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n00b question - programming on the ST?

programming St

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#1 happy_comrade OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:50 AM

Hi folks

I'm contemplating getting an atari ST for some programming projects.

I ask, what are the popular & powerful languages that ST users consider as being the "best"? Bonus points for versions that give best control over sound and graphics.

Also, don't laugh at me (or at least not too loud) but was there ever a version of FORTRAN created for the ST? I found a reference for it at one point on the web.

thanks in advance for your help
-HC

#2 GroovyBee OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:56 AM

You might want to sign up over at atari-forum.com too. Its mainly for the Atari 16/32 bit machines.

This is the programming section from their wiki :-
http://www.atari-for...tle=Programming

#3 Christos OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:34 PM

Yeah, I am pretty sure there is fortran 77 for the atari. Not sure where you can find it though.. Most people will use either C or asm, but others such as myself use GFA BASIC. Depending on what you want to do each has its own advantages.

#4 moulinaie OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:01 PM

Hi folks

I'm contemplating getting an atari ST for some programming projects.

I ask, what are the popular & powerful languages that ST users consider as being the "best"? Bonus points for versions that give best control over sound and graphics.


As always, my preffered is assembly. But it requires some learning. But then, you really have access to all the machine.
For example: sound on the STF (not STE that has the DMA sound) can be done using an interrupt routine.
Other example: some color effects can be done using the HBL interrupt (a little program you can execute every scan line, for example changing the palette!)

Guillaume.

#5 Thorsten GŁnther ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:05 PM

The ST was mainly programmed in C with inline assembly routines where necessary or in pure 68K assembly. For those who preferred a "tidier" language, Modula-2 was the language of choice ("Esprit", "Oxyd", etc. by Meinolf Schneider were written in that language), and a very good Modula-2 compiler is available as a free download from the author's site:

http://www.tempel.org/files-d.html

Sadly, the docs are in German, but Niklaus Wirth's book on his language os of course also available in almost any major language.

Aside from that, BASIC grew to maturity on the 16-bit computers, losing those terrible line numbers and GOTO commands, and usually sporting compilers. Here in Germany, GFA BASIC was the most popular dialect, while in the UK, HiSoft BASIC succeeded (which was integrated into the OS much better, using GEM as a development environment, while GFA BASIC ran in plain TOS).

Thorsten

#6 simonsunnyboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:35 AM

There is a free and actively developed ANSI C compiler available. Try AHCC from http://members.chello.nl/h.robbers/
It is compatible with Pure C, ANSI compliant and has full support for TOS and all its subsystems.

The "best" language is a matter of personal taste. For a plain beginner, GFABASIC is a good choice. If you already have experience with C, go for C.

#7 dark willow OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:42 AM

I'm just getting back into coding after years away from it. Before I only used the very unstructured Atari Basic on the 8-bit, so pretty much starting from scratch on the ST.

I played around a bit with Lattice C, but have settled on GFA Basic. It's by far the best documented language, with a lot of modern guides and libraries out there to work with - and LP and others have produced a lot of modern coding utilities for GFA development as well and the language has quite an active community (see LP's homepage). On the downside, GFA compiled code is not - at present - executable on the Firebee, so if you are thinking of developing specifically for that system, you will need to look elsewhere.

Edited by dark willow, Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:43 AM.


#8 ubikuberalles OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 6, 2012 6:26 PM

I like using Mark Williams C on my Atari ST. Back in the day I wrote lots of programs using that compiler.

#9 oky2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 8, 2012 5:36 AM

I was always interested in FAST BASIC for writing serious applications because it has great control for the GEM interface.

#10 moulinaie OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 8, 2012 6:23 AM

I was always interested in FAST BASIC for writing serious applications because it has great control for the GEM interface.


Was it the BASIC that came in a rom cartridge?
Guillaume.

#11 oky2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:53 PM


I was always interested in FAST BASIC for writing serious applications because it has great control for the GEM interface.


Was it the BASIC that came in a rom cartridge?
Guillaume.


Yes, a cheaper disk version came later too.

#12 lp060 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:58 PM

On the downside, GFA compiled code is not - at present - executable on the Firebee, so if you are thinking of developing specifically for that system, you will need to look elsewhere.


Supposeodly this issue will be addressed at the Firebee in the future. However, if and when GFA runs it won't be full speed, but thats better than nothing.

As for FAST BASIC, there is no compiler that I'm aware of, which makes it unsuitable to distribute programs, unless one likes to give out their source code.

#13 oky2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:42 AM

There was a compiler sold as a separate package, you're thinking of the 'run time' disk that comes with the interpreter for free.

#14 oky2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:43 AM

-duplicate post-

Edited by oky2000, Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:43 AM.


#15 lp060 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:11 PM

There was a compiler sold as a separate package, you're thinking of the 'run time' disk that comes with the interpreter for free.


Do you have a copy of it? The compiler has never turned up in other threads on other forums either, in fact the consesus is it never had one. Hense my post based on other threads I've seen about it. There is a tool on the runtime disk that will append the runtime to a source file making it appear as if its compiled. My guess is people have confused this with a real compiler.

Edited by lp060, Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:12 PM.


#16 oky2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:46 PM


There was a compiler sold as a separate package, you're thinking of the 'run time' disk that comes with the interpreter for free.


Do you have a copy of it? The compiler has never turned up in other threads on other forums either, in fact the consesus is it never had one. Hense my post based on other threads I've seen about it. There is a tool on the runtime disk that will append the runtime to a source file making it appear as if its compiled. My guess is people have confused this with a real compiler.


I didn't find either on the net as a download but a compiler package by Computer Concepts was advertised for sure separately, I remember because I wanted to buy both for my ST in the early days.

Maybe it was never released? Xara (as they are called now) proudly claim Fast Basic was an interpreter/compiler on their website and as Xara outlived Atari really then it could not have been unreleased because the developers went bankrupt. And their only other machines were Acorn which was an even smaller market than the ST in the 80s

Interesting, but I definitely saw the adverts at the time for a separate compiler package for 19.99 to Fast Basic users (it may even have been a subscription special offer for one of the ST magazines).

This is why we need to have a big push NOW to get ALL ST magazines scanned and stored forever :)

#17 lp060 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:54 PM

There was a thread over at AF about it, a few people dug up manuals and disks and the like, but no one found a compiler. If someone digs one up I'd like to see it. I did contact the company, or whats left of it and they couldn't tell me anything. They only vaguely recognized the product name and could not even tell me who created it. The author was long gone from the company.

#18 lp060 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:14 PM

The author of fast basic is Jeremy Ruston. I found him on twitter:

http://twitter.com/#...850504150528001

He mentions it in the link.

He should be able to end the mystery about the compiler if someone asks him. Whoever decides to contact him, ask him about the source code too. It won't be me, I have no luck in such matters.

Edited by lp060, Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:17 PM.





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