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posted by Rugxulo(R) Homepage E-mail, USA, 19.02.2012, 21:33

> Nonsense. A simple compiler+linker is not rocket science, and can be easily
> done by a handful of hobbyists. It won't be top of the bill performance,
> but that doesn't really matter either.

Define "simple". FALSE? PL/0? Oberon/0? The latter, at least, uses interfaces that are OberonOS-specific and are lacking in almost all "hosted" Oberon compilers. And I wouldn't call any of those super simple. Sure, a few of us could whip something together in six months, but it would probably leave a lot to be desired, to say the least.

> If you make the toolchain itself 32-bit (but targeting 16-bit), the
> generated code might actually be quite decent since you don't have the same
> memory and speed constraints the original 16-bit compiler developers had.

No. 16-bit vs. 32-bit has nothing to do with speed or capabilities. It's only code size and memory. 640 kb really should be enough to write a decent compiler. Heck, Wirth's ARM compiler for 32-bit OberonSA (-07 variant?) is only 61 kb. Granted, I have no idea what form of linking or OS support is also needed. But I heavily suspect a "decent" DOS compiler could easily fit in 200 kb or less. Well, there are many pre-existing that fit the bill and accomplished a lot, so I'm not exactly blindly guessing here.

> It is not a niche problem. Amiga, C=64 and OS/2 communities do get things
> done. Dos not.

AROS lacks memory protection and can't run legacy apps since it's x86 based. How is that better than DOS? C64 only has 64 kb of RAM. How is that better? There is no free/libre OS/2, how is that better? So FreeDOS trumps them all. Sure, they have a niche, but I'd hardly say they're "more" successful!

Besides, honestly, DOS is a family, not a single platform. Perhaps that's too much fragmentation. But stuff still gets done. Granted, some people prefer newer things. (BTW, speaking of that, shouldn't you be busy porting Lazarus to WinRT/Metro? Quit wasting your time here, Win8 just got a new logo! Feb. 29 preview, baby! [zzzzzzz....])

> Ask yourself why. Maybe because most of the remaining Dosers are there
> mainly because of inertia, rather than choice.

It's hardly inertia. Software isn't easy to rewrite. It's not for nothing that GCC is still popular, it works (less than ideal, but it still works nonetheless). Similarly why 2012's x86 cpus still supports 1978's 8086 instructions and real mode.

> >... Anyways, I just now tried it.
>
> > ... record because that borks it, but with HACKOMF, it actually works!
> > ... ALINK (EMX/RSX compile) yesterday,
> > doesn't work, dumps core (file).
>
> And the smart shopping and patching goes on :-)

Yes, I should just use FPC on everything 100% of the time. (BTW, wasn't there some unfinished work on an Oberon frontend in a forked FPC from somebody?? Well tell him to hurry up, heh.)

P.S. Oxford Oberon no longer (easily?) builds for DJGPP, and OO2C at one time privately built but isn't easy (or at least I never figured it out). This is more due to developers not bothering than me! It used to work, it just doesn't anymore. That is frustrating. :-(

 

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