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Oshonsoft Latest updates what's in them

Discussion in 'Oshonsoft' started by Superdat, May 10, 2017.

  1. Superdat

    Superdat Member

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    Anyone tried the latest offering of updates?
    I'm being asked to renew my "subscription" and although it's not a great deal of money, I'm reluctant because:
    The last 2 or 3 updates included a digital oscilloscope, a serial port monitor, USB programmer (not all may have needed an update) plus updates to the main program. All well and good but the digital oscilloscope was very slow, as was the programmer and both eventually stopped working. I don't do communications so I don't want a serial monitor.

    What I did want was a fix to stop the program crashing when Compile, Assemble and Load was selected. Since this "feature" only appeared in the "new" version of the IDE, I think it should have been fixed free gratis, especially since any code entered is lost if this or F9 is selected. It's not a minor irritation.
    I would also have expected the exclusion to certain AVR chips of PWM, ADCIN and some serial commands that I don't use, to have been fixed by now.
    I have managed to figure out how to make ADC work for AT328P but PWM eludes me. I would have thought that this would be a piece of cake for Vlad.
    The exact improvements to updates are never mentioned, so I upgraded a few times hoping that the above would be included, no such luck. All I got was the latest gizmo e.g. digital oscilloscope which I didn't really want anyway plus invisible fixes? If the symptom and fix are invisible, I can't say if if it was something I needed or not.

    If I still had the pre yearly renewal programs, I would be tempted to go back to the original version. This may seem like heresey, but I'm getting so disillutioned that I've started evaluating GCB.

    So as anyone updated to the latest version and are the above mentioned fixed?
     
  2. ericgibbs

    ericgibbs Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    hi Superdat,
    I stopped buying supposed updates some time ago, the SD card upgrade was a waste of money.
    As you say, the MCU's types with missing features, was supposed to be coming out as a free upgrade, still waiting.
    E
     
  3. Ian Rogers

    Ian Rogers Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    Ditto..

    I haven't used Oshonsoft now since the roll out of subscriptions.. I haven't even updated my software since then..
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. sagor1

    sagor1 Member

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    I did subscribe to the "new" Basic Only subscription, to support Oshonsoft, and never saw any significant upgrades in the year I waited for improvements, nor has there been any significant improvements since the subscription "compiler" started. No wonder the subscription "scheme" is bound to fail...
    The way I see it, the chips are evolving faster than Vladimir can keep up with them. He probably will never catch up to the latest. To his credit, I only use the most basic Pic16F series, for simple projects, and his software (IDE) is way more than enough for that (in fact very good...)
    Promises to upgrade to newer chips may be a false hope on his behalf, there is just too much change, too fast. Other compilers tend to keep up with the newer chips, but they are larger commercial enterprises, with more than one developer.
    My suggestion is to simply keep Oshonsoft as a low level (entry) level IDE for basic types of chips, which it handles very well. Better to fix bugs and improve "a little bit" on some of the entry level chips, and maybe forget the high end stuff. A one man show cannot keep up (in my opinion) with how the microchip market is rapidly evolving. If one needs the "best" compiler for the latest chips (for example 32 bit), then one should possibly look at larger commercial suppliers of IDE.
    I like Oshonsoft, I use it a lot for simple little projects, mostly 8 pin to 28 pin 16F types of chips. Never even got to any 40 pin projects (yet). I think the original IDE is great for testing and debugging these types of projects. Maybe Vladimir should focus on what works well, and forget about the high end stuff. Market Oshonsoft for those simple "hobby" projects, ones he can support (chips he can support). Having a "great" product for low end chips is maybe better than "half baked" product for all chips...
     
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  6. ericgibbs

    ericgibbs Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    hi,
    I agree that Vlad cannot keep up with all the new PIC's being released, but my gripe are the upgrades for older/existing PIC's do not work as advertised.
    Bug reports are usually answered, if you are lucky, by 'add more decoupling' reply, insulting utter rubbish.!!

