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Eclipse embedded development woes, req feedback

Started by John September 28, 2006
Hi,

If you use Eclipse (the IDE, especially for embedded use, I would really 
appreciate your responses.

I now have Eclipse(Zylin Embedded CDT) + OpenOCD talking to my LPC2103 
(ARM7-TDMI), but I'm experiencing what seems like shortcomings in 
Eclipse.  Maybe others here who use Eclipse for embedded development can 
shed some light.

1.  Is there an "easy" way to automate the build, compile and 
debug/attach process

As is, if I am debugging and I find a mistake in the code and I switch 
to C perspective to fix it, when I do a build, it cannot create the 
final executable because the debug perspective seems to open the file 
with exclusive access.

I have to kill the debug perspective, re-compile, re-load OpenOCD and 
re-attach the debugger.  It may sound like I'm whining, but it really 
becomes a chore and consumes a lot of time.  It really interrupts the 
thought process.  I also end up getting gdb or Eclipse to lock up (I hit 
the stop button and it doesn't stop for example) and I have to kill 
Eclipse and start-over, each time.

With my Atmel AVR setup, I can re-compile and AVR Studio detects the 
main executable is changed and re-programs the AVR, and restarts the 
debugging process, all almost automatically.

I've even used the ST development tools which use GDB and they're able 
to do all of what I need as well (stop, pause, resume, re-program/build 
without issue).

I'd love to script the process if that's what is needed, but I'm 
clueless how to do that in Eclipse.

2.  When debugging with Eclipse, are you able to "pause" a program and 
then resume it?

When I select the main thread (the only thread) and hit the pause button 
(||), nothing seems to happen and the program keeps executing.  Perhaps 
my definition of pause is skewed, but when using AVR Studio, pause means 
the program is stopped, I can inspect variables, registers memory and 
see where the program currently is.  This is handy if the hardware stops 
responding, I can figure out where it died.

Any pointers or ideas?

3.  Also when debugging, how does one simply restart the program, 
without needing to re-compile, re-load, etc?

The big red STOP button does not seem to work, I just want to "reset" 
the program and start from main.

Please help a frustrated engineer out.  I'm not ready to give up (yet), 
I think there's hope here...

Regards,
John.
John wrote:

> Please help a frustrated engineer out. I'm not ready to give up (yet), > I think there's hope here...
I might not be able to offer anything constructive other than a summary of my experiences. I was using Eclipse as part of Altera's NIOS SDK. 1. I did not have your problem of having to kill the debug perspective to re-build the target. 2. I don't think I ever tried to pause! 3. To restart, IIRC I simply downloaded again. However, IMHO, Eclipse is an absolute POS. If I wasn't forced to use it as part of the SDK then I wouldn't touch it with a 10-ft clown pole. I got so fed up trying to control the debugger I reverted to using printf's, except where using the debugger was absolutely necessary. I didn't even use the editor - it was *painfully* slow on a 3.2GHz machine!!! At the end of it all, I used Eclipse to click on 'build' and 'download' and that's about it. And then I washed my hands - thoroughly! [dons flame-retardant underwear] Regards, -- Mark McDougall, Engineer Virtual Logic Pty Ltd, <http://www.vl.com.au> 21-25 King St, Rockdale, 2216 Ph: +612-9599-3255 Fax: +612-9599-3266
"Mark McDougall" <markm@vl.com.au> wrote in message 
news:451b71b3$0$15612$5a62ac22@per-qv1-newsreader-01.iinet.net.au...
> John wrote: > >> Please help a frustrated engineer out. I'm not ready to give up (yet), >> I think there's hope here... > > I might not be able to offer anything constructive other than a summary > of my experiences. I was using Eclipse as part of Altera's NIOS SDK. > > 1. I did not have your problem of having to kill the debug perspective > to re-build the target. > 2. I don't think I ever tried to pause! > 3. To restart, IIRC I simply downloaded again. > > However, IMHO, Eclipse is an absolute POS. If I wasn't forced to use it > as part of the SDK then I wouldn't touch it with a 10-ft clown pole. > > I got so fed up trying to control the debugger I reverted to using > printf's, except where using the debugger was absolutely necessary. I > didn't even use the editor - it was *painfully* slow on a 3.2GHz > machine!!! At the end of it all, I used Eclipse to click on 'build' and > 'download' and that's about it. And then I washed my hands - thoroughly! > > [dons flame-retardant underwear] > > Regards, > > -- > Mark McDougall, Engineer > Virtual Logic Pty Ltd, <http://www.vl.com.au> > 21-25 King St, Rockdale, 2216 > Ph: +612-9599-3255 Fax: +612-9599-3266
I'm with you Mark, Waited for it to load, Tried it, chewed it, spat it out, and waited for it to unload. It was just so laborious to do anything. Maybe it's just us Aussies, though. Cheers, Alf
Mark McDougall wrote:

> However, IMHO, Eclipse is an absolute POS. If I wasn't forced to use it > as part of the SDK then I wouldn't touch it with a 10-ft clown pole.
I'm trying hard to like Eclipse (or WindRiver Workbench as its badged) at the moment. Having been arm-twisted into spending the 4 grand to upgrade from our previous "soon to be no longer supported" environment. It is so slow. (on a 3 gig machine) I seem to spen ages waiting for the frequent lock ups to resolve themselves, and reading the "out of Virtual memory" warnings. Its funny isn't it? Sometimes you struggle with terrible tools for ages, thinking its your own fault and that perhaps you don't understand the wonder and beauty of the thing. And then looking back you realise that it was a pile of cack all along. Cheers TW
Ted wrote:

