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Topics - Richard Russell

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1
BBC BASIC / BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 version 1.27a released
« on: December 30, 2021, 05:17:13 pm »
I've released version 1.27a of BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 - the cross-platform programming language for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Raspberry Pi OS, Android, iOS and in-browser.  The changes in this version are as follows:

  • BASIC Interpreter / Run Time Engine

    Treat hexdecimal pointers in *LOAD commands etc. as unsigned numbers.

    Disable ON ERROR when in AUTO line-entry mode (64-bit and ARM editions only).

  • IDEs and Utilities

    The compiler utility can now build a 'web application' bundle to deploy online using https://wasm.bbcbasic.co.uk/bbcsdl.html?app=<URL of web bundle>.

    Fixed a race-hazard in the debugger which could cause a rare crash during variable listing.

  • Libraries

    Updated gfxlib and gfxlib_docs.pdf to add PROC_gfxPlotColumnListScale, PROC_gfxPlotRowListScale and FN_gfxLoadTextureSwapRGB.

    Updated audiolib to add PROC_mixCancel (truncates a sound effect) and PROC_mixSoundLevel (plays a sound effect at a specified level).

  • Example Programs

    Added candle.bbc (in examples/graphics), an animation of a burning candle, adapted from a program by David Williams.

    Added compiler directives to a few examples so they run as web applications without modification.


This version may be downloaded, for all the supported platforms, from the usual location.  The GitHub repository has been updated (used to build the MacOS, Raspberry Pi, Android, iOS, 64-bit Linux and in-browser editions, currently).


2
BBC BASIC / BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 version 1.26a released
« on: November 19, 2021, 01:54:45 pm »
I've released version 1.26a of BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 - the cross-platform programming language for Windows, MacOS, Linux, Raspberry Pi OS, Android, iOS and in-browser.  The changes in this version are as follows:

  • BASIC Interpreter / Run Time Engine

    Changed the behaviour of VDU 127 (DEL) in VDU 5 mode to correspond to that of Acorn systems, i.e. the background GCOL mode is ignored.

    Fixed a bug causing VDU 127 not to work correctly in VDU 5 mode if the text direction has been changed.

    Fixed a bug (in ARM and 64-bit editions only) whereby characters plotted in VDU 5 mode could not be read back using GET(x,y).

  • IDEs and Utilities

    Fixed a minor bug in SDLIDE.bbc which could cause incorrect indentation of lines added at the end of a program.

    Modified compiler.bbc so that message boxes still work when path names are very long.

    Modified compiler.bbc (on Windows only) to be tolerant of spaces in the path to BBCSDL.

  • Libraries

    Added gfxlib.bbc which partially emulates David Williams's GFXLIB2 library for BB4W; see gfxlib_docs.pdf for a detailed description.

    Added audiolib to support playing music (including MP3) and sound effects.

    Modified dlglib so that it works correctly if @ox% or @oy% is non-zero, or the graphics ORIGIN has been moved.

  • Example Programs

    Added cowboy.bbc in examples/games; this is David Williams's GFXLIB2 demo for BB4W, converted to use the new gfxlib library.

    Added metronome.bbc in examples/sounds (this is also compatible with BBC BASIC for Windows).

    Modified lemmings.bbc and tower.bbc to use the new audiolib library.


This version may be downloaded, for all the supported platforms, from the usual location.  The GitHub repository has been updated (used to build the MacOS, Raspberry Pi, Android, iOS, 64-bit Linux and in-browser editions, currently).

3
BBC BASIC / BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 version 1.25a released
« on: October 08, 2021, 03:58:15 pm »
I've released version 1.25a of BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 - the cross-platform programming language for Windows, MacOS, Linux, Raspberry Pi OS, Android, iOS and in-browser.  The changes in this version are as follows:

  • BASIC Interpreter / Run Time Engine

    PAGE may now be lowered without generating an error.  This is dangerous in general, but in limited memory environments (e.g. the Raspberry Pi Pico) it can be useful, as it was on the original BBC Micro.

