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budburns

ACTION! Source code examples

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After messing around here and there for a few years, I've made a commitment to myself to learn to program in the ACTION! language by OSS. :thumbsup: I've paid a bit of money for the cart, runtime and library disks. There are a lot of good examples on the library disk, but I was wondering if anyone had any examples of source code that they wrote themselves that I could learn from? I don't learn well from reading manuals, and it would be easier for me to understand some code that I could actually have a dialogue with the programmer about. My previous programming experience is mostly in Atari Basic, and Turbo Basic XL. Thanks! :-D

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Budburns,

I'm also going through the same nostalgia period. I have been researching everything I can find about Action! language, getting the software, cartridges, etc and determined to convert some old BASIC programs as well work on some new projects.

When the mood strikes, I like to boot all my vintage 8bit computers and have them run cool, but useful programs (like calculating lottery statistics or my own encryption techniques).

I has taken quite a bit of time, but I have figured out how to use my SIO2SD card (full of Atari programs) and then make floppy disks from them so I can write some code just like the old days.

So I too have been looking for source code examples (everywhere - also try Archive.org) and will be happy to share whatever I find or develop myself. Hope you will do the same.

DevDude

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Here's a comprehensive compilation of Action! related stuff on Atariwiki.org. Unfortunately there never was a "How to program in BASIC"-like book for Action! which would have greatly improved the success and proliferation of the language.

 

Some of the articles from magazines use BASIC-like Syntax, however which you should avoid for optimum performance. Unless you use an address only once, the Poke(addr,value) library command makes no sense at all, just declare a variable on that address and then manipulate the variable, which allows direct program control over registers. You can even declare an array at $2C0 and then address color registers as an array if you like.

 

In my experience your worst enemy are wrong (out of - intended - bounds) array indices that write somewhere you didn't want to write.

 

My experience is limited to small utility programs, however, I never tried my hands on a game.

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Well, I am no programmer but for a while I collected old (80s) source codes in Assembler, Action, Forth, C, Pilot, etc. since they could be usefull for others. Attached you will find some ATR images with Action sources...

 

Some of these sources are just small routines or demonstrations, some are full source codes to games (released in Antic or Analog). There are also one or two alternate versions of the runtime library available. Not every image includes a DOS, use e.g. DOS 2.0 or DOS 2.5 to take a look whats on them...

 

ACT_Sources.zip

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Here are a bunch of Action! tutorials, and source files I've accumulated over the years. May be duplicates, but there are a lot of examples and programs that others have written. Antic & Analog mags also had a few progs that were written in Action! that included the source code. There has been a lot over the years. There are probably duplicates in the archive -- you'll have to look through them.

 

Question: Did anyone ever do anything with the Effectus prog that was linked?

 

-Larry

 

 

Action Reference Files.zip

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hehe Action! My skills are weak due to years of inactivity. I always bite on a post about Action code, particularly if it is a 'why doesn't this work' question.

 

There's a lot of stuff that makes it easier if you don't fight it. For instance writing your code in modules and including them keeps the text buffer small enough to do sophisticated programs. Code blocks for things like screens and FONTs are huge i.e. a graphics 15 screen => 29k code block which essentially would fill the entire text buffer. Including these from disk, they only take up the standard 8k or so of memory so you don't have to jump through a lot of hoops. The constraints of a 64k memory system actually encourages good programming practices. Ditto for things like comments, you can comment the hell out of a program and as long as you use the include directive the comments don't fill up your text buffer in the final program but are there in the source for anyone to see.

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