netMF Electric Longboard Part 2

Analog Inputs & Pulse Width Modulation

The next step was to figure out how to configure a Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) output and an Analog Input so I could adjust the duty cycle and control the brightness of a Light Emitting Diode(LED).

Netduino 3 ADC & PWN test rig

My test rig uses (prices as at Aug 2020) the following parts

  • Netduino 3 Wifi
  • Grove-Base Shield V2.0 for Arduino USD4.45
  • Grove-Universal 4 Pin Bucked 5cm cable(5 PCs Pack) USD1.90
  • Grove-Universal 4 Pin Bucked 20cm cable(5 PCs Pack) USD2.90
  • Grove-LED Pack USD2.90
  • Grove-Rotary Angle Sensor USD2.90

My analog input test harness

 public class Program
   {
      public static void Main()
      {
         Debug.WriteLine("devMobile.Longboard.AdcTest starting");
         Debug.WriteLine(AdcController.GetDeviceSelector());

         try
         {
            AdcController adc = AdcController.GetDefault();
            AdcChannel adcChannel = adc.OpenChannel(0);

            while (true)
            {
               double value = adcChannel.ReadRatio();

               Debug.WriteLine($"Value: {value:F2}");

               Thread.Sleep(100);
            }
         }
         catch (Exception ex)
         {
            Debug.WriteLine(ex.Message);
         }
      }
   }

The nanoFramework code polls for the rotary angle sensor for its position value every 100mSec.

The setup to use for the Analog to Digital Convertor(ADC) port was determined by looking at the board.h and target_windows_devices_adc_config.cpp file.

//
// Copyright (c) 2018 The nanoFramework project contributors
// See LICENSE file in the project root for full license information.
//

#include <win_dev_adc_native_target.h>

const NF_PAL_ADC_PORT_PIN_CHANNEL AdcPortPinConfig[] = {
    
    // ADC1
    {1, GPIOC, 0, ADC_CHANNEL_IN10},
    {1, GPIOC, 1, ADC_CHANNEL_IN11},

    // ADC2
    {2, GPIOC, 2, ADC_CHANNEL_IN14},
    {2, GPIOC, 3, ADC_CHANNEL_IN15},

    // ADC3
    {3, GPIOC, 4, ADC_CHANNEL_IN12},
    {3, GPIOC, 5, ADC_CHANNEL_IN13},

    // these are the internal sources, available only at ADC1
    {1, NULL, 0, ADC_CHANNEL_SENSOR},
    {1, NULL, 0, ADC_CHANNEL_VREFINT},
    {1, NULL, 0, ADC_CHANNEL_VBAT},
};

const int AdcChannelCount = ARRAYSIZE(AdcPortPinConfig);

The call to AdcController.GetDeviceSelector() only returned one controller

The thread '<No Name>' (0x2) has exited with code 0 (0x0).
devMobile.Longboard.AdcTest starting
ADC1

After some experimentation it appears that only A0 & A1 work on a Netduino. (Aug 2020).

My PWM test harness

public class Program
{
   public static void Main()
   {
      Debug.WriteLine("devMobile.Longboard.PwmTest starting");
      Debug.WriteLine(PwmController.GetDeviceSelector());

      try
      {
         PwmController pwm = PwmController.FromId("TIM5");
         AdcController adc = AdcController.GetDefault();
         AdcChannel adcChannel = adc.OpenChannel(0);

         PwmPin pwmPin = pwm.OpenPin(PinNumber('A', 0));
         pwmPin.Controller.SetDesiredFrequency(1000);
         pwmPin.Start();

         while (true)
         {
            double value = adcChannel.ReadRatio();

            Debug.WriteLine(value.ToString("F2"));

            pwmPin.SetActiveDutyCyclePercentage(value);

            Thread.Sleep(100);
         }
      }
      catch (Exception ex)
      {
         Debug.WriteLine(ex.Message);
      }
   }

   private static int PinNumber(char port, byte pin)
   {
      if (port < 'A' || port > 'J')
         throw new ArgumentException();
      return ((port - 'A') * 16) + pin;
   }
}

I had to refer to the Netduino schematic to figure out pin mapping

With my test rig (with easy access to D0 to D8)I found that only D2,D3,D7 and D8 worked as PWM outputs.

