Date   
Should I bundle Rubik.bbc with the Android edition? #poll

Richard Russell
 

I know it's rather pathetic to create a poll for such a trivial question, but what the heck.  I currently bundle Rubik.bbc with the desktop editions of BBCSDL but not with the Android edition.  The main reason is its size: there are 6 Mbytes of data tables (less when zipped) that the program uses to solve the cube, and I was concerned not to bloat the already quite large APK.  There are also issues of controlling it from a touchscreen, but not insurmountable.

It's a visually attractive program and an impressive demo of what BBC BASIC can achieve, and as such something that perhaps people would like to have on their phone or tablet without the hassle of copying it across themselves.  So should I add it to the Android bundle or not?  Please try to resist the temptation to vote 'don't care', that doesn't help me at all.

Thank you for voting. Results will be available when the poll is closed.


Re: Should I bundle Rubik.bbc with the Android edition? #poll

dai_m_leeds
 

Hi Richard,

I've voted no, since that would roughly double the space taken by the download, on devices which are often fairly memory-limited, but I don't feel  strongly about it - it's still quite small compared to many apps!

Is there any scope for including a "wrapper", which would say "I'll need to download 6MB of data the first time I run, is that OK?"?

Best wishes,

D

Re: 64 bit MAC software.

dai_m_leeds
 

OK, if you want views, here's mine. A 64 bit version would clearly be of value to the Mac-using community, of whom I am not one. In the longer term it might well be of value to others. From previous discussions it is clear that a 64 bit version would have significant incompatibilities with older versions, but I think we need to bite the bullet and accept that this is a fork-point: the 64 bit version will represent a different path, with its own strengths and weaknesses. Given that, it might offer an opportunity to revisit any other issues where you have gone for compatibility over optimisation, if you wished.

Best wishes,

D

Re: Should I bundle Rubik.bbc with the Android edition? #poll

Richard Russell
 

On Sun, Feb 25, 2018 at 04:31 am, dai_m_leeds wrote:
I've voted no, since that would roughly double the space taken by the download
How do you get double?  The current APK is approximately 8 Mbytes, the zipped Rubik's cube tables are approximately 2.7 Mbytes, so that's roughly a 34% increase by my reckoning.

Richard.

Re: 64 bit MAC software.

Richard Russell
 

On Sun, Feb 25, 2018 at 04:37 am, dai_m_leeds wrote:
I think we need to bite the bullet
You've said the same before, and I've noted it, but you've been a lone voice in that opinion so far.  If I believed that most BBC BASIC users were prepared to "bite the bullet" - that is to accept the need to modify many of their programs and learn 'new ways' of doing things - the decision would be easy.  But I suspect, and fear, that a large majority of users are in fact quite change-averse.  How many dyed-in-the-wool BB4W users have even taken enough interest in BBCSDL to install it on their Windows PCs, despite the compatibility with BB4W being excellent in comparison?  Even you, I think, have been reluctant to embrace BBCSDL.

Richard.

Re: 64 bit MAC software.

R NBW
 

Richard
I've installed BBCSDL on Windows, MacOS and Android.  I'm happy to say it works on them all.  I must say, however, that I'm not likely to use it much on MacOS ( a MacMini 2012 bought second hand to try out).  I don't like the MacOS much and I'm always glad to get back to Windows.  In fact I run Windows 10 on the MacMini in Parallels, where the installed version of BBCSDL works well.

I don't think that Mac users associate BBC Basic with the Mac, so I think the user base is likely to be rather small,  so I think your resources are probably better directed to the other platforms.

Ray


-----Original Message-----
From: Richard Russell <news@...>
To: bb4w@groups.io
Sent: Sun, 25 Feb 2018 3:01 pm
Subject: Re: [bb4w] 64 bit MAC software.

On Sun, Feb 25, 2018 at 04:37 am, dai_m_leeds wrote:
I think we need to bite the bullet
You've said the same before, and I've noted it, but you've been a lone voice in that opinion so far.  If I believed that most BBC BASIC users were prepared to "bite the bullet" - that is to accept the need to modify many of their programs and learn 'new ways' of doing things - the decision would be easy.  But I suspect, and fear, that a large majority of users are in fact quite change-averse.  How many dyed-in-the-wool BB4W users have even taken enough interest in BBCSDL to install it on their Windows PCs, despite the compatibility with BB4W being excellent in comparison?  Even you, I think, have been reluctant to embrace BBCSDL.

Richard.

OT: Teletext frame editors..

Alex Farlie
 

Does anyone know of any reasonable ones?

I was using http://teastop.co.uk/teletext/wxted/index.html  for a while but it seemed to be very simplistic.

Given that MODE 7 was used exetensively for BBS on the BBC Micro, there must have been 'frame' editors that existed, some of which may well have been in BBC BASIC.

