Why did Apple include shapes in Applesoft BASIC? There are no sprites on the Apple II, but shapes provide a simple vector drawing tool. As graphics go the shapes are kind of an odd duck, they provide a little bit of what Quickdraw could do later on the Mac. Shapes lack some useful features like fill and xor, so only simple games/programs can use them.
Why did Apple include shapes in Applesoft BASIC?
Shapes lack some useful features like fill and xor,
To start with, there was a XOR mode. In addition, they provided features only vector graphic could add: Arbitrary rotation and scaling.
From Grandpa's Memory:
In fact, one of my earliest Applesoft programs based on the benefits shapes offer. A little program drawing an Adventskranz with its four candles,which could be lighted according to date. I guess one would call it today a 'Seasonal APP' :)
While wreath and candles were static drawn, I used two shapes to draw the flame, which randomly
- grew and shrinked a bit (using
- tilted to the sides (using
The second shape was smaller than the main shape and drawn inside. Always wit the same tilting, but growing and shrinking on it's own within the main shape. THe resulting image was quite natural ... at least to me.
There was a keystroke to enlight one or more and another to blow them - which first tilted them all to one side, flickering a lot, and only if pressed long enough put them off.
Doing the same with sprites (or similar drawing routines) would have meant to draw more than a dozend sprites to cover each size/tilt combination, while with shapes it was just one for all
Given, not the biggest fish in town, but the whole idea grew when reading the description of shapes and ... well, it was about the same time of the year, 42 years ago: Adventszeit.