Intelitek is always looking to improve our products and would like to know what features our customers would you like to see in future versions of easyC?
First of all, with the latest releases of easyC, we have noticed that the download speed has improved tremendously and we are grateful for that. One feature we would like to have however is missing at the moment.
User functions are organized in order of when they were added or created with no way to change it. We would like to have an option to reorganize the list via a drag and drop system.
#1 on my list would be completely overhauling the V2 version’s variable declaration GUI - I can’t stand how clumsy/awkward it is when I try to navigate within it; especially when I am creating a new program and I want to initially declare a long list of variables. What specifically would you change?
#2 is wanting to be able to edit the source code text. Once a program reaches a non-trivial size, editing it using the flowchart (even with zoom set for the smallest icons) is becomes nearly impossible. - A text editor is already in easyC Pro, breaking large tasks into functions can help reduce the size of your main loop.
#3 is being able to determine which (pseudo) Serial port has the USB cable plugged into it, without having to dig through the Windows Control Panel, etc. to look at the computer’s ports. - This has been in easyC V2 and Pro for about a year.
Most of our club uses RobotC, though I (and 254A) still use EasyC Pro (and write all our code outside of EasyC). Our other teams don’t use it because they think the license is too expensive and because the download speed (though improved) is still much slower than in RobotC.
So my suggestions are:
*]Improved download speed.
*]Improved in-program text-editing in EasyC Pro. “Normal” tabbing is my biggest concern - right now, a tab is just four spaces; a new line sends the cursor to the beginning of a new line instead of staying inline with code above. Another thing to consider would be implementing some sort of auto-completion feature.
Another good point that I hadn’t considered, but frequently frustrates me.
We do appreciate the reliability of EasyC, especially now that VEXNet has come out; it seems our RobotC teammates had some trouble where we didn’t. I understand that not all the above suggestions can be implemented practically, but they are ideas.
The ability to specify a user defined terminal window that automatically launches. (TerraTerm, HyperTerm, etc) - or more specifically, a terminal that support VT command set.
I do not like the user functions system in EasyC. I would like all of the user function code in the “Main” window, that way, you don’t have to change windows to see all of the code in your user functions.
I would like a graphics based data entity editor to enter data structures including arrays and C structures into easyC.
Odds are I just don’t know how to do this, but I’d like to be able to copy blocks of function between files (for when you’re trying to integrate two sections of code saved in two different files).
Inside one of the tabs at the very top, there’s something called “add existing function”, click that, find the other file and then find the function you want to add.
I would like to see more interaction between the computer and the microcontroller. Maybe sending live data from the computer to the microcontroller, almost like a reverse “print to screen”, a “print to robot” haha. This could work especially well now that there is wireless communication (VEXnet). Also it would be cool to use a GUI, maybe like robofreak’s project:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5osKkfB0-E. For example, driving the robot with the arrow keys on your keyboard.
I don’t know if any of this is possible I just think it would add a lot of capabilities to the robots!
Actually, I’m torn on whether I’d want a custom PID function built in… or whether I’d want my students to write their own.
It probably makes sense to have it built in, as the concept is more important than the code given what I teach.
Thank you for asking and allowing us to make suggestions for EasyC improvements. I think the program is fundamentally an excellent one and it supports your Vex Robot well. In addition to some of the suggestions made before mine in this message thread I think there should be more of a “product differentiation” between EasyC and EasyC Pro. I would like to suggest a debugging capability for EasyC Pro. Currently the additional “flexibility” in EasyC Pro does not justify the additional $50 expense … a debugging capability would.
I would like to see the following in an EasyC Pro debugger:
- Ability to Step thru the code one line at a time. Also:
a. Step Into
b. Step Over
c. Step Out of
- Ability to have a Watch Window to track variable changes as one steps thru the code.
- Ability to run to a Break Point.
- Ability to set a variable value and run the program until the variable value is reached.
Finally, will EasyC and/or EasyC Pro support the new Cortex and ARM9 controllers, as well as the 0.5 controller?
I would add, have a Built In PID, but also have it well documented, so that the Students could modify it as needed. Kind of like a Frame Work that can be enhanced…
This is excellent feedback everyone, keep it coming.
I would like to see an SDK that I could use to create new blocks (and the libraries that implement them). Ideally, I’d be able to prepare a package that could be distributed as a single file for students to install into a plugins folder. Once that was done, the new blocks would simply show up and be usable like any of the built-in blocks, complete with help.
I realize I can do this to some degree now with User Code, but importing a library with a couple of entry points is not trivial as it stands today, and has to be redone for each new project that is started.
The ability to open more than one project. The ability to write in C or C++ would be nice for those who find that simpler. EasyC in general is a great program that helped me learn the basics of programing continue the great work Intelitek!
Will you ultimately post the features IFI will incorporate into EasyC? If so, a time frame would be nice to know. Also, if the time frame is short enough you might want to solicit Alpha/Beta testers.
I would really appreciate being able to enter multiple variables in a single PrintToScreen block. I currently use User Code, but its tedious. Its a feature I use all the time for debugging. The Graphic Display is too complicated.
I’d also like the function names to be the same for EasyC Pro and EasyC V2. When I’ve run workshops for multiple teams with different versions of EasyC it can be quite confusing.
IFI does not produce easyC Intelitek does, IFI produces the Vex hardware. We are currently good for testers, but if we need an help you will be contacted via PM.
We have setup the PrintToScreen block to allow for you to remove the newline character. This allows multiple variables on a single line. I’d like to know more why the graphic display is too complex, so we might be able to make it easier.
We have incorporated this into the current build that is ready for download.