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Smaller C compiler (tests under emulation) (Announce)

posted by Rugxulo(R) Homepage, Usono, 08.05.2015, 17:10

> I do have my own tools to create a FAT12-formatted floppy and populate
> it with files. But the idea of writing DOS batch files for this is
> putting me off. :)

What's the problem with .BATs? Too tedious? Anyways, I'm starting to wonder if makefiles (e.g. 16-bit port of Dmake) would be better (for testing).

> > I've still been working on my single-floppy .img (FreeDOS) MetaDOS
> > distribution (0.2, still unreleased).
> Is it just FreeDOS kernel w/ network support?

Yes, of course. I didn't write any major code, just simplified things and made it easier (at least for me). Unfortunately, some things still trip me up (e.g. different QEMU versions or iBiblio quirks), but it mostly works well.

> Is the last commercial version of Watcom (10.x/11.x?) less buggy,
> do you know? After all, it was Watcom with which a bunch of popular
> games for DOS (e.g. Doom, Descent, etc) were compiled.

I'm no expert, but I think those ancient versions are even worse. Even OW 1.4 (or 1.8) added and fixed lots of stuff. If anything, newer versions are probably regression-tested better than ever.

I haven't followed them closely in recent years. Not sure why they are so slow to have a newer release. Probably too ambitious (adding AMD64, among other things). Probably should've just done a bugfix-only release or two. Also the buyout of Sybase by SAP probably didn't help.

> > Did any of this help? I feel like I just mostly rambled (again, sigh).
> Not really/not yet. :)

I honestly don't know what you're trying to do here.

> Btw, I'm working on implementing BSS section support in Smaller C,
> so the binaries are going to shrink somewhat (~40KB for a set of
> smlrc.exe, smlrl.exe, smlrcc.exe). Of course, something like
> PKLITE could be used to make them even smaller and the library
> files can have their local symbols stripped off, but even now
> my compiler fits onto a 1.44MB floppy together with NASM without
> using compression. :)

Sounds good. Though I'm not sure what advantages PKLITE has over UPX.

> One day I was pondering the idea of making a tiny DOS that would
> only support the functions used by the compiler. :) The problem
> is NASM, which uses lots of DOS functions. OTOH, there's FASM,
> but it isn't compatible enough with NASM/Smaller C. A development
> system on a floppy is kinda cool. :)

RxDOS was GPL, written in assembly, but quite buggy. Not sure if that would help you here. IIRC, originally MASM, but there was also an A86 port. Not sure if that one guy ever finished his conversion to NASM.

The problem with FASM (for 16-bit DOS target) is lack of OMF/OBJ support. And the problem with FreeDOS' kernel is reliance on quasi-standard 16-bit DOS-isms and (now) compact model.


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