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Do you prefer paper or plastic... er, I mean paper or e-books?

 
 
rickman
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      07-16-2009
I find there are any number of aspects of the VHDL language that I
just do not remember and I am not going to make up flash cards to help
me remember. So I drag a half dozen VHDL books around with me when I
am working on VHDL (or much less frequently, Verilog; one of the books
covers both).

I am getting tired of heaving the books up into the truck every time I
go to the lake and am starting to wonder if I should invest in some
good e-books on HDL.

What do the rest of you prefer? Do you have both? Do you still need
to rely on your books or do you pretty well have the language down
pat?

Is the IEEE VHDL standard available in e-book format? Maybe I need to
invest in the 200x version anyway?

Rick
 
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Rich Webb
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      07-17-2009
On Thu, 16 Jul 2009 16:24:19 -0700 (PDT), rickman <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:

>I find there are any number of aspects of the VHDL language that I
>just do not remember and I am not going to make up flash cards to help
>me remember. So I drag a half dozen VHDL books around with me when I
>am working on VHDL (or much less frequently, Verilog; one of the books
>covers both).
>
>I am getting tired of heaving the books up into the truck every time I
>go to the lake and am starting to wonder if I should invest in some
>good e-books on HDL.
>
>What do the rest of you prefer? Do you have both? Do you still need
>to rely on your books or do you pretty well have the language down
>pat?


PDF, by far, when I can find a good one, and for all tech topics &
datasheets, not just VHDL. The search capability alone is worth the
relative pain of having to boot the PC. If I'll also be using the PC in
the project (nearly certain) then the cost falls to zero.

While it's on your radar, if you do go paperless and don't stay with a
standard format like PDF (e.g., Kindle) make damn sure that you read the
terms and conditions. I don't have the citation (it's probably on El
Reg) but I did read about one gent who ****ed off Amazon with too many
returns and they cancelled his account. As a side effect, that locked
him out of the Kindle volumes he had already purchased. Ugh.

<clickety click> Nope, it was over at Ars Technica:
<http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2009/04/amazon-kindle-incidents-highlight-drm-limitations-once-again.ars>

--
Rich Webb Norfolk, VA
 
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AndreasWallner
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      07-17-2009
On Jul 17, 1:24*am, rickman <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> I find there are any number of aspects of the VHDL language that I
> just do not remember and I am not going to make up flash cards to help
> me remember. *So I drag a half dozen VHDL books around with me when I
> am working on VHDL (or much less frequently, Verilog; one of the books
> covers both).
>
> I am getting tired of heaving the books up into the truck every time I
> go to the lake and am starting to wonder if I should invest in some
> good e-books on HDL.
>
> What do the rest of you prefer? *Do you have both? *Do you still need
> to rely on your books or do you pretty well have the language down
> pat?
>
> Is the IEEE VHDL standard available in e-book format? *Maybe I need to
> invest in the 200x version anyway?
>
> Rick


In my case it really depends.

I really like all three things...paper books and e-books

I think reading is much better on paper than on a PC monitor. (Here
the Kindle sounds interesting, but in Austria it is not available). So
I really prefer a book if I'm about to read a whole lot (e.g. book to
learn a new programming language). It also has the advantage that you
can have the book open, and read there while working on you code (I
have two monitors, and most of the time when I'm programming VHDL or C+
+ I use both monitors, so having a book is a real advantage)

But If I just have to refresh my memory about something (syntax, etc.)
I prefer PDFs because of their searchability. I have the few book I
use the most in both forms (paper and electronic) and choose depending
on mood/what I want to do which to use.

Andreas
 
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Mike Treseler
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      07-17-2009
AndreasWallner wrote:

> But If I just have to refresh my memory about something (syntax, etc.)
> I prefer PDFs because of their searchability.


A syntax-aware editor that proposes completions
sometimes covers these problems.


-- Mike Treseler
 
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luudee
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      07-17-2009

In my case I use lots and lots of books that refer to various
standards, (like ATA, SATA, USB, etc). And for that I prefer
eBooks. 1) I can search them with ease; 2) I can create my
own bookmarks; 3) I can carry a bunch of them on a single
USB drive.

One important thing I learned the hard way, is to never buy
"locked" eBooks. Mindshare comes to mind as one of the worst
experiences (ended up buying a hard copy of a book because I
could not open the eBook freely when I needed it).

