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Need to write putchar for embedded system

P: n/a
I am working on device that utilizes a Motorola 68HC16 microcontroller. I am
using an old unsupported piece of crap Whitesmith's / Intermetrics / Tasking
compiler. The embedded compiler business was quite insestual for while
wasn't it? I need to write putchar so that printf can function properly.

Anyway, the compiler comes with just a shell of a putchar routine. It
literally returns the character you passed to it and nothing else. That is
not why it's a piece of crap, although they could have at least supplied
something that writes to the serial port.

So, I already have a serial port interrupt routing with circular buffers
(in/out) and a function call (SendData()) that copies a data from a pointer
argument and manages the circular buffer. So, I want to have my putchar
routine call SendData.

I noticed from looking around that putchar returns EOF if unsuccessful. EOF
is defined as -1 in the compiler header file. Therefore, it occurs to me
that putchar can only be used for ASCII data. This is OK, I just need to
make sure I have that right. Because, binary data could include -1 right?
That means I should never use it alone to send binary data. If so, is this
true for the PC? After all, it's counterpart, getchar retrives binary scan
codes from the keyboard unless they have already been converted to ASCII
characters before they get to that level.

I would guess the only time getchar should return EOF is if the transmit
buffer is full. My SendData() function already is set to return a fail code
if the buffer is full. putchar can pass this on to printf (of course I have
to change SendData() to use EOF as a fail code).

As an embedded programmer, I am not real familiar with what normal pass/fail
return codes should be. The high level languages were developed around full
OS systems (Unix etc.) and then seem to have migrated to the embedded world
leaving some us without familiarity of conventions.

Enough rambling.... Just looking for any constructive input.

Elvis
Nov 15 '05 #1
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5 Replies


P: n/a
>I am working on device that utilizes a Motorola 68HC16 microcontroller. I am
using an old unsupported piece of crap Whitesmith's / Intermetrics / Tasking
compiler. The embedded compiler business was quite insestual for while
wasn't it? I need to write putchar so that printf can function properly. Anyway, the compiler comes with just a shell of a putchar routine. It
literally returns the character you passed to it and nothing else. That is
not why it's a piece of crap, although they could have at least supplied
something that writes to the serial port.
Well, that assumes that everyone uses the serial port and not, for
example, a keypad and 8-character LCD display, which I suppose
someone could attach to this thing if, for example, it's going to
run a microwave oven.
So, I already have a serial port interrupt routing with circular buffers
(in/out) and a function call (SendData()) that copies a data from a pointer
argument and manages the circular buffer. So, I want to have my putchar
routine call SendData. I noticed from looking around that putchar returns EOF if unsuccessful. EOF
is defined as -1 in the compiler header file. Therefore, it occurs to me
that putchar can only be used for ASCII data. This is OK, I just need to
make sure I have that right. Because, binary data could include -1 right?
putchar() can return -1 for EOF and (unsigned char)c for a character.
Assuming that an int (must be at least 16 bits) has more bits than
a char (must be at least 8 bits, but could be 16 or 32), there is
no ambiguity here. Oh, yes, hardly anyone bothers to look at the
return value of putchar() anyway.
That means I should never use it alone to send binary data. If so, is this
true for the PC? After all, it's counterpart, getchar retrives binary scan
codes from the keyboard unless they have already been converted to ASCII
characters before they get to that level.
I don't know of any implementation in which getchar() returns scan
codes unless you do something system-dependent, non-default, and
obnoxious to cause that. Scan codes aren't characters. You need
to combine the scan code(s) with shift states to get actual characters.
I would guess the only time getchar should return EOF is if the transmit
buffer is full.
No. getchar() should return EOF if the implementation-defined
end-of-file character is typed, if there even is such a character.
Or perhaps if DCD drops. Depending on what you are using it for,
a version of getchar() which *NEVER* returns EOF could be fine.

putchar() should return EOF, well, almost never. Maybe if CTS
drops. It should NOT return EOF because the program is sending
data faster than you can get it out the serial port. In that
situation it should WAIT. This could get complicated in a multi-tasking
system where an interrupt that there is space in the buffer causes
a thread/process/whatever to wake up. In a uni-tasking situation
it's easy: busy wait for the buffer to become free, then send the
character.
My SendData() function already is set to return a fail code
if the buffer is full. putchar can pass this on to printf (of course I have
to change SendData() to use EOF as a fail code).
No, you don't have to change SendData() to use EOF as a buffer-full code.
In putchar():
if (SendData(foo) == ERROR_BUFFER_FULL) return EOF;

