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SpiceWare

Using jEdit for 2600 development

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I've been using jEdit for 2600 development since 2006. jEdit is a programmer's editor that is written in Java so it will run on just about any system out there.

 

What I like about jEdit is the ability to use custom "mode" files to control the Syntax Highlighting. Syntax highlighting means different parts of your code will be displayed with a unique style - typically different foreground colors, though the style also includes options for background color, bold and italic.

 

You might wonder how syntax highlighting would help you out - here's an example:

post-3056-0-67020300-1412127452_thumb.png

 

TIA register RESP0 was accidentally typed with the letter O instead of the number 0. When typed correctly, the syntax highlighting of RESP0 will change:

post-3056-0-15079800-1412127465_thumb.png

 

 

I've been maintaining mode files for 2600 assembly, batari BASIC, and ColecoVision programming. Back in June I figured out how to change the mode file so that graphics represented by binary numbers is very easy to see in the program:

post-3056-0-76817900-1412127683_thumb.png

 

 

This weekend iesposta prodded me into figuring out how to use jEdit to compile with dasm:

post-3056-0-80741200-1412127948_thumb.png

 

and launch Stella:

post-3056-0-18861800-1412127960_thumb.png

 

 

If you're interested in using jEdit for 2600 coding, you may like to look over the series of blog entries I've been posting about it.

  • See this entry for the current mode files for 2600 and batari BASIC coding
  • See this entry for adding console support, a prerequisite for the next blog entry
  • See this entry for configuring jEdit to compile with dasm and launch Stella
  • See this entry for how to set the Syntax Highlighting (colors) to your liking
Edited by SpiceWare
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I wish to voice some highlights.

"In Java" so we are talking about Mac, Linux, and Windows.

Should be great for development in assembly or basic for 2600, 7800, Colecovision, Intellivision, and more!

Can't find what is now causing your program to not compile? Diff with an earlier saved version and jump to all the different spots side-by-side! (I'm thinking of using auto-save and auto-backups because at least in batari Basic which I use, a missing indent, an indent where there shouldn't be, a key bump puts a character in the code and now it fails to compile, it sounds great to be able to go to an earlier auto-back up where things did compile properly.)

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In Mac OSX it seems apple has stopped updating Java.

You must install newer versions from the Java website downloads.

Even though I was at the latest OSX 10.9.5, the newest Java I had was 1.6.

 

The jEdit 5.2 pre-release requires Java version 1.7.

jEdit 5.2 is nicer for a number of reasons. It acts more like an Application as it doesn't spawn a java program.

The errors (reported as warnings at the bottom right) in running the 5.1 in Java 1.6 are gone.

It has a "jE" icon now.

 

I don't think it is coming across the fact that this is less like a text editor and more like an IDE environment.

Granted it doesn't have the Utility Program Editors that Visual bB has for sprites, playfields, music and sound, color value chooser, and exhaustive syntax checking (i.e. If a goto label has a label to go to or not).

I will still start my Basic projects in Visual bB because it has helped a great deal pointing out errors, but when projects get large near the end, the Visual bB editor becomes unable to handle things and I find it best to switch to jEdit which can parallel the way I work in Visual bB. I have it set so I can make changes, save, compile, and run Stella just like I use Visual bB.

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. . . but when projects get large near the end, the Visual bB editor becomes unable to handle things and I find it best to switch to jEdit which can parallel the way I work in Visual bB. I have it set so I can make changes, save, compile, and run Stella just like I use Visual bB.

 

When a program becomes too large, I turn off syntax checking and everything is fine.

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That's awesome! I use one of the older versions of your XML file, which is great even without these added features. Need to update it to this version one of these days (and get back into programming...) :)

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