The next test rig will be getting Servo working.

netMF Electric Longboard Part 1

Wiichuck connectivity

Roughly four years ago I build myself an electric longboard as summer transport. It initially had a controller built with a devDuino V2.2 which after a while I “upgraded” to a GHI Electronics .NET Microframework device.

Configuring the original netMF based longboard

Now that GHI Electronics no longer supports the FEZ Panda III I figured upgrading to a device that runs the nanoFramework would be a good compromise.

I control the speed of the longboard with a generic wireless wii nunchuk. So my first project is porting the .NET Micro Framework Toolbox code to the nanoFramework.

wireless controller test rig

My test rig uses (prices as at Aug 2020) the following parts

  • Netduino 3 Wifi
  • Grove-Base Shield V2.0 for Arduino USD4.45
  • Grove-Universal 4 Pin Bucked 5cm cable(5 PCs Pack) USD1.90
  • Grove-Nunchuck USD2.90
  • Generic wireless WII nunchuk

My changes were mainly related to the Inter Integrated Circuit(I2C) configuration and the reading+writing of registers.

/// <summary>
/// Initialises a new Wii Nunchuk
/// </summary>
/// <param name="busId">The unique identifier of the I²C to use.</param>
/// <param name="slaveAddress">The I²C address</param>
/// <param name="busSpeed">The bus speed, an enumeration that defaults to StandardMode</param>
/// <param name="sharingMode">The sharing mode, an enumeration that defaults to Shared.</param>
public WiiNunchuk(string busId, ushort slaveAddress = 0x52, I2cBusSpeed busSpeed = I2cBusSpeed.StandardMode, I2cSharingMode sharingMode = I2cSharingMode.Shared)
   {
      I2cTransferResult result;

      // This initialisation routine seems to work. I got it at http://wiibrew.org/wiki/Wiimote/Extension_Controllers#The_New_Way
      Device = I2cDevice.FromId(busId, new I2cConnectionSettings(slaveAddress)
      {
         BusSpeed = busSpeed,
         SharingMode = sharingMode,
      });

      result = Device.WritePartial(new byte[] { 0xf0, 0x55 });
      if (result.Status != I2cTransferStatus.FullTransfer)
      {
         throw new ApplicationException("Something went wrong reading the Nunchuk. Did you use proper pull-up resistors?");
      }

      result = Device.WritePartial(new byte[] { 0xfb, 0x00 });
      if (result.Status != I2cTransferStatus.FullTransfer)
      {
         throw new ApplicationException("Something went wrong reading the Nunchuk. Did you use proper pull-up resistors?");
      }

      this.Device.Write(new byte[] { 0xf0, 0x55 });
      this.Device.Write(new byte[] { 0xfb, 0x00 });
   }

   /// <summary>
   /// Reads all data from the nunchuk
   /// </summary>
   public void Read()
   {
      byte[] WaitWriteBuffer = { 0 };
      I2cTransferResult result;

      result = Device.WritePartial(WaitWriteBuffer);
      if (result.Status != I2cTransferStatus.FullTransfer)
      {
         throw new ApplicationException("Something went wrong reading the Nunchuk. Did you use proper pull-up resistors?");
      }

      byte[] ReadBuffer = new byte[6];
      result = Device.ReadPartial(ReadBuffer);
      if (result.Status != I2cTransferStatus.FullTransfer)
      {
         throw new ApplicationException("Something went wrong reading the Nunchuk. Did you use proper pull-up resistors?");
      }

      // Parses data according to http://wiibrew.org/wiki/Wiimote/Extension_Controllers/Nunchuck#Data_Format

      // Analog stick
      this.AnalogStickX = ReadBuffer[0];
      this.AnalogStickY = ReadBuffer[1];

      // Accelerometer
      ushort AX = (ushort)(ReadBuffer[2] << 2);
      ushort AY = (ushort)(ReadBuffer[3] << 2);
      ushort AZ = (ushort)(ReadBuffer[4] << 2);
      AZ += (ushort)((ReadBuffer[5] & 0xc0) >> 6); // 0xc0 = 11000000
      AY += (ushort)((ReadBuffer[5] & 0x30) >> 4); // 0x30 = 00110000
      AX += (ushort)((ReadBuffer[5] & 0x0c) >> 2); // 0x0c = 00001100
      this.AcceleroMeterX = AX;
      this.AcceleroMeterY = AY;
      this.AcceleroMeterZ = AZ;

