Keeping current with C: tips, tricks & resources

December 10, 2012

Bernard Cole-December 10, 2012

In “Trends in embedded software design,” Embedded columnist Michael Barr writes that because many high end embedded applications have code sizes running into the millions of lines, more automated high level design and code generation tools will become the norm.

But, as I have said before, that does not mean that that C programming as it is currently practiced in embedded design will go away.

First, all that automatically generated code will still need tweaking, fixing and optimizing by humans and the dirty work of device driver creation still has to be done. Second, because the C language was created as a standardized way to optimize code running on the RISC architecture, it is still the best way to write software that meets the strict real time and deterministic requirements of many RISC-based MCU apps.

In addition to continuing contributions from regular columnists such as Dan Saks in “Unexpected Trends,” and Robert Scaccia in Part 1 and Part 2 of “Object-oriented C is simple, “ there are many resources on in the form of design articles, technical papers, and webinars to help you update or review your knowledge. Of these my Editor’s Top Picks of recent submissions are:

Binary, anyone,” by Colin Walls
Interrupts short and simple,” by Priyadeep Kaur
Mastering stack and heap,” by Anders Lundgren & Lotta Frimanson

I hope to see more such articles and blogs for use on on such and I am always looking for volunteers. If you would like to contribute the insights and tips your experience has led you to, I would like to hear from you.

There are also a number of external content resources relating C programming, that I’ve found that I think would be useful to you in your software design efforts including: “A little C Primer,” and “Basic C programming,” that you can add to your browser favorites list. Here also is also a link to a free online course in C programming at MIT for those of you who like - or need - a more structure learning environment.

As I find more such online resources, I will bring them to your attention. And if you’ve found some as well, email me at with a description of the resource and why you find it useful, and I will add them to the lists and blogs that I will include here. Site Editor Bernard Cole is also editor of the twice-a-week newsletters as well as a partner in the TechRite Associates editorial services consultancy. He welcomes your feedback. Send an email to, or call 928-525-9087.

See more articles and column like this one on Sign up for the newsletters. Copyright © 2012 UBM--All rights reserved.

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