User Tools

Site Tools


en:techinformation

Differences

This shows you the differences between two versions of the page.

Link to this comparison view

en:techinformation [2016/01/01 22:42] (current)
Line 1: Line 1:
 +===== Developer and Technical =====
 +==== Overview ====
 +
 +BASIC-256 programs are first compiled to byte code using LEX and YACC, and then run by interpreting the byte code in a stack machine. Adding functions is a simple matter of adding a byte code, letting LEX and YACC know how to parse the syntax, and coding the appropriate instruction in the interpreter. If you've never written a compiler or interpreter,​ the BASIC-256 internals would provide an excellent introduction to the basics of that.
 +
 +Please keep in mind that BASIC-256 is a teaching language for children (target ages 7-9), so we'd like to stay away from advanced concepts as much as possible. While it would be fun to make BASIC-256 a powerful high-level language, there are already much better languages that exist to fill that need: Python, Scheme.
 +
 +==== To do ====
 +
 +  - Real-time error checking in the editor (parse each line just after it's typed)
 +
 +==== The life of a BASIC-256 program ====
 +
 +  - BASIC program parsed into tokens by LEX
 +  - LEX feeds tokens to YACC
 +  - YACC determines if line is valid syntax. If so, it adds the appropriate byte codes to the byte-coded program
 +  - If no syntax errors occur, the C++ portion of the program interprets the byte code one instruction at a time, using a stack machine
 +  - Run time errors halt program execution and display an error message on the screen
 +
 +==== Graphical Output ====
 +All graphing functions are performed on a buffer, which is subsequently written to the screen immediately after each operation. This is intentionally inefficient. The "​fast"​ way to do this would be to have a separate rendering thread that calls a display routine when it's done, or to do all the rendering in the display routine.
 +
 +This is an ideal illustration of concessions made in BASIC-256 to keep things simple. We're interested in kids being able to see their dots move across the screen without having to explain double-buffering and multi-threading. We also want to allow them to write games like Pong that test for collisions using basic geometric formulas and draw the ball and paddles in a single loop. The current approach allows for this.
 +
 +Note: To speed things up for children doing more advanced programs, the [[fastgraphics|FASTGRAPHICS]] mode has been added. When in this mode, the display will only be updated when the BASIC program uses the [[refresh|REFRESH]] command. This allows kids to benefit from double-buffering without having to understand it completely.
  
en/techinformation.txt ยท Last modified: 2016/01/01 22:42 (external edit)