      // Buttons
      ButtonC = (ReadBuffer[5] & 0x02) != 0x02;    // 0x02 = 00000010
      ButtonZ = (ReadBuffer[5] & 0x01) != 0x01;    // 0x01 = 00000001
}

The nanoFramework code polls for the joystick position and accelerometer values every 100mSec

public class Program
{
   public static void Main()
   {
      Debug.WriteLine("devMobile.Longboard.WiiNunchuckTest starting");
      Debug.WriteLine(I2cDevice.GetDeviceSelector());

      try
      {
         WiiNunchuk nunchuk = new WiiNunchuk("I2C1");

         while (true)
         {
            nunchuk.Read();

            Debug.WriteLine($"JoyX: {nunchuk.AnalogStickX} JoyY:{nunchuk.AnalogStickY} AX:{nunchuk.AcceleroMeterX} AY:{nunchuk.AcceleroMeterY} AZ:{nunchuk.AcceleroMeterZ} BtnC:{nunchuk.ButtonC} BtnZ:{nunchuk.ButtonZ}");

            Thread.Sleep(100);
         }
      }
      catch (Exception ex)
      {
         Debug.WriteLine(ex.Message);
      }
   }
}

The setup to use for the I2C port was determined by looking at the board.h and target_windows_devices_I2C_config.cpp file

//
// Copyright (c) 2018 The nanoFramework project contributors
// See LICENSE file in the project root for full license information.
//

#include <win_dev_i2c_native_target.h>

//////////
// I2C1 //
//////////

// pin configuration for I2C1
// port for SCL pin is: GPIOB
// port for SDA pin is: GPIOB
// SCL pin: is GPIOB_6
// SDA pin: is GPIOB_7
// GPIO alternate pin function is 4 (see alternate function mapping table in device datasheet)
I2C_CONFIG_PINS(1, GPIOB, GPIOB, 6, 7, 4)

Then checking this against the Netduino 3 Wifi schematic.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is netduinoschematic-1.jpg

After some experimentation with how to detect if an I2C read or write had failed the debugging console output began displaying reasonable value