Buffer full is not an error condition. Assuming you've got a
processor that's less slow than pitiful for 20 years ago (e.g.
100*K*Hz), any attempts to send a line of data bigger than the
buffer size (16 characters?) is going to fill the buffer almost
immediately.
As an embedded programmer, I am not real familiar with what normal pass/fail
return codes should be. The high level languages were developed around full
OS systems (Unix etc.) and then seem to have migrated to the embedded world
leaving some us without familiarity of conventions.

Enough rambling.... Just looking for any constructive input.


ANSI/ISO C does not have non-blocking I/O. That means you can't, using
standard routines, wait to output something while scanning for input
on something else. You might end up needing non-standard non-blocking
routines for the serial port, depending on what you need to do.
(SendData() might serve this purpose well as-is).

It also means that getchar() and putchar() need to be written as
blocking.

Gordon L. Burditt
Nov 15 '05 #2

P: n/a
On Thu, 30 Jun 2005 21:29:48 -0400, "Confused User"
<el***********@bellsouth.net> wrote in comp.lang.c:

Neither of the groups that you posted this to is optimum,
news:comp.arch.embedded would probably have been better.
I am working on device that utilizes a Motorola 68HC16 microcontroller. I am
using an old unsupported piece of crap Whitesmith's / Intermetrics / Tasking
compiler. The embedded compiler business was quite insestual for while
wasn't it? I need to write putchar so that printf can function properly.
There are other compilers available if you don't like that one.
Anyway, the compiler comes with just a shell of a putchar routine. It
literally returns the character you passed to it and nothing else. That is
not why it's a piece of crap, although they could have at least supplied
something that writes to the serial port.
Your assumption is that it should write to the serial port. Others
might have other ideas.
So, I already have a serial port interrupt routing with circular buffers
(in/out) and a function call (SendData()) that copies a data from a pointer
argument and manages the circular buffer. So, I want to have my putchar
routine call SendData.

I noticed from looking around that putchar returns EOF if unsuccessful. EOF
is defined as -1 in the compiler header file. Therefore, it occurs to me
that putchar can only be used for ASCII data. This is OK, I just need to
make sure I have that right. Because, binary data could include -1 right?
That means I should never use it alone to send binary data. If so, is this
true for the PC? After all, it's counterpart, getchar retrives binary scan
codes from the keyboard unless they have already been converted to ASCII
characters before they get to that level.
No, you are completely wrong about putchar() being for ASCII data
only. putchar() converts the value it receives to unsigned char,
which cannot be negative, and it returns that unsigned char. The
implementation is free to define any negative int value for EOF,
although -1 is extremely common.

Now the value of an unsigned char, any unsigned char, is not
equivalent to the int -1.
I would guess the only time getchar should return EOF is if the transmit
buffer is full. My SendData() function already is set to return a fail code
if the buffer is full. putchar can pass this on to printf (of course I have
to change SendData() to use EOF as a fail code).

As an embedded programmer, I am not real familiar with what normal pass/fail
return codes should be. The high level languages were developed around full
OS systems (Unix etc.) and then seem to have migrated to the embedded world
leaving some us without familiarity of conventions.

Enough rambling.... Just looking for any constructive input.


Again, the putchar() function is called with an int, but it only uses
CHAR_BIT bits out of that int, and it treats them as an unsigned char.
On your implementation, that means the value it deals with is in the
range 0 to 255, inclusive. None of these values is the same as the
int value -1.

--
Jack Klein
Home: http://JK-Technology.Com
FAQs for
comp.lang.c http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html
comp.lang.c++ http://www.parashift.com/c++-faq-lite/
alt.comp.lang.learn.c-c++
http://www.contrib.andrew.cmu.edu/~a...FAQ-acllc.html
Nov 15 '05 #3

P: n/a
Gordon & Jack,
A lot of helpful input. Thanks a lot!
I do want to elaborate on a few points and ask further questions, however,
it is 8:30am and I have to get to work. This info will help me today.

I will be back later for some further discussion on this topic.

