Mikroelektronika is celebrating 10 years of compilers this month and I thought I should not be shy from joining the celebrations.
It was in fact 2004 when they decided the world needed better compilers. Back then in order to get your LEDs blinking, on pretty much any microcontroller on the market, it wasn’t as easy as it is today.
Ten years forward in time and now, thanks to the professionalism and dedication of Mikroelektronika’s developers, we can now just simply click on an icon and your program get’s compiled, programmed onto the microcontroller of your choice and executed, fantastic!
The code does not compile or something nasty is happening with the behaviour of your program? The compilers are coming with simple and intuitive debugging functionalities including In-Circuit Debugging. With it is possible to step by step through your code as it runs on the microcontroller which gives you the possibility to discover problems that only surface due to the program running on your circuit.
Some of the numbers of the Mikro guild are:
3 different languages for the various tastes – MikroC, MikroBasic, MikroPascal
6 different microcontroller platforms – PIC, dsPIC, 8051, AVR, PIC32, ARM
2 different licencing models – The traditional key installed on a computer and the more innovative USB dongle option for licencing on the go. Great flexibility.
785 and counting libraries available through LIBSTOCK to make the most of reuse of code. Any developer should share his/her code here! Seriously!!
The many libraries that come along with the compilers are very well documented, integrated with examples and in most cases with circuit diagrams. Should that not be enough, Mikroelektronika also offers a number of books and articles which in most cases are also available online for free. Although some of these need to be refreshed, they are still an excellent resource for the beginners and a good reference for the experts
The IDE has nothing to envy from the likes of MS Visual Studio or Eclipse. The MikroC for PIC page shows some of the functionalities and tools that are made available to the developer for efficient and effective coding.
Have you ever had to setup the fuses on a PIC16F84A prior to the Mikro era? With the Mikro IDE it is as simple as using the Edit Project.
Code assistant, parameter assistant, code folding? Need I say more? If you have done any coding in your life you know that you cannot live without these things.
An IDE should be a tool that helps the developer to get from a project to a program in the easiest and quickest possible ways. It is good and well to learn the hard way how to write your “Hello, world!” program or how to manually setup the fuses the first time, the second, even a third time but after that it becomes evil! A developer needs tools that will help him/her to quickly go through what should be a given and focus on the problem that matter to get the next project running and it seems to me that the Mikro compilers do just that. Isn’t that the reason for the great success of the likes of the Arduino entourage?
Happy birthday Mikros and keep up the good work guys!
P.S. Can I get a piece of cake now?