It seems that the next big thing for MPLAB, Microchip’s IDE, is going to be a move to NetBeans. MPLAB is, mostly, a pretty good place to develop embedded software for the Microchip PIC processors. All the variants from the venerable 16F84 up to the latest 32-bitdevices are catered for. Editing, programming and debugging can all be done from one handy-dandy application. Of course, it has its limitations…
Chief among these, for me, is that it will only run on Windows and I mostly use a mac at home. In fact, almost the only thing I need a windows PC for at home is working on my micromoice that use the dsPIC processor. Although I shall soon switch all new development to the STM32, there will remain a need to code for the dsPIC on the older mice.
Microchip have recognised that there is more to the world than Windows and so they are going to be releasing the next MPLAB generation using the NetBeans IDE. NetBeans is a Java based IDE capable of many tasks. Think of it as like clipse but much, much nicer – and smaller.
Don’t let the Java thing put you off either. Gone are the days when Java applications were automatically big and slow with wierd user interfaces. NetBeans will run on windows, OSX and Linux and runs pretty well identically on all platforms. I already use it as the platform of choice when I have code to edit. In fact, at home, I have the mouse code set up to be edited on the desktop Mac using NetBeans and only switch over to the windows laptop to compile and download to the target.
For my part, I can’t wait for the NetBeans version of MPLAB to become available.
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