BBC BASIC for Linux gallery


Richard Russell
 

As many of you will know, I have had to abandon (or at least mothball) BBC BASIC for Linux, which is very annoying. Although I have only been working on it for about three weeks it will be a great shame if it all goes to waste. Why does 'politics' (in this case the old Open Source versus Closed Source issue) have to intervene in what should ideally be a purely technical pursuit?


I can at least give you a taste of what might have been. At this link you will find a gallery of screen-shots from some of the example programs (as supplied with BB4W) running 'natively' (via SDL) on Ubuntu 14.04:


http://www.rtrussell.co.uk/bbclinux/gallery.html


Many of these programs required minor modifications to run under BBC BASIC for Linux, often for trivial reasons such as having to replace a SYS "Sleep" with a WAIT or because the syntax of *FONT is slightly different. In a few cases more involved changes were required, e.g. to replace a native Windows menu with a plain BASIC equivalent. But it's noteworthy that SKATERS.BBC runs perfectly with no changes required (BBC BASIC for Linux implements the 'CD quality' sound available in BB4W only via the HQSOUND library).


Richard.


David Feugey
 

Why does 'politics' (in this case the old Open Source versus Closed Source issue) have to intervene in what should ideally be a purely technical pursuit?


Not politics. Trolls. Who care anyway? I made press articles for years. While having many critics on forums (really a lot), I never had a single mail of protestation.

The good question is do you prefer to listen to recriminations of some stupid Linux users (that most of the time are even not Linux users, just haters), or to the encouragements of you loyal users (the people who pay)?

There is no politics. Just business. It's simpler .
Anyway, thanks for the cool screenshots...


Richard Russell
 

---In bb4w@yahoogroups.com, <davidfeugey@yahoo.com> wrote :
> The good question is do you prefer to listen to recriminations of some stupid Linux users
> (that most of the time are even not Linux users, just haters), or to the encouragements
> of you loyal users (the people who pay)?


I don't feel able to make the judgement between 'troll' and 'loyal user' that you do. I don't have a foolproof insight into what is 'right'. It seems to me that there is a danger of classing everybody who disagrees with one's own viewpoint as a troll, and everybody who agrees as loyal, but that isn't reasonable.


I confess to being highly ignorant of Linux, both the technical aspects and the 'politics'. Therefore my default position is to listen to everything I am told, especially when it comes from a self-declared 'expert' as was the case in this situation. I *did* do a web search to see if his opinion was widely shared, and it is.


The fact of the matter seems to be that distributing Closed Source applications for Linux *is* controversial, it's not just the opinion of a rogue 'troll'. There are legal issues, but even if those can be overcome (and I think they can in the case of BBC BASIC, although it's not as clear as I would like) one is still likely to be criticised.


Should I go ahead despite the questionable legality and expectation of criticism? My current feeling is that I shouldn't, but of course I am continuing to listen to what anyone has to say.


Richard.


svein svensson
 

FYI: Steam has 1500 games for linux, and they are not free of charge.

You have probably seen this list, but just in case.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_proprietary_software_for_Linux

Such an interesting project, a shame if it would be abandoned altogether.

Merry christmas
Svein


Richard Russell
 

---In bb4w@yahoogroups.com, <sveinioslo@gmail.com> wrote :
> You have probably seen this list, but just in case.


I had not seen the list, but one has to ask how many of those are strictly 'legal' and how many were produced by a private individual rather than a 'company'? I do not have the support of a team of lawyers who can clarify the legal situation and if necessary raise a defence against any challenge. And I am not a faceless organisation which can weather any kind of criticism.


I would also want to point out that any software I might produce for Linux won't be "commercial" - I won't be charging for it or making money from it - but it would be "closed source" because I am not prepared to release the source of BB4W (it is far too embarrassingly awful!).


> Such an interesting project, a shame if it would be abandoned altogether.


In principle, the SDL version I have developed is equally appropriate for porting onto Mac OS-X or even Android (86), although there are very few machines running the latter OS. I am sure that there aren't any similar legal or moral issues with Mac OS, at least. So it won't be entirely wasted if I go down either of those routes, although buying a Mac is a very expensive way to proceed and not one I am personally enthusiastic about (although my wife, as an iOS user, is more keen).


Richard.


Richard Russell
 

The observant amongst you might have noticed that CLOCK.BBC wasn't one of the example programs included in the gallery. That's not because it was difficult to adapt (the main change was to use BMP rather than JPG images) but because it makes heavy use of the TINT() function, which is very slow in BBC BASIC for Linux (this is because getting data back from an OpenGL surface is inefficient). I have now restructured the program so that it doesn't use TINT() at all, and it runs much faster; I've also added a screen grab to the gallery.


Richard.


Richard Russell
 

Given that SDL uses OpenGL under the hood (on most platforms) it was somewhat ironic that one example program I had not succeeded in adapting to 'BBC BASIC for Linux' was OPENGL.BBC itself. I have now resolved that difficulty and added a screenshot to the gallery.
Richard.