The thread '<No Name>' (0x2) has exited with code 0 (0x0).
devMobile.Longboard.WiiNunchuckTest starting
I2C1
JoyX: 128 JoyY:128 AX:520 AY:508 AZ:708 BtnC:False BtnZ:False
JoyX: 128 JoyY:128 AX:520 AY:504 AZ:716 BtnC:False BtnZ:False
JoyX: 128 JoyY:128 AX:524 AY:508 AZ:716 BtnC:False BtnZ:False
JoyX: 128 JoyY:128 AX:524 AY:536 AZ:708 BtnC:False BtnZ:False
JoyX: 128 JoyY:128 AX:516 AY:528 AZ:724 BtnC:False BtnZ:False
JoyX: 128 JoyY:128 AX:492 AY:524 AZ:720 BtnC:True BtnZ:False
JoyX: 128 JoyY:128 AX:508 AY:528 AZ:700 BtnC:True BtnZ:False
JoyX: 128 JoyY:128 AX:504 AY:532 AZ:716 BtnC:True BtnZ:False
JoyX: 128 JoyY:128 AX:512 AY:532 AZ:724 BtnC:False BtnZ:False
JoyX: 128 JoyY:128 AX:516 AY:532 AZ:712 BtnC:False BtnZ:False
JoyX: 128 JoyY:128 AX:520 AY:532 AZ:708 BtnC:False BtnZ:False
JoyX: 128 JoyY:128 AX:524 AY:532 AZ:708 BtnC:False BtnZ:False
JoyX: 128 JoyY:128 AX:480 AY:504 AZ:688 BtnC:True BtnZ:True
JoyX: 128 JoyY:128 AX:480 AY:520 AZ:728 BtnC:False BtnZ:True
JoyX: 128 JoyY:128 AX:512 AY:520 AZ:704 BtnC:False BtnZ:True
JoyX: 128 JoyY:128 AX:512 AY:548 AZ:708 BtnC:False BtnZ:False
JoyX: 128 JoyY:128 AX:504 AY:516 AZ:728 BtnC:False BtnZ:False
JoyX: 128 JoyY:128 AX:548 AY:536 AZ:704 BtnC:False BtnZ:False
JoyX: 128 JoyY:128 AX:500 AY:528 AZ:728 BtnC:True BtnZ:False
JoyX: 128 JoyY:128 AX:496 AY:524 AZ:716 BtnC:True BtnZ:False
JoyX: 128 JoyY:128 AX:528 AY:536 AZ:696 BtnC:False BtnZ:False
JoyX: 128 JoyY:128 AX:540 AY:540 AZ:720 BtnC:False BtnZ:False
JoyX: 128 JoyY:128 AX:500 AY:520 AZ:684 BtnC:False BtnZ:False
JoyX: 128 JoyY:0 AX:520 AY:508 AZ:696 BtnC:False BtnZ:False
JoyX: 29 JoyY:0 AX:488 AY:576 AZ:716 BtnC:False BtnZ:False
JoyX: 0 JoyY:128 AX:532 AY:540 AZ:700 BtnC:False BtnZ:False
JoyX: 0 JoyY:128 AX:492 AY:512 AZ:708 BtnC:False BtnZ:False
JoyX: 0 JoyY:128 AX:492 AY:516 AZ:708 BtnC:False BtnZ:False
JoyX: 0 JoyY:128 AX:504 AY:512 AZ:708 BtnC:False BtnZ:False
JoyX: 27 JoyY:128 AX:508 AY:520 AZ:700 BtnC:False BtnZ:False
JoyX: 106 JoyY:128 AX:504 AY:516 AZ:700 BtnC:False BtnZ:False
JoyX: 0 JoyY:128 AX:496 AY:520 AZ:700 BtnC:False BtnZ:False
JoyX: 0 JoyY:128 AX:512 AY:532 AZ:716 BtnC:False BtnZ:False
JoyX: 0 JoyY:128 AX:500 AY:516 AZ:708 BtnC:False BtnZ:False
JoyX: 85 JoyY:113 AX:500 AY:536 AZ:720 BtnC:False BtnZ:False
JoyX: 128 JoyY:110 AX:512 AY:532 AZ:712 BtnC:False BtnZ:False
JoyX: 128 JoyY:90 AX:516 AY:528 AZ:716 BtnC:False BtnZ:False
JoyX: 128 JoyY:43 AX:508 AY:468 AZ:660 BtnC:False BtnZ:False
JoyX: 128 JoyY:0 AX:508 AY:532 AZ:712 BtnC:False BtnZ:False
JoyX: 128 JoyY:0 AX:496 AY:524 AZ:716 BtnC:False BtnZ:False

The next test rig will be getting Pulse Width Modulation(PWM) working.

The Things Network Client Part1

Basic connectivity

Over the last few months I have been using the community version of The Things Network(TTN) to test my LoRaWAN RakWireless RAK811 EVB based nanoFramework and TinyCLR clients.

As I was manually configuring TTN clients references to an application programming interface(API) caught my attention. In my day job I use tools from SmartBear and RicoSuter to generate .Net Core clients (for APSP.NET Core Web APIs I have build) from their OpenAPI descriptions.

The first step was to download the API swagger from The Things Network Github repository.

Things Network Github repository

I then used nSwagStudio to generate a C# client from a local copy of the API swagger (in the future I will use download the swagger and use the command line tools).

nSwag User Interface

At this point I had a basic client for the TTN network stack API which lacked support for the TTN security model etc. After looking at the TTN API documentation I figured out I need to add a header which contained an API Key from the TTN application configuration.

namespace TheThingsNetwork.API
{
	public partial class EndDeviceRegistryClient
	{
		public string ApiKey { set; get; }

		partial void PrepareRequest(System.Net.Http.HttpClient client, System.Net.Http.HttpRequestMessage request, string url)
		{
			if (!client.DefaultRequestHeaders.Contains("Authorization"))
			{
				client.DefaultRequestHeaders.Add("Authorization", $"Bearer {ApiKey}");
			}
		}
	}
}

In the TTN console on the overview page for my application I created an Access Key.

