BBC BASIC for Windows version 6.14a released


Hated Moron
 
Edited

I have today released version 6.14a of BBC BASIC for Windows. This is a maintenance release, primarily to fix a couple of significant bugs discovered in version 6.13a. I have also taken the opportunity to improve compatibility with BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 by introducing a few features supported in that version but not previously in BB4W.

The changes are as follows:

  • Interpreter / Run-Time Engine:

    Fixed a race hazard causing the SYS "SetWindowLong" API call to misbehave intermittently, resulting in an unresponsive window.

    Fixed a bug in the 'pending newline' functionality, which previouly could misbehave after a VDU 9.

    Fixed a bug which resulted in the printer not being reliably enabled when a program was run from the IDE.

    Changed the behaviour of the TIME pseudo-variable so that it is signed rather than unsigned.

    Extended the *TEMPO command to optionally enable more accurate emulation of the 'auto-repeat pitch envelope' feature of the BBC Micro.

    Added the SYS function which returns the address of a Windows API function given its name.

    Added the PTR(object) = statement which sets the memory address of a string, array, structure or FN/PROC. This is most useful for pointing a structure at a specific memory location, for example in order to implement a linked list.

    Extended the use of PTR(object) as a function to return the memory address of an array (descriptor), structure or FN/PROC, as well as its previous use to return the address of a string.

    Added support for black text and mosaics in MODE 7, and to toggle between primary and secondary character sets (part of the teletext Full Level One Facilities). These features must be enabled using VDU 23,18,3,1,0;0;0;.

  • Libraries:

    Added the IMGLIB, MODE7LIB, SHADERLIB and BOX2D* libraries (compatible with those supplied with BBCSDL).

    Added BBCMODE7.FNT, which is a 16x20 bitmapped font similar to that of the SAA5050 character generator.

    Updated the GDIPLIB library to clip to the current graphics viewport, if any.

    Updated the UTF8LIB library to include functions for converting between ANSI and UTF-8 character encodings (as far as is possible), compatible with the equivalent BBCSDL library.

  • Example Programs:

    Updated MODE7DEM.BBC to demonstrate black text and mosaics, and alternative character sets.

    Added the following example programs, functionally equivalent to those supplied with BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0:

    In examples\general: SORTDEMO.BBC.
    In examples\graphics\: ALIENS.BBC, FLUID.BBC, SEASCAPE.BBC, SLITSCAN.BBC, VORONOI.BBC.
    In examples\physics\: CRATES.BBC, DANGLE.BBC, PINBALL.BBC, PINTOGRAPH.BBC.
    In examples\tools\: SAA505X.BBC.

    Note 1: ALIENS.BBC animates just 10 aliens, compared with 80 in the BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 version, demonstrating how much faster the latter is when plotting rotated and scaled images.

    Note 2: If you have the full version of BBC BASIC for Windows you can also run the other Physics Simulations supplied with BBCSDL, but they need more memory than is available with the trial version.
To upgrade the full (paid-for) version of BBC BASIC for Windows to v6.14a download and install upgrade.exe from the web site; remember that you are allowed to install it on multiple computers so long as only one copy is in use at any given time. To upgrade the trial version (or install it from scratch) download and install bbcwdemo.exe. It is possible that these executables may trigger security alerts until they have acquired a reputation for safety.


Hated Moron
 

It is highly unlikely that you will encounter any compatibility issues as a result of upgrading from BBC BASIC for Windows v6.13a to v6.14a but these are the few issues that you should be aware of:

  1. TIME is now signed rather than unsigned.  Therefore after running continuously for about 248 days TIME will now 'increment' from 2147483647 to -2147483648 rather than to +2147483648.  This is the behaviour in every other version of BBC BASIC that I know of, so is more likely to improve compatibility than to worsen it, but may be an issue if your program(s) expect TIME never to be negative.

  2. There has been a long-standing inconsistency between the BBC Micro and my versions of BBC BASIC in the interpretation of 'repeating' the pitch envelope.  In my versions I have interpreted it as meaning repeat the pitch-change instructions in the ENVELOPE statement, whereas the BBC Micro repeats the actual frequencies generated.  BB4W v6.14a now defaults to the BBC Micro's interpretation, but you may use *TEMPO to override this.

  3. The GDIPLIB library now respects the graphics viewport, if one is defined, and will not draw outside it.  In the unlikely event that you have any programs which set a graphics viewport but rely on GDIPLIB ignoring it, they will need to be modified.

