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#494 Fomu Build Notifier

Using the Fomu’s RGB-in-your-USB as a test results notifier in RISC-V C (demonstrated with Ruby, RSpec and Guard)

Build

Here’s a quick demo (click for the full video on Youtube)..

clip

Notes

The Fomu discretely slips an RGB LED into your USB port. I immediately starting thinking of the possibilities for using at as a notification mechanism.

Since I spend most of my time programming on a laptop with no external monitor, I often have a sliver of a console window showing beside my tools/editor. The console is showing the continuous builds running on the code I’m writing. It’s low-distraction, yet I always know if the tests are running red or green.

Now if the Fomu would give me a red/green indicator, I could save that little bit of screen real-estate, only switching to the console window if things are red.

I’m often writing Ruby, so I’m using a Ruby project as an example, with two of my favourite tools for development:

  • RSpec for tests
  • Guard for watching files and running the associated tests when changes are made

The notes below follow the two stages of my playing around with this idea:

  • first a “proof of concept” that simply uses wishbone-tool integrated with Guard to poke the LED driver on the factory default Fomu
  • a final version that uses a RISC-V C program on the Fomu so that notification status changes require just a singe write over the wishbone bus

The Proof-of-Concept

The a_flakey_example folder contains a very simple Ruby project. It has a test in examples_spec.rb that randomly fails about 50% of the time. Guard is setup to watch the files and run tests when things change (i.e. a file is saved or modified).

My first step to prove the point by simply integrating wishbone-tool from the Fomu Toolchain with Guard, so that RGB control data is poked into the Fomu to control the LED according to Guard events and test status.

Using The Example Project

The project is setup such that rvm/rbenv will create a virtual environment with the usual ruby incantations:

$ cd a_flakey_example
$ gem install bundler
Fetching bundler-2.0.2.gem
...
1 gem installed
$ bundle
Fetching gem metadata from https://rubygems.org/............
...
Bundle complete! 2 Gemfile dependencies, 25 gems now installed.
Use `bundle info [gemname]` to see where a bundled gem is installed.

Invoke the tests directly to make sure things are working:

If you’re “unlucky”:

$ rspec
F

Failures:

  1) 1 will sometimes fail!
     Failure/Error: expect(subject).to eql(2)

       expected: 2
            got: 1

       (compared using eql?)
     # ./spec/examples_spec.rb:6:in `block (2 levels) in <top (required)>'

Finished in 0.02997 seconds (files took 0.17955 seconds to load)
1 example, 1 failure

Failed examples:

rspec ./spec/examples_spec.rb:5 # 1 will sometimes fail!

If you’re “lucky”:

$ rspec
.

Finished in 0.00339 seconds (files took 0.1099 seconds to load)
1 example, 0 failures

Running with Guard: saving one of the project files will trigger test, e.g.:

running_guard

Configuring Guard to Notify Fomu

The Guardfile is setup to change the Fomu LED on the following events:

  • when Guard starts, displays an ‘idle’ colour
  • when a test starts, displays an ‘running’ colour (glowing blue)
  • when a test fails, displays an ‘fail’ colour (glowing red)
  • when a test succeeds, displays an ‘pass’ colour (glowing green)

It requires a few tricks to make Guard dance this way without building a whole plugin, of relying on additional notification infrastructure like Growl or Libnotify.

Firstly, a Guard Callback can easily be registered to call a method when a build starts (or other event), like this:

# setup the callbacks so we know when things start
callback(FomuNotifier.new, [
  :run_all_begin, :run_on_additions_begin, :run_on_modifications_begin, :run_on_removals_begin, :start_begin
])

Tht’s great for knowing when a build starts, but unfortunately while we can hook a callback when a build ends, the callback does not get the test result.

To get the test result, I had to resort to a little trick: send notiications to file, and use Guard to monitor that file so the results can be read when they change!

Guard notifications are send to .guard_result:

notification :file, path: '.guard_result'

Guard watches the results file and calls the FomuNotifier with the result of the test (a string like ‘success’, or ‘failed’)

guard :shell do
  watch '.guard_result' do
    Guard::FomuNotifier.set_rbg File.read('.guard_result').lines.first.strip
  end
end

Now for the ugly part! The set_rbg method takes the status string and sends a bunch of ‘poke’ commands to the Fomu using the wishbone-tool to set the appropriate LED state. And that’s a minimum of six wishbone-tool calls (address and data for red, green and blue).

