Eclipse Performance Improvement Tip: Close Unused Projects


Eclipse is not the fastest and snappiest IDE of the world, but in my view the most versatile and open one. And as with any tool: using it the wrong way does not make it better. Sometimes I have students in my classes which complain that Eclipse is slow, even on a decent machine. Looking at their notebook screens and Eclipse workspace usually tells me right away what they are doing ‘wrong': there are many, many projects open in the workspace, the most I have seen was more than 50 projects (yikes!!!)!

Many many projects open

Many many projects open

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Link to Files and Folders in Eclipse


Eclipse projects have the nice features that they can link to files and folders: so instead of having the physical file, it is just a pointer to a file. This is very cool as that way I can point to shared files, or keep files in a common place referenced from projects, and so on.

Linked Folder and File in Eclipse

Linked Folder and File in Eclipse

As with most things in Eclipse, there is not a single way how to do things. So I’m showing in this post several ways how to link to files and folders.

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Exclude Source Files from Build in Eclipse


Sometimes I have source files in my project which I do not want to get compiled (or excluded from build). Because as I’m using the ‘managed make’, all source files matching certain extensions (like *.c) are automatically included into the build.

To exclude a file from build, I right-click on it to get to the properties. There I can select a check box to have it excluded from the build:

File Excluded from Build

File Excluded from Build

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Adafruit NeoPixel Clock with 60 LEDs


After the problems with level shifters (see “First Adafruit NeoPixel Blinks with the FRDM Board“) I received the ordered 74HCT245N. Put it on a bread board, wired it up, … only to find out that the device gets very hot… turned off power, and realized that had the device put in with a wrong orientation :-( oh darn! That’s why I always order things like that in quantities of 3 or more :-). Corrected the mistake, and things are running (or blinking) again :-)

74HCT245 Wiring for WS2812

74HCT245 Wiring for WS2812

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Preserving Memory Ranges with Eclipse and P&E GDB Server


For my boot loaders I need the functionality that I can keep memory ranges from being erased while downloading the rest of the application. P&E provides a GDB server which interfaces with their probes (P&E Universal Multilinks, Tracelinks, …) and as well with the OpenSDA present on many of the Freescale evaluation boards. In CodeWarrior there is an option for ‘Advanced Programming Options’ which allows to preserve memory of the microcontroller FLASH (see “Programming part of flash“). However, that option or button is not present in the Eclipse version of the P&E GDB server (e.g. in Kinetis Design Studio). So how can I preserve some areas of FLASH in Eclipse with GDB?

Preservation of Non-Volatile Memory in CodeWarrior

Preservation of Non-Volatile Memory in CodeWarrior

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Switching ARM GNU Tool Chain and Libraries in Kinetis Design Studio


The Freescale Kinetis Design Studio (KDS) V1.0.1 beta is using a different GNU ARM toolchain than the ARM Inc. supported one on launchpad (GCC ARM Embedded). Additionally, KDS is using newlib 1.19 and newlib-nano 1.0, while there just has been a new release of the GCC ARM Embedded a month ago with the 4.8.4 update 2 release in June this year. So how to upgrade KDS to the latest and greatest GCC ARM Embedded?

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Replicating an Eclipse Update Site for Offline Usage


In my post “Constructing a Classroom IDE with Eclipse for ARM” I outlined how to build a DIY Eclipse distribution. That way I can build an archive/zip and distribute to my students: it saves them a lot of time, and they do not need to download things from the internet themselves, as I can give them the thing on a memory stick. But what if I want them to give them the update site files for offline usage too? For example CodeWarrior has an online update site:

Online Update Site

Online Update Site

How can I make a local copy of it to use in my classroom?

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