Does anyone happen to have True Basic?

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Does anyone happen to have True Basic?

Postby bjjones37 » Mon May 24, 2010 1:04 am

I cannot seem to find True Basic for the ST anywhere, not for sale or download. Does anyone happen to know where I can find it?
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Re: Does anyone happen to have True Basic?

Postby bjjones37 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:09 pm

I have tried all Atari vendors I know, Amazon, eBay, I wrote the True Basic corporation, I have even been in contact with Thomas Kurtz who originally wrote True Basic. Nobody has a lead on it. True Basic for the Atari ST seems to be completely and truly lost! :(
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Re: Does anyone happen to have True Basic?

Postby charles » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:24 pm

this could be me just tossing ideals around again ,
but wasn't true basic , for the 8 bit xl atari machines ?,,
i used to find it in the 8 bit section and it was an application called

truebasic .com
or
truebasic.atr


true basic is gfa basic before it actully became gfa basic.

thats what i remeber reading somewhere.

i think i saw it in the atari "start" magazine
or on the university of michigan software archives

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Re: Does anyone happen to have True Basic?

Postby lp » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:34 pm

charles wrote: true basic is gfa basic before it actully became gfa basic.


No you are completely wrong like usual. Its Turbo BASIC XL.

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Re: Does anyone happen to have True Basic?

Postby lp » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:38 pm

bjjones37 wrote:I have tried all Atari vendors I know, Amazon, eBay, I wrote the True Basic corporation, I have even been in contact with Thomas Kurtz who originally wrote True Basic. Nobody has a lead on it. True Basic for the Atari ST seems to be completely and truly lost! :(


I also tried to find it sometime ago with no luck at all. So what did Thomas Kurtz have to say? Did he at least confirm it was released and not vaporware? All I could find was magazine articles that mentioned it and nothing more.

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Re: Does anyone happen to have True Basic?

Postby bjjones37 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:37 pm

It was definitely released. The Sales rep at the True Basic site thought she might find it in her archives but was unsuccessful. Apparently it did not sell well. I found a reference to it on the "ATA Soft 2000 Pro" CD but the image file was missing.
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Re: Does anyone happen to have True Basic?

Postby bjjones37 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 3:40 pm

I finally was successful. The sales rep at Truebasic.com managed to come up with an Atari ST True BASIC 2.0 package to sell me. It was quite complete and works well on the Atari TT as far as I have been able to determine up to now. It even works well in TT resolutions. I requested to be able to release it to the Forum, but the sales rep prefers to try to market it from their website. She is trying to work out the details now. I provided them with ST Images of the disks after they arrived. Any interested party should contact TrueBasic.com for availability (and to generate interest in marketing another fine Atari ST software product).
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Re: Does anyone happen to have True Basic?

Postby lp » Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:23 pm

The mistake was asking to release it. They are not gonna sell very many copies of that in my opinion. Only reason they sold you a copy was, well.., my guess is the rep would have refused to give it to you. lol

I only wanted to see it for curiosity sake and I don't have any intention to actually use it or drop GFA.

Would not surprise me if it choked under MiNT. Typical of older apps, or apps that predate MiNT.

But its cool that you found it.

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Re: Does anyone happen to have True Basic?

Postby charles » Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:44 am

so is there a usable demo we may try , i just might buy it too if not very expensive
i live in north america and still use a good ole basic for most program pre structure.
whats it like ?
whats the good points ?
does it matter i have a tos 1.02/4 and a mono moniter with stf or ste 1 or 4 mb ?

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Re: Does anyone happen to have True Basic?

Postby lp » Sat Jul 31, 2010 5:07 pm

The last thing charles needs is yet another language. :megaphone: It won't help. :mrgreen:

Since they sent you a copy, can you confirm that it has a compiler? The compiler generates p-code? The reviews I did manage to find seem to indicate it generates p-code.

http://www.atarimagazines.com/startv3n3 ... rison.html

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Re: Does anyone happen to have True Basic?

Postby charles » Sat Jul 31, 2010 5:27 pm

why every thing abbreviated?

what is p-code?

and since you mentioned here i should not have to go looking all over the net for it.