My reason for asking is wanting to "eventually" draw some mockups for what a  pre internet Wikivoyage (A Travel guide)  might have looked like ;)


Re: OT: Teletext frame editors..

Storer, Darren
 

Hi Alex,

JGH has a Teletext editor that could potentially be converted to run under BB4W...


Hope this helps

Darren

On 25 February 2018 at 19:49, Alex Farlie <alex.farlie@...> wrote:
Does anyone know of any reasonable ones?

I was using http://teastop.co.uk/teletext/wxted/index.html  for a while but it seemed to be very simplistic.

Given that MODE 7 was used exetensively for BBS on the BBC Micro, there must have been 'frame' editors that existed, some of which may well have been in BBC BASIC.

My reason for asking is wanting to "eventually" draw some mockups for what a  pre internet Wikivoyage (A Travel guide)  might have looked like ;)



Re: OT: Teletext frame editors..

Richard Russell
 

On Sun, Feb 25, 2018 at 11:49 am, Alex Farlie wrote:
Does anyone know of any reasonable ones?
Written in BBC BASIC specifically?  I'm not claiming it is "reasonable" (it isn't, by the standards of teletext editors generally) but of course there's mine!  It's based closely on the teletext editing part of my Test Card Generator software - I think I just stripped it out to make it a separate app.  Are you after source code or a Windows executable?  If you want a taster of what mine is like you can download the TCG software from my web site - you don't need the physical generator to run it!

Richard.

Re: OT: Teletext frame editors..

Rob O'Donnell
 

There are lots, I have at least a dozen.. 

Or you could just go to http://edit.tf

Rob. 

--
Sent from a mobile device. Please excuse brevity or spoiling mistooks.

On 25 Feb 2018 20:57, "Storer, Darren" <darren.storer@...> wrote:
Hi Alex,

JGH has a Teletext editor that could potentially be converted to run under BB4W...


Hope this helps

Darren

On 25 February 2018 at 19:49, Alex Farlie <alex.farlie@...> wrote:
Does anyone know of any reasonable ones?

I was using http://teastop.co.uk/teletext/wxted/index.html  for a while but it seemed to be very simplistic.

Given that MODE 7 was used exetensively for BBS on the BBC Micro, there must have been 'frame' editors that existed, some of which may well have been in BBC BASIC.

My reason for asking is wanting to "eventually" draw some mockups for what a  pre internet Wikivoyage (A Travel guide)  might have looked like ;)



Re: OT: Teletext frame editors..

Alex Farlie
 

Thank you.

It didn't have to be in BB4W,  but I'll certainly look at the item you mentioned.




Re: 64 bit MAC software.

Richard Russell
 

On Sun, Feb 25, 2018 at 07:39 am, R NBW wrote:
I don't like the MacOS much and I'm always glad to get back to Windows.
Me too!   However Linux is even worse, IMHO.  At least Macs are standardised and a self-contained application package (such as BBCBasic.dmg) will install and run on pretty much every Mac since they switched to using x86 CPUs - albeit that recent versions of MacOS will issue scary security warnings!

With the exception of DDRM - and I think he was referring to 64-bit BBC BASIC in general rather than specifically for the Mac - it sounds as though there won't be any great upset when MacOS finally drops support for 32-bit apps, if that means BBC BASIC ceases to be available.

However the same is not, I'm sure, going to be true of Android, which I understand will also mandate 64-bit apps in the next year or so (although it's not clear whether that applies only to App Store validity, and if so when support for 32-bit apps might be dropped altogether).

Richard.

BB4W 64 Bit

Andrew Cool
 

Richard,

Apart from extra addressable memory space, what other advantages would a 64bit version offer?

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?

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.

Andrew

Re: 64 bit MAC software.

Richard Weir
 

dai_m_leeds said " ...  I think we need to bite the bullet ... ".

I would be happy to do this. I have abandoned all my old projects in recent years due to family stresses* (I am caring for my parents, both in their 80s), and if I were to resume coding I would quite happily use a 64-bit version of BB4W, regardless of compatibility with old versions.

I also feel (without any evidence to support my intuition) that it might aid takeup of BB4W by new coders.

Incidentally, while I can't promise that I will be coding in any particular time-frame, I would be happy to pay for a new license in recognition of the amount of work involved in creating such a new product, and hope I will have opportunity to sit and kick some lazy old braincells back in to life!

Best regards,

Richard Weir.

* (This is one reason I am very quiet in this group and elsewhere.)

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.

Richard.

Re: 64 bit MAC software.

