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Apr 28th, 2017, 9:42pm


Cross-platform BBC BASIC (Win32, Linux x86, Android, Mac OS-X, Raspberry Pi)

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 thread  Author  Topic: BBC BASIC for Windows version 6.10a released  (Read 108 times)
Richard Russell
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xx BBC BASIC for Windows version 6.10a released
« Thread started on: Apr 6th, 2017, 10:49am »

I have released BBC BASIC for Windows version 6.10a. This release addresses the 'string parameter instability' issue and provides improved compatibility with BBCSDL. It includes the following modifications:

Interpreter:
  1. If the 'string parameter instability' condition is detected, an 'Incorrect arguments' error (ERR = 31) is reported. This is a major change, although it has been in BBCSDL for some time. See the 'Bug alert' thread for details.

  2. For improved compatibility with BBCSDL, the *DISPLAY and *MDISPLAY commands have been extended to accept an optional 'transparent colour' parameter.

  3. For improved compatibility with BBCSDL, the WIDTH(string$) function is implemented.
IDE and editor:
  1. The 'Set Font' and 'Set Printer Font' commands now permit selection of proportional-spaced fonts as well as monospaced fonts (unless disabled by a registry setting).

  2. The Help menu has been updated so as no longer to link to the 'unofficial' BB4W forum, and to include a link to the Facebook page..

  3. When pasting into the editing pane, soft-spaces are converted to hard-spaces.
Libraries:
  1. The D3DLIBA, D3D9LIB and D3D9LIBA libraries are included.

  2. The MULTIWIN library forwards mouse double-click messages to the main window.

  3. The HQSOUND library incorporates PROC_voice() and PROC_stereo() which are functionally similar to the *VOICE and *STEREO commands in BBCSDL.
Add-in Utilities:
  1. A problem causing the Profiler utility to fail if the program contained a *FLOAT command has been fixed.
Example programs:
  1. New programs 2048.BBC, BUGGY.BBC, DIBLEY.BBC and TRIPLES.BBC have been added to the GAMES directory.

  2. New programs BOUNCE.BBC, SCARAB.BBC and SNOWSCENE.BBC have been added to the GRAPHICS directory.

  3. A new program TOCFUGUE.BBC has been added to the SOUNDS directory.
To upgrade your copy of BBC BASIC for Windows to version 6.10a, and at the same time update your libraries, utilities, example programs and manual, download and install UPGRADE.EXE from here:

http://www.rtrussell.co.uk/bbcwin/download.html

You may receive security warnings from Windows. That issue will resolve itself eventually when the files have been downloaded a sufficient number of times for them to have gained a 'reputation' for safety.

Richard.
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xx Re: BBC BASIC for Windows version 6.10a released
« Reply #1 on: Apr 6th, 2017, 1:05pm »

Thanks Richard, there are some nice new features there!

I've posted a link and summary on the BB4W forum.

Best wishes,

D
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Richard Russell
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xx Re: BBC BASIC for Windows version 6.10a released
« Reply #2 on: Apr 6th, 2017, 2:35pm »

Just some background to this release, should anybody be interested. It was due a while ago but since hurting my back (which has in turn aggravated a pre-existing knee condition) it has been too uncomfortable to sit at my main desktop PC and therefore I have been unable to carry out the necessary steps leading up to the release.

Because it seems likely that this state of affairs will last at least several weeks, if not months, I installed TeamViewer on both that PC and my laptop. This has allowed me to do the vital operations 'by remote control' but some aspects of the release process have suffered. For example I would ordinarily test the release on a range of different PCs and versions of Windows, but that has been curtailed.

For those who claim that this kind of testing can be done satisfactorily using a 'virtual' PC like VirtualBox, let me assure them that it is no substitute for the real thing. For example oddities resulting from different CPU types, graphics and sound cards simply cannot be adequately emulated that way.

So version 6.10a has not been tested as thoroughly as I would like. Most of the changes are relatively benign and are not at high risk of having introduced a bug, with the important exception of the modification to protect against the string parameter instability ('Geoff Webb bug'). This is a major and highly risky change, but it has been previewed in BBCSDL and I have posted multiple pleas for users to thrash that feature as thoroughly as possible on that platform.

However I've received no direct confirmation that anybody has actually done so! If by any mischance people have ignored my pleas, or positively chosen not to help (and there are certainly those who would be happy to cause harm to BBC BASIC and/or me) then the danger of v6.10a having a serious bug is real. Only time will tell.

Richard.
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xx Re: BBC BASIC for Windows version 6.10a released
« Reply #3 on: Apr 7th, 2017, 01:52am »

I am sure most people should have the original copy of BBC4W on their cloud service, so upgrading shouldn't be a problem if they have all the install info from their original receipt.

Sad that you are in pain Richard.
I live with chronic pain also. I hope you recover soon.
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I like reinventing the wheel, but for now I will work on tools for D3D
Richard Russell
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xx Re: BBC BASIC for Windows version 6.10a released
« Reply #4 on: Yesterday at 4:19pm »

With the release of v6.10a I've formally withdrawn support for version 5, and the 'downgrade' facility to v5.95a has been removed from the download page at the website. 'Parallel' support for v5 was continued for a while because of the significant (and in a few cases incompatible) differences introduced in v6, but more than two years have now passed since the release of v6.00a so people should have had plenty of time to adapt.

There's also the issue that BBCSDL (the cross-platform version of BBC BASIC for Windows, Linux, Mac OS, Android and Raspberry Pi) uses the version 6 interpreter, and of course the new C-based interpreter used by the ARM editions is also compatible with v6, so that has become the de-facto standard. Version 6 has some very significant advantages over v5, not least the support for 80-bit floats (x86 only) and huge strings.

I should add that although the ARM processor sadly doesn't support 80-bit floats (at least, not the modern variants used in Android) I have nevertheless ensured that the C version of the interpreter retains that support if compiled for an x86 target.

Richard.
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