In my last blog, Using the retarget-io library to enable printf(), I assuaged some of my guilt over not bothering to explain where the pin and baud rate defines come from in Extending and Re-Targeting My Second ModusToolbox Project. Now it is time to explain the library shenanigans! Actually, there are precisely zero shenanigans involved... it is all clean and above board... but I just wanted to say "shenanigans". I think it is out of my system now.
When you add a library from the command line using git clone, as I have been doing in my last few blogs, then you get all the firmware and a .git folder, where all the GitHub information is maintained. If you are good at using git (I am not!!!) then this is all you need to be able to update the firmware to new releases and all that good stuff. If you are not a git maven (like me) or are a bit lazy (a lot like me) then Library Manager can really help you out.
When you add a library using the manager then it creates a cunning extra file with the extension .lib. This lib file records where the library came from and its version. It contains just a single line, like this example for retarget-io:
Simple huh? There really is no shenanigans here - just the GitHub address and the version (after the #).
When you run the Library Manager it reads this file to figure out what libraries are included in the project and marks them with a checkbox. In this image the manager is showing that the retarget-io library is included. Also, if you click in the Version column you will see all the available versions. If you select a different version and press Apply the manager will replace the firmware for you.
The "Latest_v1.X" version is special. It means that the manager will update to the newest available v1 implementation. If we release a new version, the manager (or "make getlibs") will update your project without any extra effort on your part. Good eh? Of course, when you are deep into a project you will probably want to lock down the version. It's easy, just use the pull-down to choose a specific version, like "1.0.0 release" in our example, and press Apply. That will get the right software and only update it if you go back and request it explicitly.
This is probably my last blog of 2019. I hope you found some of this year's content helpful! I'll be back in January with some more descriptions of cool ModusToolbox features and examples of how to leverage them to make fabulous applications. And maybe some more shenanigans!