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Archives for December, 2023

Thetford Forest

December 10th, 2023

The days are short and cold and strangely misty so I went for a less ambitious walk this week from Thetford to nearby Brandon.

Between the two is the aptly named Thetford Forest. An enormous man-made forest planted after the first world war to replenish Britain’s stock of trees. There is something quite regular about the rows of trees.

When I got to Brandon they were having some sort of Christmas fête to which the ever-present mist gave a somewhat gloomy and mysterious atmosphere.

The train back was one of two trains per day scheduled to call at Shippea Hill which was once Britain’s least-used station until its notoriety led to an increase in passengers (no one got on or off today).

Melton Mowbray

December 9th, 2023

Last time when I stopped in Oakham I forgot to mention one of its most famous attractions: Oakham signal box which was used as the template for an Airfix model.

Oakham signal box

And here’s the model of it

Oakham has one other attraction which is the “castle” you can see in the photos below. (It’s not really a castle, it’s a “hall” at best.)

From Oakham I walked on to Melton Mowbray. My first visit to Leicestershire and I was pleasantly surprised! Lots of rolling hills and even the remains of this iron age fort at Burrough Hill.

Hill fort on Burrough Hill

Melton Mowbray is of course famous for its PIES (and Stilton cheese apparently) so I had to sample one and very tasty it was too.

A Melton Mowbray pork pie from Melton Mowbray

New NVC version 1.11.0

December 6th, 2023

This is a major new release with much improved support for VHDL-2019. Consult the features page for the current status of each LCS. This release also brings full support for cocotb!

Download: nvc-1.11.0.tar.gz

This release is signed with my PGP key ID 74319F1A: nvc-1.11.0.tar.gz.sig

  • New command --cover-export exports coverage data in the Cobertura XML format which is supported by most CI environments such as GitLab.
  • Generics on internal instances can now be overridden with the -g elaboration option. For example -g uut.value=42.
  • Implemented the 'reflect attribute and associated protected types from VHDL-2019.
  • Added support for VHDL-2019 sequential block statements.
  • Implemented the VHDL-2019 directory I/O functions in std.env.
  • Added VHDL-2019 assert API (with @Blebowski).
  • Implemented 'image, 'value and to_string for composite types in VHDL-2019.
  • Implemented the “closely related record types” feature from VHDL-2019.
  • Implemented the “composition with protected types” feature from VHDL-2019.
  • The new --shuffle option runs processes in a random order which can help to identify code that depends on a particular execution order.
  • Updated to OSVVM 2023.07 for nvc --install.
  • Various enhancements and fixes to the VHPI implementation.
  • Implemented the VHDL-2019 changes to instance_name and path_name for protected type variables.
  • VHPI error messages are no longer reported as diagnostic messages on the console. The new --vhpi-debug option restores the old behaviour.
  • Support for type conversions between arrays with closely related element types.
  • Added support for FSM state coverage collection (from @Blebowski).
  • An alias of a type now correctly creates implicit aliases for each predefined operator of that type (#776).
  • Improve overload resolution where a partial named association implies the formal parameter must be an array (#793).
  • Handling of implicit conversion for universal types has been reworked to better comply with the LRM.
  • Fixed a crash when string literal characters have a type which is an alias to another type (#801).
  • Added a warning when calling the predefined "=" and "/=" operators on arrays and the left and right hand sides have different lengths.
  • Expressions like abs(x)**2.0 are now parsed correctly (#805).

Special thank you to @bpadalino, @tmeissner, @Blebowski, @amb5l, @m42uko, @a-panella, @nv-h for sponsoring me!