What's the best PIC compiler out there?

Thread Starter

Wolframore

Joined Jan 21, 2019
2,541
Looking for suggestions for PIC compiler. There's MPLAB and so many others. I've looked around there are so many, would love to learn from your personal experience.
 
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Jon Chandler

Joined Jun 12, 2008
192
If you're familiar with Basic, look at Swordfish Basic for PIC18F-series micros. It's a very full-featured language similar to Visual Basic that compiles fast, efficient code. It makes coding quick and easy.


The "special edition" is a free trial version with very generous limits – so generous that many users never need to upgrade to the paid version.
 

sagor

Joined Mar 10, 2019
695
There is also Great Cow Basic, which is free. Not sure how modern the PIC selection is, but they do support a lot of chips including the AVR series.
For older chips, I still use Oshonsoft Basic Simulator (IDE) due to the emulation/simulation I can run to test the code. Most of my code is simple things like logic selection, etc.
 

Jon Chandler

Joined Jun 12, 2008
192
Good point about Swordfish – due to the efforts of some outstanding volunteers, there is on-going support for the latest PIC18F-series micros.
 

evanvenn

Joined Oct 11, 2009
1
There is also Great Cow Basic, which is free. Not sure how modern the PIC selection is, but they do support a lot of chips including the AVR series.
For older chips, I still use Oshonsoft Basic Simulator (IDE) due to the emulation/simulation I can run to test the code. Most of my code is simple things like logic selection, etc.
PIC selection... covers all the 8bit PICs, also has PPSTOOL and a host of other tools to manage the new PICs.
 

John P

Joined Oct 14, 2008
1,974
How would Great Cow Basic compare with XC8 in free mode, assuming a reasonably competent person wrote code for a similar task in both cases? I mean how would they compare in output code size and execution speed?
 

sagor

Joined Mar 10, 2019
695
How would Great Cow Basic compare with XC8 in free mode, assuming a reasonably competent person wrote code for a similar task in both cases? I mean how would they compare in output code size and execution speed?
Good question. You will have to find someone who has used both compilers for the same "project" or code. That may be hard to find.
That said, most of these compilers create ASM code as an interim step, and looking at that code, I see a few cases of extra lines of code here and there, but not much. It would also depend on how the Basic code was written. My best guess comparing Oshonsoft Basic to the ASM code it produces, there seems to be about 10% more overhead code compared to one ASM code I converted to Basic to do the same function. But, that was a small piece of code, so the comparison may not be fair.
 
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