  4. Again it's extremely unlikely, but if you have any programs which rely on VDU 9 misbehaving when the VDU drivers are in a 'pending newline' state they will need to be modified to take account of this bug being fixed.  VDU 9 should now do the same thing whether pending newline is active or not.
If you spot any kind of unexpected behaviour in BB4W v6.14a please let me know urgently.  It is sadly the case that my condition makes the possibility of introducing regressions greater than it would otherwise be.  And as I rarely use BB4W myself the chances of me noticing a problem are much reduced.


pablo.sighel@...
 
Edited

Thank you!. I've upgraded my copy of BBC!

Regards,
Pablo Sighel


Jerónimo Luis Dalla Via
 

Great news!

Thank you.

Best regards.

El jue., 1 abr. 2021 8:52, Richard Russell <news@...> escribió:
I have today released version 6.14a of BBC BASIC for Windows. This is a maintenance release, primarily to fix a couple of significant bugs discovered in version 6.13a. I have also taken the opportunity to improve compatibility with BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 by introducing a few features supported in that version but not previously in BB4W.

The changes are as follows:
  • Interpreter / Run-Time Engine:

    Fixed a race hazard causing the SYS "SetWindowLong" API call to misbehave intermittently, resulting in an unresponsive window.

    Fixed a bug in the 'pending newline' functionality, which previouly could misbehave after a VDU 9.

    Fixed a bug which resulted in the printer not being reliably enabled when a program was run from the IDE.

    Changed the behaviour of the TIME pseudo-variable so that it is signed rather than unsigned.

    Extended the *TEMPO command to optionally enable more accurate emulation of the 'auto-repeat pitch envelope' feature of the BBC Micro.

    Added the SYS function which returns the address of a Windows API function given its name.

    Added the PTR(object) = statement which sets the memory address of a string, array, structure or FN/PROC. This is most useful for pointing a structure at a specific memory location, for example in order to implement a linked list.

    Extended the use of PTR(object) as a function to return the memory address of an array (descriptor), structure or FN/PROC, as well as its previous use to return the address of a string.

    Added support for black text and mosaics in MODE 7, and to toggle between primary and secondary character sets (part of the teletext Full Level One Facilities). These features must be enabled using VDU 23,18,3,1,0;0;0;.

  • Libraries:

    Added the IMGLIB, MODE7LIB, SHADERLIB and BOX2D* libraries (compatible with those supplied with BBCSDL).

    Added BBCMODE7.FNT, which is a 16x20 bitmapped font similar to that of the SAA5050 character generator.

    Updated the GDIPLIB library to clip to the current graphics viewport, if any.

    Updated the UTF8LIB library to include functions for converting between ANSI and UTF-8 character encodings (as far as is possible), compatible with the equivalent BBCSDL library.

  • Example Programs:

    Updated MODE7DEM.BBC to demonstrate black text and mosaics, and alternative character sets.

    Added the following example programs, functionally equivalent to those supplied with BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0:

    In examples\general: SORTDEMO.BBC.
    In examples\graphics\: ALIENS.BBC, FLUID.BBC, SEASCAPE.BBC, SLITSCAN.BBC, VORONOI.BBC.
    In examples\physics\: CRATES.BBC, DANGLE.BBC, PINBALL.BBC, PINTOGRAPH.BBC.
    In examples\tools\: SAA505X.BBC.

    Note 1: ALIENS.BBC animates just 10 aliens, compared with 80 in the BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 version, demonstrating how much faster the latter is when plotting rotated and scaled images.

    Note 2: If you have the full version of BBC BASIC for Windows you can also run the other Physics Simulations supplied with BBCSDL, but they need more memory than is available with the trial version.
To upgrade the full (paid-for) version of BBC BASIC for Windows to v6.14a download and install upgrade.exe from the web site; remember that you are allowed to install it on multiple computers so long as only one copy is in use at any given time. To upgrade the trial version (or install it from scratch) download and install bbcwdemo.exe. It is possible that these executables may trigger security alerts until they have acquired a reputation for safety.


bb4w@...
 

Hi Richard,

Very happy to hear the good news that you have released an update for BB4W, although you've said a couple of times in the past that it would be very unlikely that you would do so.