    Implemented a new SUM operator which performs modulo-2^64 addition, i.e. overflows are ignored.  Using this operator modulo-2^64 subtraction and multiplication functions can be written:
Code: [Select]
      DEF FNsub64(a%%,b%%)=a%%SUMNOTb%%SUM1
      DEF FNmul64(a%%,b%%)LOCALA%,B%:A%=a%%AND&7FFFFFFF:B%=b%%AND&7FFFFFFF
      =A%*B%SUM((a%%>>31)*B%<<<31)SUM(A%*(b%%>>31)<<<31)SUM((a%%>>31AND3)*(b%%>>31AND3)<<<62)
  • IDEs and Utilities

    No changes (other than the version number of SDLIDE.bbc being updated).

  • Libraries

    stringlib.bbc modified so that FN_binary() and FN_tobase() accept 64-bit integers.

  • Example Programs

    There are no changes to the example programs in this release.
This version may be downloaded, for all the supported platforms, from the usual location.  The GitHub repository has been updated (used to build the MacOS, Raspberry Pi, Android, iOS, 64-bit Linux and in-browser editions, currently).

4
BBC BASIC / BBC BASIC for the Raspberry Pi Pico
« on: August 26, 2021, 02:39:52 pm »
Eric Olson and 'Memotech Bill' have developed a version of BBC BASIC (based on mine) for the Raspberry Pi Pico, it's a Work In Progress but is substantially working and can run all the example programs supplied with the Console Mode editions.  There's a GitHub repository here.

Despite the Pico being a $5 microcontroller with only 264K of RAM it suits this application very well, not least because of BBC BASIC's simple memory management (which was of course originally designed for a machine with only as little as 16K of RAM, the BBC Micro).  Something like 240K of memory is available for the BASIC program, variables, stack and libraries.

5
BBC BASIC / BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 version 1.24a released
« on: August 20, 2021, 05:37:41 pm »
I've released version 1.24a of BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 - the cross-platform programming language for Windows, MacOS, Linux, Raspberry Pi OS, Android, iOS and in-browser.  The changes in this version are as follows:

  • BASIC Interpreter / Run Time Engine

    Implemented GCOL modes 5-7 (in the web edition these are approximated by the closest available blend modes).

    Relative plot commands (e.g. DRAW BY x,y) no longer discard the LS bit of the offsets.

    Fixed a memory leak which could occur if you incompletely initialise a string array from a list of literals.

    Added macros to support CPUs having strict alignment requirements (e.g. the ARM Cortex-M1).

    Updated Emscripten to version 2.0.5 (still old, but recent versions won't run BBC BASIC owing to an SDL threading deadlock).

  • IDEs and Utilities

    SDLIDE now captures the mouse while dragging, to avoid an anomaly that could result if the drag continued beyond the edge of the window.  Also fixed another bug affecting dragging.

    Fixed Alt+F X (keyboard shortcut for Exit) not working in SDLIDE (oops!).

  • Libraries

    Updated ellipse.bbc to support GCOL modes 5-7.

  • Example Programs

    There are no changes to the example programs in this release.


This version may be downloaded, for all the supported platforms, from the usual location.  The GitHub repository has been updated (used to build the MacOS, Raspberry Pi, Android, iOS, 64-bit Linux and in-browser editions, currently).

6
BBC BASIC / BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 version 1.23a released
« on: July 09, 2021, 01:19:32 pm »
I've released version 1.23a of BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 - the cross-platform programming language for Windows, MacOS, Linux, Raspberry Pi OS, Android, iOS and in-browser.  The changes in this version are as follows:

  • BASIC Interpreter / Run Time Engine

    An experimental build for the 64-bit Raspberry Pi OS has been added (with many thanks to Simon Willcocks who wrote the AArch64 assembler which made it possible).  This runs more than twice as fast as the 32-bit Pi OS edition!

    On a MODE change, the window will be centered only if it would otherwise extend beyond the edge of the desktop.

    If SDL's message system is unavailable (which it currently is on 64-bit Pi OS), fatal errors will be reported in a MODE 7 window.

