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flashjazzcat

The Last Word version 3.3 RC1 with VBXE support

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Haven't had time to upload this on the website yet or make an SDX ATR of it, so here it is:

 

LW33RC1_DOS2.atr

 

Check out the text files on the ATR for instructions on how to get the VBXE driver installed (basically, just rename VBXE.VDR to LW.VDR).

 

SDX users note - this works well with S_VBXE and CON.SYS, although LW uses its own driver and doesn't require S_VBXE.SYS to be installed. The disk formatter doesn't show up when called from LW's disk menu in VBXE mode, which appears to be the only issue.

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OK, seems to work. It looks good - I've got other stuff I really should be doing so can't give it a proper workout.

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jou.. i love this text editor

first i test viewing directory - works superb :)

vbxe must be cool .. i dont have it :(

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Yeah - I was in a bit of a rush this morning: two last minute bug-fixes, and a change to the macro code to enable reaction to File Not Found conditions. This is how the welcome message in LW.MAC is only run the first time the program is exectuted.

 

To install on a HDD, just copy the executable and any other files you require (including the VBXE driver if you need it - rename it to LW.VDR) to your LW folder. The old configuration files are fully compatible apart from the notation for the EOLCHAR and PADCHAR characters in LW.CFG - these have changed from internal codes to ATASCII codes. You can either run CFGPATCH.MAC with <Shift+Ctrl+M> to update your existing file, or just generate a new one with <Shift+Ctrl+O> (Save CFG) and enter "LW.CFG".

 

The VBXE bug in Altirra has been fixed, BTW. The extensions (such as the spell-checker) haven't been recompiled for this version yet - I'll do that once I'm sure everything is working OK.

 

While very faithful to the stock hardware, I must admit even I find the 4-bit 80 column characters a bit of a shock after using the VBXE driver for a while. You soon get used to the clarity.

Edited by flashjazzcat

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Haven't had time to upload this on the website yet or make an SDX ATR of it, so here it is:

 

Hi,

Don't have VBXE, but would be curious to see what the Last Word looks like with VBXE. Anyone want to demo it in a video?

Thanks!

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Haven't had time to upload this on the website yet or make an SDX ATR of it, so here it is:

 

Anyone want to demo it in a video?

 

Just run it in Altirra.

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With a default SDX 4.44 config (I don't have a configured boot disk, the defaults seem to work okay for what I use), I can only get LW to use VBXE mode if the LW disk is in D1: at boot time. If any other or no disk are inserted, it defaults to the 4-bit 80 column mode. Is this intended behaviour, or do I need to have a config.sys on whatever boot disk I happen to be using to get VBXE mode up and running?

 

This is on Altirra 2.10test9, with XL/XE PAL-VBXE 1088k.

Edited by NuY

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This is intended behaviour, since LW needs to know how to find the VBXE driver, and if it can't find it, the program defaults to the built-in 4-bit 80 column driver. Using SDX, the best thing to do is define an environment variable "LWPATH" and set it to the drive/path containing your LW config files. You can have a list delimited with semicolons, just like the internal SDX path. So, if you have your config files are located here:

 

D3:>LW>

 

Put this in AUTOEXEC.BAT or CONFIG.SYS:

 

SET LWPATH=D3:>LW>

 

Put LW.VDR in that folder on drive 3. Now open LW.SYS (assuming it exists), and ensure there is no conflicting PATH statement in there, since this will override the path you set up in the environment variable. Also check for a VIDEO_DRIVER statement - this can be used to override the default video driver name, which is LW.VDR.

 

If there's no LW.SYS, there's no absolute requirement to use one under SDX, unless there are other features you want to set.

 

With these steps in place, LW should be able to find its configuration files and the video driver no matter which drive / directory is logged when you start the program.

 

Don't forget you can also make LW use SDX drive letters instead of Dn: by setting the LWSDXDEV environment variable to 1. You'll need to go through LW.SYS and any other files with drive specifiers in them and edit them to conform to the new device naming convention, however. With this feature enabled, you can - for example - set the filespec to "CAR:*.*" on the disk menu and get a list of the files on CAR: (you'd otherwise need to specify "DCAR:*.*").

