FAQ #4: An IDE for Great Cow Basic

  • Anobium

    Anobium - 2013-11-11

    GCB@Syn is an IDE for Great Cow Basic created and maintained by
    Frank Steinberg, see www.FrankSteinberg.de for more information on the
    author. The IDE is for Great Cow Basic. Great Cow Basic is an open source
    basic compiler for AVR and PIC microcontrollers.

    Updated 24th November 2013

    GCB@Syn is a set of free software and config-files, configured for the use
    with Great Cow Basic and programmer software.

    See https://sourceforge.net/projects/gcbasic/files/IDE/GCB%40Syn/
    for the IDE download.

    GCB@Syn features:
    - No installation, intended to work OUT OF THE BOX. Just start the
    IDE.exe in the root folder
    - complete GreatCowBasic compiler
    - compiler calls configurable via batchfiles
    - SynWrite editor
    - syntax highlighting
    - code folding
    - sub/function list
    - autocomplete
    - context sensitive help (F1)
    - multifile tabs
    - bookmarks
    - doubleclick on compiler errors leads to source code-line
    - one click assemble/compile/flash microcontroller (F5, F6, F7, F8)
    - Terminal by Br@y++
    - PICpgm & WinPicPgm programming software. Support for PicPgms
    configuration (pgmifcfg.xml) for additional programmers, see
    - simple PicKit2 support by adding pk2cmd from Microchip
    - programmer-software configurable via batchfiles
    - AVRdude and Avrdude-GUI

    1. Decompress the complete GCB@Syn folder inside the zip to your hard
    disk. It is recommended to use NOT the "Program Files" folder
    because of Windows restrictions for this folder.
    2. Run IDE.exe.
    3. Review the files displayed when initially starting the IDE.

    - Remember, always start with IDE.exe in the root folder. IDE.exe sets an
    environment variable with the actual path of GCB@Syn named G@SDir, so
    all program locations can be handled as relative.
    - When a GreatCowBasic sourcefile is opened, check out the Run-menu.
    Through this menu you can access the oneclick commands. Try right
    mousebutton also.
    - The Run... commands (F5 - F8) starts a little tool G@Stool.exe which
    calls the batchfiles for compiling sourcecode and programming
    ("flashing") the target microcontroller. By default the batchfiles are
    named flashAVR.bat (when the chipmodel is an AVR) and flashPIC.bat (when
    the chipmodel is a PIC). The chipmodel is autodetected by G@Stool.exe!
    - By editing the batchfiles you can configure the programmer software for
    your own needs. They are located in the G@Stools subfolder.
    - If there is a batchfile "FlashThis.bat" present in the same folder as
    the sourcefile, this batchfile is used for flashing. This may be useful
    for project-specific flashing.
    - Included programmer-software is avrdude for AVR and PICPgm for PIC. You
    can add PicKit2; see hints in the PicKit2 subfolder. PicKit3 may work
    similar, but its not tested.


    • After closing CGB@Syn-IDE, modified user configurable files are backed
      up to folder ...\GCB@Syn\CfgBackup
    • At every start IDE.exe checks the timestamp of syn.ini. If it differs
      from the backup, it asks the user to restore settings. If we click YES,
      ALL files will be overwritten with the backup. This is useful for
      keeping configuration after copying a GCB@Syn update over an existing
    • The backup files are:
      ...\SynWrite\: Syn.ini, SynHide.ini, SynSpell.ini, SynState.ini,
      SynStyles.ini, SynToolbars.ini
      ...\G@Stools\: flashAVR.bat, flashPIC.bat, makeASM.bat, makeHEX.bat

    Software components:

    • folder GCB@Syn\GreatCowBasic
      • The compiler files them self. The folder contains the complete download
        with actual updates.
    • folder GCB@Syn\SynWrite
      • The main item for the IDE is the open source editor SynWrite. Here
        comes a downstripped version, configured for GCBasic. The original is
        here: http://www.uvviewsoft.com/synwrite
    • folder GCB@Syn\G@Stools
      • Some little tools created by Frank.You can edit the containing batch-
        files to customize the compiler-calls and to adapt our prefered
        programming ("flashing") software.
    • folder GCB@Syn\AVRdude
    • GCB@Syn\AVRdude\avrdude-GUI.exe
    • folder GCB@Syn\PICPgm
    • GCB@Syn\Terminal\Terminal.exe
    Last edit: Anobium 2013-11-24
  • Anobium

    Anobium - 2013-11-24

    This FAQ was re-published with a new release of the contribution on 24th November 2013.

    - SynWrite updated to 6.4.140
    - GCB lexer improvements (labels inside function, code folding)
    - PICpgm updated to
    - added three new programmers to PICPgms programmer-config-file:
    * 5PiP http://www.FrankSteinberg.de/5PiP.htm
    * FT232Board-Programmer & FT232Adapter-Programmer (USB LVP)
    - added samples for new programmers to flashPIC.bat
    - small mods to GCB-samples in ...GCB@Syn_MyFiles

    Last edit: Anobium 2013-11-24

Log in to post a comment.

Get latest updates about Open Source Projects, Conferences and News.

Sign up for the SourceForge newsletter:

No, thanks