Jack Gassett Posted September 18, 2017 Report Share Posted September 18, 2017 Hello everyone, its been quiet in the forums and at GadgetFactory in general. Just wanted to do a quick update and talk about future direction. First of all, I had a bit of a change up in the last six months. With two new boys in the last couple of years I had to make the decision to move on from working full time on Papilio boards and get a full time job. I've been quiet because it has taken a little time to adjust to working at the new job and continuing work on Papilio boards. I think I finally have things figured out and have a good schedule to work on both. Since time is limited I want to focus on getting back to basics with the Papilio FPGA boards. I think that the DesignLab efforts have not really been useful for many people and it is too much to keep maintaining it going forward. The approach of using the schematic editor has just not worked out as well as I hoped it would and overall it is too hard for anyone to contribute to DesignLab. Lesson learned, I need to get back to accepted industry standard techniques and back to VHDL/Verilog going forward. I'd like to start migrating all of the stuff that is currently in DesignLab into smaller and easier to maintain projects. To those ends this is how I'm thinking to proceed: What is needed (what DesignLab currently does that we want to keep): A way to manage libraries - people need an easier way to add VHDL/Verilog libraries to their projects then what Xilinx ISE provides. A repository for ZPUino Soft Processor projects - DesignLab has several ZPUino SOC projects embedded within it. We need to provide these projects outside of DesignLab. Arduino Integration - We need to make all the sketches from DesignLab available in the latest version of Arduino IDE or a cloud IDE. (Nice to have) Continuous Integration for the automatic generation of bit files for the ZPUino projects. (Nice to have) Xilinx ISE build environment in the cloud. (Nice to have) Cloud based IDE instead of Arduino IDE. Ideas to get there: I like the way node.js manages libraries. I'm thinking to use npm for the libraries and then write node.js code to add libraries to the .xise and .prj files when they are added with npm. Github is the first place that comes to mind but the problem is that it is too hard to organize projects there. I have so many projects there that it is hard for anyone to find anything and there is no good way to organize projects. GitLab allows directories and subdirectories and they have Continuous Integration functionality built in. Perfect for number 4 above. The Arduino IDE has come a long way since we forked from it for DesignLab. THey have made it much easier to add custom boards and programmers. There really should be no need for a fork anymore, we just need to make a custom programmer, board type, and libraries. As mention in 2, GitLab has continuous integration built in. I've already tested it out and have it up and running for a couple ZPUino projects. I have my own personal Xilinx ISE and ZPUino build environment setup as an AMI at Amazon AWS. When I do any development work I just spin up the AMI as a spot instance at Amazon. When I commit code to GitLab it connects to the runner in the running instance at Amazon and kicks off the build process there. It then published the bin and bit files as artifacts that I can then download and run on my board. I can even see all the build logs... If we could publish an AMI or Docker image that has the entire build environment ready to go and people just download and add a Xilinx license file then this might greatly help alleviate the pain of downloading and setting up the tools. What is described in step 5 above is a little tedious when it comes to actually development. It would be nice to use a cloud development IDE like cloud9 for development and have the building happen on a docker instance or something... Jack. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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