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Richard Russell
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xx Raspbian Stretch released
« Thread started on: Aug 20th, 2017, 12:45pm »

The long-awaited new version of the Raspberry Pi operating system - Raspbian Stretch - has now been released.  This has a couple of implications for BBCSDL running on that platform:
  • The version of SDL available from the repository is now 2.0.5 (the latest); previously it was 2.0.2.  One improvement is that the sound effects accompanying 'dropperz.bbc' now work.

  • Whereas, previously, enabling the 'GL Driver' was optional (albeit that BBC BASIC ran slowly without it) it is now essential.  However that driver should be more stable and the bugs associated with its use fixed.
If anybody experiences problems running BBCSDL with Raspbian Stretch please report them here.

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xx Re: Raspbian Stretch released
« Reply #1 on: Aug 21st, 2017, 12:13am »

> the repository

url ?
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xx Re: Raspbian Stretch released
« Reply #2 on: Aug 21st, 2017, 07:09am »

on Aug 21st, 2017, 12:13am, hitsware wrote:
url ?

No, I meant the standard Raspbian repository - you don't need a URL (that's sort of the point). Installation instructions are in the supplied install-rpi.txt file - you must have already followed them when installing SDL 2.0.2 previously?

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xx Re: Raspbian Stretch released
« Reply #3 on: Aug 21st, 2017, 11:03am »

apt-get ?

Someone gave me a link to ? and I downloaded it before .
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xx Re: Raspbian Stretch released
« Reply #4 on: Aug 21st, 2017, 3:00pm »

This one ? :

http://bbcbasic.conforums.com/index.cgi?board=announcements&action=display&num=1501579415
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xx Re: Raspbian Stretch released
« Reply #5 on: Aug 21st, 2017, 3:50pm »

on Aug 21st, 2017, 3:00pm, hitsware wrote:
This one ?

This one what? The download links are, of course, to be found on the web page.

I don't leave earlier versions available for download; my policy (as with BB4W) is only to support the very latest release, so each new version replaces the previous one(s). I naturally assumed that you were already running 0.18a, is that not the case?

It would be irritating and repetitive to respond to every support request with "are you running the latest version?" but that is taken as read. Every release has bug fixes so there's always a chance one of them will have addressed the very issue you are asking about.

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xx Re: Raspbian Stretch released
« Reply #6 on: Aug 21st, 2017, 6:08pm »

Update your Raspberry Pi:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
Install SDL 2.0:
sudo apt-get install libsdl2-2.0-0
sudo apt-get install libsdl2-ttf-2.0-0
sudo apt-get install mesa-utils
chmod +x bbcsdl
To start BBC BASIC:
./bbcsdl

Where do you keep bbcsdl in that you do not need to
do a 'cd' or add /xxx/xxx/bbcsdl for the chmod and to run ?

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xx Re: Raspbian Stretch released
« Reply #7 on: Aug 21st, 2017, 6:43pm »

on Aug 21st, 2017, 6:08pm, hitsware wrote:
Where do you keep bbcsdl in that you do not need to do a 'cd' or add /xxx/xxx/bbcsdl for the chmod and to run ?

You can extract the files anywhere you like, within reason. Some people just leave the zip in 'Downloads' which is probably where it got stored by default. I prefer to create a new directory ~/BBCBASIC and move the zip file there before unzipping it. But it's just a matter of personal preference, which is why I say nothing about it in the installation file.

If you're happy to run BBCSDL from a terminal prompt, which is what I generally do, then obviously you need to 'cd' to wherever you've put it first. An alternative, and perhaps nicer, approach is to create a desktop shortcut so you just need to double-click on that to run it. Again it's your choice.

But anyway a few days ago you were talking about your own experience of running BBCSDL, saying that it ran slowly and describing how you were using it to create MIDI music. So you must have done all this before; why are you asking about it again now?

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xx Re: Raspbian Stretch released
« Reply #8 on: Aug 21st, 2017, 9:28pm »

Because I thought that perhaps something wrong in my installation may have caused the 'latency' .
Speaking of which seems to be somewhat abundant in Stretch. It may not quite be ready for 'prime time'.
bbcsdl may be somewhat snappier than the Jessie version, but not much.
(GL engaged)
Did you say you had a RPi 3 rather than a RPi 3-B ?
Assuming the same performance, our perceptions must be very different.
But then it is your Baby smiley
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xx Re: Raspbian Stretch released
« Reply #9 on: Aug 21st, 2017, 11:25pm »

on Aug 21st, 2017, 9:28pm, hitsware wrote:
Because I thought that perhaps something wrong in my installation may have caused the 'latency'.

