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Many Nios II IDE problems

Honored Contributor I

OK, I have been trying to use the IDE for a week now and I haven't been able to solve any of my problems. Someone else here must have encountered some or all of these. Hopefully, Altera is reading. 


1) In a lot of places, you can't put in a relative path. This is unacceptable. When I check my code into version control (we use Perforce) my paths don't work on any one's system but my own. I am specifically speaking about APP_DIR and SYSTEM_DIR in the Makefile. Also I can't enter a relative path for linked resources. 


2) Is it just me or does is seem odd that in the year 2004 I am being forced to place all of my code in a single directory. My system contains five (yes, 5) Cyclones running Nios II. Each Nios II project has its own directory. Oddly enough, some of the code that runs on these Nios IIs is common. Being the good software engineer that I try to be, I pulled common code and placed it in another directory (named oddly enough Common). Here is a picture: 



+--FPGA (root directory)  +--Board1  +--Board2  +--Board3  +--Board4  +--Board5  +--Common (common code shared by all boards) 




Now, under Nios 1, I wrote a Makefile to deal with things being in different places. The Makefile would build the common code into a library that was placed in each Boardx directory. Granted it would be nice to only build this library once, but I'm a neophyte when it comes to Makefiles.  


I have tried a number of different approaches to accomplish this in the IDE. 

1) I can't figure out how to make a library so I couldn't try the obvious. 

2) I've tried using linked files and linked folders. Neither seem to work. 

3) I've tried to add the common code as a new C/C++ application and then set the Project References to it. I had hoped that when a project refers to another project it would force the referred to project to be built. Nope. I was hoping it would be like a Dependency in Visual Studio. Nope. 


The only thing that remotely works is to copy the files into my project directory. I would rather not have to work like this. 


In another thread, thiesr suggested using version control facilities to place working copies into the application directory. I don't want to do this. stephen_niosII suggested learning how the IDE creates it's makefile to guide me in creating my own. I don't want to create makefiles. That is usually why you use an IDE. To avoid makefiles. If I have to create my own makefiles, I might as well use Visual Studio. 


I am sorry if this is coming out a little too strong, but I am very frustrated. We picked Altera over Brand X because Altera convinced us that their tools were better. Well, I don't hear many complaints from our hardware guys so maybe Quartus is good, but I don't think the software end is there yet. I made the switch to Nios II from Nios 1, because it seemed to make things easier for me (bootloaders for EPCS and CFI, Debug from the IDE, HAL). I guess I am just disappointed and stressed out because this is holding up development. 


Any help would be greatly appreciated. 


...stepping down from soapbox, 


Dave Oleksy 

euphonix (
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