Beta test release - Windows and Linux

Technical

Technical Support
Staff member
#1
Beta test release - Windows Linux Mac

Revolution Education are pleased to announce the release of the free PICAXE compilers for Windows, Linux and Mac. The compilers take a BASIC program (saved as a text file), compile it, and then download it into the PICAXE chip via either an AXE026 serial or an AXE027 USB cable.

We are currently at open beta testing stage and would like feedback on how the compilers operate, particularly on a variety of Linux distributions.

Why release compilers?

We are often asked by people how they can
  • integrate PICAXE downloads into their own software application
  • use their ‘favourite’ text editor and then download the PICAXE program
  • use platforms (e.g. Mac) not currently supported by the main PICAXE software
The compilers provide a simple free solution for all these issues on all the major computer platforms.

More preliminary detailed information about use of the compilers is available at:
www.rev-ed.co.uk/docs/beta_compiler.pdf

Current Testing Status:
Windows - open beta test
Linux - open beta test
Mac - open beta test

Windows CE - under development
iPhone / iPod Touch - under development

Beta testing program:
To take part in the open beta testing program you will require:
  • A computer running Windows or Linux or Mac OSX Intel
  • A PICAXE chip on a project board
  • An AXE027 USB or AXE026 serial cable
  • A basic prior understanding of command line (console) programs
Basically we would like you to create and download programs into the PICAXE chips on a variety of hardware and operating systems. We do not require feedback on whether the program compiles correctly – the same source code (as already used for the PICAXE Programming Editor) is used on all platforms and so there is no difference between the compiled programs on the different platforms. We are more interested in how you get on with software integration and downloads on the various platforms.

Thanks for your interest and enjoy!

Related Downloads:

Windows
Compiler instructions: www.rev-ed.co.uk/docs/beta_compiler.pdf
AXE027 USB cable setup: www.rev-ed.co.uk/docs/axe027.pdf
Windows compilers: www.rev-ed.co.uk/software/picaxe.zip
Visual BASIC 6 example: www.rev-ed.co.uk/software/axedemo.zip
Visual BASIC.net example: www.rev-ed.co.uk/software/axedemo_net.zip

Linux
Compiler instructions: www.rev-ed.co.uk/docs/beta_compiler.pdf
AXE027 USB cable setup: www.rev-ed.co.uk/docs/axe027.pdf
Kate (KDE) instructions: www.rev-ed.co.uk/docs/beta_kate.pdf
Linux compilers: www.rev-ed.co.uk/software/picaxe.tgz

Mac
Compiler instructions: www.rev-ed.co.uk/docs/beta_compiler.pdf
AXE027 USB cable setup: www.rev-ed.co.uk/docs/axe027.pdf
AXE027 USB cable driver: www.rev-ed.co.uk/software/axe027_mac_intel.dmg.zip
AXE027 USB cable driver: www.rev-ed.co.uk/software/axe027_mac_powerpc.dmg.zip
Mac compilers: www.rev-ed.co.uk/software/picaxe_mac_intel.zip
 
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Texy

Senior Member
#3
Just done a quick test on XP with my 18X and it works fine with the USB download cable.
I noticed that the compiler reports the Memory used, but does not
report Data used.

I,m interested in knowing how (with future releases) my iPhone can be used
to compile and download code. Will a special cable be made available?

Texy
 

Technical

Technical Support
Staff member
#4
iPhones/iPod Touchs have an in built serial port. Therefore in theory you can download directly (wihout a USB cable), this actually makes life much easier than other devices which are USB only. We are making a 'ipod/iphone' to serial cable adapter. But before you go tinkering with your phone please remember they are very expensive and anything above 3.3V will zap them!

The software is proving a bit painful, but we will get there - the SDK helps a lot! However there are some undocumented bit and pieces that we still need to resolve.
 

Texy

Senior Member
#5
Well I didnt know that (iphone serial port):rolleyes:
I,ll not be tinkering with my iphone until the cable/software is available. I guess you be making an offical 'app', to install via
iTunes?
Texy
 

Technical

Technical Support
Staff member
#7
We've updated the info on the first post as the beta test now includes updated files for all PICAXE variants and a Mac OS X (intel) version.

The beta is now v0.2 which corrects some issues previously fed back.
 
#8
Another great piece of software for Mac

Only thing is that you have drivers for both Intel and PPC Apples, but only compilers for Intel. So will there be a release of the compilers for PPC? On another note will the source code for the compilers be released because writing a GUI compiler is more difficult when the program has to be saved then ran in another application.
 

Technical

Technical Support
Staff member
#9
Yes, PPC is planned. No, source code will not be released. The purpose of the compilers is to compile & download programs, you do not need to write your own compiler. Simply save the BASIC as a text file and then call the compiler.
 
#10
I use PICAXE most for educational purposes at an Apple school. Trying to teach them to compile through terminal was going to be really difficult, so I thought I would create a GUI in XCode as a Cocoa Application, but these pre-compiled compilers have made making the GUI application difficult. Saving the file first would have to be the most roundabout way to do it!
 
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Technical

Technical Support
Staff member
#11
Saving the file first would have to be the most roundabout way to do it!
No, it is very straight forward.

If you write a GUI all you need is a Run button / menu. That is all the students need to know about - press the button and download! Students should not have to save etc. or use console windows.

If you write your own GUI what the Run button should do (in the background) is
1) save the text on screen in a temporary file
2) shell the compiler using the temporary file name
3) report back the messages from the .err file

This is standard procedure for this type of application.
 
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