Beta Microchip IDE for Linux, Mac

ahri tipped us to a new beta version of the Microchip development software for PIC microcontrollers, MPLABX. Looks like it’s Java based, and there’s Linux and Mac versions too. This will make a lot of people happy.

Grab the preview here, and share your experience in the comments. We’re installing it now.

Via the forum.

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  1. Yes it’s Java based, but unlike all other companies, Microchip choosed Netbeans as a platform instead of Eclipse.
    I think (personally) that this is a very stupid choice. I worked on Eclipse plugins for MPASM and GPASM support under Eclipse (check ), and I looked deeply at netbeans the time being and I can still confirm that Eclipse WAS THE WAY to go.
    Worse, now that (SUN) Java and all related technologies have been acquired by Oracle, the future is very dark (Oracle may start asking for royalties for any commercial software for which these technologies are vital).

    Anyway, for what I tested, the integration seems a bit ugly. Tthis is a beta I know, but for a two years work it’s bad. GCC integration under Netbeans (code completion, outlining, … context handling) is really not as good as the integration done under Eclipse. And what’s really strange, is that Microchip bought HITECH, the only company offering a true multiplatform C compiler for PIC under Win/Linux/MAC-OS all fully integrated under Eclipse with wizards, debuggers (soft and hard), … and all is flawlessly working. I dont understand why did they gone for Netbeans instead of Eclipse, a technology fully mastered by the HITECH, the company fully acquired by Microchip.

    1. it is really a matter of taste, I personally think netbeans is much better ide then eclipse and was pleasantly surprised when I seen they went with netbeans.

  2. Oh the irony that this would come out only days after Jobs declared the Java platform Deprecated on the Mac, thus alienating a _ton_ of developers away from their platform. Glad I don’t have to put up with such a dictatorship…

    1. Jobs did not declare Java deprecated! This is just what popular media said. Here’s what Jobs really said:

      Sun (now Oracle) supplies Java for all other platforms. They have their own release schedules, which are almost always different than ours, so the Java we ship is always a version behind. This may not be the best way to do it.


      Do I need to remind you that OSX is the ONLY operating system that provides a JVM by default? Is it so strange they now ask that oracle develops a JVM for them?

      1. Microsoft actually developed the JVM and provided it for years on the Windows platform, until Microsoft broke their agreement with Sun by making Java applications compiled with the Microsoft JVM not cross platform compatible. As for Linux, no one would step up to take develop for the platform, thus leaving it to Oracle by default.

        The problem isn’t that they want Oracle to develop the JVM, its that in order for them to do so (and to have it integrated in anywhere near the level as Apple’s own), they will have to invest _major_ time and manpower resources to redo all of the work that Apple has done up to this point. On top of that, many allege that Apple uses a ton of undocumented APIs in developing their own products (which wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest), which Oracle wouldn’t have access to thus wouldn’t be able to integrate as fully or as seamlessly.

        Finally, though it really isn’t relevant in this situation, they effectively did deprecate it by not allowing any Java made applications in their new Mac OS store. By doing this, now pretty much any company developing software for the Mac will not use Java, causing few end users to install the JVM. If that’s the case, then anyone who does use Java will have a harder time convincing users to install it, and eventually they’ll switch to other platforms, with the eventual result of Java being pushed to the fringes of the OS (not to mention Apple user’s proclivity for expecting their stuff to “just work”, and not want to have to install software just to install software). While that doesn’t affect developers using the platform so much, it sets a precedence alienating Java and OSX.

        So, while its true that Java isn’t dead on the platform, it doesn’t have a bright future. Even if Oracle doesn’t take up the banner and continue producing it for OSX there is the OpenJDK project that can (mostly) fill the gap, but again, not the best case scenario.

      2. apple DID declare java as depreciated, you really need to check your facts

        “As of the release of Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 3, the Java runtime ported by Apple and that ships with Mac OS X is deprecated. Developers should not rely on the Apple-supplied Java runtime being present in future versions of Mac OS X.”

