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Opinion: Why IDEs for hardware design fail

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gtx
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re: Opinion: Why IDEs for hardware design fail
gtx   9/20/2012 2:53:29 PM
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A good alternative to Eclipse is Netbeans, at least for software development. Its plugins are user developed, but the platform is backed by Oracle.

nosnhojn
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re: Opinion: Why IDEs for hardware design fail
nosnhojn   9/17/2012 7:37:35 PM
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Oops... the link was right but my editing was wrong (there's an extra '.' at the end of the link that shouldn't be there). Here it is again... http://eclipsetutorial.sourceforge.net/totalbeginner.html -neil

Brian13
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re: Opinion: Why IDEs for hardware design fail
Brian13   9/14/2012 4:12:53 PM
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Your link does not appear to work.

MindTech
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re: Opinion: Why IDEs for hardware design fail
MindTech   9/13/2012 9:18:09 PM
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IDEs, at their best, are a competent framework that the user's can add to (often via plug-ins) to enhance their capability. At their worst they are bad editors that you must use to preform certain actions. Even in the software world there are lots of bad IDEs. Eclipse is probably a good place to start for an open hardware IDE, as it provides essentially a bare platform for building your IDE. It's a text editor that understands two major concepts: a project has multiple files in it and there are different activities that have different views. Everything else is sauce. Lots of software sauce has been written (so many plugins!) and that is often packaged up into a final "IDE". The only problem I have with Eclipse is that it never quite feels cohesive, like all the plugins are just about to fly apart...

Gordon McGregor
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re: Opinion: Why IDEs for hardware design fail
Gordon McGregor   9/13/2012 8:34:45 PM
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I think there is also the issue of incentives and eating your own dog food as far as the IDE developers are concerned. For most software IDEs I suspect the IDE developers are using the IDEs on a daily basis, often for the purposes of developing the IDE itself or other software products. They are invested in the IDE being useable and have the means to improve their own experience. I'm doubtful about how many EDA IDE developers are actually using their tools in anger, on a frequent basis, to actually do chip design work. Many of the most crazy usability issues would probably be resolved quickly then (e.g., IDE/ waveform viewers that default to binary - most non-toy examples aren't 8bit any more and binary as a default for busses doesn't make much sense) It's frustrating because there are large performance gains that can be made using a decent IDE (real time syntax checking alone can save you hours a week in not waiting for compiles to fail, with an editor that can flag verilog typos as you make them). But most of the IDEs seem tuned to helping users get through a training class and then mostly getting in the way after the first few weeks.

llemieng
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re: Opinion: Why IDEs for hardware design fail
llemieng   9/13/2012 11:36:49 AM
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'SlickEdit' offers some superficial language support, similar to what Emacs and Vim have. Real IDEs have in-depth knowledge of the design, show errors instantaneous & offer resolutions for them. They offer multiple views to analyze the design and make it possible to make big changes quickly and accurately. Try developing some C++ in visual studio or java in intellij and you'll quickly notice how big the difference is.

rfindley
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re: Opinion: Why IDEs for hardware design fail
rfindley   9/13/2012 7:54:26 AM
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My gold-standard for IDEs is 'SlickEdit'. It is purely dedicated toward streamlining everything about programming. It easily boosted my productivity by 2x (no kidding!), mostly via the code navigation, preview windows, and intelligent tagging. You can also integrate any command-line tools from your hardware tool vendor, e.g. to build your FPGA/EDA project for you. And that's only scratching the surface. VHDL, Verilog, and System Verilog support aren't yet perfect, but they are pretty good, and getting better all the time. I would love to see the hardware vendors take advantage of SlickEdit's OEM integration program to make use of the SlickEdit engine. Then they could add their implementation-specific icing to the cake. Oh... and they have an Eclipse version if you so desire.

nosnhojn
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re: Opinion: Why IDEs for hardware design fail
nosnhojn   9/12/2012 5:58:29 AM
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Philippe, Nice article. I don't think many hardware developers have seen a decent IDE. Until we do, we won't know what we're missing... nor ask for what we're missing... and carry on our merry way. fwiw... I found the eclipse/java for total beginners tutorial to be a great crash course in what an IDE can do for a person: http://eclipsetutorial.sourceforge.net/totalbeginner.html. Not the right language but it's eye-opening nonetheless and easy to get through. From there people can see the power of an IDE and start looking for better than what they're using currently. maybe :). -neil

cdhmanning
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re: Opinion: Why IDEs for hardware design fail
cdhmanning   9/12/2012 3:14:32 AM
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Pretty much the same reasons why many software developers hate IDEs too.

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