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Author Topic: WinAVR dead in the water... (sort of)  (Read 1886 times)
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The WinAVR project is now marked as "inactive" as is seems Atmel are going to do this internally (as the maintainer is an Atmel employee anyway) and it looks like this will be rolled into AVRstudio 5 due very soon.

How will this change effect the Arduino development environment?

Cheers

Nick
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I was wondering that myself.  avr-gcc and etc remain independent projects; winavr is just a convenient pre-packaged conglomeration.  So the worst that would happen (assuming that AVRStudio starts including gcc) is that windows users would have to install AVRStudio separately from the rest of Arduino (sort of the way linux users have to install gcc separately now), or the arduino team will have to build their own gcc package (not hard, but no longer automatically compatible with winavr...)
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I don't know that it will affect the Arduino in the slightest, it won't stop working with the current generation of chips (unless there is a kill switch smiley-razz) it may mean that we have to cobble together a program oneday as a compiler for the new chips, but given the popularity of AVRs we should be OK.
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I think you're missing the point entirely - you don't "cobble together" the WinAVR toolchain - the actual build is a small part of the process - regression testing across the multiple supported platforms is far more demanding.

The "current generation" of chips is a constantly moving target. Whilst the Arduino has tended to stay in one small sub-group, in a while, that'll go and be replaced by something else. It won't effect the majority of users, but it will effect the effort needed to make the project go forward.

GCC is a non-trivial toolchain to build (I've done builds & ports to other chips myself), and the Arduino dev environment depends on a huge amount of work done on avr-libc & the avr-gcc port - this is ongoing, but in the absence of a third-party delivered build, the Arduino team may well have to do it themselves - in theory, this is not too complex, in practice it can be distinctly non-trivial.

Luckily, it seems that Atmel may allow an equivalent of the WinAVR tree to be split off from the AVRstudio 5 build, but as it is very much early days on that and they are making no clear statement, no-one can be sure.

Nick
« Last Edit: July 10, 2010, 03:16:00 am by nickds1 » Logged

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Hi All,

I am the creator and admin of WinAVR.

Yes, I marked the project as inactive. But for a reason.

WinAVR is not really going away. Yes, Atmel is releasing it's own AVR GCC toolchain... which is really just a continuation and evolution of WinAVR. I have set WinAVR as inactive, because it made no sense to me to be working on two identical projects, one of which would be in my spare time.

The AVR GCC toolchain (including the AVR port of GNU Binutils) is not going away either. I'm now one of the co-maintainers of the AVR port on GCC, and I can assure you that development will not only continue, but expand. It's happening right now behind the scenes.

The same goes with avr-libc. I'm also one of the co-maintainers of avr-libc. My colleague, Joerg Wunsch, and I are both committed to maintaining this project and expanding it when reasonable, and as time permits.

Almost all open source projects, including Arduino, are run by volunteers. Even though I may be at Atmel now (and have been there for a few years now), I worked on embedded systems for several years before this, and also worked on the AVR toolchain as a volunteer for quite some time. We always appreciate any sincere help on any aspect of these open source projects, even though some of the skills required may take some time to learn. Help is always welcome.

Hopefully this will clear up some of the speculation surrounding this issue. I'm a somewhat regular poster on the AVR Freaks website in the AVR GCC Forum there. My user ID there is "EW". At the very least, all the regular posters on AVR Freaks know me. However, I'm not a regular poster here (this is my first). So if anyone has any questions, please feel free to send me an email. I'll do my best to answer any questions, within what is reasonably allowed.

 smiley
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