  • IDEs and Utilities

    Extended SDLIDE.bbc so Ctrl+Backspace is delete word left and Ctrl+Delete is delete word right.  Alt (Option) may be used instead of Ctrl, for compatibility with Apple Macs.

    Extended the Cross Reference utility to report mismatched quotes, parentheses and braces.

    Fixed a couple of minor bugs in the Cruncher, one of which could cause the output file to be larger than it needed to be.

    Updated BBCEdit to version 0.38.1, with thanks to Andy Parkes.

  • Libraries

    Added msgbox.bbc which provides support for Message Boxes, similar to those available in Windows.

    Updated filedlg to save and restore the VDU state (e.g. colours, viewports).

    Updated the Box2D libraries to be compatible with the 64-bit Raspberry Pi OS.

    Extended sdldebug.bbc and timerlib.bbc to include a 64-bit ARM (AArch64) version of the assembler code.

  • Example Programs

    Extended hello.bbc to include a 64-bit ARM (AArch64) version of the assembler code.

    Simplified telstar.bbc by using the built-in MODE 7 font in BBCSDL (and MODE7LIB in BB4W).

    Updated several examples to replace SDL's message boxes with BBC BASIC-created ones.

This version may be downloaded, for all the supported platforms, from the usual location.  The GitHub repository has been updated (used to build the MacOS, Raspberry Pi, Android, iOS, 64-bit Linux and in-browser editions, currently).

7
BBC BASIC / BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 version 1.22a released
« on: May 28, 2021, 04:56:15 pm »
I've released version 1.22a of BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 - the cross-platform programming language for Windows, MacOS, Linux, Raspbian, Android, iOS and in-browser.  The changes in this version are as follows:

  • BASIC Interpreter / Run Time Engine

    Cmd+left, Cmd+right, Cmd+up and Cmd+down are mapped to Home, End, Ctrl+Home and Ctrl+End, respectively, for improved compatibility with Apple Macs.

    In the in-browser edition *RUN now runs JavaScript code (previously it did nothing useful) e.g. OSCLI "window.open(""http://www.rtrussell.co.uk"")"

    The QUIT n statement can now accept a parameter of zero (ARM and 64-bit editions only, 32-bit x86 editions always could).

    A few performance optimisations have been carried out (e.g. fixing memory alignment issues).

  • IDEs and Utilities

    In SDLIDE.bbc Alt+left and Alt+right are mapped to Word Left and Word Right, respectively, for improved compatibility with Apple Macs.

    Added a -P command-line switch to SDLIDE.bbc to activate the profiler.

    The Android and iOS editions report if a later version is available.

  • Libraries

    Changed gleslib.bbc and ogllib.bbc to call glLightfv by address rather than name.

  • Example Programs

    Added Newton's Cradle simulation (cradle.bbc in examples/physics).

    Bundled the set of instructive Box2D demos in examples/physics/samples (these all use Debug Draw graphics).

    Updated sudoku.bbc to add Tidy and New Game options (the difficulty of the generated game is very variable!).

This version may be downloaded, for all the supported platforms, from the usual location.  The GitHub repository has been updated (used to build the MacOS, Raspbian, Android, iOS, 64-bit Linux and in-browser editions, currently).

8
BBC BASIC / BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 version 1.21a released
« on: April 16, 2021, 01:41:25 pm »
I've released version 1.21a of BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 - the cross-platform programming language for Windows, MacOS, Linux, Raspbian, Android, iOS and in-browser.  The changes in this version are as follows:
  • BASIC Interpreter / Run Time Engine

    Mapped keyboard shortcuts Cmd+A, Cmd+C, Cmd+F, Cmd+V, Cmd+X and Cmd+Z to their Ctrl equivalents for improved compatibility with Apple Macs.

    Fixed a couple of minor differences between the 32-bit x86 editions and the ARM/64-bit editions.

  • IDEs and Utilities

    Added compiler directives to SDLIDE.bbc to simplify building a standalone version in BB4W.

    Modified memusage.bbc, profiler.bbc, searchin.bbc and sdldebug.bbc to be compatible with BB4W as well as BBCSDL.

