Watching Expressions

MPLAB has become such a large application, or I should better say “group” of applications, and it keeps evolving so fast that one can hardly keep up with the pace of monthly (when it is not weekly) updates. Typically before rushing to install a new version I scan quickly through the readme files to see if there is anything new that I could use immediately, otherwise I tend to postpone the update to let it … settle a bit, if you know what I mean.

With MPLAB 8.00 things were different. The PIC32 had just been announced and this was the first new version of MPLAB to openly support it. I was too curious to pass the opportunity and I did the install without paying much attention to what other features had been added.  Turns out, I made a mistake because I failed to notice a powerful update to the Watch window capabilities!

Now you can inspect/watch:

  • Aspecific element of an array: ar[12]
  • An object pointed to by a pointer: *ptr
  • An element of a structure/union: str.mbr
  • An element of a structure/union via a pointer: p->mbr
  • Perform simple math: vrbl-1
  • Use constants defined in the program in all of the above: ar[M_SIZE-1]

Just type these simple expressions directly in the watch window in the Symbol Name column

Watch Expressions

it will work seamlessly allowing you to get a better picture of your… bugs!

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