Thanks again,

Elvis
-------------------------------------------------------------------
"Confused User" <el***********@bellsouth.net> wrote in message
news:X3****************@bignews1.bellsouth.net...
I am working on device that utilizes a Motorola 68HC16 microcontroller. I am using an old unsupported piece of crap Whitesmith's / Intermetrics / Tasking compiler. The embedded compiler business was quite insestual for while
wasn't it? I need to write putchar so that printf can function properly.

Anyway, the compiler comes with just a shell of a putchar routine. It
literally returns the character you passed to it and nothing else. That is
not why it's a piece of crap, although they could have at least supplied
something that writes to the serial port.

So, I already have a serial port interrupt routing with circular buffers
(in/out) and a function call (SendData()) that copies a data from a pointer argument and manages the circular buffer. So, I want to have my putchar
routine call SendData.

I noticed from looking around that putchar returns EOF if unsuccessful. EOF is defined as -1 in the compiler header file. Therefore, it occurs to me
that putchar can only be used for ASCII data. This is OK, I just need to
make sure I have that right. Because, binary data could include -1 right?
That means I should never use it alone to send binary data. If so, is this
true for the PC? After all, it's counterpart, getchar retrives binary scan
codes from the keyboard unless they have already been converted to ASCII
characters before they get to that level.

I would guess the only time getchar should return EOF is if the transmit
buffer is full. My SendData() function already is set to return a fail code if the buffer is full. putchar can pass this on to printf (of course I have to change SendData() to use EOF as a fail code).

As an embedded programmer, I am not real familiar with what normal pass/fail return codes should be. The high level languages were developed around full OS systems (Unix etc.) and then seem to have migrated to the embedded world leaving some us without familiarity of conventions.

Enough rambling.... Just looking for any constructive input.

Elvis

Nov 15 '05 #4

P: n/a
Jack Klein wrote:
putchar() converts the value it receives to unsigned char,
which cannot be negative, and it returns that unsigned char.


putchar(-1) wouldn't return that unsigned char,
if sizeof(int) was equal to 1.

If putchar(-1) doesn't return EOF,
then it returns ((int)(unsigned char)-1).

--
pete
Nov 15 '05 #5

P: n/a
Confused User wrote:
I am working on device that utilizes a Motorola 68HC16 microcontroller.
I am using an old unsupported piece of crap Whitesmith's / Intermetrics
/ Tasking compiler. The embedded compiler business was quite insestual
for while wasn't it?
The C standard allows for embedded systems (aka. freestanding
implementations), and they aren't required to implement
any of the I/O functions in the C library.
I need to write putchar so that printf can function properly.
Anyway, the compiler comes with just a shell of a putchar routine.
It literally returns the character you passed to it and nothing else.
That is not why it's a piece of crap, although they could have at
least supplied something that writes to the serial port.
68HC16s don't know anything about serial ports, so why would
they bother?

You should write your data to a buffer with sprintf or some other
method, and then send that buffer to the serial port, using a
function specifically designed for writing to serial ports.
I noticed from looking around that putchar returns EOF if unsuccessful. EOF
is defined as -1 in the compiler header file. Therefore, it occurs to me
that putchar can only be used for ASCII data. This is OK, I just need to
make sure I have that right. Because, binary data could include -1 right?
That means I should never use it alone to send binary data. If so, is this
true for the PC? After all, it's counterpart, getchar retrives binary scan
codes from the keyboard unless they have already been converted to ASCII
characters before they get to that level.
getchar and putchar work with unsigned values (ie. the range 0-255,
if you have 8-bit chars). You should cast signed chars to unsigned
before passing them to 'putchar', eg:

char *p, *str = "héllo";
for (p = str; *p; ++p)
putchar( (unsigned char) *p );

As an embedded programmer, I am not real familiar with what normal pass/fail
return codes should be.
Use your serial port functions, rather than trying to muck around
with someone else's standard library. Who knows, the next version of
your compiler might change something internally that will render
your customised putchar useless.
The high level languages were developed around full OS systems
(Unix etc.) and then seem to have migrated to the embedded world
leaving some us without familiarity of conventions.


Embedded compilers try to comply with the C standard for
freestanding implementations. Read it, if you have a few spare hours.

Nov 15 '05 #6

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