Greetings folks

(Self-Presentation Section)

Greetings folks

Unread postby ZXDunny » Mon May 05, 2014 11:49 pm

As per the instructions, here's my introduction :)

I have joined because I'm interested in all (well, allmost all!) discussion about BASIC and its history and future. The FBSL forums are frequently mentioned by others that I follow so I thought I should get involved.

I'm currently working as a Registered Nurse in my local hospital and thus have no professional interest in coding - though in my previous career I wrote mostly database applications with a smattering of C/ASM for a number of years professionally. These days I code for fun and distraction from my work, which can often be stressful.

I started coding in BASIC back in the late 70s in the fledgling Sinclair BASIC, and stayed with it for a number of years as the platforms evolved before leaving BASIC behind with the Amiga (AMOS/Blitz BASIC briefly before graduating to E, C and some 68k Assembler) and later with the PC where I abandoned C in favour of the much more friendly Borland Delphi. I tend to stick with Pascal (Delphi under Windows, FPC for ARM/x86 Linux) though a number of my projects are maintained in C++ on my handheld Linux PC.

Back in the day, I was always depressed by the sluggish behaviour of BASIC on the z80 CPU and envisioned a time when CPUs would be fast enough that BASIC would perform as fast as z80 assembly did back then. Working towards this goal, I've written numerous emulators - one of which is known as one of the best Sinclair Spectrum emulators available, and another as the best (according to my users, at least!) BASIC IDE created for authors to write BASIC code for the Sinclair Spectrum. My interests in BASIC have led me to create my own interpreter, SpecBAS which is the culmination of my efforts to bring Sinclair BASIC to the PC.

SpecBAS is reasonably quick, all things considered - it employs a kind of bytecode built around an RPN-style expression builder and employs a look and feel reminiscent of the old 8bit BASICs - a command line, listings with line numbers and as many new features and constructs as I can possibly cram in. I've been writing it since 2010 and am continuously improving it and fixing issues. The interactive nature of the BASIC means that a compiler is unlikely to be created for it, but I'll not rule out a dynamic-recompiler in the future.

It's given me a lot of joy and happiness creating SpecBAS, and I've enjoyed very much discussing BASIC with like-minded folks which is why I'll certainly enjoy discussing things with folks here.

Cheers, and I'll see you around.

FBSL tiny seed
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Re: Greetings folks

Unread postby Mike Lobanovsky » Tue May 06, 2014 6:43 am

Welcome to the ranks, ZXDunny!

You have quite an impressive BASIC service record and we know who you are. The more so is it pleasing to see you here.

Please take your time to look around, download the installation distros, and get acquainted with FBSL. We're in the process of transitioning between two (slightly) incompatible language versions therefore the installation process may look somewhat cumbersome. FBSL's new BASIC documentation is still a W.I.P. so you'll have to subside to an old-style help file and examples coupled with a brief overview of new language features in the PDF that accompanies the Release Candidate 2 binaries. Please follow my recent directions on the FBSL Newbies' Board on how to install the RC2 properly to be able to inspect the old code base and use it in the new RC2 environment.

FBSL is not so much retro as many BASIC's presented at basicprogramming dot org. It is more a Variant data type based BASIC-like scripting language that tends towards Windows SDK-based C language style. Alongside its interpretative BASIC core, FBSL is designed to utilize verbatim Intel-style assembly and ANSI C for the most time-critical portions of an application. Both DynAsm (FBSL's Dynamic Assembler) and DynC (Dynamic C) are JIT compilers whose output code runs natively outside the bounds of interpretative BASIC virtual machine. The DynAsm and DynC documentation has already been updated to reflect the functionality of these "layers" in FBSL v3.5.

All the samples and applications that can be found on this forum and date back not more than 7 or 8 months are written in a modern FBSL v3.5 syntax while those that are older support FBSL v3.4. You can distinguish between them by the first line in the script. If the script starts with #Uses "@|WIN32" then it is old. Modern scripts will most likely start with #Include <Include\>.

"Я старый солдат, мадам, и не знаю слов любви."
"I am an old soldier, ma'am, and I don't know the words of love."
"Je suis un vieux soldat, madame, et je ne connais pas les mots d'amour."
"Ich bin ein alter Soldat, gnädige Frau, und ich weiß nicht die Worte der Liebe."

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(x86 Win XP Pro Russian Sp3/x86 Win Vista Ultimate Sp2/x64 Win 7 Ultimate Sp1/Wine in x64 elementaryOS Luna)
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Mike Lobanovsky
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