Note that it assumes wishbone-tool is on the PATH, so before running guard, set path to point to the bin directory of the Fomu Toolchain. Location will depend on your installation:

export PATH=../fomu-toolchain-macos-v1.3/bin:$PATH

The full Guardfile for this interim version:

# Guardfile that demonstrates hooking RSpec results
# and blinking notifyications on the Fomu RGB LED
# using the wishbone-tool

# The Fomu/wishbone-tool integration lives here
class Guard::FomuNotifier
  LEDDPWRR = 1
  LEDDPWRG = 2
  LEDDPWRB = 3
  ADDR = [LEDDPWRR, LEDDPWRG, LEDDPWRB]
  CSR_RGB_DAT_ADDR = '0xe0006800'
  CSR_RGB_ADDR_ADDR = '0xe0006804'

  # Command: set the Fomu RGB LED state
  def self.set_rbg(status)
    case status
    when 'idle'
      puts "FomuNotifier ... #{status}!\n"
      rgb = [0, 20, 60]
    when 'running'
      puts "FomuNotifier ... #{status}!\n"
      rgb = [20, 20, 200]
    when 'success'
      puts "FomuNotifier √√√ #{status}!\n"
      rgb = [20, 150, 20]
    else
      puts "FomuNotifier XXX #{status}!\n"
      rgb = [200, 10, 10]
    end
    params = []
    rgb.each_with_index do |value, i|
      params << "#{CSR_RGB_ADDR_ADDR} #{ADDR[i]}"
      params << "#{CSR_RGB_DAT_ADDR} #{value}"
    end
    command = params.map do |args|
      "wishbone-tool #{args} 2> /dev/null"
    end.join('; ')
    system(command)
  end

  # callback target so we know when a build starts
  def call(guard_class, event, *args)
    case event
    when :start_begin
      self.class.set_rbg 'idle'
    else
      self.class.set_rbg 'running'
    end
  end
end

guard :rspec, cmd: "bundle exec rspec" do
  require "guard/rspec/dsl"
  dsl = Guard::RSpec::Dsl.new(self)

  # RSpec files
  rspec = dsl.rspec
  watch(rspec.spec_helper) { rspec.spec_dir }
  watch(rspec.spec_files)

  # Ruby files
  ruby = dsl.ruby
  dsl.watch_spec_files_for(ruby.lib_files)

  # rspec test results go to file (unfortunately cannot receive with callbacks)
  notification :file, path: '.guard_result'

  # setup the callbacks so we know when things start
  callback(FomuNotifier.new, [
    :run_all_begin, :run_on_additions_begin, :run_on_modifications_begin, :run_on_removals_begin, :start_begin
  ])
end

# watch the rspec results file so can trigger Fomu depending on the result
guard :shell do
  watch '.guard_result' do
    Guard::FomuNotifier.set_rbg File.read('.guard_result').lines.first.strip
  end
end

The Proof-of-Concept Results

It works! But it is pretty ugly because each change to the LED requires at least 6 separate wishbone poke commands. Doing more complex effects like adjusting the glow rate just adds more commands.

What I really need is a program running on the Fomu that just requires a single write to set the build state!

Version 2 - Using C for the RISC-V CPU

The riscv-notifier folder contains a little C program to run on the Fomu. This is based on the riscv-blink example from the Fomu workshop.

$ cd riscv-notifier
$ make
  CC       ./src/main.c main.o
  CC       ./src/rgb.c  rgb.o
  CC       ./src/time.c time.o
  CC       ./src/usb-dev.c  usb-dev.o
  CC       ./src/usb-epfifo.c usb-epfifo.o
  LD       riscv-notifier.elf
  OBJCOPY  riscv-notifier.bin
  IHEX     riscv-notifier.ihex
  DFU      riscv-notifier.dfu
dfu-suffix (dfu-util) 0.9

Copyright 2011-2012 Stefan Schmidt, 2013-2014 Tormod Volden
This program is Free Software and has ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY
Please report bugs to http://sourceforge.net/p/dfu-util/tickets/

Suffix successfully added to file

$ dfu-util -d 1209:5bf0 -D riscv-notifier.bin
dfu-util 0.9

Copyright 2005-2009 Weston Schmidt, Harald Welte and OpenMoko Inc.
Copyright 2010-2019 Tormod Volden and Stefan Schmidt
This program is Free Software and has ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY
Please report bugs to http://sourceforge.net/p/dfu-util/tickets/

Invalid DFU suffix signature
A valid DFU suffix will be required in a future dfu-util release!!!
Deducing device DFU version from functional descriptor length
Opening DFU capable USB device...
ID 1209:5bf0
Run-time device DFU version 0101
Claiming USB DFU Interface...
Setting Alternate Setting #0 ...
Determining device status: state = dfuIDLE, status = 0
dfuIDLE, continuing
DFU mode device DFU version 0101
Device returned transfer size 1024
Copying data from PC to DFU device
Download  [=========================] 100%         2728 bytes
Download done.
state(7) = dfuMANIFEST, status(0) = No error condition is present
state(8) = dfuMANIFEST-WAIT-RESET, status(0) = No error condition is present
Done!