        I have experienced ‘oracles’ distain for the os X platform, both in the lack of database support, and poor licensing.

        Do not expect oracle to support the java VM on OS X, do not expect oracle to do anything that cannot bring them loads of cash.

        Sun made a big mistake by not making java truly open source.

  3. @Ahmed Lazreg:
    Well (personally) I believe Microchip did well choosing Netbeans. They wanted a new IDE supporting both Windows and Linux/OSX with the ability to be extended by 3rd party plug ins. A mature IDE more advanced than they could ever make themselves. So there’s 2 options today when you want this: Netbeans and Eclipse. Personally, I feel Eclipse is more bloated, less intuitive then Netbeans so I’m happy with their choice. They are both Java-based, so your remarks on that make no sense. The whole “Oracle is so bad and evil etc” bashing in general makes no sense really. They NEVER actually said they “may start asking for royalties for any commercial software for which these technologies are vital” or something similar. The whole online community seems to have problems with Oracle for some reason…
    About HITECH: Microchip started working on this project BEFORE they acquired hitech…

    Baseline: Finally cross-platform PIC development! Maybe not perfect YET, this is a huge step forward, towards the community

    1. Have you ever actually worked directly with oracle?

      Its not that oracle is ‘Evil’, but they do insist that ALL Oracles technologies are licensed on a yearly basis. The reality is that you cannot run any oracle technology without a license, this includes ALL code produced by their tools.

      I’m fairly familiar with their license policies , because we used to run oracle as the in house database, and I extensively use ‘JDeveloper” even for my non-oracle java coding.

      Again they are very very clear that all uses of the software and systems must be covered by the relevant licenses and payments.
      Their business model is not about to allow massive companies to get a ‘free ride’ off the back of java.
      That is to say if you use java commercially, then you can expect some sort of paid license system, why else did they buy Sun?

      1. Behind the scenes there is more going on about Java licensing since Oracle acquired Sun than the public including the media may be aware of, so far. I have heard from companies using Oracle data bases inhouse for many years and selling Java based products/applications that they are preparing to move away from Oracle by replacing both the data bases and the Java VMs in their products … obviously to reduce expected license payments to Oracle.

        Whatever Oracles official licensing policy for Java will be, the good news about MPLAB X is that the MPLAB C32 (for PIC32MX) and C30 (for PIC24 and dsPIC) compilers are available for Linux and Mac OS X now – the MPLAB C18 compiler will follow soon. With HI-TECH’s technology Microchip can always switch over from Netbeans to Eclipse for the IDE should Oracle start to wring money out of Netbeans and Java VM based applications …

      2. @hardcode, they got sun mostly because of the hw business, everything else was just a +.

        Note that 80+% of Oracle middle-ware uses Java, don’t believe in FUD spread by competitors, Oracle don’t intend to reduce Java’s footprint and that said that on OW many times. They already invested in Java team in this few months 10 times more then Sun did in past 2 years… So don’t be afraid of Oracle…

        The major incompatibility between Oracle and FOSS is that Oracle do not want to, ever, talk about future releases, so you only know what is current. They do this with both commercial and open source product they have (don’t forget that MySQL’s transactional engine, InnoDB is owned by Oracle for almost 10 years, they never stopped working on it and they made it super good, and it is still open source … contrary to the FUD spread by competitors)…

        Again, don’t worry about Java, Oracle is not stupid :), and as for the netbeans, kudoes to the microchip to go with better but less popular tool. I was sure they’d go with eclipse as more popular tool, but looks like they went for the better solution, anyhow, compilers are installed in /opt/microchip and you have cli there so you can simply integrate them with Eclipse if you like…

  4. I doubt that Oracle bought Sun for the hardware business – more for hardware related technologies and know-how (OS, virtualization), for the Java technology and the rights as well as other software like StarOffice. Maybe they intend to expand their customer base and cash in via Suns server customer base as well, so it’s rather unlikely that they are interested in the server hardware business itself. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them sell the server hw business rather soon unless they plan to offer complete packages consisting of HW, OS, DB, MW and applications to their customers for rent in the future.

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