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Re: Does anyone happen to have True Basic?

Postby lp » Sat Jul 31, 2010 6:47 pm

Not everything is abbreviated. I didn't need to look it up, because I already know what the article is referring to. Do your own leg work and look it up yourself. Takes like two seconds. :roll:

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Re: Does anyone happen to have True Basic?

Postby wongck » Sun Aug 01, 2010 1:10 am

uses p-code?
then it must be slow but helps in portability.
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Re: Does anyone happen to have True Basic?

Postby DarkLord » Sun Aug 01, 2010 5:35 am

Wasn't that one of the strengths they advocated in TrueBasic when it first came out?
That code made on any machine (Atari ST, Amiga, Mac, PC, whatever) with very
little effort would run on any other platform?
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Re: Does anyone happen to have True Basic?

Postby lp » Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:12 am

Probably. So long as you stick to the generic built in stuff and don't hit the hardware directly, you can manage somewhat portable code with such packages. Typically such packages sacrifice speed.

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Re: Does anyone happen to have True Basic?

Postby wongck » Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:45 am

doesn't the p-code interpreter abstract the non-generic hardware as well, allowing it to run?
seems a shame if it didn't.
I guess it may target other flavors of computers rather than those hardware.
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Re: Does anyone happen to have True Basic?

Postby bjjones37 » Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:23 pm

lp wrote:The last thing charles needs is yet another language. :megaphone: It won't help. :mrgreen:

Since they sent you a copy, can you confirm that it has a compiler? The compiler generates p-code? The reviews I did manage to find seem to indicate it generates p-code.

http://www.atarimagazines.com/startv3n3 ... rison.html


I see no mistake in asking them to release it. If they wish to attempt to market it again, I am all for seeing another Atari product vendor come online. They must know that their distribution will be quite limited since this computer has not been manufactured in quite some time. The True BASIC system produces TRU files which can be compiled into TRC files. This in turn can be bound to produce standalone PRG files which require less memory and do not require a run-time package. It also supports linking assembler and C object code files.

I cannot tell you what kind of code the compiler generates.

I ran some uncompiled Tru programs both from STeem and from my Atari TT and it ran just fine, even supporting the TT higher resolutions. So I would say it has excellent compatibility. It was designed around the ANSI BASIC standard and also supports the "Developers Toolkit" libraries for GEM support. True BASIC comes on one 360K disk with the BIND utility and runtime on a second 360K disk.

I paid $35 plus shipping for version 2.0 which I thought was quite reasonable.
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Re: Does anyone happen to have True Basic?

Postby charles » Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:27 pm

well lets get down to the nitty grittyy

does it allow ?
arrays of byte, word, and long intergers?

how to find address of strings?

peek poke ?

memory reserve/allocation?

i have found gfa pascal and devpac the best for these areas , some basics don't even consider
having arrays of byte

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Re: Does anyone happen to have True Basic?

Postby lp » Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:55 am

bjjones37 wrote:The True BASIC system produces TRU files which can be compiled into TRC files. This in turn can be bound to produce standalone PRG files which require less memory and do not require a run-time package. It also supports linking assembler and C object code files.

I cannot tell you what kind of code the compiler generates.


Can you write the standard PRINT "hello world" program and include the source, the TRC and the bound version so we might analyze the files? Just zip up the test files and attach it to a post in this thread. That's all I need to satisfy my curiosity.

I ran some uncompiled Tru programs both from STeem and from my Atari TT and it ran just fine, even supporting the TT higher resolutions. So I would say it has excellent compatibility. It was designed around the ANSI BASIC standard and also supports the "Developers Toolkit" libraries for GEM support. True BASIC comes on one 360K disk with the BIND utility and runtime on a second 360K disk.


Well, the same is true of HiSoft BASIC Professional, but it chokes under MiNT. :wink:

I paid $35 plus shipping for version 2.0 which I thought was quite reasonable.


That's reasonable I guess with printed manuals and such.

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Re: Does anyone happen to have True Basic?

