Which Programming Platform Should I Use?

Hi, I can’t decide which programming platform to get with my shiny new Vex parts.

In the past, I’ve used EasyC. I know how to use it, how to fiddle with it, and how to code in it fairly well. I’ve had a bit of programming experience in “real” languages for non robot applications as well. As I purchase my own Vex parts, I’m trying to decide if I’m ready to step up to MPLAB or RobotC, or if EasyC would be adequate.

On one hand, I want the challenge of a new programming platform. On the other hand, I want a safe programming system that I know how to use so the robot I plan to build will actually work, especially because the robot I want to build will have (probably) a holonomic chassis, which is difficult to program.

Basically, will my basic programming experience make learning MPLAB or RobotC possible? Can I make the leap from EasyC? Should I save up for longer and buy both?

Do you have EasyC now? Then stick with it.

The three C’s (EasyC, MPLabs C and Robot C) are all versions of C. So none of them are going to be a “challenge” to learn if you know one of the others. I use MPLabs C and RobotC, my STEMRobotics partner uses EasyC and RobotC; so far we’ve been able to move programs back and forth between the three.

I’ve asked IFI about Java and Forth on the current controller (there is enough space to put an entire Forth editing environment on the controller) , there was no interest.

I’d love to see a Java environment for the VEX, and the new controller has the capability to do that. (Which is the long term answer, you want controller power and different languages, get the new controller.)

In summary, any of the current C compilers are fine. If you want more choices then wait until the new controller comes out and get that.

And there is a current huge thread that is worth reading about what language to use

Do you know of any “small” Forth implementations in Source Code?? I found a Spec from MIT Media Labs for Cricket LOGO. Cricket LOGO is implemented on the Handy Cricket in what sounds like 2K of ROM on a Microchip PIC16C715.

Java, that would be interesting to see done…

I mentioned a couple possibilities for the Current Vex Controller on Post #18. SDCC is done, see Thread SDCC for Vex is here!.

You could upgrade to easyC Pro if you want to try typing your own code, this would allow you to play with structures. Also all the extra sensors and such that we added to easyC Pro.

i would try to use MPLAB too. it really is a great experience but does require some learning. but in the long run, it will help you a greaty deal, especially for other robots. like this bot i built, programed it in MPLAB, and EasyC Pro, but with EasyC Pro, i still used some of the C programming features.

hope this might encourage you to try C programming in MPLAB, but instead i used the IFI Robotics hardware, though all you need to do something like this with vex is setup MPLAB for vex.
Air Cannon 002.jpg

actually, easyC is an icon based programming language, and doesn’t have as many possibilities as robotC, i don’t know anything about MPLabs, but robotC is a language where you type in code, which is much more like C, so i recommend RobotC

+1 For RobotC.

I like the fact that I can write the code and really make the values the way I want them, and if you’ve done some written coding in the past, you’ll find that RobotC is really easy to adapt to.

You can write code for EasyC Pro, but I do like RobotC quite a lot, mostly b/c of the debugger. That and you can do a little multi-threading (I never figured out how to do that on EasyC, or even if you can do it).