.  I'm certian that while more
peripherals will be put on chip, and chip speeds will increase, we will still
have and find needs which are better met by a controller such as the PIC.

But then, I wouldn't use that as an excuse to use an expensive compiler.  I
stick with cheap myself (cheap meaning free) with B Knudsen's CC5x compiler.  I
had difficulty setting up the other two compilers with MPLAB.

-Adam

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2000\08\03@160652 by Dale Botkin

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On Thu, 3 Aug 2000, M. Adam Davis wrote:

> Dale Botkin wrote:
> > My thoughts exactly.  Even if I update only every other year, it's a long
> > stretch to that break-even point -- and do we really think we'll be using
> > PICs 20 years from now?  I hope not!
>
> I don't know about that.  Look how old the z8 is.  I'm certian that while more
> peripherals will be put on chip, and chip speeds will increase, we will still
> have and find needs which are better met by a controller such as the PIC.
>
> But then, I wouldn't use that as an excuse to use an expensive compiler.  I
> stick with cheap myself (cheap meaning free) with B Knudsen's CC5x compiler.  I
> had difficulty setting up the other two compilers with MPLAB.

CCS slid right into MPLAB with no problem.  I really liked CC5X, and it
produced some really nice code (plus an .ASM file I could easily tweak,
which I miss with CCS).  However, the free version is no good for
commercial code, and the lowest cost "real" version went from $90 to $200+
with no warning, which is the reason I didn't buy it.

And I don't doubt the PIC will still exist in 20 years, in one form or
another.  But I doubt most of us will use it other than to compare how
nice the *new* processor we're using is.  I stopped using 8051's and
switched to the PIC, before that it was the 8048...  8085...  It will be
nice, of course, if we are still using the same processor, but I'm not
betting large sums of money on that.

Dale
---
The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new
discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..."
               -- Isaac Asimov

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2000\08\04@042131 by Alan B. Pearce

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>> My thoughts exactly.  Even if I update only every other year, it's a long
>> stretch to that break-even point -- and do we really think we'll be using
>> PICs 20 years from now?  I hope not!

>I don't know about that.  Look how old the z8 is.  I'm certian that while more

and the Z80 is even older, but still used in its original form, without all the
peripheral bits of the 64180.

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2000\08\04@071611 by W. K. Brown

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Embedded designs tend to live 'forever'. Expect to support them for at 10 -
15 years. This makes documented code very important.
WZKB

       {Original Message removed}

2000\08\04@072644 by David Kott

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>
> >From a usage and operational standpoint, I sure do wish they would
> document the built-in functions.  You have to find out the hard way what
> they disrupt -- for example, the delay_ms() function is nice to have, but
> don't try to use TMR0-driven interrupts!  Documenting this (and a few
> other gotchas) would have saved me time spent figuring out why things
> didn't work.
>
> All in all, though, I'd have to say it sucks less than the other
> alternatives.

That has got to be *my* greatest complaint;  The lack of prudent
documentation for the natively supported functions.  Many times, there is
behavior that I didn't expect, was contraintuitive or just plain wrong.
Documentation for each function is scarce.  I find myself constantly adding
notes to my PCM manual to augment the descriptions there.
If this were a largish system compiler, one might not be so concerned about
what was happening behind the scenes.  But, this is not the case with
embedded development systems, and particularily not prudent with the PIC.

On the other hand, "it doesn't suck", and even if it isn't the greatest
development system, one would be hardpressed to beat the cost/performance
ratio.
A lot can be said for lower upfront costs.  I really *don't* know how I
would approach my boss for an outlay of $800 or so of capital.  $99 a year
is quite a bit easier to justify.

-d

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2000\08\04@080900 by Michael Rigby-Jones

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> On the other hand, "it doesn't suck", and even if it isn't the greatest
> development system, one would be hardpressed to beat the cost/performance
> ratio.
> A lot can be said for lower upfront costs.  I really *don't* know how I
> would approach my boss for an outlay of $800 or so of capital.  $99 a year
> is quite a bit easier to justify.
>
>
I guess I'm pretty lucky working for a place where $800 is pretty much loose
change.  But one thing I have noticed about CCS stuff, at least a lot of the
code I've seen, is that it really isn't that close to ANSI compliant.  They
seem to have their own special functions for almost everything.  I think
this is one point where HiTech really shine.  They may not have all the
built in goodies of CCS (which sound to be of dubious value anyway) but it's
as close to a fully ANSI compliant compiler as you're ever going to get for
the PIC.  It also gives me a sense of security to how responsive the Hitech
support team is.