I then added some attributes to one of my devices so I had some addition device configuration data to display(I figured these could be useful for Azure IoT Hub configuration parameters etc. more about this later..)

Basic Device configuration in TTN Enterprise

I built a nasty console application which displayed some basic device configuration information to confirm I could authenticate and enumerate.

//---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
// Copyright (c) August 2020, devMobile Software
//
// Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
// you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
// You may obtain a copy of the License at
//
//     http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0
//
// Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
// distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
// WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied.
// See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
// limitations under the License.
//
// SECURITY_ANONYMISE
//---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
namespace TheThingsNetwork.EndDeviceClient
{
	using System;
	using System.Collections.Generic;
	using System.Net.Http;
	using TheThingsNetwork.API;

	class Program
	{
		static void Main(string[] args)
		{
			Console.WriteLine("TheThingsNetwork.EndDeviceClient starting");

			if (args.Length != 3)
			{
				Console.WriteLine("EndDeviceClient <baseURL> <applicationId> <apiKey>");
				Console.WriteLine("Press <enter> to exit");
				Console.ReadLine();
				return;
			}
			string baseUrl = args[0];
#if !SECURITY_ANONYMISE
			Console.WriteLine($"baseURL: {baseUrl}");
#endif
			string applicationId = args[1];
#if !SECURITY_ANONYMISE
			Console.WriteLine($"applicationId: {applicationId}");
#endif
			string apiKey = args[2];
#if !SECURITY_ANONYMISE
			Console.WriteLine($"apiKey: {apiKey}");
			Console.WriteLine();
#endif

			using (HttpClient httpClient = new HttpClient())
			{
				EndDeviceRegistryClient endDeviceRegistryClient = new EndDeviceRegistryClient(baseUrl, httpClient);
				endDeviceRegistryClient.ApiKey = apiKey;

				try
				{
					V3EndDevices endDevices = endDeviceRegistryClient.ListAsync(applicationId).GetAwaiter().GetResult();

					foreach (V3EndDevice v3EndDevice in endDevices.End_devices)
					{
#if SECURITY_ANONYMISE
						v3EndDevice.Ids.Dev_eui[7] = 0x0;
						v3EndDevice.Ids.Dev_eui[8] = 0x0;
						v3EndDevice.Ids.Dev_eui[9] = 0x0;
						v3EndDevice.Ids.Dev_eui[10] = 0x0;
						v3EndDevice.Ids.Dev_eui[11] = 0x0;
#endif
						Console.WriteLine($"Device ID:{v3EndDevice.Ids.Device_id} DevEUI:{Convert.ToBase64String(v3EndDevice.Ids.Dev_eui)}");
						Console.WriteLine($"   CreatedAt: {v3EndDevice.Created_at:dd-MM-yy HH:mm:ss} UpdatedAt: {v3EndDevice.Updated_at:dd-MM-yy HH:mm:ss}");

						string[] fieldMaskPaths = { "name", "description", "attributes" };

						var endDevice = endDeviceRegistryClient.GetAsync(applicationId, v3EndDevice.Ids.Device_id, field_mask_paths: fieldMaskPaths).GetAwaiter().GetResult();

						Console.WriteLine($"   Name: {endDevice.Name}");
						Console.WriteLine($"   Description: {endDevice.Description}");
						if (endDevice.Attributes != null)
						{
							foreach (KeyValuePair<string, string> attribute in endDevice.Attributes)
							{
								Console.WriteLine($"      Key: {attribute.Key} Name: {attribute.Value}");
							}
						}
						Console.WriteLine();
					}
				}
				catch (Exception ex)
				{
					Console.WriteLine(ex.Message);
				}

				Console.WriteLine("Press <enter> to exit");
				Console.ReadLine();
			}
		}
	}
}

I added some code so I could anonymise the displayed configuration so I could take screen grabs without revealing any sensitive information.

TTN API Client V1

Initially I struggled with versioning issues as the TTN community network is running V2 and the github repository was for V3. I approached TTN and they gave me access to a “limited” account on the enterprise network.