Paul Marshall
 

On Sat, Feb 24, 2018 at 02:52 pm, Richard Russell wrote:
I need - somehow - to get people to take an interest in the 64-bit question,
I know nothing of what challenges this involves but in my view it is time to create a new product optimised for 64 bit but compatible where possible. Call it say BB64 with a new logo and new filetype to emphasise it is not compatible and allow opening by 'double-clicking'. ( .B64 is taken but .BB6 is available - just a thought). An incompatible version of the present BBC Basic would be a bad thing.
Even when 32bit support ceases the machines themselves will be around for a very long time and the 32bit and 64bit versions can and should co-exist, in the interim on the same machine. Horses for courses! We have done extremely well to retain backwards compatibility for so long and Mictosoft is to be congratulated for that at least.
I am not a Mac user so for totally selfish reasons I prefer you to focus on windows and SDL
 

Re: 64 bit MAC software.

J.G.Harston
 

(try posting this again.....)

Richard Weir via Groups.Io wrote:
I would be happy to do this. I have abandoned all my old projects in
recent years due to family stresses* (I am caring for my parents, both
in their 80s), and if I were to resume coding I would quite happily
use a 64-bit version of BB4W, regardless of compatibility with old
versions.
Compatability changes that is a version of BB4W that has features that are not available on old versions is fine, but losing features risks killing the usability of 35 years of carefully accumulated libraries of code. If (eg) in%=OPENIN(file$) or PRINT "The answer is ";total% disappear because you ""should"" do SYS "FileOpen",IO_READ,!^file$ and SYS hwin%,htext0%,GUI_PAINTSTRING,"The answer is "+STR$total% would be a backward step and change what BB4W is.


--
J.G.Harston - jgh@... - mdfs.net/jgh

Re: 64 bit MAC software.

Richard Russell
 

On Sun, Feb 25, 2018 at 05:28 pm, Richard Weir wrote:
I would be happy to pay for a new license in recognition of the amount of work involved in creating such a new product
What I can achieve is limited by what time I have left and how fast my cognitive ability deteriorates (I have volunteered for a clinical trial of a drug which is hoped might slow the progress of dementia).  Money doesn't help in the slightest, but thanks for the offer.

Richard.

Re: 64 bit MAC software.

Richard Russell
 

On Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 01:59 am, Paul Marshall wrote:
in my view it is time to create a new product optimised for 64 bit but compatible where possible. Call it say BB64 with a new logo and new filetype to emphasise it is not compatible
Created by whom?   To date I've not managed to interest anybody in taking over BBC BASIC from me, not even to maintain and support the existing versions let alone to develop a completely new one.  Isn't this completely pie in the sky?

Even when 32bit support ceases the machines themselves will be around for a very
> long time and the 32bit and 64bit versions can and should co-exist

The machines may be around, but if they've been updated to the latest version of the OS (and often this happens automatically) they may no longer be able to run 32-bit apps.  For example I have a Mac Mini on which I can currently install and run BBC BASIC but within the next couple of years it will receive an OS update from Apple which will prevent it from doing so.

Only by disconnecting a machine from the internet and quarantining it can you ensure continued ability to install and run 32-bit apps, but who is going to do that these days with the need to update virus databases, patch security holes, etc.?  It may be OK for a museum, but not much else.

I am not a Mac user so for totally selfish reasons I prefer you to focus on windows and SDL

Some slight confusion there I think, the Mac OS version of BBC BASIC is BBCSDL!   I have two current BBC BASIC products: BBC BASIC for Windows which runs on Windows only and BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 (32 bits) which runs on Windows, Linux (x86), Mac OSX, Android and Raspberry Pi.  I am, from time to time, experimenting with a 64-bit BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0, the Windows edition of which I have already made available for download (although the full compatibility implications are not apparent because Windows preferentially allocates user memory in the bottom 2 Gbytes so 32-bit addresses are still sufficient).

Richard.

Re: 64 bit MAC software.

Richard Russell
 

On Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 01:59 am, J.G.Harston wrote:
losing features risks killing the usability of 35 years of carefully accumulated libraries of code.
Nobody (I hope) is suggesting "losing" features, but of changes being required to support a 64-bits platform, which introduce incompatibilities.  Here's a more practical example, indeed a change which I have found myself making over and over again in the last couple of days:

      DIM mem% size%
      OSCLI "LOAD " + file$ + " " + STR$~mem% + " +" + STR$~size%

When run on a 64-bit platform this reports 'Number too big' because the address of the memory reserved by DIM cannot be stored in the 32-bit integer mem%, so the first change required is this:

      DIM mem%% size%
      OSCLI "LOAD " + file$ + " " + STR$~mem%% + " +" + STR$~size%

The 'Number too big' error no longer occurs, but now an 'Address out of range' error is reported because STR$~ cannot convert the address to a long enough hexadecimal number.  This requires another change:

      *HEX 64
      DIM mem%% size%

      OSCLI "LOAD " + file$ + " " + STR$~mem%% + " +" + STR$~size%
      *HEX 32


Now the code runs again, and fortunately it's still compatible with 32-bit BASIC (with the extra *HEX 32, anyway).

This is typical of the sort of change that is going to be required, and that requirement is going to be very widespread.

Richard.