  • Libraries

    Added box2ddbg.bbc to support Box2D Debug Graphics, largely compatible with the equivalent BB4W library.

    Fixed a bug in box2dlib.bbc affecting Gear Joints on 64-bit platforms.

    Fixed a bug in dlglib.bbc causing the trackbar control not to scale to the specified range.

    Fixed a bug in treeview.bbc causing mouse clicks not to be reliably detected.

  • Example Programs

    Added pinball.bbc (in examples/physics) which demonstrates combining Box2D and 3D rendering.

    Added voronoi.bbc (in examples/graphics/) which is another shader demo.

    Modified recorder.bbc to increase the range of level adjustment (100% is now 'mid-range').

    Modified the other demos in examples/physics to take advantage of the box2ddbg library (press D to display the Debug Graphics).
This version may be downloaded, for all the supported platforms, from the usual location.  The GitHub repository has been updated (used to build the MacOS, Raspbian, Android, iOS, 64-bit Linux and in-browser editions, currently).

9
BBC BASIC / BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 version 1.20a released
« on: March 04, 2021, 08:08:19 pm »
I've released version 1.20a of BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 - the cross-platform programming language for Windows, MacOS, Linux, Raspbian, Android, iOS and in-browser.  The changes in this version are as follows:
  • BASIC Interpreter / Run Time Engine

    Fixed FOR...NEXT loops misbehaving with negative non-integer STEP on ARM editions (Raspberry Pi, Android, iOS).

    Fixed *KEY not correctly handling strings such as |!|H (ARM and 64-bit editions only).

  • IDEs and Utilities

    Fixed compiler.bbc incorrectly crunching structure members in rare circumstances.

    Fixed SDLIDE.bbc crashing in MacOS if the Tab key was pressed.

  • Libraries

    Modified webgllib.bbc to be 64-bit compatible (it can be used on platforms other than in-browser).

    Modified filedlg.bbc so that you can type a full (absolute) path into the File name box.

    Modified menulib.bbc so that drop-down menus can be hidden from the menu bar (by setting their title to an empty string).

    Fixed editbox.bbc not reliably setting the 'changed' flag, and mispositioning the caret on blank lines.

  • Example Programs

    Modified Ceefax.bbc to add function key shortcuts (f1-f4) for the coloured buttons; also fixed a crash if a page number with a leading zero was entered.

    Modified sudoku.bbc so the timeout only applies to the 'Count' option, not to 'Solve', so it can solve any puzzle even on slow machines.
This version may be downloaded, for all the supported platforms, from the usual location.  The GitHub repository has been updated (used to build the MacOS, Raspbian, Android, iOS, 64-bit Linux and in-browser editions, currently).

10
BBC BASIC / BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 version 1.18a released
« on: December 04, 2020, 12:28:38 pm »
I've released version 1.18a of BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 - the cross-platform programming language for Windows, MacOS, Linux, Raspbian, Android, iOS and in-browser.  The changes in this version are as follows:

  • BASIC Interpreter / Run Time Engine

    Added a new command-line switch -borderless to remove the title bar.

    Extended the PTR() pseudo-variable (again) to accept a function or procedure name as a parameter.

    Fixed an obscure bug which could cause a star-command to crash if within 256 bytes of the end of a library!

  • IDEs and Utilities

    Updated BBCEdit to version 0.37.2, which speeds up directory listings when there are many files.

    Modified SDLIDE to make the behaviour of Backspace more consistent, for example you can backspace through the line-number field.

  • Libraries

    Added Svein's excellent pdflib library for creating PDF files (single A4 page only).

    Fixed a bug in aagfxlib causing 'dashed' lines to be sometimes drawn slightly too long.

    Modified box2dgfx, imglib, shaderlib and webgllib to clip to the current graphics viewport, if any.

  • Example Programs

    Added saa505x.bbc in examples/tools, to demonstrate the different MODE 7 character sets.

    Added raytrace.bbc in examples/graphics, another shader demo from Shadertoy.com.