So could I grasp the opportunity to ask you if you could de-correlate the BB4W editor's background colour setting form Windows' COLOR_WINDOW system colour, so that one can choose the editor's background colour the same way one can choose the other colours for syntax colouring whithout facing some side effects? I mean:
I understand that there is the trick of using a short utility that sets COLOR_WINDOW through SYS "SetSysColors", as you suggested, before launching BB4W editor.
However this solution has a couple of drawbacks:
- dialog boxes, especially 'listboxes', colours are affected by this change while the above is active
- most importantly, Windows automatically reverts to regular white COLOR_WINDOW as soon as it has a chance -- for instance after a few minutes if you are not actively using the editor during this time.

Maybe you could follow Windows' global Dark/Light setting? Although, I understand, it is not related to Win32 colours...

Many thanks,
Renaud


Hated Moron
 

On Sun, Apr 4, 2021 at 10:03 AM, <bb4w@...> wrote:
Very happy to hear the good news that you have released an update for BB4W, although you've said a couple of times in the past that it would be very unlikely that you would do so.
I think you'll find that I've always said that fixing bugs would be the one situation in which I would contemplate an update, and there were a couple of relatively serious bugs discovered in v6.13a which made an update essential.

So could I grasp the opportunity to ask you if you could de-correlate the BB4W editor's background colour setting form Windows' COLOR_WINDOW system colour
As I've said before, there's a much better solution than modifying the BB4W editor, use SDLIDE instead!

SDLIDE was, from the outset, designed to be compatible with both BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 and BBC BASIC for Windows.  It has a dark mode and several other features which are an improvement over the BB4W IDE, and since it's coded in BASIC it's much more amenable to being customised.

Admittedly not all the debugging features currently work with BB4W, but I have previously offered to make the necessary modifications should somebody want them; there were no takers.  If that was done you would, for the first time, have 'proper' breakpoints in BBC BASIC for Windows, and an integrated profiler.

There are other nice features that do work such as an alphabetically-sorted list of FNs and PROCs, running your program in a separate process so it cannot crash the IDE, an integrated Compare tool etc.  And of course it means that if and when you move from BB4W to BBCSDL the IDE will remain the same!


Hated Moron
 

Whilst playing with the Box2D Physics Engine in BBCSDL I spotted an obscure bug in the 'box2dlib.bbc' library (an unwanted dependence on the value of a static variable).  It turns out that this same bug has been present in the BB4W version of the library from when it was originally written, something like 8 years ago!

Since I only bundled the BB4W library for the first time less than a week ago, with version 6.14a, it would be unfortunate for this bug to remain for another year or more until the next release, if any.  Therefore I have today re-released it with the bug fixed.

If you have any expectation of using Box2D, or simply of running the bundled physics examples (or those supplied with BBCSDL), I would encourage you to re-download and re-install BB4W just to be on the safe side.


bb4w@...
 

Hi Richard,

SDLIDE is nice and good-looking, but I have two main problems with it:
1 - I use Version Info utility as I generate, mostly, Win32 based tools, which I understand is a compiled utility, and it looks like SDLIDE only launches .bbc utilities from a hardcoded programs list in SDLIDE itself, as opposed to a list stored in the Registry, and managed by the "My Utilities" utility. I understand that Version Info utility is not relevant in a SDL based, and therefore platform agnostic, environment; but right now I generate Win32 specific tools.
I agree that I could modify SDLIDE to launch Version Info .exe utility program, but I'm even sure that would work (especially the feedback in the currently edited source) -- I haven't tried, to be honest, and also I don't want to take the risk of modifying SDLIDE and having to do it again at every release of BBCSDL.

2 - I haven't managed (maybe I haven't tried hard enough) to be able to open a .bbc file for edition in SDLIDE from within Explorer, i.e. Right-click on the file then "Edit". Again I understand that this mechanism, Explorer integration, may not be relevant in an SDL based/targeted development environment.
Using SDLIDE File->load dialog is less than practical (no navigation pane, no quick access to external storage/network shares, etc. no sort option, always starts from where SDLIDE is located when starting afresh, etc.) and that gets annoying when opening and editing several programs at the same time and located at different places.

So for now I'm back to BB4W editor, which would actually be perfectly fine for me, if only I could change the editor background colour without messing the entire Windows desktop display.
And it's not a matter of 'trending', I started programming using white on black editors on BBC computers (or rather green on black, due to the cheap CRT I had :-)  ), then went to edit white/coloured on black using !Zap for years and years on Archimedes and RisPCs and continue to use white on black with Notepad++ and the likes since...