Note: I had to resort to specifying the device ID -d 1209:5bf0, as there’s more than one DFU capable USB device showing up on my system.

The Fomu can be reset (program cleared) with wishbone-tool 0xe0006000 0xac.

LED Control

A summary of the specs from the iCE40 LED Driver Usage Guide, Appendix D. RGB PWM IP - LED Control Bus Addressable Registers:

LEDD_ADR[3:0] Name Usage Access
1000 LEDDCR0 LED Driver Control Register 0 W
1001 LEDDBR LED Driver Pre-scale Register W
1010 LEDDONR LED Driver ON Time Register W
1011 LEDDOFR LED Driver OFF Time Register W
0101 LEDDBCRR LED Driver Breathe On Control Register W
0110 LEDDBCFR LED Driver Breathe Off Control Register W
0001 LEDDPWRR LED Driver Pulse Width Register for RED W
0010 LEDDPWRG LED Driver Pulse Width Register for GREEN W
0011 LEDDPWRB LED Driver Pulse Width Register for BLUE W

A combination of breathe, blink and RGB settings are used to define four states (RUNNING, IDLE, SUCCESS, FAILED).

See the source, especially main.c for how these are controlled.

Controlling the Notifier over the Wishbone Bus

The riscv-notifier program sets the LED state to one of four possible states, determined by volatile int desired_state. This is declared volatile so it doesn’t get optimized away.

The makefile is configured to generate a map file from which we can determin the memory address of desired_state:

.sdata.desired_state
                0x0000000010000230        0x4 .obj/main.o
                0x0000000010000230                desired_state

Knowing that, we can control the notifier by poking a single value with the wishbone-tool e.g.

wishbone-tool 0x0000000010000230 2  # sets SUCCESS state

Final Revised Guardfile

So with the riscv-notifier program loaded on the Fomu, the Guardfile can be simplified considerably. Here it is in full:

# Guardfile that demonstrates hooking RSpec results
# and blinking notifyications on the Fomu RGB LED
# using the wishbone-tool to control a RISC-V notification program running on the Fomu

# The Fomu/wishbone-tool integration lives here
class Guard::FomuNotifier
  NOTIFIER_ADDR = '0x0000000010000230'
  LED_STATES = ['running', 'idle', 'success', 'failed']

  # Command: set the Fomu RGB LED state
  def self.set_rbg(status)
    command = "wishbone-tool #{NOTIFIER_ADDR} #{LED_STATES.index(status) || 3} 2> /dev/null"
    system(command)
  end

  # callback target so we know when a build starts
  def call(guard_class, event, *args)
    status = if event == :start_begin
      'idle'
    else
      'running'
    end
    self.class.set_rbg status
  end
end

guard :rspec, cmd: "bundle exec rspec" do
  require "guard/rspec/dsl"
  dsl = Guard::RSpec::Dsl.new(self)

  # RSpec files
  rspec = dsl.rspec
  watch(rspec.spec_helper) { rspec.spec_dir }
  watch(rspec.spec_files)

  # Ruby files
  ruby = dsl.ruby
  dsl.watch_spec_files_for(ruby.lib_files)

  # rspec test results go to file (unfortunately cannot receive with callbacks)
  notification :file, path: '.guard_result'

  # setup the callbacks so we know when things start
  callback(FomuNotifier.new, [
    :run_all_begin, :run_on_additions_begin, :run_on_modifications_begin, :run_on_removals_begin, :start_begin
  ])
end

# watch the rspec results file so can trigger Fomu depending on the result
guard :shell do
  watch '.guard_result' do
    Guard::FomuNotifier.set_rbg File.read('.guard_result').lines.first.strip
  end
end

Conclusions

I like it! Guard takes a bit of convincing to pipe the right results.

Programming the Fomu with RISC-V C was quite straight-forward and posed no curly issues. The main downside is that the program is not permanently resident, though it’s no big deal to script the reflash so I can use this as a regular tool in my developer workflow.

Build

Credits and References

About LEAP#494 FPGARuby
Project Source on GitHub Return to the LEAP Catalog

This page is a web-friendly rendering of my project notes shared in the LEAP GitHub repository.

LEAP is my personal collection of electronics projects, usually involving an Arduino or other microprocessor in one way or another. Some are full-blown projects, while many are trivial breadboard experiments, intended to learn and explore something interesting (IMHO!).

The projects are usually inspired by things found wild on the net, or ideas from the sources such as:

Feel free to borrow liberally, and if you spot any issues do let me know. See the individual projects for credits where due. There are even now a few projects contributed by others - send your own over in a pull request if you would also like to add to this collection.