If it runs, it's correctly installed. Installation 'errors' can't affect the speed!

Quote:
Assuming the same performance, our perceptions must be very different.

What operation(s), precisely, do you find slow? Are you sure you're judging it from a practical perspective, and not simply expecting everything to react 'instantly' because that's what you're used to (e.g. on your mobile phone)?

The BBCSDL IDE is written in BBC BASIC, an interpreted language and as such one of the slowest of all BASICs. That interpreter is written in C (unlike BB4W which is written in assembler) so that results in at least another factor-of-two slowdown. And that is running on a slow computer, the Raspberry Pi.

So of course it's going to be comparatively very slow, but to me all that matters is that it is fast enough. So long as the editor can keep up with my typing speed, and the various menu functions etc. respond promptly, what does it matter whether it takes 1ms, 10ms or 100ms?

If you're looking for a modern, fast, compiled, native code, programming language that will fly even on a slow device like the RPi, BBC BASIC isn't it and never will be!

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xx Re: Raspbian Stretch released
« Reply #10 on: Aug 22nd, 2017, 2:28pm »

> What operation(s), precisely, do you find slow?

To move a line of code up or down (ENTER or BACKSPACE)
takes ~1/2 second ........

If you move (drag) the output screen, it leaves a trail of images.

@ times when you click the RUN arrow, it takes ~ 1 sec to initiate.
@ times if you get an ERROR message (Mistake or Syntax) you
first see the capital M or S then after ~1 second the rest of the word

Caveat: I realize that "@ times" is not very concise (though true)
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xx Re: Raspbian Stretch released
« Reply #11 on: Aug 22nd, 2017, 4:12pm »

on Aug 22nd, 2017, 2:28pm, hitsware wrote:
To move a line of code up or down (ENTER or BACKSPACE) takes ~1/2 second ........

Agreed. I can easily speed that up in a future release.

Quote:
If you move (drag) the output screen, it leaves a trail of images.

With the scrollbar you mean? I've never seen that: it doesn't happen here. What kind of monitor are you using? Mine is a Panasonic HDTV fed with HDMI.

Quote:
@ times if you get an ERROR message (Mistake or Syntax) you first see the capital M or S then after ~1 second the rest of the word

That's normal. All my versions of BBC BASIC behave that way, because screen refresh is a low priority in immediate mode. It doesn't affect running BASIC programs in normal circumstances, especially as you can force a refresh with *REFRESH.

Can you check for me what the CPU meter (top right hand corner of screen) is reading when SDLIDE is 'idle', that is simply waiting for keyboard input? Here it reads 1% or 2% most of the time. Anything higher would be indicative of a problem.

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xx Re: Raspbian Stretch released
« Reply #12 on: Aug 22nd, 2017, 8:19pm »

> With the scrollbar you mean?

No........Put cursor in bar accross the top of output window.
Hold down left button and drag the window accross the screen.
Interestingly it doesn't do it with GL disabled ?

> Here it reads 1% or 2% most of the time.

Stretch w/GL 1% - 2%
Stretch GLoff 60%-70% !!!!!
Jessie 20% - 30%
Never thought of looking @ that ...
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xx Re: Raspbian Stretch released
« Reply #13 on: Aug 22nd, 2017, 10:03pm »

on Aug 22nd, 2017, 8:19pm, hitsware wrote:
>Hold down left button and drag the window accross the screen.

It works perfectly here, but either way it's unrelated to BBC BASIC. You can ask at the Raspberry Pi forum if you like, but more than likely they'll simply say the VC4 driver is 'experimental' so strange things sometimes happen!

Quote:
Stretch w/GL 1% - 2%
Stretch GLoff 60%-70% !!!!!

Software-emulated OpenGL rendering is very CPU-intensive and, as previously noted, seemingly even slower on Stretch. That's why I say enabling the GL driver is essential for BBCSDL.

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xx Re: Raspbian Stretch released
« Reply #14 on: Aug 23rd, 2017, 9:45pm »

I've now tried every one of the example programs supplied with BBCSDL on a Raspberry Pi running Raspbian Stretch, and everything works as expected (with the previously mentioned caveat that the 'experimental' GL Driver must be enabled).  With the version of SDL available from the Raspbian repository also having been updated from 2.0.2 to 2.0.5, this is a confidence boost.

I have to keep reminding myself that the Raspberry Pi has an ARM processor; it still feels really strange to be running what looks and feels like BBC BASIC for Windows on a non-x86 computer!  I've been telling anybody who asked, for years, that there was zero chance that 'my' BBC BASIC would ever be ported to ARM, and I firmly believed it.  That it has now happened is hard to get my head around.

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