Programming Program

What program does everyone use to program their robot? Does everyone use MPLAB?

I’m hoping to try out MSRS or microsoft robotics studio, I’ll be doing some warm up on a lego RCX this week.

This post might help:

I use Eclipse. There’s also FusionEdit, Code::Blocks, SubEthaEdit, text editor/make, and several threads:

/t/development-enviroments-orther-than-mplab/51545/1 /t/what-ide-did-you-use/78361/1 /t/ide/79931/1 /t/what-features-do-you-want-in-an-ide/80695/1

BTW, the term you want is “IDE” - Integrated Development Environment

EasyC is good. It is easy to learn and can do anything MPLAB can.

I love EasyC. It is a lot easier to understand than MPLAB, and it is easy to “visualize” how the code works. It is great for getting new programmers involved who would normally have been scared off by MPLAB or another text based IDE. This year we will be doubling the size of our programming team.

i use mp lab because it always seems to work for me…

magical, i know.


We ended up using Easy-C, but personally, didn’t much care for it. I don’t think that dragging all those blocks around is at all easier than typing a few words. Also, I think that Easy-C programs–while easy to read when they’re short–start to be ridiculously confusing when they get longer. Our other programmers never really bothered to comment.

Also, Easy-C does not seem to support pointers… Am I wrong about this? While I consider the user-friendly part of Easy-C a bit annoying, l consider lack of pointer support a serious failing in the language.

Does anyone use the CSS compiler?

We are presently using the MPLabs compiler, but the IDE and compiler features of CSS make it an interesting choice.


Yes it does just flip to the project tab and make a .c & .h file no problem.

I dont think that will work with the libraries, but I am not 100% sure on that.

EasyC is good. It is easy to learn and can do anything MPLAB can.

I strongly disagree with that statement. I did end up using EasyC last year because I was new to my team, and frankly, it was easier :yikes: RC616 summed up some of my feelings for the program. So it’s great if you’re just getting started out on an FRC team, and need things to be a little easier. But if you’re serious about programming use MPLAB hands down, no argument.

Did you try the built in syntax editor or only run in block mode?

Yes, however it’s very difficult to constantly be switching back and forth between your block program, and the C editor. It gets confusing as you can’t edit some of the files (globals.c?), and if I primarily want to program in text mode, why bother?

Another thing I just don’t get about EasyC is that the “block & C programming” view, and the “C programming view”. What’s the point? You can’t edit anything, all you can do is add a comment? :ahh: The only reason to be in any of these viewing modes is to burn up screen real estate.

It sounds like you’re unfamiliar with just how powerful and capable EasyC can be. I know I was until recently.

If you’re serious about writing code, then a text-based IDE like MPLab wins. However, programming can be much more productive when it focuses on creating and implementing algorithms instead of on producing syntactically correct lines of text. It’s a different level of programming, one which demands a different kind of focus from the programmer, but I think it’s worth putting forth the initial extra effort in order to gain the benefits of faster and more reliable results.

I think the purpose of those views is so that you can verify that you’re getting out what you expect. Of course you can’t edit the C text – a large part of the tool’s purpose is to make syntax and semantic errors a non-issue, so letting you mess with the uncompiled intermediate representation of the program would be bad.


Point taken.

I somewhat disagree with that statement. It’s only faster to write a program in EasyC if the program is relatively simple. E.G. Default tank drive, click & drag. However, once you get into more complicated programs, with loads of variables, and arrays, EasyC becomes a nightmare (especially with arrays). It’s incredibly hard to keep organized in EasyC. You can’t even see local variables in a function unless you either open up a new window, or have the “C” window open. Also you can’t re-organize the list of user functions, the functions are put in order and you can’t move them around.

Question: If “syntax and semantic errors [are] a non-issue”, then why do you need to verify that the output code is correct? And if someone doesn’t know the syntax of C, then how are they supposed to know what to “expect”?