I have noticed however that C Compiler discussions in here seem to always
end up as CCS vs HiTech.  I'd like to know how many people use the other
professional compilers such as Bytecraft, IAR etc.

Mike

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2000\08\04@093243 by Ries van Twisk

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I totally agree with Mike.

I think that $800 is not to much mony even for a small company. I currently use the PIC 18 series with the compiler from Microchip. I'm really happy with it. I now there are a lott of assembly wizards here and I was one of them in the past. C just accelerates my development. I can concentrate on me solutions, I don't have to consentrate on my code anymore!
Ries

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2000\08\04@100440 by Dale Botkin

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On Fri, 4 Aug 2000, Michael Rigby-Jones wrote:

> I guess I'm pretty lucky working for a place where $800 is pretty much loose
> change.

Me too, but this isn't for work...  8-)

> But one thing I have noticed about CCS stuff, at least a lot of the
> code I've seen, is that it really isn't that close to ANSI compliant.

Not really an issue for me.  Since none of the others are, really, code
portability is pretty much a function of how much you're willing to
rewrite, it seems.  Also, I didn't spend learning ANSI C in college --
self-teaching is a liberating experience in some respects.

Dale
---
The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new
discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..."
               -- Isaac Asimov

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2000\08\04@114802 by jamesnewton

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Ohhhh! Wow! Listen!

I've just got to find a way to get this across...

This is EXACTLY what piclist.com EXISTS FOR!

If you write these notes about your experience, traps that you've found how
to avoid, etc... in your manuals, on sticky notes, or (god forbid) just try
to remember them, you are doing your community (and yourself) a grand
disservice. A) You will forget or loose the notes B) No one else will
benefit from your experience and you will not benefit from theirs C) the
Manufacturer will not benefit (or be chastised) from the information. Even
if you warn them, it is easy to ignore when its not posted on a public web
site somewhere.

If you would just sign up for the techref you can post these notes yourself
DIRECTLY to the web page for CCS PIC C at
www.piclist.com/../microchip/language/c/ccs
or (for non-JavaScript's) at
http://www.piclist.com/techref/default.asp?url=microchip/language/c/ccs

or if you want, just email them to me or post them to the PICList and I will
try to get them all in. If you do use the form on the web site directly: A)
Don't stress if it doesn't come out formatted just right, I review and edit
each posting and will fix any problems B) keep in mind you are posting HTML,
so please do use <B>bold</B> and put <PRE>(code goes here)</PRE> around your
code and the like.

And while your at it, send me some C code for the PICList.com C routine
library...
http://www.piclist.com/../microchip/language/c
http://www.piclist.com/techref/default.asp?url=microchip/language/c

...its still pretty sad compared to the ASM library at
http://www.piclist.com/../microchip/routines
http://www.piclist.com/techref/default.asp?url=microchip/routines

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{Original Message removed}

2000\08\04@133603 by David D Snyder Hale

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Hi,

I don't know if this is the time or place to bring this up; if not, I
appologize.  But, I've been reading the back and forth messages about CCS
and HiTech C compilers, as if they were the only two, and wondered if
there is a reason no one has mentioned the C2C compiler?

cheers,
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2000\08\04@160117 by Andrew Kunz

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>A lot can be said for lower upfront costs.  I really *don't* know how I
>would approach my boss for an outlay of $800 or so of capital.  $99 a year
>is quite a bit easier to justify.

I guess I'm spoiled.  As a contract developer, I had no problems asking myself
if it would be worth it to plunk down that money (after I had already wasted
$350 on the full CCS package).  Of course it was.

Other employers (there have been three since then) have all willingly cooperated
with plunking down $800 to get the best tool for the job.  No coercion was
necessary.

Am I lucky, or have you just not asked?

Andy

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