MARS is a development tool that provides MIPS programmers with an intuitive environment for creating and testing their programs. The name is an acronym for MIPS Assembler and Runtime Simulator which better describes its role.
You can use this application in command line mode or by running the JAR file in order to access the integrated development environment GUI. The command line provides the ability to assemble and execute a program from a command interpreter.
The graphical interface of the program allows you to enter your code and to edit assembler files. It supports syntax highlighting which makes it easier to deal with multiple commands, variables and comments.
Although the IDE is clearly designed for programmers and MIPS developers, it includes features which can help the less experienced ones. The included documentation is extensive and includes lists of available instructions and directives that can be used for building your programs.
The code editor can provide you with suggestions and an automatic completion function when entering a new instruction in the script. You can view and edit the registry values by using the right-side panel which also provides access to the memory values.
The code editor interface is easy to use and can be customized by changing the font or the colors used for highlighting the code. If you are used to a different interface, this feature can help you recreate the familiar environment.
The program also provides you with a set of tools that can prove useful for certain projects. Thus, it allows you to simulate data cache performance, to visualize the memory reference patterns and to count the number of executed instructions.
Whether you need to edit a MIPS program or to create a new instruction set, MARS can provide you with the right tools for the job.