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RobotC 2.0 issues 
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Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:51 pm
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Post RobotC 2.0 issues
I'm evaluating RobotC 2.0 for Vex. I used it to create a scorekeeping controller for an FRC pre-ship scrimmage last weekend.

While writing the code and running the matches, I ran into a couple serious issues.

1) Using F5 to "Compile and Download" only compiles the first time. After that, it downloads the same code over and over without rebuilding. You have to use F7 to recompile.

2) If you start a debugger session and leave it running for more than a few minutes (like 4-5), the debugger communications with the Vex hang. The debugger appears responsive, but isn't really working. You have to quit and restart the RobotC IDE to recover. However, the Vex appears to still be running fine, even though the debugger hung. You can prevent this problem if you quit the debugger session and start a new one before the communications hang. But if you need a session to last more than 4-5 minutes or need to re-attach to a running program without restarting it, you're out of luck.

3) A couple times during my program development, the editor got into a strange state where it kept trying to put bookmarks on the line I was editing, or prevented me from scrolling, or kept selecting text when I single clicked. I had to restart the IDE to recover.

Other than that, it seems quite promising. I really liked the virtual LCD panel.

Thanks,
Terry

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Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:18 am
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Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 10:44 am
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Post Re: RobotC 2.0 issues
Hey Terbos,

Thanks for the note.

1) We actually noticed this after the release of 2.01. The dev team is currently working on 2.02 which will fix this issue. For now you have to Save, then Compile, then download separately.

2 and 3) can you provide any way to re-create the issue? Let us know what your running on your laptop (specs) and also if there is any extra hardware. Also let us know what anti-virus software you're running too. Anything to help us understand why it's happening.

Thanks

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Need more support? Email ROBOTC Support at support@robotc.net to put in a support ticket

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Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:03 pm
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Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:51 pm
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Post Re: RobotC 2.0 issues
Hi,

Thanks for the reply.

The IDE glitches happened mostly when I was first learning the environment. I stopped noticing them after a while. So these may be obscure things I was doing before I knew what I really wanted to do. The main operations seem reliable. If I find any specific thing that causes the problems, I'll be sure to let you know.

While I'm thinking about it, I also had one more bug report and one feature request:
- The debugger wouldn't stop at breakpoints in tasks other than main. It would only stop on breakpoints in main.
- I couldn't figure out any way to use the interrupt ports as regular inputs. This is allowed in all the other development environments I've used and I had to modify my hardware configuration because of this limitation in RobotC. If at all possible, please allow the interrupt ports to be used as inputs.

It's easy for me to recreate the debugger hang. It happened very repeatably at my event last Sunday. If you want to recreate it, I can either send you my program, or I can describe my setup and you can try to reproduce it on your own.

The system is pretty vanilla:
PC: WinXP (all current patches) running on an Acer One netbook; I was always running on hard power, not battery.
Anti-virus: AVG free
USB devices: Microsoft wireless laptop mouse; Vex comms cable.

The Vex:
- Mounted in a box. I tried running on battery and on a power adapter, but it didn't make any difference.
- The I/O ports come out on a custom breakout card to a ribbon cable to another breakout board.
- The TX/RX ports are disconnected. I don't actually have an LCD display (yet)

The code:
- I have one main thread and one task thread.
- The main thread runs in a loop that samples several inputs and updates the LCD display with scores.
- The task thread updates some status lights based on a timer and sleeps for 500ms. It also updates a heartbeat marker in the LCD display, which I added to diagnose this problem. i.e. the problem existed before I updated the LCD from the task thread.

Running:
- When I want to run a match, I start the debugger (with virtual LCD open) and start my program. If I do nothing else, I see the heartbeat flash in the virtual LCD for about 4 minutes and then it stops (I was too busy to get an exact timing that day). Based on my custom status lights on the Vex, I can tell that the program is still running.
- Closing and restarting the debugger does not fix the problem. I have to quit all the way back to the desktop to get it working again.
- If I quit the debugger before it hangs and restart it, then I get another 4 minute window of operation.

My guess is that there's some sort of timer or packet count on the debugger that rolls over and kills the comms. Look for something like that first.

Thanks,
Terry

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Fri Feb 26, 2010 11:29 am
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Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 10:44 am
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Post Re: RobotC 2.0 issues
Thanks Terry, I'll send this to the dev team.

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Vu Nguyen
Software Training Development Team | Webmaster
Need more support? Email ROBOTC Support at support@robotc.net to put in a support ticket

Robotc.net| Robomatter Store | Robotics Academy | CS2N


Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:45 am
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