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Volatile is better for embedded developers [updated]

Posted by Magnus Unemyr on Oct 18, 2016 11:17:00 AM

Note: This blog post was originally published on 26th of July 2016, but has now been republished with additional information on critical regions.

Usually stability is a good thing. Sometimes however, volatile is better. In fact, volatile equals reliability in some cases - in particular for embedded developers. One of the most classic embedded development bugs is NOT using the "volatile" keyword in some variable declarations. If you are thoroughly confused by now, and have no clue what I am writing about, you really need to read this blog post right now.

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Topics: Embedded Software Development

Should your source code be as beautiful as a Shakespeare novel? [how to write readable and maintainable code]

Posted by Magnus Unemyr on Oct 17, 2016 2:19:30 PM

Software developers – like most other professionals – have their own areas where people have strong opinions on how something should be done. For embedded developers, one such area is the “look” of the source code. Few things are so personal to a software developer as the coding style he or she prefers.

You may be a Kernighan and Ritchie (K&R) guy, a Whitesmiths guy, or you are a “rebel” who create your own coding style. Or even worse, you are a coding cowboy who doesn’t follow any coding standard. Either way, a good editor is a critical tool to simplify your coding efforts. This blog post will teach you more on how developers can code in style and how great editors can make your life easier.

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Topics: editing, Software quality, Embedded Software Development

ARM development: what do Cortex developers want from a modern IDE?

Posted by Magnus Unemyr on Sep 21, 2016 11:46:28 AM

In terms of ARM development, many software developers spend a major part of the work week in front of their ARM development tools; primarily the IDE with its integrated C/C++ compiler and debugger. How does a modern ARM IDE compare to what embedded developers were using a few years ago?

In this blog post, I will highlight some of the advances the embedded market has made in terms of the C/C++ IDE (including the compiler and debugger itself) – and in particular, what tool features are now available for ARM Cortex developers specifically.
 
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Topics: ECLIPSE, editing, Debugging, ARM Cortex, version control, issue management, Project migration, GNU tools (GCC/GDB), Embedded Software Development

Read "Advanced development & debugging of ARM-based devices" [whitepaper series]

Posted by Magnus Unemyr on Aug 23, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Old habits can prevent you from making progress. It is often said that even after a long time, you only use the features of a software product you tried when you first installed the product. And so, many ARM Cortex developers still use only basic methodologies like single-stepping, running to breakpoints, and printf() debugging - despite having much more powerful capabilities already installed in their tools.

Make sure you don't fall behind other embedded developers - read this whitepaper to find out what great time-saving and quality-improving capabilities smart developers enjoy!

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Topics: Debugging, ARM Cortex, Getting Started, version control, issue management, Software quality, Embedded Software Development, Atollic TrueSTUDIO

Who is in control of your code - you, or bad luck? [whitepaper series]

Posted by Magnus Unemyr on Aug 16, 2016 10:30:31 AM

Something that separates professional software developers from "cowboy hackers" are their understanding of the importance of sound engineering principles, and following best-practice methodology rather than cranking out unmaintainable code at the speed of light. An example is how they manage their source code throughout the lifetime of the project. There are excellent tools that help developers manage their code; and these tools are free!

Yet, some developers I meet still don't use such tools, and this amazes me all the time. I have heard many lame excuses as to why developers don't use the excellent and free code management tools that are available; and none of those reasons have impressed me a bit. To help embedded developers understand the value of using readily available and free tools for code management, we have written an extensive whitepaper on the subject. This blog post outlines the abstract and provides a link to the free whitepaper.

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Topics: svn, ECLIPSE, Subversion, version control, Software quality, Embedded Software Development

Follow us on social media and get daily educational content [tips and tricks for embedded developers]

Posted by Magnus Unemyr on Aug 11, 2016 7:55:19 PM

Follow us on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, and get free educational content daily. Some content might also be funny or inspirational, like our Twitter series of "Epic software bugs" that highlights some of the most severe programming errors of all time, or the tribute to Ada Lovelace, who became the first programmer over 200 years ago.

Do you want to learn more on ARM Cortex-M debugging, professional embedded development methodology, device driver development, or anything else that is of interest to embedded developers? By following our social media accounts, you will get a constant stream of free educational and otherwise useful content every day!

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Topics: Embedded Software Development

The embedded industry standardize on AGE

Posted by Magnus Unemyr on Aug 2, 2016 10:39:50 AM

The embedded industry has been incredibly fragmented for decades, resulting in inefficiencies and vast duplication of efforts. Small processor core ecosystems had to duplicate commodity "me-too" functionality instead of providing differentiation and innovation. With a plethora of competing CPU cores, the market was full of isolated islands with proprietary microcontroller architectures and their incompatible tool and middleware ecosystems. But finally, the embedded industry is coming of age. In fact, it now standardises on AGE!

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Topics: Embedded Software Development, ECLIPSE, ARM Cortex, GNU tools (GCC/GDB)

Do embedded developers have a future?

Posted by Magnus Unemyr on Jul 28, 2016 9:49:40 AM

A clear trend is there are more and more web- and app developers out there. An article I read recently claimed there are now some 25 million software developers world-wide. True or not, loads of new software developers are coming out of the Universities these days. But how many of those have decent skills in embedded development?

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Topics: Embedded Software Development

Volatile is better for embedded developers

Posted by Magnus Unemyr on Jul 26, 2016 10:43:35 AM

Note: This blog post was updated on 2016-10-18 with added information on critical regions. 

Usually stability is a good thing. Sometimes however, volatile is better. In fact, volatile equals reliability in some cases - in particular for embedded developers. One of the most classic embedded development bugs is NOT using the "volatile" keyword in some variable declarations. If you are thoroughly confused by now, and have no clue what I am writing about, you really need to read this blog post right now.

Read More

Topics: Embedded Software Development

Atollic wishes all customers and partners a fantastic summer holiday!

Posted by Magnus Unemyr on Jul 21, 2016 10:57:24 AM

After a busy spring, most people will enjoy a well-deserved summer holiday during the July or August time-frame. This is true also for the majority of Atollic TrueSTUDIO users; and while we try to be a great and supportive partner easing your efforts at work, we also think you should enjoy a great vacation.

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Topics: Embedded Software Development

Getting Started with TrueSTUDIO - Archived Webinars

Posted by Stephen Martin on Mar 2, 2016 1:28:59 AM

We have posted archived videos of two recent webinars to the atollic.com website: Getting Started with TrueSTUDIO Lite. These webinars cover the details on creating your first C project, using the TrueSTUDIO project wizard, working with build settings, importing a project from another toolchain, and using the debugger. We also answer participants questions about various aspects of using TrueSTUDIO.

With an archived webinar video you can stop, start, go back, and jump-forward so you can get the information you need at the pace that is right for you.

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Topics: Atollic TrueSTUDIO, Embedded Software Development, Getting Started

New Tools and Techniques for Cortex-M Debugging

Posted by Stephen Martin on Feb 29, 2016 11:31:50 PM

Embedded debugging has undergone a revolution thanks to innovations in the hardware and development tools. Gone are the days when you were forced to use command line debug and when you had to rely on blinking LEDs and printf() statements. Today's developers can take advantage of new data visualization and analysis tools that can help you quickly diagnose system problems in real time.

If you are developing for a Cortex-M target we'd like to introduce you to some ways to help you take your debugging to another level: find bugs more easily, and get new insights into the behavior of your system. Over the past year we have written a series of blog articles that will give you a good introduction to some of these easy-to-use tools and techniques.

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Topics: ARM Cortex, Debugging, Embedded Software Development