As for migrating to BBCSDL, that won't happen at least until there is some sort of serial communications support available, unfortunately.


J.G.Harston
 

On 07-04-2021 16:05, bb4w@desportes.net wrote:
2 - I haven't managed (maybe I haven't tried hard enough) to be able
to open a .bbc file for edition in SDLIDE from within Explorer
Right -> Send to -> works fine for me.

What I have is in:
Windows 7: C:\Users\Jonathan\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo

a shortcut file:
Edit as WinBasic.lnk

properties:
C:\Apps\Programming\WinBasic\bbcwin6.exe

and a shortcut file:
Edit as SDL Basic.lnk

properties:
C:\Apps\Programming\SDLBasic\bbcsdl.exe

Change C:\Users\Jonathan to your user directory and C:\Apps\etc to
where your BBC BASIC installation is. If the path has spaces in it
the path will need to be "quoted".

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


Marcello
 

Dear Richard,
while running upgrade.exe I am receiving the following message. Can you suggest any possible workaround?

Best regards

Marcello







On Thu, Apr 1, 2021 at 1:52 PM Richard Russell <news@...> wrote:
I have today released version 6.14a of BBC BASIC for Windows. This is a maintenance release, primarily to fix a couple of significant bugs discovered in version 6.13a. I have also taken the opportunity to improve compatibility with BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 by introducing a few features supported in that version but not previously in BB4W.

The changes are as follows:
  • Interpreter / Run-Time Engine:

    Fixed a race hazard causing the SYS "SetWindowLong" API call to misbehave intermittently, resulting in an unresponsive window.

    Fixed a bug in the 'pending newline' functionality, which previouly could misbehave after a VDU 9.

    Fixed a bug which resulted in the printer not being reliably enabled when a program was run from the IDE.

    Changed the behaviour of the TIME pseudo-variable so that it is signed rather than unsigned.

    Extended the *TEMPO command to optionally enable more accurate emulation of the 'auto-repeat pitch envelope' feature of the BBC Micro.

    Added the SYS function which returns the address of a Windows API function given its name.

    Added the PTR(object) = statement which sets the memory address of a string, array, structure or FN/PROC. This is most useful for pointing a structure at a specific memory location, for example in order to implement a linked list.

    Extended the use of PTR(object) as a function to return the memory address of an array (descriptor), structure or FN/PROC, as well as its previous use to return the address of a string.

    Added support for black text and mosaics in MODE 7, and to toggle between primary and secondary character sets (part of the teletext Full Level One Facilities). These features must be enabled using VDU 23,18,3,1,0;0;0;.

  • Libraries:

    Added the IMGLIB, MODE7LIB, SHADERLIB and BOX2D* libraries (compatible with those supplied with BBCSDL).

    Added BBCMODE7.FNT, which is a 16x20 bitmapped font similar to that of the SAA5050 character generator.

    Updated the GDIPLIB library to clip to the current graphics viewport, if any.

    Updated the UTF8LIB library to include functions for converting between ANSI and UTF-8 character encodings (as far as is possible), compatible with the equivalent BBCSDL library.

  • Example Programs:

    Updated MODE7DEM.BBC to demonstrate black text and mosaics, and alternative character sets.

    Added the following example programs, functionally equivalent to those supplied with BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0:

    In examples\general: SORTDEMO.BBC.
    In examples\graphics\: ALIENS.BBC, FLUID.BBC, SEASCAPE.BBC, SLITSCAN.BBC, VORONOI.BBC.
    In examples\physics\: CRATES.BBC, DANGLE.BBC, PINBALL.BBC, PINTOGRAPH.BBC.
    In examples\tools\: SAA505X.BBC.

    Note 1: ALIENS.BBC animates just 10 aliens, compared with 80 in the BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 version, demonstrating how much faster the latter is when plotting rotated and scaled images.

    Note 2: If you have the full version of BBC BASIC for Windows you can also run the other Physics Simulations supplied with BBCSDL, but they need more memory than is available with the trial version.
To upgrade the full (paid-for) version of BBC BASIC for Windows to v6.14a download and install upgrade.exe from the web site; remember that you are allowed to install it on multiple computers so long as only one copy is in use at any given time. To upgrade the trial version (or install it from scratch) download and install bbcwdemo.exe. It is possible that these executables may trigger security alerts until they have acquired a reputation for safety.


bb4w@...
 