    Updated aagfxdem.bbc in examples/graphics, to check that 'dashed' lines are the right length.


This version may be downloaded, for all the supported platforms, from the usual location.  The GitHub repository has been updated (used to build the MacOS, Raspbian, Android, iOS, 64-bit Linux and in-browser editions, currently).

Please remember that if you use the BBC2APK Android Application Generator you should download a new APK template to ensure that any updates to the run-time engine are incorporated in your own apps.

11
BBC BASIC / BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 version 1.17a released
« on: October 23, 2020, 01:48:51 pm »
I've released version 1.17a of BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 - the cross-platform programming language for Windows, MacOS, Linux, Raspbian, Android, iOS and in-browser.  The changes in this version are as follows:

  • BASIC Interpreter / Run Time Engine

    Updated the in-browser (Emscripten / Web Assembly) edition to support shader graphics, 3D graphics and the Box2D physics engine.

    Fixed a subtle bug which could cause unwanted behaviour when using ON ERROR LOCAL in nested functions (ARM and 64-bit editions only).

    Fixed a one-byte buffer overrun in the *KEY command (ARM and 64-bit editions only).

  • IDEs and Utilities

    Updated BBCEdit to version 0.37.1 (with thanks to Andy Parkes); amongst other changes this has a new light-mode option.

    Fixed a bug causing the profiler not to work on the Raspberry Pi (D'oh!).

  • Libraries

    Added shaderlib.bbc to facilitate writing shader-based programs, and to aid compatibility with the in-browser edition.

    Added webgllib.bbc which is substantially compatible with ogllib and gleslib but uses shaders rather than the Fixed Function 3D Pipeline.

    Updated some other libraries to improve compatibility with, and performance in, the in-browser edition.

  • Example Programs

    Modified Ceefax.bbc (again!) to track changes the BBC is making to its web pages and to improve performance in the in-browser edition.

    The shader-based programs (fluid.bbc, mandel.bbc, seascape.bbc, slitscan.bbc) have been re-written to use the shaderlib library.

    Updated some other example programs to improve compatibility with, and performance in, the in-browser edition.

This new version may be downloaded, for all the supported platforms, from the usual location.  The GitHub repository has been updated (used to build the MacOS, Raspbian, Android, iOS, 64-bit Linux and in-browser editions, currently).

Please remember that if you use the BBC2APK Android Application Generator you should download a new APK template to ensure that any updates to the run-time engine are incorporated in your own apps.

12
BBC BASIC / BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 version 1.15a released
« on: September 11, 2020, 04:19:59 pm »
I've released version 1.15a of BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 - the cross-platform programming language for Windows, MacOS, Linux, Raspbian, Android, iOS and WebAssembly (Chrome/Edge/Firefox).  The changes in this version are as follows:
  • BASIC Interpreter / Run Time Engine:

    Added the PTR()= syntax to set the pointer of a structure, array or string.

    Extended =PTR() to return the pointer of a structure or array as well as a string.

    Added = SYS("function") to return the address of an API function, or zero if it doesn't exist.

    Added support for @cmd$ possibly being longer than 255 bytes.
     
    Changed TIME from unsigned to signed, since code like 'T% = TIME' is very common.

    Fixed a minor problem with the 'pending newline' mode (VDU 23,16,1|) (needs fixing in BB4W too!).

    Fixed a bug (in the 64-bit and ARM editions only) causing assigning a string to a numeric variable not to result in the expected 'Type mismatch' error.

  • IDEs and Utilities:

    SDLIDE: Implemented breakpoints, very similar to those in LBB and bbcide (double-click in the left margin to add or remove a breakpoint).

    SDLIDE: Enabled the Print option in the File menu and toolbar.  This prints the current program to the default printer.

  • Libraries:

    Modified filedlg to fix an incompatibility with *HEX 64 mode.

    Modified dlglib to reduce CPU usage when idling, especially when a List Box has the input focus.

    Modified socklib to prevent a 'double-free' error if PROC_exitsockets is called twice.

