Sometimes I have a question about the IDE meant specifically for use for a microcontroller (e.g. System Workbench for STM32, TrueStudio).

At StackOverflow most people are focussing on PC/Linux, not to microcontrollers. But Electrical Engineering is focused to hardware design, not software related questions.

Or is there another forum I should ask such questions?

An example of such question Question

STL/stdlib in AC6 System Workbench SW4STM32 Eclipse

I'm using Eclipse AC6 SW4STM32 System Workbench, which is used for STM32 microcontrollers.

I can add e.g. vector as include, but I get a linker error that vector is not known.

Is it possibly anyway to use STL/stdlib to use in Eclipse System Workbench projects?
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    \$\begingroup\$ If an on-topic question gets closed by the overzealous moderators, get a diamond mod to open it back up. \$\endgroup\$ – Voltage Spike Mar 29 '18 at 18:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ How can I get a diamond mod? \$\endgroup\$ – Michel Keijzers Mar 29 '18 at 18:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @laptop2d I think I found it: via chat/EE ask a moderator? \$\endgroup\$ – Michel Keijzers Mar 29 '18 at 18:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yep, thats the best place to ask mods a question \$\endgroup\$ – Voltage Spike Mar 29 '18 at 19:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @laptop2d Thanks! \$\endgroup\$ – Michel Keijzers Mar 29 '18 at 19:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ "I can add e.g. vector as include" is a terrible statement of what you did. Be specific. You may getting reactions more to poor problem statement than to the relevance of the subject matter. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Stratton Mar 31 '18 at 21:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ I have seen IDE questions on various Stackexchange branches... i.e. Someone asking about an Arduino related question utilizing a different IDE. But I believe your asking is something that can be helpful because technically you're still designing the hardware but through either unorthodox and/or unique methods. \$\endgroup\$ – KingDuken Apr 4 '18 at 2:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ChrisStratton I agree indeed, it was meant as example, but maybe it was not clear. \$\endgroup\$ – Michel Keijzers Apr 4 '18 at 8:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KingDuken Interesting way to look at at, and this way it would fit better in this forum. Thanks \$\endgroup\$ – Michel Keijzers Apr 4 '18 at 8:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is the EE site a forum? \$\endgroup\$ – Andy aka Apr 10 '18 at 12:24

I think they belong here. These are tools of the trade, and nothing that a "generic" PC software developer would use. This is where the knowledge of those tools can be found.

(Obviously not all IDE-related questions are on-topic, but that goes for all topics. Just don't ask how to change the font!)

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the comment, I got some downvotes earlier on a question, so I can refer to here now :-) \$\endgroup\$ – Michel Keijzers Mar 29 '18 at 11:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MichelKeijzers Just wait a while, I'm sure someone with a different view will write another answer. :) \$\endgroup\$ – pipe Mar 29 '18 at 11:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok I will :-) I posted the question this morning on StackOverflow, no responses yet. \$\endgroup\$ – Michel Keijzers Mar 29 '18 at 11:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ I concur; many compiler and linker options are buried deep within the IDE and finding them to make embedded systems work can be 'interesting' \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Smith Apr 2 '18 at 16:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ An example of buried options: silabs.com/community/mcu/32-bit/knowledge-base.entry.html/2014/… \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Smith Apr 3 '18 at 8:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PeterSmith true ... got my system working on my laptop, but not on main system, guess I will need to compare all these compiler/linker options. \$\endgroup\$ – Michel Keijzers Apr 4 '18 at 8:44

I have two remarks which I believe are relevant:

  1. Even if there isn't a SE site which deals with a particular topic X, it doesn't mean that X is on topic here. Each community decides what's on-topic, and that decision is the only thing that counts. If tomorrow DIY.SE decides that house wiring is off-topic for them, it will not automatically make house wiring questions on-topic here.

  2. Questions about MCU programming are not off-topic on SO. I see you have asked questions about TrueStudio on SO yourself. In my experience, SO is a better site to ask about MCU programming questions which don't involve hardware aspects.

Personally, I have no problem with questions about MCU programming and IDE configuration being asked here. However, if enough people here dislike such questions there's not much you (or me) can do about it, unless you convince the mods.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for this answer .... so far I got some answers here for my question (although none are really ' satisfactory' , after a bounty). On SO though, no answers. But it's a bit grey area for my specific question. But thanks for the clarafication (btw I fully agree with it). \$\endgroup\$ – Michel Keijzers Apr 3 '18 at 9:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ A clarification: Community has already decided. From the help center>Asking: the writing of firmware for bare-metal or RTOS applications. Unless one thinks that writing firmware can be done without tools, questions about those tools are on topic. There are no mods to convince. As long as that policy is spelled out in the help, anyone who flags an otherwise good question as off-topic acts against community rules and mods must reject such flag. There will be gray areas, of course, but the principle is clear. \$\endgroup\$ – Lorenzo Donati supports Monica Apr 8 '18 at 12:44

IDEs like Eclipse are for working with software. We programmers use Eclipse every day and SO is filled with such questions. They belong in SO for sure.

Your sample question does not follow proper etiquette for Stack Overflow questions. Linker errors and general toolchain problems tend to be complex: you need to show the literal error message your linker gives you.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The linker errors within various IDEs, especially for embedded controllers, can be very cryptic indeed and often vendor specific. I have seen many such questions stump SO. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Smith Apr 7 '18 at 17:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ I upvoted, since you are fully right. The reason was I was not at home at the time I asked the question so I couldn't copy the exact error (but that does not mean I should have fixed it when I was home again, although it was days later). \$\endgroup\$ – Michel Keijzers Apr 7 '18 at 20:35

Questions regarding how to write firmware for microcontrollers is on-topic here. It is also on-topic on Stack Overflow.

Be aware however that SO does not allow tool or library recommendation questions, so questions like "which IDE/tool/library is best for..." are off-topic there. But it is however perfectly fine to ask how to solve a specific IDE-related problem. You can use the tag on SO to get attention from the right kind of people.

In this specific case you should also have used the tag. There ought to be some Eclipse gurus over at SO, that you are unlikely to find here. I'm guessing that your question drowned in the SO flood, which easily happens if you don't use popular tags, since that site has such massive traffic.

I'd do like this:

  • Questions regarding the use of well-known generic IDE:s such as Eclipse, Codeblocks, QT etc will most likely to get the best answer at SO.
  • Questions regarding the use of microcontroller-specific IDE:s, such as IAR, Keil, Green Hills, MPLAP etc will most likely to the best answer here at EE.
  • Questions about IDE/tool/library recommendations should be asked at https://softwarerecs.stackexchange.com/.
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks Lundin, I like that split up of possibilities. \$\endgroup\$ – Michel Keijzers Apr 9 '18 at 15:06

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