During development cycles, I tend to copy and paste important
paragraphs from those eBooks, creating my own reference manuals
for specific subjects (e.g. everything about control endpoint
for USB - that information is spread over 1000+ pages of USB
specification).

Best Regards,
rudi
 
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Poojan Wagh
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      07-18-2009
On Jul 17, 1:22*pm, Mike Treseler <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> AndreasWallner wrote:
> > But If I just have to refresh my memory about something (syntax, etc.)
> > I prefer PDFs because of their searchability.

>
> A syntax-aware editor that proposes completions
> sometimes covers these problems.
>
> * * -- Mike Treseler


Hi, Mike. Any suggestions for an editor that proposes completions?
(I'm using vim right now which does syntax highlighting.)
 
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Mike Treseler
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      07-18-2009
Poojan Wagh wrote:

> Hi, Mike. Any suggestions for an editor that proposes completions?
> (I'm using vim right now which does syntax highlighting.)


I use vhdl-mode.
The feature is called template insertion (electrification)
For example, if I type "if " I am prompted for a boolean expression,
then for a THEN keyword, etc.
Press Enter any time to end the interaction.

Other key features are:
# Port translation (copy/paste)
# Design hierarchy browser (speedbar)
# Makefile generation
# Word/keyword completion

details here:
http://www.iis.ee.ethz.ch/~zimmi/emacs/vhdl-mode.html
http://www.iis.ee.ethz.ch/~zimmi/emacs/vhdl-mode.gif

-- Mike Treseler
 
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Jan Decaluwe
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      07-19-2009
Poojan Wagh wrote:
> On Jul 17, 1:22 pm, Mike Treseler <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>> AndreasWallner wrote:
>>> But If I just have to refresh my memory about something (syntax, etc.)
>>> I prefer PDFs because of their searchability.

>> A syntax-aware editor that proposes completions
>> sometimes covers these problems.
>>
>> -- Mike Treseler

>
> Hi, Mike. Any suggestions for an editor that proposes completions?
> (I'm using vim right now which does syntax highlighting.)


The modern answer, already popular for general programming, is an
intelligent development devironment, typically based on Eclipse.

This is now also available for VHDL. Sigasi HDT is not just syntax-aware,
but fully aware of your ongoing VHDL design. Try it out here:

http://www.sigasi.com/

--
Jan Decaluwe - Resources bvba - http://www.jandecaluwe.com
Python as a HDL: http://www.myhdl.org
VHDL development, the modern way: http://www.sigasi.com
Analog design automation: http://www.mephisto-da.com
World-class digital design: http://www.easics.com
 
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Koorndyk
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-20-2009
On Jul 16, 7:24*pm, rickman <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> What do the rest of you prefer? *Do you have both? *Do you still need
> to rely on your books or do you pretty well have the language down
> pat?
> Rick


Google.

I have the Ashenden book on my desk, but I rarely look at it. 95% of
the time I'll look in source code for other projects I've worked on.
The other 5% of the time I'll find it on Google.
 
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Colin Paul Gloster
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      07-21-2009
On Fri, 17 Jul 2009, A. Wallner wrote:

|------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|"[..] |
|> |
|> What do the rest of you prefer? *Do you have both? *Do you still need |
|> to rely on your books or do you pretty well have the language down |
|> pat?" |
|------------------------------------------------------------------------|

Memorizing things (whether for VHDL or something else) is pointless.

|------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|"> Is the IEEE VHDL standard available in e-book format? [..]" |
|------------------------------------------------------------------------|

Yes.

|------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|"In my case it really depends. |
| |
|I really like all three things...paper books and e-books |
| |
|I think reading is much better on paper than on a PC monitor. (Here |
|the Kindle sounds interesting, but in Austria it is not available). So |
|I really prefer a book if I'm about to read a whole lot (e.g. book to |
|learn a new programming language). It also has the advantage that you |
|can have the book open, and read there while working on you code (I |
|have two monitors, and most of the time when I'm programming VHDL or C+ |
|+ I use both monitors, so having a book is a real advantage) |
| |
|But If I just have to refresh my memory about something (syntax, etc.) |
|I prefer PDFs because of their searchability. I have the few book I |
|use the most in both forms (paper and electronic) and choose depending |
|on mood/what I want to do which to use." |
|------------------------------------------------------------------------|

Yes, it is good to have both for different contexts. At home I do not
want to waste money on electricity for a computer and a visual display
unit if all I am doing with the text is reading it. In the office,
copying and pasting or searching is more convenient with a computer.
 
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