Hi Jonathan,

Thanks for this nice trick.

The main problem is, then,-- at least here --  that if you launch SDLIDE through bbcsdl.exe, then the Compile action will open the BBCSDL "bundle" tool (that generates a .zip file), and not BB4W compiler tool, that generates a .exe file, the latter being what I'm looking for...


Hated Moron
 

On Wed, Apr 7, 2021 at 04:05 PM, <bb4w@...> wrote:
I use Version Info utility as I generate, mostly, Win32 based tools
All the Version Info utility does is to create a .res file in the same directory as your BASIC program.  You could continue to run it from the BB4W IDE when you need to modify the VERSIONINFO data (which I presume is only relatively infrequently) or, since it is itself just a BBC BASIC program, it could be added to the list of Utilities in SDLIDE.  That would only require minor modifications.

it looks like SDLIDE only launches .bbc utilities from a hardcoded programs list in SDLIDE itself, as opposed to a list stored in the Registry
It would be straightforward to modify SDLIDE to get the list of utilities from the .ini file.  I haven't done that simply because nobody has, as yet, proposed or written any custom utilities that could usefully be included.

I haven't managed (maybe I haven't tried hard enough) to be able to open a .bbc file for edition in SDLIDE from within Explorer,
You can do that, but it's necessary to 'compile' SDLIDE.bbc to SDLIDE.exe first (so you can specify that as the 'verb').  I could usefully add some REM!Embed directives to SDLIDE.bbc to make that more straightforward.

So for now I'm back to BB4W editor, which would actually be perfectly fine for me, if only I could change the editor background colour
I am sorry that, for you, this is a deal-breaker.  Microsoft have only quite recently introduced a 'dark theme' into Windows and it has come too late for BB4W.  If they had done that ten years ago when BBC BASIC for Windows was still being developed, and when I was not suffering from cognitive decline, I would probably have been more receptive to the idea.  But we are where we are: it's 2021, BB4W is no longer being actively developed and I cannot risk making changes to code which I no longer understand.

Personally I dislike dark themes, because I find small text more difficult to read.  Part of this is probably an eyesight issue - a bright background causes my pupils to contract and therefore depth-of-field to improve - but I also suspect that fonts (and font hinting) are designed on the assumption that characters will normally be displayed in a dark colour on a light background.  I'm also not sure that display gamma is contributing to clarity in the 'reversed video' condition.  But I know some people do like it, which is why I added it to SDLIDE (and indeed Andy Parkes has now added a 'light mode' to BBCEdit!).

My offer to refund your payment for BB4W, if you are in any way dissatisfied with it, is of course open to you as it is to everybody.


Hated Moron
 

On Wed, Apr 7, 2021 at 04:58 PM, Marcello wrote:
while running upgrade.exe I am receiving the following message. Can you suggest any possible workaround?
From the image you sent separately, the probable explanation is that you tried to upgrade BB4W with an instance of BB4W still running.  The installer says "It is recommended that you close all other applications before continuing".  If in doubt, reboot before running the installer.


Marcello
 

Thank you Richard.

Marcello 

Il mer 7 apr 2021, 20:48 Richard Russell <news@...> ha scritto:
On Wed, Apr 7, 2021 at 04:58 PM, Marcello wrote:
while running upgrade.exe I am receiving the following message. Can you suggest any possible workaround?
From the image you sent separately, the probable explanation is that you tried to upgrade BB4W with an instance of BB4W still running.  The installer says "It is recommended that you close all other applications before continuing".  If in doubt, reboot before running the installer.


Hated Moron
 

On Wed, Apr 7, 2021 at 06:00 PM, Richard Russell wrote:
You can do that, but it's necessary to 'compile' SDLIDE.bbc to SDLIDE.exe first
I appreciate that there are other reasons why you are unable or unwilling to use the SDLIDE approach, but for the record I've succeeded in 'compiling' a completely self-contained development environment which uses SDLIDE as the front-end and includes a copy of the BB4W compiler, run-time-engine and libraries.  The exe is a little under 1 Mbyte (there are no example programs) and should run even if BB4W isn't installed at all.

The debugging features still don't work (Trace, List Variables, Breakpoints, Profiler) but as I've said before it shouldn't be too difficult to port them should there be any demand for an alternative BB4W IDE of this sort.


