LED Matrix SourceBoost IDE Plugin
SourceBoost Technologies has put together a nice set of tools for Microchip PIC development. Its IDE has adopted some features I find MPLAB seriously lacking. For instance docking windows would be nice, multiple code windows in MPLAB can be a mess. One of my favorite features in the SourceBoost IDE is the ability to create custom plugins, and thats exactly what todays post entails. Back in 2005 when I made this plugin, SourceBoost provided a sample Visual Studio project for creating custom plugins. This is apparently no longer available on their website. The LED Matrix plugin is based on it, and can be used to create your own plugins.
The following files makeup the plugin:
- Main Plugin Application – PluginApp.cpp
- Configuration Dialog – PluginConfigureDlg.cpp
- State & Configuration – PluginData.cpp
- Simulator Hooks – PluginHookup.cpp
- Paint Plugin Window – PluginView.cpp
The LED Matrix plugin requires 16 port pins, which are defined in the configuration screen. 8 pins drive each column, and 8 pins drive each row of the matrix.While simulating, you can watch the columns being scanned across the matrix. In the configuration screen, by selecting ‘Use Column Persistence’ you can somewhat emulate a persistence of view. When activated each led, once lit, will not extinguish until its column is selected again. Installing the plugin is as easy as dropping the generated plugin DLL into the SourceBoost program directory. For me, this is C:\Program Files\SourceBoost.
For brevity, I’ll cut explanations short and just provide you an example of how to use the plugin.