    E
     
  7. Superdat

    Superdat Member

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    I'm in complete agreement with Sagor. I too am a hobbyist and use whatever 8 bit MP suits my project PIC or AVR.
    I've just looked on Ebay, the full Suite is going for £30, which is very cheap. Maybe Vlad isn't getting enough new custom.
    It is very good but I wonder as to who it is aimed at.
    It is low cost so presumably aimed at hobbyist, also the hardware projects suggest the same. I can't see professional users being interested in a DIY Serial Monior, PIC/AVR programmer etc.
    If that is the case, I can see the following problems.
    Arduino IDE is free and appeals to users who want most of the work done for them by using several "Includes"
    They don't want too much thinking just a flashing LED.
    This was where I came from after starting with JALv2. I needed to get 2 stepper motors working, their controller was fried. At first I was happy with includes but dependance on includes can be limiting especially when you can't find the one you want.
    At this point you either give up or try to understand what the includes are doing. IMO quite a big jump.
    That's when I started looking elsewhere. Being a low skilled hobby programmer I was reluctant to spend £80+ on a compiler but being a child of the Commodore 64 I was fairly competent in Basic.
    So Arduino, Picaxe etc didn't appeal because they did too much for you. Oshonsoft seemed perfect, low cost and Basic. It also seemed to allow access to the clever stuff which was what I was interested in.
    However I did find the Help to be very "tight". The examples were IMO too complex, I couldn't understand the concept being used in some of the explanations so a lot of time was spent figuring out. Since Oshonsoft seemed to be just what I wanted I persevered.
    I noticed a comment from one Oshonsoft user that he was moving on as it was "too limiting". What I think he meant was that there wasn't enough built in support for hardware, i.e. Includes, although that's not what they are called in Oshonsoft. Since microprocessor direct addressing can be used and ASM can be included, I'd say the user is the main limitation.

    Here is I think the conumdrum, Oshonsoft can do some clever stuff if you are good enough but those who are can see its limitations.
    It is a bit too difficult for the "do it all for me" programmer who only wants a quick solution for relatively simple projects.
    The unfinished routines for some MicroPs e.g. AVR's ADC & PWM mean that you have to use either ASM or direct MP commands, off putting for many I reckon.

    The other Freebe competitor is Great Cow Basic. I've tried this and it is very good but it isn't that easy to use, documentation is slightly better than Oshonsoft and its Forum is very active.
    To use things like SPI, you really need to know all about the SPI protocol, mainly because it supports hardware SPI. Although I haven't spent a great deal of time on it, I've yet to convert one of my programs to work with a set of 7 segment LEDs and I'm quite good with them using Oshonsoft.

    I'm reasonably competent now, as mentioned before I did manage to get ADC to work with an ATmega328P using direct addressing. I would not have been able to do this when I first started and I only did it because I bought a number of AT328P then discovered that Oshonsoft didn't fully support them!

    So Oshonsoft is stuck between Arduinoland and High end compilers. My guess is there aren't enough users in that sector. Maybe a better approach is to make it easier for less skilled users to get on board. Vlad is clearly a very competent programmer, but what is painfully obvious to him may not be to a newbe programmer. Move on to Arduino, or PICaxe!

    I've just remembered, I bought a license for a friend who was showing interest and said he had some experience with programming. I asked a few months later how he was getting on, his reply was he couldn't understand it and had bought a PICAxe system which worked fine.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2017
  8. camerart

    camerart Active Member

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    Hi,
    I use Oshonsoft, and for most of the time I'm happy with it. I have spent a lot of time and effort learning Oshonsoft, and for me I would feel it would be wasted of all that effort, and very difficult to change to a different system and language (I've tried). In order to complete some of my projects, I've had to call on the other members who use this forum to write special routines, otherwise I'd be stuck.

    I have to use the simulator for testing, for the invaluable visual effect. There may be other simulators, but I haven't found an alternative, although I haven't made much effort to find one.

