Development : : New release of PortablE aimed at beginners
Posted By: ChrisH. on 2011/2/7 17:47:44
I am releasing a "full preview" of the next version of the PortablE programming language. It is now aimed at beginners & those new to the E language. Previous releases of PortablE were aimed at existing AmigaE users, and those familiar with AmigaOS programming. But after more than a year of development, PortablE is much easier for beginners to pick-up & play with...

* It now comes with some nice modules for graphics, sound, music & GUIs. These require no knowledge of AmigaOS programming, and were inspired by the simplicity of BASIC languages like AMOS.

* It comes with full documentation for all of these modules, along with smaller & bigger examples. The preview release does official PortablE forum for them!

* The documentation has been revamped to be more beginner friendly, and the PortablE installer has been made easier to use. If you still get stuck, then let me know, and I will see what I can do :-)


* In addition to that, I have made available a large collection of my own useful modules (in the CSH folder), which you can use if you want. These are not properly documented yet, but I will look at documenting them where there is interest.

* There are also various other improvements, and a lot of bug fixes.

* As usual it supports Amiga OS4, OS3, AROS, MorphOS & Windows. However (1) the new graphics module does not yet work on Amiga OS3, (2) the new modules do not yet work on Windows, and (3) MorphOS support is still experimental.


You can download it from PortablE's home page. But remember to keep an eye on the official PortablE forum for further info.
 
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    ChrisH
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    !!!NOTE!!!

    I forgot to emphasise that PortablE's MorphOS support (particularly for the graphics modules) is experimental, because I don't have a MorphOS machine to test it myself.

    However, as it works well on both AmigaOS4 *and* AROS, there shouldn't be much stopping it from working on MorphOS too, and some earlier tests did show that it mostly worked.

    I will try to fix any remaining MorphOS issues, as long as I can find someone to help run various tests...
  • »2011/2/8 7:34
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    ChrisH
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    A quick update: I finally had a reply back from one of my MorphOS testers, and it seems like some recent changes have broken the Graphics module. So sadly I will have to delay MOST of the demos for MorphOS.

    The GOOD news is that it should be relatively easy to fix this problem, since I know what changes I made. How long it takes is entirely dependant on how quick the tester can get back to me...

    [ Edited by ChrisH On 2011/2/8 17:12 ]
  • »2011/2/8 16:11
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    ChrisH
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    A further quick update: Looks like the problem is not nearly as bad as I thought! So I will *hopefully* be able to show the demos/examples on MorphOS too...
  • »2011/2/8 19:19
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    ausPPC
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    Forgive me if you've spoken about this elsewhere, but what computer(s) do you have daily access to? Would you object to having an extra one that runs MorphOS?
    PPC assembly ain't so bad... ;)
  • »2011/2/8 20:46
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    ChrisH
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    REALLY GOOD NEWS! It looks like almost all the examples actually work :-)))

    The only one which fails uses a timer.device interrupt, and as that required some low-level magic, it's hardly surprising if I got it slightly wrong. (Not sure how I'm going to fix it though, maybe I can accost Itix again...?)

    A few of the more advanced examples likely uses more video memory than necessary, but that's hard to fix without access to a real MOS machine (or heavy-duty help from some MorphOS CyberGraphics programming god...).

    All systems are go!

    [ Edited by ChrisH On 2011/2/8 23:48 ]
  • »2011/2/8 22:31
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    ChrisH
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    @ausPPC Quote:

    Forgive me if you've spoken about this elsewhere, but what computer(s) do you have daily access to?

    A Sam440 in a *tiny* case, running OS4.1, and a slightly aging Shuttle PC (small by PC standards). Yes, I like small computers! My previous (Amithlon) PC was in a huuuuge & heavy server-like tower case, and I think that put me off large PCs for life (plus I'd rather not waste the space).

    Quote:

    Would you object to having an extra one that runs MorphOS?

    No ideological objection, just difficult to justify the cost when I already have two perfectly capable computers...

    ... And not enough time to spent playing on ANOTHER one! Which is also why I haven't bought an AROS capable PC - I'd only use it to test AROS stuff, which seems somewhat wasteful (especially when I can already run AROS under emulation, albiet a little slowly).

