Hi guys, Like a lot of you I develop devices that need to be programmed, configured and tested in a production environment, often in conjunction with firmware test functions on the embedded device. Much of this is accomplished from Windows PCs using serial and parallel ports and usually involves running small utility programs. Naturally I want to script these procedures to require the minimum amount of human intervention, both for efficiencey and repeatability.
So what scripting tools are you guys using out there? Years ago, I used QuickBasic to quickly knock up this sort of script, usually 1/2 an hour at most, a nice set of serial and parallel port manipulation tools and easy to run little external apps (e.g. a bin2hex utility). Of course QuickBasic is not compatible with modern Microsoft OS's.
My preference is for a simple language that does not have to produce robust shrink-wrap code, isn't bloated with GUI stuff, has serial comms with control over handshake lines, can control parallel port lines, can send data to other apps and receive data from them, read and write files and interact with the user via a console, and can be batched. It should be capable of being modified by Windows programmers, embedded programmers, hardware engineers and production techs without too much of a learning curve - kind of leaves out huge APIs and frameworks.
Some of the tools used around various places I interface with include:
Python: A different language every week, can't do anything on its own but needs a bunch of libraries - and there's 32 different varieties of each. It's also a different language every fortnight.
C# / .Net: Like Python, has way to rich an API but makes the simplest things seem difficult - e.g getting unbuffered bytes from a serial port.
Labview: Really well suited to the task, but difficult for Labview newbies to get to grips with, and damned expensive.
Your ideas would be appreciated.