Where have all the programmers gone?

Here you can talk about anything related to BBC BASIC, not covered in another category
Hated Moron
Posts: 131
Joined: Thu 07 Apr 2022, 10:10

Re: Where have all the programmers gone?

Post by Hated Moron »

On 15/06/2022 17:53, nbadderley via groups.io wrote:
We've talked before about RISC BASIC 6 and its use of the ARM vector processor for BBC BASIC's array operations. I benchmarked an array multiply and clocked 20 Mflops. Can BASIC SDL make use of the vector processor?
In my BASICs, whole-array operations are not particularly fast. The reason is easy to understand: I have many more data types than Acorn's versions (8-bit and 64-bit integers in addition to 32-bit; 40-bit and 80-bit floats in addition to 64-bit) and several more array operators too (mine support addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, OR, AND, EOR, DIV and MOD). And of course there is the automatic promotion of integers to floats on overflow, something which Acorn's BASICs don't do (or don't do properly),

So to make the code manageable, and ensure correct behaviour on overflow, I have to use a common loop for all these different data types and operators. The source arrays must be initially converted to variants, then the actual computations are done by calling into the regular expression evaluator according to the specified operator, and finally the results converted back from variants to the correct type for the destination array. All this takes quite a lot of time, but it should mean the result can be trusted.
I'm sorry to say that I've failed to use BASIC SDL on the PI because I couldn't get it to work
Did you contact me about that? I don't have any recollection of you doing so (although of course that means nothing, because I don't remember things that happened only a few days ago :( ). I'm totally dependent on user feedback for identifying problems, even more so in the case of a cross-platform product like BBCSDL which I don't have a hope of testing thoroughly on all the supported platforms.
PS Great to see you back!
Back where? If you're reading my posts at the Discussion Group it's because of the automated cross-posting from this forum which was set up recently. I'm still unable to post to the Discussion Group directly myself (and I've already received one complaint that I am using the cross-posting as a way of bypassing that ban, so it doesn't look as though I'll be welcome back there any time soon).
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JeremyNicoll
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun 26 Jul 2020, 22:22
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Where have all the programmers gone?

Post by JeremyNicoll »

Hated Moron wrote:
Wed 15 Jun 2022, 21:48

Back where? If you're reading my posts at the Discussion Group it's because of the automated cross-posting from this forum which was set up recently. I'm still unable to post to the Discussion Group directly myself (and I've already received one complaint that I am using the cross-posting as a way of bypassing that ban, so it doesn't look as though I'll be welcome back there any time soon).
First, I for one am greatly enjoying /seeing/ the posts via the Groups.io group.

Second, I too am unable to post there, because - contrary to how the group is described on its home page at: https://groups.io/g/bb4w - where it says that no-one is moderated (apart from new members) - I am subject to moderation. I had thought that it was you who owned that group and had set that flag. But if it's not you, who is it? And how do I get back the ability to reply to people's posts?

Hated Moron
Posts: 131
Joined: Thu 07 Apr 2022, 10:10

Re: Where have all the programmers gone?

Post by Hated Moron »

JeremyNicoll wrote:
Thu 16 Jun 2022, 08:56
contrary to how the group is described on its home page at: https://groups.io/g/bb4w - where it says that no-one is moderated (apart from new members) - I am subject to moderation.
The text that you are referring to under Group Settings - "Posts to this group do not require approval from the moderators" - is not something that is under my control. It refers only to the fact that it is an 'unmoderated group', meaning that the default setting is that members are unmoderated.

But of course it does not mean that individual members will never be moderated - that would remove a valuable management tool. Indeed I have on more than one occasion been advised to make more use of moderation.

Exactly the same is true of this forum. As I understand it members are by default unmoderated (once their first post after joining has been approved) but I know that at least one member is moderated.
I had thought that it was you who owned that group and had set that flag. But if it's not you, who is it? And how do I get back the ability to reply to people's posts?
I do own the Discussion Group (unlike this forum), it was created way back in 2005. Being moderated does not remove your ability to reply to people's posts. It simply means that your reply requires approval before appearing; only in exceptional circumstances would such approval not be granted.

It's not at all unusual for technical support groups to be fully moderated, but whilst that has some attractions it would mean it could no longer be described as a "discussion group".
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Hated Moron
Posts: 131
Joined: Thu 07 Apr 2022, 10:10

Re: Where have all the programmers gone?

Post by Hated Moron »

On 16/06/2022 11:38, Ivan wrote (cross-posted from the Discussion Group):
The CodeBlocks IDE and GDB debugger saves me tons of frustrating time...

Now I am writing my second relation database, with my own graphical interface and my own editing/string handling (lots of pointers). Even the cursor is home made. And yes it takes a lot of time, but the satisfaction is invaluable.
From my perspective there's something of a contradiction here. Firstly you say the IDE and debugger save you tons of time, but then you admit that having to code so much at a lower-level than you would in BASIC (even creating a home-made cursor) takes a lot of time! :?

I remain as convinced as ever that any shortcomings of the BBC BASIC debugger are more than compensated for by the productivity of BASIC in respect of how little code you need to write to get a lot done. And you didn't address the cross-platform issue, which - when you need it - gives BBC BASIC a massive advantage.

On the matter of debugging, I don't find the BBC BASIC debuggers particularly limiting. They don't have the sophistication of a debugger like GDB but on the other hand BASIC code shouldn't fail in the sort of low-level way that requires such capabilities (things like accessing unallocated memory should be impossible, unless you use indirection).

Anyway, just like the BBCSDL IDE, the BBCSDL debugger is itself a BASIC program (sdldebug.bbc). Admittedly it does have a fair amount of embedded assembly language, since that's unavoidable for things like profiling, but it is amenable to being improved. So if you, or anyone else, consider that it has significant shortcomings feel free to modify/enhance it yourself and submit the improved version for inclusion in the next release.
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Hated Moron
Posts: 131
Joined: Thu 07 Apr 2022, 10:10

Re: Where have all the programmers gone?

Post by Hated Moron »

On 16/06/2022 12:56, Jeremy Nicoll wrote (cross-posted from Discussion Group):
If they are, though, there tends to be more than one person doing it, so delays are short.
I agree, for a fully-moderated group there would ideally need to be multiple moderators. On the other hand it's better to wait a little while for an accurate and relevant answer to a query, than to receive an immediate reply that misunderstands or doesn't properly address the question!

The most common reason for not approving a post is that it is off-topic. For example this thread is specifically about the loss of key BBC BASIC programming skills (particularly in the field of games coding), so questions about group administration aren't appropriate here. ;)

If you want to continue this discussion please start a new thread.
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