There are many IDEs. And there's the IDE war. This post has nothing to do with that.

 

I'd like to give kudos to  the Silicon Labs Gecko famly, and how they integrate their application notes with the development environment.

 

Simplicity Studio is based on Eclipse.

It's not my favorite IDE. So why do I value Silicon Lab's effort?

 

They have integrated their application notes with the IDE.

When you start the IDE, there's an Application Notes button. If you click it, you can search for notes.

 

And here comes the thing I'm fond of: You can do two things:

  • you can search for a subject, and read the note. When you double click, it opens the note (pdf doc) in the IDE.
  • you can load examples into the IDE and debug them. There's a 'load' button that creates a project for you, and walks through compilation and debug cycle

 

This combination of documentation and executable examples is really great. Many companies build upon Eclipse. But the Gecko family managed to lift the platform to another level.

When it's easy to switch from a theorethical application note to an executable example, the learning path is very smooth indeed.

 

road testing the EFM32™ Zero Gecko Starter Kit - Part 4