Edited by flashjazzcat

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Thanks for the assist, much appreciated. I don't use SDX to anywhere near its maximum potential - I use it purely because I like a command-line DOS and it's ROM based; hence not having any custom config.sys files and the like.

 

As a casual user, could I make one (hopefully) small request? In addition to the path options and variables you mentioned, would you be able to add in the current directory to the places LW searches for its config file (and by extension, the rest of the files it needs)? How many other people this would help I don't know, but it did stump me until you clarified :)

Edited by NuY

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No problem - glad to assist with enquiries since LW has grown into rather a complex application. I'm aware that the advanced stuff can be hard going until you get the hang of it.

 

Regarding the default directory: try ending the LWPATH with a semicolon. This is how you tell SDX to search the currently logged path, and I wanted to make LW work the same way. LW regards the currently logged drive / path as the one logged on its disk menu (this was - ironically - following a feature request to make it that way) rather than necessarily "D:" (DOS's currently logged directory).

 

So - try the trailing semicolon out and see how it works for you. Meanwhile, I'll look into this area of the source code more closely and ensure that pathing is handled in a sensible way (it's not an area of LW that I've revised in over a year).

 

Let me know if the above suggestion fits your needs. If not, we'll take another look at it. :)

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Only a year later, a slightly updated version for testing:

 

TLWVBXE.zip

 

This one has the SDX formatter bug fixed (my bug, not the formatter's, heaven forbid), plus a couple of other minor fixes. Perhaps the most important change is that the source code is now compiled with MADS. This required quite a lot of hand-editing (I originally developed this with ATASM), so I'd appreciate any bug reports... I feel sure some must have been introduced, even if they're only cosmetic.

 

To use with VBXE, simply put LW.VDR somewhere on the same drive/folder LW gets launched from. The application will pick up the driver and will operate solely in VBXE 80 column mode. That's all there is to it.

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Known issues, btw, before they're re-reported:

  • Occasional corruption to tab line during editing and progress bar when changing colours
  • Scrolling problem in non-paged file view from the file selector or editor screen

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Thanks to Phaeron and Candle for pointing out the blitting bug. It was responsible for all known problems with the VBXE code.

 

TLWVBXE.zip

 

This one should be OK. Just tested it alongside S_VBXE and CON.SYS and everything seemed to get along fine. :)

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For this version, LW FOOBAR.TXT does not load the file ("Not found"). Had to go back to 3.21.

 

Could you consider making configuration less painful, btw.? For now it seems that various parameters to be adjusted (paths, drives etc.) are spread around among several configuration files.

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For this version, LW FOOBAR.TXT does not load the file ("Not found"). Had to go back to 3.21.

 

Sorry - I'll look into it. Thanks for the heads up.

 

Could you consider making configuration less painful, btw.? For now it seems that various parameters to be adjusted (paths, drives etc.) are spread around among several configuration files.

 

Open to suggestions. What specifically? There are only two config files: .SYS and .CFG. The first contains once-per-session settings (i.e. stuff that can't be changed once the program has run), and the latter stuff which can be changed during a session. The PATH appears in the SYS file only, and default drive in CFG.

 

Some stuff is duplicated in command line / ENV settings purely for convenience. Would it be sufficient to move DRIVE, FILEEXT, and FILESPEC from CFG to SYS files? This would mean those settings would be fixed throughout a session, of course. The idea of the CFG files is that they hold page formatting and editor "profiles" that one can quickly switch to during a session.

 

Any other stuff I could get rid of (pertaining to configuration)? Command line switches, environment variables? What's most useful, most extraneous?

 

Thankfully things have moved on from version 1, when ALL config data was in binary blobs and required a separate editor... :)

Edited by flashjazzcat

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http://youtu.be/CLGMPeuuVoA

 

Problem scenario must differ from that above somehow... what should I try to duplicate it?