R NBW
 

Richard

I thought I would give SDLIDE a try as a front ended to BB4W.  Unfortunately, when I try to compile SDLIDE.bbc I get an error message "Couldn't open 'C:\BBCSDL20\lib\.bbc'".  I have installed BBCSDL at C:\BBCSDL20.

Ray Would


Wednesday, 7 April 2021, 11:48 pm +0100 from news@... <news@...>:

On Wed, Apr 7, 2021 at 06:00 PM, Richard Russell wrote:
You can do that, but it's necessary to 'compile' SDLIDE.bbc to SDLIDE.exe first
I appreciate that there are other reasons why you are unable or unwilling to use the SDLIDE approach, but for the record I've succeeded in 'compiling' a completely self-contained development environment which uses SDLIDE as the front-end and includes a copy of the BB4W compiler, run-time-engine and libraries.  The exe is a little under 1 Mbyte (there are no example programs) and should run even if BB4W isn't installed at all.

The debugging features still don't work (Trace, List Variables, Breakpoints, Profiler) but as I've said before it shouldn't be too difficult to port them should there be any demand for an alternative BB4W IDE of this sort.


Hated Moron
 

On Thu, Apr 8, 2021 at 10:24 AM, R NBW wrote:
I thought I would give SDLIDE a try as a front ended to BB4W.  Unfortunately, when I try to compile SDLIDE.bbc I get an error message
I think there's been a misunderstanding.  Using SDLIDE as a front end to BB4W doesn't require anything to be 'compiled'; as previously discussed I've simply created a shortcut for it on my desktop.  That's preferable anyway, since it means any changes to SDLIDE.bbc automatically take effect in both BBCSDL and BB4W without any extra effort.

The idea of compiling it only arose because a previous correspondent wanted to be able to select Edit from the right-click context menu to choose to edit a .bbc file using SDLIDE.  That does mean compiling it, but as I said that requires REM!Embed directives to be added to ensure everything needed is embedded in the right places.   Without those directives it will fail, as you found.


Hated Moron
 

On Wed, Apr 7, 2021 at 11:48 PM, Richard Russell wrote:
The debugging features still don't work (Trace, List Variables, Breakpoints, Profiler) but as I've said before it shouldn't be too difficult to port them
As there seems to be a little interest in using SDLIDE with BB4W I will make sure that these features work before the next release of BBCSDL.


Hated Moron
 

On Wed, Apr 7, 2021 at 04:05 PM, <bb4w@...> wrote:
Using SDLIDE File->load dialog is less than practical (no navigation pane, no quick access to external storage/network shares, etc. no sort option, always starts from where SDLIDE is located when starting afresh, etc.) and that gets annoying when opening and editing several programs at the same time and located at different places.
I didn't respond to this previously, but for the record:

  1. It's true that there is no "navigation pane or quick access to external storage/network shares, etc".  I don't know how that could be achieved on a cross-platform basis, sorry.

  2. The list of files is always sorted (by ASCII code).  If by "sort option" you mean a way of disabling sorting, I'm surprised that there is a demand for this.

  3. Yes it always starts in the same place (the examples directory in the case of BBCSDL) but if you want to change to the last-accessed directory just load the most recent file first (e.g. Alt+F 1).

  4. The very reason for the recent files list is so you can easily "open and edit programs ... located in different places"!  The full path to the program is shown in the status bar.


bb4w@...
 

I understand that the File->Load dialog in SDLIDE can be constrained by it's cross-platform nature, as I said.

Loading files through Explorer providing that SDLIDE is available in a compiled form, as you proposed, would be simple, straightforward and fine, I think.
No need to unnecessary spend time and effort on modifying SDLIDE's File->Load dialog, then.

Also, for the record:
1. If you read carefully one of my previous messages, I didn't say I don't like BB4W -- I am quite accustomed to it's editor and it's fine for me and for what I do -- I only said that if the editor's background could be changed without messing Windows general display by inconsistently altering the display of a few things, then that would be absolutely perfect.

2. You said that 'Version Info' is a .bbc file, however it looks like it is an .exe binary (from a C source? a .bbc source?); so that means then that SDLIDE has to be modified slightly more than just adding "Version Info" in it's hardcoded utilities list at the beginning of SDLIDE program, especially in a "BB4W environment", as you know. In addition, it seems to me it does a little more than just creating a .res file, as it also adds a REM!Resource... line in the currently edited .bbc file -- and I don't know if that will work fine in SDLIDE.