    I'm stuck with Oshonsoft, and it looks so promising too. Let's hope there are improvements in the future.

    My difficulties are most probably, due to how I learnt programming, as it was though osmosis. When my son started learning, there were no monitors, and the computer used the only screen in the house, the TV. I used to stare at these hieroglyphs (Incomprehensible writings) being written, then a cheer when a dot appeared. Then another time we sat up till the early hours writing HEX, hoping for a 3D tank to appear, which never did :arghh:

    Camerart.
     
  9. camerart

    camerart Active Member

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    Hi,
    From what I see in this forum, Oshonsoft is slowly going out of favour. If this is so, I find it a shame, because it is potentially a great product. Does any one else think that it may work as open source? I would prefer to donate occasionally rather than pay for the annual subscription (Which I don't actually understand) It could mean that anyone could develop their pet projects, and submit them for all to see. It may become much bigger and he may get more money than what he will get following the direction it is going.

    I have no idea, what a change like this would involve, perhaps it's not viable. What do you think?
    Camerart.
     
  10. Ian Rogers

    Ian Rogers Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    Hi C

    I lost interest when he changed the goal posts... I was prepared to help as was Eric, However the job of updating his software must have become too demanding... He obviously was holding down a day job and trying to maintain a viable sim / ide... If he wanted to do the sim/ ide full time he needed to ensure an annual income. However! The goods need to be marketable... Listing "To be added in future release" for over 3 years now, isn't good enough!
     
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  11. ericgibbs

    ericgibbs Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    hi,
    I did hear on the grape vine a few years ago that he was ill for quite some time, after that the new development slowed, it now appears to have stopped.

    Looking at the vast array of PIC's, together with all their additional features, now available in the market place, I am not surprised he cannot keep upto date.

    E
     
  12. camerart

    camerart Active Member

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    Hi Both,
    I think you will agree that it is a good system, if kept up to date, so what do you think of my open source idea? By the sound of it, he's got little to loose.
    C.
     
  13. camerart

    camerart Active Member

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    Hi,
    I wrote to Vladimir, with some of the feelings expressed about Oshonsoft. he replied, saying that he is working on it and it will be better in the future.
    Let's hope he succeeds.
    C.
     
  14. Roger Harrold

    Roger Harrold New Member

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    I agree with much that has been said so far. I feel that Vladimir is on a hiding to nothing trying to maintain and develop the product as a one man band, even if he can get enough sales/subscriptions to allow him to make it a full-time job.
    I first came across the product when I had no clue how to use a PIC, and the simulator was a godsend. I have now become quite proficient, and I now have working a radio control system for a garden railway, offering similar facilities to the DCC systems in use on indoor railway, so Oshonsoft has allowed me to go from zero to competent without too much pain or cost. However, when Vladimir moved to a subscription system, I went along with it because I like the product and wanted to help, but the useful updates have been few, if any, since I started subscribing. For example, was there a big demand for Modbus support? I've been waiting for Do....Loop Until for years, and two-dimensional arrays would be nice.
    Vlad should re-target the hobbyist, which I think was his original market, provide good support for low- and mid-range chips and forget the high-end stuff altogether. Anyone in industry using high-end PICs won't go near Oshonsoft, and can afford high-end compilers as well.
     
  15. Ian Rogers

    Ian Rogers Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    Don't get me wrong! Vladimir is up there with the rest.. What he has achieved is fantastic..

    When I started using Oshonsoft, it was "on the ball" however! Microchip leathered the market with better smarter chips.. I would have been a daunting task to make one fits all pic ide... I really do sympathise with Vladimir... The product today is still "fit for purpose"... But I have changed chips at least 5 times since my first endeavour!! The market doesn't stop for one lone developer!!!

    I use SPI and I2C, so making my own hardware routines was a pain, so I bought the C compiler and just ported everything over.. I still have all the picIDE software so I can help here.... I also use the Z80 sim alot as I am a speccy boff!!!
     

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