 

@KMK: Can you send me your SYS and CFG files, and describe a typical folder/drive setup for me to test. I want to get this fixed. ;)

Edited by flashjazzcat

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Ok, facts first. Program located in C:>TEXT>LW33>

 

LW.EXE 35517 bytes.

LW.VDR 4486 bytes

 

LW.EXE copied into $PATH, or C:>DOS> to be specific.

 

I added the following lines to my CONFIG.SYS:

 

SET LWPATH=D3:>TEXT>LW33>

SET LWSYS=D3:>TEXT>LW33>LW.SYS

SET LWDRIVE=D3:

 

In LW.CFG I modified nothing apart this:

 

DRIVE D3:

 

LW.SYS, no modifications apart this:

 

path D3:

loadvdr LW.VDR (uncommented)

 

Computer: 130XE with Compy Shop extension enabled (576k, U1MB), USE BANKED, 29 banks free, MEMLO $11F7.

 

Under CP and with 80-column console enabled, I go to F:>ASM>CLX> and type this (having COMEXE.SYS loaded):

 

LW CLX.DOC

 

Result: some flickering mess displayed while loading, then black screen, no nothing, lockup after reset

 

After clean reboot, do the same steps, except run the LW in 40-column mode under SC. Result: text "not found", also no VBXE mode enabled, GR.8 only.

 

However, when I run the program from its own directory (i.e. C:>TEXT>LW33>) LW runs in VBXE mode. Also, it loads the specified text file, displays it for a short time, then sort-of automatically deletes it from the memory and presents empty buffer with default name UNNAMED1.TXT

 

Also, I cannot tell the rule on the splash screen: sometimes it appears during loading, more often it does not.

 

So what I am doing wrong here?

 

As for configu suggestions, the number of (apparently) different settings all with either the same or very similar name (path here, path there, lwdrive here, drive there, lwpath again somewhere else), are definitely confusing.

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I added the following lines to my CONFIG.SYS:

 

SET LWPATH=D3:>TEXT>LW33>

SET LWSYS=D3:>TEXT>LW33>LW.SYS

SET LWDRIVE=D3:

 

In LW.CFG I modified nothing apart this:

 

DRIVE D3:

 

LW.SYS, no modifications apart this:

 

path D3:

loadvdr LW.VDR (uncommented)

 

First thing I note here is that the PATH D3: setting in LW.SYS is conflicting with the LWPATH environment variable. Both pertain to the exact same variable in the program. So, you should remove PATH D3: in LW.SYS if you aim to keep the config files in D3:>TEXT>LW33. Otherwise, as soon as LW.SYS is picked up, the path is changed to D3: and all the remaining config files (including the VBXE driver) are missed. Now, I realize this is a usability issue, and I take the point well regarding complexity.

 

However, when I run the program from its own directory (i.e. C:>TEXT>LW33>) LW runs in VBXE mode.

 

Again, this is because LW.SYS sets the search path to the current directory on drive 3, which now happens to contain the VDR file.

 

Also, I cannot tell the rule on the splash screen: sometimes it appears during loading, more often it does not.

 

Confirmed bug.

 

As for the other problems, they're more troubling (especially random crap during loading and phantom buffer content). The duplication of settings (i.e. LWPATH environment variable and PATH setting in LW.SYS - although I must say they are just two ways to set a variable) is - as usual - down to making this software work with multiple disk operating systems. Were this an SDX-only application, I'd use environment variables and nothing else. Sadly we have to cater for DOS 2.5, MyDOS, BeweDOS, and SDX (plus any other compatibles). If you're going to set paths, default drives, etc using environment variables, then I'd say do that and remove references to the same settings in LW.SYS / LW.CFG.

 

Primary concern is obviously to address the bugs, but I'll do what I can to standardize the names of settings and ensure they're grouped together in a logical way. Multi-DOS support isn't the easiest thing to accomplish, and in providing the user with two or three ways to do the same thing, naturally we introduce scope for error. There's no doubt that if a developer finds the configuration settings confusing, though, that casual users are likely to find things yet more intimidating, so clearly the thing needs looked at.

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