Since my first encounter with ST microcontrollers I have
always used the Keil IDE. I have nothing against it, well maybe the fact it is
lacking in the aesthetics department compared to modern IDE design. But as an
engineer does that really matter? I will take a tool that just works versus one
that looks pretty and gives trouble. But what if we could
get a tool that jut works and can also look pretty?
I am not implying that this is what TrueStudio offers,
after all its based on Eclipse, and I happen to dislike eclipse based IDEs or
anything running on Java, but they sure do look pretty.
I have only been using TrueStudio a few days and so far so
good. I have a pretty capable laptop so I am not hating Eclipse as much because
those laggy menus are not as prominent. What really made me give TrueStudio a
try was that ST purchased Atolic thus making TrueStudio available for free to
use with ST devices. This is a great move by ST, they have quite an array of
supported IDEs, giving their users as many options as they could possibly want.
This means that STM32 CUBE MX now has support to generate projects specific for
TrueStudio, not that I use CUBE HAL much but the fact that ST thought it worth their while spending $7
million on the IDE or rather the Atolic company inspires confidence that they will continue to
support the IDE and its development for years to come.
“ST has acquired Atollic for a cash payment of $7 million,
funded with available cash, and a deferred earn-out contingent on certain
conditions, which ST currently estimates will be about $1 million.”
Likewise Keil is owned by ARM so that also should inspire
some confidence in its users. One thing I do love about ARM is that when I open
a project for a specific ARM chip that I have not used before, Keil immediately
asks if I want to download the supporting files. So I always have the most up
to date CMSIS libraries and vendor header files for any ARM based
microcontroller vendor not just ST and this I LOVE!!! With TrueStudio I am not
sure about the library updating process, but I am sure it is probably a little
bit more involved.
Debugging on the free version of Keil is limited to 32kb code
size. I have never exceeded this in my personal endeavors. Debugging on
TrueStudio is not limited by anything, all features are unlocked. So far so
good given how little time I have used it.
I will update this post as I find more pros and cons