  • Example Programs:

    Modified Ceefax.bbc to recognise the word Thunder in the weather description and display the 'storm' indication.

    Modified telstar.bbc to include 'ANSItex BBS' in the list of services, and to disable 'pending newline' mode.
This new version may be downloaded, for all the supported platforms, from the usual location.  The GitHub repository has been updated (used to build the MacOS, Raspbian, iOS, 64-bit Linux and in-browser editions, currently).

13
BBC BASIC / New: In-browser BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0
« on: August 30, 2020, 07:06:52 pm »
I've built an experimental in-browser (WebAssembly) edition of BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 which will currently run in Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome (but not Firefox).  It can be run directly from this link.

There are a number of demo programs included which can be found in the examples/games, examples/general, examples/graphics and examples/sounds directories.  For example:

Code: [Select]
*cd examples/graphics
CHAIN "bounce"

There are some significant limitations, the most serious of which is probably that the GCOL 'logical plotting' modes (AND, OR, EOR) don't work; this is because webgl does not support these operations.  Another limitation is that the SYS statement is not supported.  It's also quite slow!

Currently there is no way to load in your own program(s), that needs to be thought about.  Also, the local filesystem provided by Emscripten is volatile and anything saved there will be lost when you close the browser.

14
BBC BASIC / BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 version 1.14a released
« on: August 03, 2020, 10:01:17 pm »
I've released version 1.14a of BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 - the cross-platform programming language for Windows, MacOS, Linux, Raspbian, Android and iOS.  The changes in this version are as follows:

  • BASIC Interpreter / Run Time Engine

    Added a *DUMP command to list the contents of a file in hexadecimal and ASCII.

    Suppressed issuing an ON MOVE interrupt if the window size is reported as zero.

    Tweaked the 64-bit and ARM editions to improve compatibility with the 32-bit x86 editions, for example Ctrl+U in immediate mode now works as expected.

    Fixed a line-editing issue which affected only the Raspberry Pi, because its 'char' datatype is unsigned.

  • IDEs and Utilities

    SDLIDE: The links to the website in the Help menu now specify https:// to suppress security warnings from modern browsers.

    BBCEdit: Updated to version 0.36.2 (with thanks to Andy Parkes).

  • Libraries

    Modified filedlg.bbc so that the file-system root has only one trailing / or \.

    Modified dlglib.bbc so input focus isn't acquired by an invisible control, and so textboxes are initially scrolled fully left.

  • Example Programs

    Updated SkyBaby.bbc to allow editing (but not deleting) a Custom Place or Custom Object.

    Updated telstar.bbc to support direct cursor addressing using the APS command.

This new version may be downloaded, for all the supported platforms, from the usual location.  The GitHub repository has been updated (used to build the MacOS, Raspbian, iOS and 64-bit Linux editions, currently).

Please remember that if you use the BBC2APK Android Application Generator you should download a new APK template to ensure that any updates to the run-time engine are incorporated in your own apps.

15
BBC BASIC / New: Console Mode editions of BBC BASIC
« on: June 28, 2020, 09:11:49 pm »
By popular request (well, three people!) I have created Console Mode editions of BBC BASIC for MacOS, Linux (64-bit), Windows (64-bit) and Raspbian (32-bit).  These have no graphics and no sound (nor do they support a mouse, joystick etc.) but their text-mode features are reasonably complete, so far as the capabilities of the native console/terminal allow (notably, text viewports are not supported).

You can think of them as BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 with all the SDL stuff removed, and indeed that is effectively how they were created!  Their keyboard input is taken from stdin and their output is sent to stdout so you can use them for CGI applications or effectively as a replacement shell.  Normal shell commands can be issued by preceding them with a * in the usual BBC BASIC way.

These editions consist of compact self-contained executables with no dependencies on any third-party libraries; the BBC BASIC interpreter they contain is identical to that in BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0.  They should be considered as Beta test programs since they have not received extensive testing.  They are, of course, completely free and can be downloaded as follows:


Supplied with the executables are a small number of BBC BASIC demo programs. Here is the output from 8queens.bbc as seen in the Windows 10 console:

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