Postby bjjones37 » Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:42 pm

I did not mean to imply that True Basic is any better or worse than any other Basic. I am not qualified to make such an evaluation. But I was pleased to see it work on the Atari TT after some other apps I liked had failed to run on it. I did test True Basic in MultiTOS (under Steem) and it did run and compile just fine although there were some video anomalies which may have been due to the emulation. The TRU files appear to be simple ASCII.

lp wrote:
bjjones37 wrote:The True BASIC system produces TRU files which can be compiled into TRC files. This in turn can be bound to produce standalone PRG files which require less memory and do not require a run-time package. It also supports linking assembler and C object code files.

I cannot tell you what kind of code the compiler generates.


Can you write the standard PRINT "hello world" program and include the source, the TRC and the bound version so we might analyze the files? Just zip up the test files and attach it to a post in this thread. That's all I need to satisfy my curiosity.
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Re: Does anyone happen to have True Basic?

Postby bjjones37 » Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:20 pm

Looking over the docs, I can answer some of your questions. Yes to Peeks and Pokes. It supports arrays of up to 10 dimensions and redimensioning of arrays is supported. You can have arrays of numbers and strings. There is no restriction specified of the type of number stored in an array (decimal, float, etc.) but I have not tested it. String functions include - chr, len, lease, ltrim, num, Ord, Pos, Repeat, Rtrim, Str, Trim, Ucase, Using, Val. Integers are automatically recognized and handled. Double precision (float?) is maintained to at least 10 digits of accuracy, possibly more. During type conversion, fractions are rounded rather than truncated. All strings are variable in length with a 32,000 character maximum. Beyond dimensioning arrays and determining free memory, I see no commands to allocate or manage memory.

Hope this helps.

charles wrote:well lets get down to the nitty grittyy

does it allow ?
arrays of byte, word, and long intergers?

how to find address of strings?

peek poke ?

memory reserve/allocation?

i have found gfa pascal and devpac the best for these areas , some basics don't even consider
having arrays of byte

charles
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Re: Does anyone happen to have True Basic?

Postby charles » Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:26 am

thanks a whole lot bj , yes took aload of doubt off my mind

still didn't hit on if you can make an arrray of byte but thats cool

and the "ord" makes it seem like a pascal based program

the other series of commands resemble gfa basic

thanks again
i live in canada

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Re: Does anyone happen to have True Basic?

Postby lp » Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:21 am

bjjones37 wrote:I did not mean to imply that True Basic is any better or worse than any other Basic. I am not qualified to make such an evaluation. But I was pleased to see it work on the Atari TT after some other apps I liked had failed to run on it. I did test True Basic in MultiTOS (under Steem) and it did run and compile just fine although there were some video anomalies which may have been due to the emulation. The TRU files appear to be simple ASCII.


Thanks for the example files. Its for sure p-code as the executable version is a whopping 74kb. Judging by the size I'd say it includes the equivalent of a runtime module or interpreter in the binary. I can see what looks like the TRC appended near the end of the binary.

It also crashes with 'illegal instruction' on my Hades060 with MiNT. 8O

So if the company starts selling it again, any chance they will do any updates? Or is it forever frozen in time and sold 'as is'?

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Re: Does anyone happen to have True Basic?

Postby wongck » Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:31 am

lp wrote:So if the company starts selling it again, any chance they will do any updates? Or is it forever frozen in time and sold 'as is'?


question is... are there any more developer of this product at that company?
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Re: Does anyone happen to have True Basic?

Postby lp » Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:33 pm

wongck wrote:question is... are there any more developer of this product at that company?


That's more or less the same question i asked. I suspect its dead in the water. Its fallen behind the windows development and extremely unlikely they would waste any time on it.

Also, after seeing the sample files I see now the product as you put it seems to fit right in line with today's mentality, buy a 3ghz machine and rely on that, performance and efficiency doesn't factor into their programming model. I'll take back what I said earlier, $35 is too much, the company should release it as freeware and cut their losses. Heck, its been unavailable for some years so they aren't out anything in reality by giving it away. I'd also recommend ST-BASIC over it, at least ST-BASIC has a real compiler (not p-code), as the LDW compiler produces binaries that will run much faster and way more compact. :D

Sorry if sound negative about it, but BASIC is what it is, but there are better options if one wants to actually produce usable applications with a BASIC language on the ST.


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