[Coco] BASIC compiler for Rainbow IDE ? (Roger Taylor)
keeper63 at cox.net
Fri May 16 11:01:35 EDT 2008
Not sure what happenned, but my email didn't seem to make it, so I am
sending it again - below:
I would love to see this available, even though I currently don't use
the Rainbow IDE (running Linux, for one, and too many other projects in
the way for another).
I don't know much about how the BASIC interpretor works in the CoCo, but
if I understand how such things work in general, the system takes each
line, converts the commands into tokens (and probably stores/looks up
constants and variables and such into memory locations and/or
registers), then looks up those tokens in a lookup table which points to
the individual "commands" coded as assembler routines, executes the
routine, then returns to the interpretor, where it continues doing the
same thing until the end.
If I have that correct - might it not be possible to build a compiler
that just takes out the interpretor steps, and strings together all the
other pieces as assembler, calling the pieces (in ROM/RAM) the
interpretor would normally call? You would end up with a smaller
executable (because you wouldn't compile the code the calls point to,
they are already machine code from the BASIC ROM), although you might
not end up with as much extra speed, like a full compiler could possible
create (ie, IIRC, routines such as the LINE routine aren't very
optimized in the ROM, for instance).
Going this route, potentially you wouldn't have to code all of the BASIC
commands, because you would use what is already available in the
standard ROMs. In fact, you could do this as a "first pass", and later
revisions change over more of the code to you own code (instead of calls
to ROM routines, you would call your own custom routines which are
Does any of this make sense? I guess all of this could be "out the
window" if I am seriously misinterpreting how the BASIC interpretor
works (hah!). But I don't think I am far off the mark, plus I know I
have seen various routines in the "Unravelled" ROM code listings to know
it works something like the above.
Anyhow - as a fan and owner of CBASIC-3, which was a great BASIC
compiler for the CoCo 3 - and as a fan of BASICs in general - any step
in this direction would be an interesting one, however you decide to
I look forward to your progress...
-- Andrew L Ayers, Glendale, Arizona
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