Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby joska » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:35 am

m0n0 wrote:For very basic BASIC, there is also bwBASIC:
http://www.bwbasic.at/info.htm


There is also Bas, which seems to be a bit more advanced. Written in ANSI C, should be quite possible to port this to TOS and MiNT.

m0n0 wrote:Probably requires some (x)bios,vdi,aes bindings to make people happy =)


And with some proper dialog and window handling it could be very useful for writing small programs, installers etc.
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby jfl » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:51 am

joska wrote:
m0n0 wrote:For very basic BASIC, there is also bwBASIC:
http://www.bwbasic.at/info.htm


There is also Bas, which seems to be a bit more advanced. Written in ANSI C, should be quite possible to port this to TOS and MiNT.

m0n0 wrote:Probably requires some (x)bios,vdi,aes bindings to make people happy =)


And with some proper dialog and window handling it could be very useful for writing small programs, installers etc.

In case some would have missed my earlier post about the subject, X11-Basic is a Unix derivative of GFA Basic: http://x11-basic.sourceforge.net/ It seems quite interesting to me, though I must admit that I don't know anything about Basic :)
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby christos » Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:33 am

Indeed it's interesting, but it might not be useful since a lot of the atari specific stuff of gfa are not implemented. It might be easy to implement them but how that could be done, i don't know. I'll send an email to the author.
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby christos » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:25 pm

Here is Marcus' reply to my questions. I'll leave it to more experienced people to see if this is doable and worth the effort.

Hello Christos,

let me shortly comment:

porting X11-Basic to ATARI/MINT: I think it would be possible. I am not
sure
if there is an X11-server running, if not, one can adapt to framebuffer,
or even use AES/VDI functions.

you will nead the gnu c compiler, a glib cpmpatible interface to the
os-kernel.

processor architectue is more or less irrelevant.

Some modifications concerning endianess are probably necessary.




> 1. Is it possible for x-11 BASIC to be ported to that architecture? Namely
> MiNT. and coldfire,

yes.


> 2. If I understood correctly programs can be run from the interpreter,
> pseudo compiler (like in early versions of GFA) and virtual machine. Since
> our machines are too slow, I am worried that the VM might be too slow for
> our purposes, can you make an estimate if that would be the case and can it
> be tricked to produce native executables?

The interpreter would be slow. pseudocompiler is more or less as slow.

The virtual machine can be very fast. It is rather like the java VM and
not
compatible with the GFA tokemized (bytecode) format.
Making a real compiler producing native code is terefor only a small
step.
Unfortunately the x11basic-VM is a stack machine. So a translation step to
the register-machine MC68000 would be necessary.


> 3. I understand that there are lots of Atari specific functions missing
> from X-11. Would it be difficult to add them?

Depends. talking about GFA-basic V.3.5, lots of the modif lvalue things
are not implemented in x11basic and also the {}-syntax is not supported.
Adding GEM or TOS functions, however would be easy and straigt forward.



> 4. How compatible is X-11 BASIC to gfa? Excluding the functions missing,
> would a gfa program need a lot of effort to be converted to x-11 BASIC?

A game with much graphics need a lot adaption. Simple calculations need
none. X11-basic mskes use of a stdout (console) and graphics goes to a
different window. on atari this was all the same.

Maybe you want to have a look at the plenty example programs, whouse
origin in most cades was a gfa basic program


5. The structure of X11-Basic hardly supports object oriented extensions
to the language. On the other hand, most of the gnu stdlib functions are
already supported (sockets, multitasking, etc...). The strategy so far has
been to extend the language towards UNIX features and sacrifice lots of
the ATARI specialities. But making them available on a TOS system ... why
not.


I am not sure how much effort porting it would be but if GFA can't be made to run, that's a very good alternative. Plus the source is in C (and open) so corrections and fixes should be easier.
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby m0n0 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:01 pm

Code: Select all
porting X11-Basic to ATARI/MINT: I think it would be possible. I am not
sure
if there is an X11-server running, if not, one can adapt to framebuffer,
or even use AES/VDI functions.


Huh,... the page says there is also an SDL port of X11 Basic for Windows. That's maybe ported with less work... but as long as there is no official SDL release... ;)

Maybe the Author didn't know that Atari has SDL...
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby jfl » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:17 pm

m0n0 wrote:Huh,... the page says there is also an SDL port of X11 Basic for Windows. That's maybe ported with less work... but as long as there is no official SDL release... ;)

Maybe the Author didn't know that Atari has SDL...

I wouldn't be surprised that he doesn't. From his response, he doesn't seem to be aware that GCC and a C library are available (or even an X server, for that matter). This is not to be taken as criticism.
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby joska » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:45 pm

If this GFA-clone depends on the presence of the resource monster gcc then I doubt it will be of much interest to Atari users. But if it could output ANSI C then it could use AHCC or VBCC which would be much more interesting.
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby jfl » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:54 pm

joska wrote:If this GFA-clone depends on the presence of the resource monster gcc then I doubt it will be of much interest to Atari users. But if it could output ANSI C then it could use AHCC or VBCC which would be much more interesting.

In my understanding he speaks of GCC in the context of porting X11-Basic to the platform.
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby joska » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:21 pm

I did not make myself clear. I was refering to the X11-BASIC documentation which says...
Finally, the bytecode can be converted to c sourcefiles (see xb2c) which can be compiles with the gnu C compiler to native excecutables.


Maybe gcc was an example and not a requirement.
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby m0n0 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:30 pm

Hm, I thought that is only an option which can be used to create native executable. But as long as you do have the X11-BASIC runtime, you can run your basic code within that...
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby christos » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:32 am

Some findings after porting a simple DLA program. It's a bit different to gfa, enough to cause major headaches if you are new to the language. I managed to fix some segmentation faults caused by logical errors caused by miniscule differences in the syntax. The interpreted speed on the DLA algorithm I ran wasn't very good. Actually it was pretty slow, seemed like it was running interpreted on my falcon 060 but this is a 3ghz P4 hyperthreading. But since it was too long since the last time I ran this program i will have to check.
Unfortunately I wasn't able to run my program on the x11 basic virtual machine because it would crash with a segmentation fault, a problem that wouldn't be caught by the interpreter and so I couldn't debug it. As far as I can tell it shouldn't be happening, but maybe it should and for some reason gfa on the falcon just wouldn't care.
Anyway, i'll send the program to the author tomorrow so he can include it in his pages and maybe tell me what's wrong with it :)
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