Portable IDE

Many of you may have already done this.
For me it started out with a desire to compile robotics code from my flash drive.
MPLAB took up too much space, and required installation, so i said to hell with it.

I already had perl installed on my flash drive and a relatively organized directory structure for programming and running applications off my flash drive. I have a Programs Directory where i keep my programs, and rely heavily on bat files to make and open up my programs, whether that’s running a c compiler or a Perl interpreter.
I added the mcc18 compiler to my programs directory.
then it began with the creation of a small perlscript that
-read a resource file in the current directory to:
–find location of mcc18.exe the compiler
–find location of mplink.exe the linker
-generated the batch commands to compile the .c files
-generated the batch commands to link the .o files + .lkr + .lib files
-created the batch file which could now be used without Perl

and this worked well for a good amount of time, I could now compile the micro controller code from my flash drive.

i figure from this i could easily create an IDE of some sort. so i did, simple IDE like program in Perl using Tk, relies on whichever text editor is specified in the resource file (which in my case was notepad2, I rather like notepad2).

Regardless this works well, and runs completely independently off my flash drive, taking up approximately 131 megabytes (Perl interpreter + compiler).

the IDE program is stored in my Perl\projects folder and runs from there. the program is called from a batch file in every Project Folder (the folder where all the .c, .h, .lkr, .lib files are stored)

I’m still improving it, though it is fully functional. Let me know what you think.

Looks nice. This would make it easy for teams to copy over there code to a flash drive and then use it on any computer at a regional without having to install MPLab and all that fun stuff. Last year I brought my laptop so that wasnt an issue for me but I can see that helping alot of people. If you dont mind a bunch of people would probably use it if you posted the code.

looks amazing… again i am also a programmer w/ a laptop so this wouldnt be very useful for me… but on the other hand … its looks great… all i have to say is congrats:) saves alot of time, great job

looks great!

Nice idea, never thought of that before…


I didn’t think anyone would be interested, but there’s a bit more information on that link.

I can’t say I’ve put any effort into making that web page.

I’m still improving upon the project. I only started it two days ago, I’ve put in perhaps only 2 hours of actual development time.

I’ve miscalculated the amount of space it takes, it’s about 20 more megabytes than my original approximation. The Perl Interpreter takes about 50 megabytes. And while I could go through the trouble of compiling the code into a standalone executable, I think everyone should carry around The Perl Interpreter, it’s a great tool to have.

Please feel free to reply to this post.

Nice, anychance you could post the source for the perl program?

Likely after development is complete. There still remains a few more features to add. I’m working on integrating IFI Loader into it…on top of other things. Until then I don’t have to worry about properly placing comments throughout the code and what not. I would like to somewhat finish the project, this is more of a “Test of Concept”. Let me know how the installation goes more importantly, If it’s far too complicated to install I should create an Installer for it.

As an FYI, you can do it with Eclipse as well. (Haven’t tried it with MCC18, though.)

  1. Download Eclipse for your platform
  2. Extract to a temporary location on your harddrive (I’m calling it …\eclipse)
  3. Create the directory …\work (your workspace)
  4. Install needed plugins
    Open …\eclipse\config.ini in a text editor and replace ```


  1. Copy ...\eclipse and ...\work to your flash drive.

One thing I've found is that sometimes Eclipse leaves residue in %USERPROFILE%\.eclipse (eg, C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\.eclipse). This may be safely deleted. Here's what I did for Windows (eclipse.cmd):

@echo off
IF EXIST “%USERProfile%.eclipse” (
RMDIR /S /Q “%USERProfile%.eclipse”
pushd eclipse
start “” “eclipse.exe” “-data \work”

Note that the last bit (start "" ...) negates the need for step #5 above. You just need to put your workspace in your root. Also, I don't know how well the above interacts with an installed Eclipse. PM me for full details as to how I set up my drive.

Just be warned, this may wear out a flash drive, since building projects often involves much writing to disk. You may want to opt for a mobile harddrive (eg, an iPod) instead.

I didn’t know you could wear out a flashdrive

Yes. I forget the exact number but there is a limit to how many times you can write data to the flash memory.

Something like a couple million writes. Which is why I got a portable hard drive instead :slight_smile:

Testemonial: I’ve seen it… I’ve used it. It’s good

I like to copy, then paste my code folder and rename it with a current date because MPLAB doesn’t have a version management system built in. I wanted to make a new folder every day with other non-robotics projects, but I noticed that MPLAB would write to the old files even though I opened the new MCW file.

When I made a new project with the project wizard instead (and added all my files, chose the toolsuite, etc) I would get a compiler error at every printf().

So I decided I needed an IDE that didn’t try to be smarter than me with its workspace file. FIDE is the solution. Thanks :smiley:

I thought perhaps by now this post had died and no one cared for the portable IDE.
I’ve made a few changed till then. Well honestly enough, there haven’t been many major changes because I didn’t really put much work into it. We’ve been having loads of fun with PID loop code, and all of us have been working with F_IDE almost entirely. We seemed to be content with it. A few complaints and suggestions came up and I’ve addressed them.
Of the minor complaints Keyboard shortcuts were one which are now in the new version. I also felt that not everyone would like the color scheme, so I added the capability for color customization.
One of the major issues was that with what happened when new files were added or removed from the Project folder while Fide was open. In order for FIDE to recognize the change it needed to be closed and re-opened. That was becoming an annoyance. So I’ve added the capacity for FIDE to recognize the change in the project folder during the CMake process. So hitting the CMake button refreshes the file buttons in accordance to the change in the folder.
I feel like I’m retyping a lot of what I wrote, so feel free to read the poorly constructed website.
Again, I’m sorry the website is as terrible as it is.
Please feel free to post here (I genuinely look forward to it).