I have started createing a new IDE for use with the Innovation Fist robot controler. I have written a class to handle communation to the compiler exes and have submitted a project to source forge.
My idea is to have a MPLab/EasyC hybrid that can import/export MPLab projects. I would like to have this tested and avilible for the 2007 FRC. If anyone is interested in working with me on this project E-Mail me at I also put a poll to see how many people think they would try this progrma if it is availble next year.

Alright, i’m going to overload you with ideas/suggestions/comments right now. The reason why I use MPLab is because of it’s “plug and play” ability. Open up the provided CD, click a few buttons and it is ready to program. I just don’t have the motivation to switch to another IDE and have to re-learn all the little shortcuts that save me so much time. Some call this laziness, I call it efficiency.

However, give me a clean and sleek IDE with some interesting features and I may be willing to change. A good example that comes to mind (minus the bloat) is Zend Studio. I want good syntax highlighting (editable by the user), project management (maybe with a versioning system built in?), code folding is always good and code completion (both C functions and user-defined functions).

Until something like that is available, I’ll stay laz–efficient with MPLab.

I’d definitely want subversion support… doesn’t have to be able to access subversion repositories by itself, but it could work as mplab does, letting me preform commits/updates by running the executable.

Also, I’m not sure .net is the best choice… from what I’ve heard, many teams aren’t using new laptops that can run it.

Most teams are slowly getting there, but there are definitely some old beasts. I saw someone walking around with a 133 Mhz running Windows 98 :stuck_out_tongue:

Hey dont make fun of my teams p2 I’ll start bringing my massive desktop,

But a new IDE sounds awesome, I gonna shoot off an email while i use more i can definately help out w/ GUI and such in VB

right now i am working on creating a .net class to handle compiling, importing, and exporting. I will release the source code when i complete it so anyone who wants can re-write it in something to run on low power systems. As for dot net not running on older computers i am running .net 1.1 on a 150 MHz p2 running windows 98.if anyone wants to help create the GUI I am using express edition it is free from Microsoft here. i will post the classes i write at source forge here anyone interested in getting an un-completed un-tested version of the code e-mail me at or wait for it on source forge.

Just out of curiosity, why aren’t people just using Eclipse or C++ .NET as their IDE?

I use Eclipse (well, at least I have it setup… I actually probably used Gedit more ;)). Can you actually use VC++? I didn’t think you could change the compiler is uses.

I don’t know if you can change the compiler (I should look into that :slight_smile: ), but it makes a great file editor at least.

I lack the memory… Java is pretty resource heavy, as is .net.

Besides, MPLab works pretty well, why would I want to change it?

What i would like is an IDE that can function more like EasyC but also be able to Import/Export (Export is more important) MPLab projects. I also want have have collapseable regions like in Visual Studio. and if it’s posible i also plan to add features like Drag and Drop programming like eacyc but in the same window have the abiltity to type the commands, user definable code highlighing, built-in replacement for IFI Loader, and have backup and compare different verisons of a project. if i can get web space i would like to have a built-in share feature to upload to an ftp site for other first teams.

If anyone wants to help or has questions e-mail me at

You can already export easyC if you load WPILib library into MPLAB. You can also import functions into EasyC.

Well if you don’t like MPLab or easyC and you think .NET and Java is too resource heavy, you can try Code::Blocks, it was designed to work with multiple compiler’s from the start. I have the compiler settings and project templates attached somewhere on here too if anyone is interested.

If you want to know more about Code::Blocks just check out their site

I use Crimson Editor for programming for the FRC. Though I like the idea of a FIRST IDE, it wouldn’t be useful to me unless it were better than many IDEs out there.

Besides, MPLab works pretty well, why would I want to change it?

Once you use Eclipse, you really don’t want to go back. Eclipse has CVS/subversion support, syntax highlighting that works :wink: , and a ton of other features.
A FIRST IDE would be cool, but there’s a lot of other programs out there that already work.

a COMPILER running in .NET?!?!?! :ahh:

Sounds Terrifying!!! :yikes:

I believe that he means using Visual Studio .NET 2005 an editor, which calls the C18 compiler. After all, it’s not like Microchip is going to let anyone have access to the proprietary information needed to write a new compiler for their chips.

Its designed to call the mcc18 compiler that microchip gives out.

Whew had me worried for a second. By the way, though extremely complicated, all information needed to make a C compiler is included in every microprocessor’s datasheet.

The compiler just converts C instructions into one or a series of assembly instructions, then the linker takes the fragments of code generated by the compiler, converts the assembly to machine code, and places the required memory offsets.

All the assembly commands are available in various books and online sources. The machine code (hex) bytes required to access those commands are located in each processor’s datasheet/manual.

It sounds pretty simple… but it isn’t really. definitely NOT something I’m going to do anytime soon


Since I am a Mac user, I use TextMate for my programming, and it simplifies so much stuff by letting me use macro’s. For example, to add the IFNDEF stuff around a header file, all one has to do is type: once<tab> and it is done.

If there is a FIRST ide, i think that would be one of the things I would want for me to use it.