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Remote Control of Configurable Electronic Parts
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chip-remote: A protocol for remote controlling runtime-configurable chips Note: The framework was recently re-written. The documentation is NOT AT ALL up-to-date with this new implementation. Many powerful and flexible electronic parts, are configurable at runtime via simple interfaces like SPI or I2C. In prototyping, revising and testing, it is useful to be able to control these chips from a computer, preferably via a high level programming language. This project specifies a protocol, that a common personal computer can talk to a controller, that can actually talk to such configurable slave devices. The protocol design attempts to support multiple configurable chips on different interfaces with a single controller connection. Much of the protocol is optional, to be able to implement compliant firmwares for the most low-cost micro-controllers available. The reference client implementation is done in Guile scheme. Scheme is a very high-level programming language of the Lisp variety, that has (even though it is one of the oldest programming languages available) a host of very powerful features. Guile scheme is a free software implementation of the language, with a lot of extensions, that is readily available on many platforms. The remote-board firmware implementation has been done in C. It implements all features of the protocol specification. A prototype board featuring an MSP430f1481 micro controller from Texas Instruments has been built and successfully tested. Current contents: Directories: - examples/ Contains example scripts that use the client library. - perl/ This is a module path specific to any Perl scripts in the distribution. - remote-fw/ Here you can find an example implementation of a remote firmware for microcontrollers that talks the chip-remote protocol. - scheme/ This directory holds the reference implementation of the client library written in GNU Guile scheme. - scripts/ Here, you can find some helper scripts, that may be useful when hacking on chip-remote source code. - simulator/ The ‘simulator’ sub-directory contains a Perl script that opens a pseudo terminal and responds to bytes send to it like a remote board with a firmware that talks the chip-remote protocol would. It is used to implement interaction tests for the client library. - tests/ Shockingly, this directory contains the project's test-suite. Files: - Makefile: In chip-remote, the top-level Makefile is only used run the test-suite. - LICENCE: The file contains the licence used with all software of the project. Note that “rccep-spec.org” uses a different licence that is contained at the bottom of the file. - README: This file... - client-library.org: This is a text-file, that describes the organisation of the client library in a little detail, so that one has an idea of how to approach the code. - compile: A helper script to byte-compile the client library, that is written in GNU Guile Scheme. "make byte-compile" uses this file. - cr-valgrind: This is a wrapper around ‘valgrind’ with a set of options suitable for chip-remote's ‘remote-fw’ example firmware, to find possible memory leaks. - dev-env: Use this to set some environment variables, so that you can work with the scheme code directly from the source-tree instead of having to install everything to the system first. Very useful during development. - guile-in-here: Starts a guile instance, that points its load-path to the code in the source tree via the use of ‘dev-env’. - install: This installs the project to the system. "make install" uses this. - install-scheme: This script installs the client library to the system's module path. - org-export: This script uses emacs with org-mode to turn org-mode markup into html, plain-text and pdf files. - single-test: Using this wrapper, you can run single “.t” files from the test-suite. - spec.org: This is the actual specification RCCEP protocol in org-mode markup for easy export to many popular formats.