I also struggled with the number of blank fields in responses and spent some time learning GO (the programming language TTN is built with) to figure out how to use fieldMaskPaths etc.

string[] fieldMaskPaths = { "name", "description", "attributes" };

V3EndDevice endDevice = endDeviceRegistryClient.GetAsync(applicationId, v3EndDevice.Ids.Device_id, field_mask_paths: fieldMaskPaths).GetAwaiter().GetResult();

Overall things went pretty well but I expect to basic GO programing skills one this project is finished.

As hinted at earlier in this post the end goal of this project is to build an Azure IoT hub integration.

nanoFramework nRF24L01 library Part2

After sorting out Serial Peripheral Interface(SPI) connectivity the next step porting my GHI Electronics TinyCLR V2 library to the nanoFramework was rewriting the initialisation code. Overall changes were minimal as the nanoFramework similar methods to the TinyCLR V2 ones.

The Tiny CLR SPI and interrupt port configuration (note the slightly different interrupt port configuration)

if (gpio == null)
{
   Debug.WriteLine("GPIO Initialization failed.");
}
else
{
   _cePin = gpio.OpenPin(chipEnablePin);
   _cePin.SetDriveMode(GpioPinDriveMode.Output);
   _cePin.Write(GpioPinValue.Low);

   _irqPin = gpio.OpenPin((byte)interruptPin);
   _irqPin.SetDriveMode(GpioPinDriveMode.InputPullUp);
   _irqPin.Write(GpioPinValue.High);
   _irqPin.ValueChanged += _irqPin_ValueChanged;
}

try
{
   var settings = new SpiConnectionSettings()
   {
      ChipSelectType = SpiChipSelectType.Gpio,
      ChipSelectLine = gpio.OpenPin(chipSelectPin),
      Mode = SpiMode.Mode0,
      ClockFrequency = clockFrequency,
      ChipSelectActiveState = false,
   };

   SpiController controller = SpiController.FromName(spiPortName);
   _spiPort = controller.GetDevice(settings);
}
catch (Exception ex)
{
   Debug.WriteLine("SPI Initialization failed. Exception: " + ex.Message);
   return;
}

The nanoFramework SPI and interrupt port configuration (note the slightly different SPI port configuration)

public void Initialize(string spiPortName, int chipEnablePin, int chipSelectPin, int interruptPin, int clockFrequency = 2000000)
{
   var gpio = GpioController.GetDefault();

   if (gpio == null)
   {
      Debug.WriteLine("GPIO Initialization failed.");
   }
   else
   {
      _cePin = gpio.OpenPin(chipEnablePin);
      _cePin.SetDriveMode(GpioPinDriveMode.Output);
      _cePin.Write(GpioPinValue.Low);

      _irqPin = gpio.OpenPin((byte)interruptPin);
      _irqPin.SetDriveMode(GpioPinDriveMode.InputPullUp);
      _irqPin.ValueChanged += irqPin_ValueChanged;
   }

   try
   {
      var settings = new SpiConnectionSettings(chipSelectPin)
      {
         ClockFrequency = clockFrequency,
         Mode = SpiMode.Mode0,
         SharingMode = SpiSharingMode.Shared,
      };

      _spiPort = SpiDevice.FromId(spiPortName, settings);
   }
   catch (Exception ex)
   {
      Debug.WriteLine("SPI Initialization failed. Exception: " + ex.Message);
   return;
   }

The error handling of the initialise method is broken. If the some of the GPIO or SPI port configuration fails a message is displayed in the Debug output but the caller is not notified.

I’m using a Netduino 3 Wifi as the SPI port configuration means I can use a standard Arduino shield to connect up the NRF24L01 wireless module without any jumpers

Netduino 3 Wifi and embedded coolness shield

I have applied the PowerLevel fix from the TinyCLR and Meadow libraries but worry that there maybe other issues.

The thread '<No Name>' (0x2) has exited with code 0 (0x0).
Address: Dev01
PowerLevel: 2
IsAutoAcknowledge: True
Channel: 15
DataRate: 2
IsDynamicAcknowledge: False
IsDynamicPayload: True
IsEnabled: False
Frequency: 2415
IsInitialized: True
IsPowered: True
00:00:15-TX 9 byte message hello 255
Data Sent!
00:00:15-TX Succeeded!

Based on my experiences porting the library to three similar platforms and debugging it on two others I’m considering writing my own compile-time platform portable library.