    Seems somewhat of a shame that MorphOS will "never" be ported to the Sam440, but then again *if* I only used the demo version of MOS for testing stuff, then I wouldn't actually have helped pay the MOS porting bills either...
  • »2011/2/8 22:44
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    ausPPC
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    If / when MorphOS runs on powerbooks, my Efika probably won't get any more use. It's in a 5.25" external CD enclosure - albeit with a chunky, external AC/DC power supply on top of that. If that's not too big or otherwise undesirable, I'd be happy to give it to you.
    PPC assembly ain't so bad... ;)
  • »2011/2/8 23:45
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    ChrisH
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    @ausPPC
    That's a very kind offer, which I'd be happy to accept. An Efika is certainly small enough!

    Quote:

    If / when MorphOS runs on powerbooks,

    As I have no idea if/when that will happen, I shan't be holding my breath for an Efika from you :-)
  • »2011/2/9 9:22
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    takemehomegrandma
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    Buy yourself a Mac Mini instead. They are quite cheap, they are just as small, and as a developer you would really appreciate the extra power. If you are truly planning MorphOS support in your project, then you should really get yourself a MorphOS system; how could you be serious in your development otherwise?
    MorphOS is Amiga done right! :-)
    MorphOS NG will be AROS done right! :-)
  • »2011/2/9 15:05
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    ChrisH
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    @takemehomegrandma
    I heard that there is a movement amoung some MorphOS users to supply machines to suitable developers. From what you say, I take it you are against this? (Sounds like you think everyone should buy their own hardware, or they just aren't serious.)

    (snip: Removed a comment which was apparently unjustified.)

    [ Edited by ChrisH On 2011/2/10 12:35 ]
  • »2011/2/9 20:00
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  • Andreas_Wolf
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    > I heard that there is a movement amoung some MorphOS
    > users to supply machines to suitable developers.

    Yes, you can read more about it there:

    http://www.morphzone.org/modules/newbb_plus/viewtopic.php?topic_id=7691&forum=3
    http://amigaworld.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=33122&forum=2
    http://www.amiga.org/forums/showthread.php?t=56254
    http://www.natami.net/knowledge.php?b=6¬e=32181
  • »2011/2/9 20:08
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    takemehomegrandma
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    Wow, you sure read a lot into that post that simply wasn't there.

    Anyway, my point is how can you seriously develop software for a platform you don't even have access to, that you don't run, and can't test your own SW on? Don't you think you might risk making an announcement that "hey, I have just released a new SW with all these features", only to hours later having to make follow-up posts that "oops, it turns out that when users actually tested it, the thing didn't really work".

    I'm not at all against people begging for freebies, not you not anyone. Try asking, maybe you get lucky, who knows? And I can see how OS4 HW can be out of reach for most people, when a system costs between USD $1,000 - $2,500+, but I don't see how a $50 eMac can possibly be out of reach for anyone really wanting to having their SW running on MorphOS? It can't be a problem for anyone in the developed western world. Power Mac's can also be found ridiculously cheap. Mac Mini's aren't really that expensive either, and they are just as small as an Efika, while offering good power.

    You do what's best for you of course, and if waiting for a free "G2" Efika is what's best for you, then go ahead, or (even better for you) send an e-mail to that guy in Andreas' links that's willing to buy HW on a charity basis to needing developers, and present to him your case.

    It was just that I was a bit surprised that you as a developer devoted to making MorphOS versions of your SW hadn't even bothered to get a system running it already, but that's none of my business I guess...

    [ Edited by takemehomegrandma On 2011/2/9 23:33 ]
    MorphOS is Amiga done right! :-)
    MorphOS NG will be AROS done right! :-)
  • »2011/2/9 21:18
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    ChrisH
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    @takemehomegrandma
    Your post contains so many misconceptions, I really don't know where to start :-( . I can however see this turning into a long & totally off-topic discussion of development philosophy, which would likely put people off making any real posts. I therefore would like to continue this discussion in private.

    [ Edited by ChrisH On 2011/2/10 15:18 ]
  • »2011/2/10 11:33
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    ChrisH
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    I have now released an UPDATED preview of PortablE. You can download it from PortablE's homepage. The changes include:

    1. Fixed MakeFractalBitmap() to handle red colours above $7F (such as RGB_RED & RGB_ORANGE).

    2. Fixed the graphics module to not crash on MorphOS when you change screens.

    3. Updated the installer for AmigaOS4, so that it (offers to) install the necessary GCC includes.

    4. Minor changes to the documentation.
  • »2011/2/13 20:16
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    I have uploaded a new PortablE preview. The most important change is that reading & writing of files now works using the 'std/cPath' module. (Thanks to "mrdarek" for reporting the problem!)
  • »2011/4/24 9:35
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