> Mark McDougall wrote: > >> However, IMHO, Eclipse is an absolute POS. If I wasn't forced to use it >> as part of the SDK then I wouldn't touch it with a 10-ft clown pole. > > I'm trying hard to like Eclipse (or WindRiver Workbench as its badged) > at the moment. Having been arm-twisted into spending the 4 grand to > upgrade from our previous "soon to be no longer supported" environment. > > > It is so slow. (on a 3 gig machine) I seem to spen ages waiting for the > frequent lock ups to resolve themselves, and reading the "out of > Virtual memory" warnings. >
Ah, the joys of Java. Ian
"Ian Bell" <ruffrecords@yahoo.co.uk> wrote in message
news:451d3f24.0@entanet...
> Ted wrote: > > > Mark McDougall wrote: > > > >> However, IMHO, Eclipse is an absolute POS. If I wasn't forced to use it > >> as part of the SDK then I wouldn't touch it with a 10-ft clown pole. > > > > I'm trying hard to like Eclipse (or WindRiver Workbench as its badged) > > at the moment. Having been arm-twisted into spending the 4 grand to > > upgrade from our previous "soon to be no longer supported" environment. > > > > > > It is so slow. (on a 3 gig machine) I seem to spen ages waiting for the > > frequent lock ups to resolve themselves, and reading the "out of > > Virtual memory" warnings. > > > > Ah, the joys of Java.
I think the trick is 3 gig of RAM rather than 3 GHz processor. Peter
Peter Dickerson wrote:

> I think the trick is 3 gig of RAM rather than 3 GHz processor.
I have two!!!! :O Regards, -- Mark McDougall, Engineer Virtual Logic Pty Ltd, <http://www.vl.com.au> 21-25 King St, Rockdale, 2216 Ph: +612-9599-3255 Fax: +612-9599-3266
On Thu, 28 Sep 2006 16:54:13 +1000, Mark McDougall <markm@vl.com.au>
wrote:

> >However, IMHO, Eclipse is an absolute POS. If I wasn't forced to use it >as part of the SDK then I wouldn't touch it with a 10-ft clown pole. > >I got so fed up trying to control the debugger I reverted to using >printf's, except where using the debugger was absolutely necessary. I >didn't even use the editor - it was *painfully* slow on a 3.2GHz >machine!!! At the end of it all, I used Eclipse to click on 'build' and >'download' and that's about it. And then I washed my hands - thoroughly! > >[dons flame-retardant underwear] >
I have to agree. The concept is bad. I guess everyone (well, company marketing departments) wants to be like microsoft and have a "do everything" IDE. I actually use MS Visual studio 6, I don't love it but it requires relatively little memorisation of magic keys and it works. However, I just use it as an editor, I don't do windows programming. (I could easily go into a rant about how bad magic ide accelerator key stuff can be -- do I really need a 1 keystroke entry into a font editor? but I digress). I think the ultimate perfect editor is EMACs, but I refuse to waste all those neurons on memorizing key sequences. What I want in an editor is for the common stuff to be easy (like non-modal WYSIWYG editing) and the hard stuff to be available in menus. A few things are nice with single key accelerators (like search, search next, search prev). Codewarrior and codecomposer are similar in concept to Eclipse. Both are annoying. Nothing like waiting for seconds for all the dlls to load. And nothing like loading tons of dlls and who knows what into an already full windows registry! The basic IDE concept is bad. It completely breaks any concept of scripting. It violates all the good parts of separating mechanism and policy. If you really need one button push to start a compile, the OS probably can do that. An IDE makes several simple tasks complicated. I can live without a fancy debugger interface, if I can get one that works predicably with problematic hardware. There are about 3 things an ide does. First it is an editor, I cannot imagine anything more personal and unchangeable, except maybe religion. Second it is a "build" interface - which in any kind of reasonably complex scenario is a one button start of "make" and last is a debugger interface. I am particularly sensitive about this one, on my list of important capabilities number one is reliable. All other debugger features are optional and "nice". Maybe there are other "features" in a IDE, but usually they are just automating simple OS commands. I have installed eclipse (on Linux) about 3 times over the last couple years. Each time it was buggy, hard to understand and unneccessarily complex. Each time it was different though. It is easy to understand how companies that really wish they had a codewarrior would like to adopt Eclipse. It is just too much complexity in the development environment, where many other complex things need to be done. It will be a while before I install it on Windows. You don't know how I hate to have to install yet another IDE on my fragile, full Windows XP registry. If I can I avoid it. Steve There is no "x" in my email address.
Steve Calfee wrote:

> The basic IDE concept is bad.
My preferred suite (i.e. what I use for my own work) comprises: stand-alone editor gcc/mingw and make/gnubinutils gdb Another thing I like about the above is that you can preserve your *entire* project in a very small, text-only, portable archive - no 'magic' files, binaries etc - and gels nicely with cvs/svn etc. IDEs generally make this impossible. And don't get me started on absolute pathnames in projects... Regards, -- Mark McDougall, Engineer Virtual Logic Pty Ltd, <http://www.vl.com.au> 21-25 King St, Rockdale, 2216 Ph: +612-9599-3255 Fax: +612-9599-3266