I have always known that the MPLAB C32 compiler first and MPLAB XC32 compiler later were both projects based on the GCC platform and therefore shared a common Open Source DNA.
What I could not imagine was how easy it can be to take the latest and greatest revision of the original GCC compiler and target it for the PIC32 (mips-elf) to obtain a brand new (fully open source) compiler.
What changed my mind is the work of Bruno Basseto on his freshly posted blog/wiki site:
His explanations are crystal clear and reduce the potentially treacherous subject into a small number of steps that I can almost pretend to understand.
I did try his method and in a matter of 20 minutes I had a brand new compiler (on my MAC) cranking out mips code. (Windows and Linux users will find dedicated instructions as well).
Now, the compiler is not everything. You will still need linker scripts, start up code and a set of header files to handle your desired target PIC32 device and its peripherals, but that seems all to be easy if not fun work, when you follow Bruno’s lead that is…
Clearly following this path means entering totally new and uncharted territories, but isn’t that what I was looking for when Exploring the PIC32?
Highly entertaining, highly educational, thanks Bruno!