In “Overview: From Snippets to Code Generation” I discussed several tools used in my development process. On tool which helps me a lot to get things done is Processor Expert. In this post I’ll give an overview about this tool and reasoning for the pros and cons of using it.
Sometimes I think that a problem should be solvable in a few minutes, and then it turns out that it lingers around for months. Very, very frustrating! Such a thing is getting the USB 4.1.1 stack running on the FRDM-K64F board. I have that board since April 2014, and it took me 7 months to get the FSL USB stack running on it :-(.
When I started the McuOnEclipse project back in 2012, I did not expect that it would create that much of attention :-). So far I’m sharing the project files on GitHub (see “McuOnEclipse goes Git“). GitHub is excellent for sharing sources, but not a good way to share release (binary) files. It is somewhat ok for small/few files, and initially that worked well for the few Processor Expert files (see “Processor Expert Component *.PEupd Files on GitHub“). However, with the amount of components and binary releases, the GitHub repository gets bloated. So I’m performing some maintenance work, and so I’m moving binary releases to a new McuOnEclipse SourceForge site.
Sometimes I have a good idea how to extend one of my Processor Expert components with an extra feature, but then I step back because why implementing more than I need at the moment? Until another user of the component simply asks for the same thing, and here we go: if one or more can take advantage of a feature, that’s definitely a strong argument to add it :-). This happened with the RingBuffer Processor Expert component I’m using in many projects. And a reader of this blog asked to add some extra event methods: when an item is added or removed to the buffer.
RingBuffer used in USB Component with Extra Events
This post is for the geeks of us: the ones writing Processor Expert components with CDE (Components Development Environment). The problem is the following: In the Components Library view I have all my components listed, such as the USB stack components:
I admit: I’m sometimes a lazy person. In my projects, I only needed one ‘disk drive’ with the FatFS Processor Expert component: either a SD card or a USB MSD drive. But a reader of this blog wanted to use FatFS with multiple drives: using it with an SD card and a USB MSD drive. And actually FatFS does support this, I just had no need for it, thus I did not add anything special for it. But that reader let me think that I better add Multi-Drive support. Even if I do not need it now, that could be very handy in the future 🙂
There has been a lot of new Freescale releases recently around FTF, and I’m trying to catch up. For me as a Processor Expert Lover, it is good news that there is now the new version 10.4 available. And it comes in different ways:
I’m maintaining and hosting now more than 100 different Processor Expert components on GitHub. Instead to deal with CDE (Component Development Environment, that’s the SDK to create your own components), most users simply download and install the PEupd files. If you deal with normal source files, and if spot something you want (or need to change), then you can easily do this. But what if you want or need to change something in that code which comes with the PEupd file(s)?
I have one rule I try to follow every day: my code shall be warning free. Writing software for multiple compilers gets challenging with this rule, but it avoids the ‘not seeing the forest because of the trees’ problem. This rule extends to writing Processor Expert components with CDE (Component Development Environment). What I have missed (and not used) is a useful option to enable debug output:
I finally completed my project turning the FRDM-KL25Z board into a USB mouse device :-). The form factor and the capabilities of the Freedom board makes it a great board for implementing it as a ‘custom mouse’. All what I need is the USB stack running on it and have it acting as USB HID Mouse device.
Summer finally has arrived in Switzerland. Yes, I live in a moderate climate zone, but if the outside temperature goes above 28-30° Celsius as these days, then sleeping at night is not that comfortable as it should be in my view. Luckily, I’m in a good constructed house with good insulation, so it takes a few days until it heats up. But I love to keep the temperature below 25° Celsius, especially at night. I do have a heating system which combines geothermal and solar heating. The question is: how can I use it for cooling during hot summer days? The solution: some extra plumbing, a Freescale Tower system and the Freescale FRDM-KL25Z board 🙂
FRDM-KL25Z with Arduino Data Logger Shield controlling Heating/Cooling System
Not everyone is familiar with Git, and not everyone wants to use it. Although I think using Git or SVN is something every software engineer today needs to master 😉 To make it easier for the ‘non-Gitter’ to use the Processor Expert components, they are available now as *.PEupd files as described here. However, the *.PEupd files are just a snapshot, and not the latest and greatest. So how to use the latest component sources and example projects without Git?
The MCUonEclipse GitHub repository is great for everyone which is familiar with Git or GitHub. Prevsiouly I was hosting my Processor Expert components on steinerberg.com. Exporting and maintaining the Processor Expert Update Files (*.PEupd) one by one is a lot of effort. GitHub makes things a lot easier, but again: you need to be familiar with it. And not everyone is ‘gitting’ yet. To help the rest of the world (the non-Gitter), I have now published Processor Expert update files for all the components in the repository, so it is easier to install them.