Re: BB4W 64 Bit

Richard Russell

On Sun, Feb 25, 2018 at 04:12 pm, Andrew Cool wrote:
what other advantages would a 64bit version offer?
None, really.  BBC BASIC is a 32-bit language and it's not a good fit to a 64-bit environment.  The work I have done so far demonstrates that not only is compatibility with existing BASIC programs poor, but adapting the language to 64-bits is an unhappy compromise with a number of undesirable kludges.

If we weren't forced into it, through every popular Operating System (except Windows) having either already dropped support for 32-bit programs or announced that they are going to, there would be no reason to develop a 64-bit version of BBC BASIC at all.

For example, would it be possible to handle the full range of modern (and future) screen sizes
> via new Mode commands? 
When we're all running 8k screens in a few years, would a 64bit
> version allow us to open a full 8k window?

I'm not aware that the existing 32-bit versions of BBC BASIC currently have any difficulty opening an 8K window.  Certainly not BB4W, which has had support for 'huge windows' for probably 15 years!  There is a limitation in the size of the 'text viewport' (1920 pixels wide by 1440 pixels high) but it's most unlikely that one would want conventional scrolling text in an area greater than that.

I haven't specifically tried displaying very large images in BBCSDL; it would require something analogous to BB4W's PROChugewindow() to achieve it but I have no reason to think that is difficult.  If you have a specific interest in displaying large images in Linux or Mac OS, say, I would certainly be prepared to look into it for you.

As an amateur astronomy who routinely deals with large images, and would like to see them
> displayed 1:1 on screen, that
functionality would get a Big Tick from me.

What's stopping you, on BB4W at least?  I have a program that displays an image that is 5039 x 3889 pixels, and I have no reason to think that it would not work just as well with an 8000-pixel wide image.


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