View Full Version : Spin Upgrade???

11-08-2011, 10:53 AM
I am looking for an official answer, will their be an upgrade to Spin in the very near future? If there is any doubt about what I would be looking for in an upgraded SPIN - built in commands for XMM, LMM, SD card, VGA, ADC, ..., etc. Basically everything that is on the C3, if that is still going to be a viable card. Or should I start learning how to use propGCC?


11-08-2011, 11:04 AM

What do you mean exactly?

Spin is interpreted from byte codes in HUB. Moving to move to LMM would not be an upgrade, well perhaps for speed, because the LMM code would take a lot more space than the byte codes. Your programs would achieve a lot less functionality as LMM.

XMM is like LMM except executing PASM instructions from external memory. Well there is an argument that Spin should be extended to execute byte codes from external memory. But then having multiple COG running from external memory would be hard to do and very slow. Someone has already made a "Big Spin" interpreter that does this. Again it's better not to have Spin compiled to normal XMM PASM instructions as they are 4 bytes per instruction which would again be slower than using byte codes.

As for SD Card, VGA and ADC there are already plenty of objects that do that if you want to. There is no point in building them into the Spin language or IDE as such.

Yes you should start learning C:)

11-08-2011, 12:33 PM
"As for SD Card, VGA and ADC there are already plenty of objects that do that if you want to. There is no point in building them into the Spin language or IDE as such."

Since there are a bunch of Objects to do all this stuff, then maybe Parallax should have an officially supported Object(s), which Parallax would maintain, to accomplish the things that I mentioned. Because there are so many Objects now, it is almost impossible to hit on the correct one, and with time it will get even worse. So, the new users will look at the Objects, and say something like "What the heck... the Propeller is not for me.". I know, Parallax is shorthanded, or they do not have time to do it. Their has to be a better way.


Mike Green
11-08-2011, 03:43 PM
Parallax does have some "officially supported" objects that are part of the application notes collection for the Propeller. They're listed (http://www.parallaxsemiconductor.com/appnotes) on the Parallax Semiconductor website. AN006 covers SD cards. There are others that cover some uses of VGA and ADC using the cog counters. There are written standards for code documentation and the write-ups have the usual Parallax high quality.

The following is not an "official" statement, but it's based on what I know about Parallax, how they've done things in the past, and what they've said and done in planning for the future.

Will there be an upgrade to Spin ... Yes, but not what you expect. Spin will have to have some changes and extensions to be able to support the Prop II, but they're likely to be minimal, just enough to access the new hardware. You will not see built-in support for any of the things you've listed other than having the objects included (as some are now) with the Propeller Tool installer.

Because the Propeller II ROM will not have a Spin interpreter in it ... it will have to be loaded from the Propeller Tool or from EEPROM or an SD card. That allows others to easily substitute their own modified Spin interpreter for the standard one supplied by Parallax. I'm sure you'll eventually see several of these with various extensions. It will also make it easier to support other interpreters like an LMM or XMM or "Big Spin" interpreter.