PicBasic vs. C

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Hey everybody,

I'm faced with the task of convincing my boss to purchase a C compiler for
the PIC18F's, and I wanted to gather some thoughts from more experienced
engineers (I'm a recent graduate).  We currently use PicBasic Pro, which has
worked fine since most of our projects are fairly small (< 2000 lines).
However, we're starting to move towards larger projects, and I strongly feel
that C is much better suited for larger programs.  What are your thoughts as
to the relative advantages/disadvantages of C vs. PicBasic?

There are a few catches to the situation, however.  First, since we already
own the PicBasic Pro compiler, it will be extremely difficult talking him
into shelling out $500 - $1000 for a C compiler.  Also, he does not know C,
so he will view the move as pushing him out of the engineering aspect of the
company.  Does anyone have any thoughs, recommendations, or warnings on how
to approach my boss with this somewhat delicate situation?

Alex Parkinson

Re: PicBasic vs. C
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I think the larger question is what will having a C compiler buy that the
PicBasic Pro compiler won't? It's entirely possible that PicBasic Pro suits
your company's needs just fine and will for some time.

So I think the question is now how to approach your boss, but instead gather
pros/cons so you fully understand the benefits/tradeoffs to going such a
direction. PicBasic Pro may be just what the company needs.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a C guy all the way (BASIC is too inflexible for my
tastes/needs), but I do realize there are plenty of tasks that could be
solved with both BASIC and C. It all depends on the requirements of the


Re: PicBasic vs. C

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Since you're not really moving to bigger projects, as the
PICs do have some limits, you might as well stay with the
PicBasic. All you need is some type checking of the language.

The program has to look structured and understandable, aka
selfdocumenting, what more ?


Re: PicBasic vs. C

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For one, there are almost certainly more C than Basic compilers for pretty
much any microcontroller, the PIC series included. If one compiler should
fail you, there are others to be add.  All is not lost.  It's just that the
C language
extensions for microcontrollers tend to vary from one compiler to the next.
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The great selling point here, as I point to those who call our own company
is the cost of an engineer's time versus the cost of the tools.  For good
many years
now the cost of an engineer's time in relation to the cost of the tools has
going up markedly.  So, for a project of any sizable budget, it pays to get
the very
 best tools you can lay your hands on.  I'd recommend you start by
the HI-TECH compiler.

Dave Bardon, Avocet

P.S. We don't have tools for the PIC18 series

Re: PicBasic vs. C
Another argument,
for you: not to go to C,
for your boss: goto C,
C is much more widely used,
so it's much easier to find a subcontracter (in India perhaps?),
who does the job faster and cheaper ;-)
Stef Mientki

Alex Parkinson wrote:
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