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Questions tagged [programming]

For questions about programming languages and constructs. For questions about specific languages please check for language-specific tags first, and use those instead.

4
votes
1answer
163 views

How to add an “int” to a “float” in the B programming language?

C has data types, so if you add an int to a float, for example: int i = 1; float f = 2.5; float r = i + f; The C compiler will know that it should generate machine instructions that adds an int to a ...
20
votes
10answers
4k views

Was Objective-C really a hindrance to Apple software development? [on hold]

I have heard stories from some of the greybeards I have met on the Internet that Objective-C was by all accounts a nightmare to work with. Was that just a thing about all the low-level languages of ...
13
votes
3answers
4k views

MSX Assembly/Basic programming documentation

I'd like to try to create software (and maybe simple games) for the MSX standard. I know I have two ways to do so, either I use MSX Basic or Z80 assembly. I think that Z80 assembly is more powerful ...
0
votes
2answers
174 views

What was the first language compiler to support subtype polymorphism? [closed]

I'm trying to understand the history of Dependency Injection in compiled languages, as an intentional feature of the language. The Wikipedia article on the subject is decidedly Java focused, but I ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Native C compiler for Sinclair ZX Spectrum

I am looking for a native C compiler for the Spectrum 128. I would like one which: Has good support for the latest C standard at the time. Is not limited to compiling ridiculously short source code. ...
1
vote
1answer
102 views

Decoding the Workings of the TRS-80 BASIC Game “Escape!”

I've decided to port Chase! to Swift, apparently because I am insane. In any event, I'm trying to collect the various switches in versions from the era. One of these is unique, found here under the ...
4
votes
1answer
328 views

Was there ever a home PC which ran JOVIAL?

We are having a frank exchange of views here in the office. We were discussing the heydays of home PCs, back in the early 80s, when there were a plethora to choose from, most running some form of ...
2
votes
0answers
125 views

Looking for Complex Algorithms to Demonstrate Ascota 170 Capabilities

I am restoring the Ascota 170 antique mechanical programmable computer. It is already working. Now I’m looking for an algorithm to demonstrate its capabilities — like calculating trigonometric or ...
3
votes
0answers
117 views

How did the template cache in CFront work?

I've seen some discussion of how templates were historically implemented in CFront around the web, including here. The link describes the Borland model, which is familiar, and the CFront model with a ...
9
votes
4answers
843 views

First language designed to be embedded?

Some languages like Python, Lua, and Tcl are designed with the intention that you can easily embed the interpreter into some other native program. For example, many VFX applications like Nuke, Maya, ...
6
votes
1answer
137 views

PLATO & JS99'er

Has anyone out there managed to load a PLATO PHM 3122 cartridge by Control Data into the JS99'er emulator? That way a user could place all of the PLATO Lesson Disks on a cloud location (e.g., ...
2
votes
3answers
205 views

What was the DOS FAT12 720k floppy raw disk format structure?

I am looking for detailed info on the low-level floppy disk structure of an MSDOS-compatible 720k Double Sided Double Density disk. Stuff like GAP/SYNC patterns, ID and CRC Field structure, standard ...
30
votes
6answers
10k views

Which was the first programming language that had data types?

Machine language (and Assembly language) don't have the concept of data types, so if you want to add an int and a float variables in Assembly, you have to use the appropriate Assembly instruction that ...
3
votes
1answer
176 views

How was dataflow analysis performed before SSA?

If we look at something like LLVM or the GNU Compiler Collection, Dalvik and many others, their intermediate representation (IR) uses SSA (Static Single Assignment form), as part of their Data-Flow ...
1
vote
1answer
220 views

What don't I understand about this LR35902 code?

The question you are now reading is about a comment on this question, about overflow bugs in some Pokemon game. A comment on that question says: It was Game Freak's first project. They just were ...
1
vote
5answers
400 views

Are there any old and nowadays active Operating Systems which has only BASIC Programming Language?

Some old Operating Systems I hear have only BASIC Programming Language. Are there any active and old operating systems which includes only BASIC Programming Language?
3
votes
2answers
360 views

EGA style 16 color dithering

I am trying to write a program in C# that will re-create the type of dithering used in many of the old sierra and Lucas arts games. I have looked up many different dithering algorithms and none seem ...
17
votes
2answers
644 views

What's a good way to implement this “splashing water” effect on the C64?

This pillow fighting game set in Venice depicts the two opponents fighting on a wobbly gondola on a canal. It was apparently known as "Pillow Fight" in English and as "Kissenschlacht" in German, and ...
1
vote
1answer
171 views

How to read disk files using CBM specific functions in cc65 with proper error checking

TL:DR What is the reason my kernel_read() function ignoring file errors? I'm trying to understand how to work with files in cc54 using CBM specific functions. My target is Commodore 64 with 1541 ...
39
votes
8answers
6k views

What was the first programming book

I'm curious, what was the first book, about programming for digital computers. I tried to google it, but it led me to multiple results. I'm mostly interested in the language it was about and the ...
60
votes
7answers
14k views

Where did the popularity of the `i` variable come from?

I have heard that the reason the i variable is used so much is because there was an old computer where each variable could only be a single letter and that reserved the variables a through h as ...
5
votes
1answer
440 views

Where can I find macrofun.hlp?

In the days before Visual Basic for Applications, the macro language for Microsoft Excel was called XLL. The syntax was similar to that of ordinary Excel formulas, except for two things: Macros were ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

First language with C-like memory management

This is a nerd question but I can’t find anything in google. So, in which programming language did the classical memory management system first be implemented? I mean the division into value types (...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

What's a good way to implement this “fade” effect on C64

See the beginning of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmfLBAtGAKk. Here's a screenshot: It basically clears characters pixel by pixel both horizontally and vertically. Use sprites for the pixel by ...
18
votes
6answers
3k views

What caused the downfall of Pascal? [closed]

From 1985 to 1990 Borland's Turbo Pascal was at least as popular as C for DOS systems. Turbo Pascal was especially popular because of it's ground breaking BGI graphics interface while C was stalled in ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

6502 branch offset calculation

This question expands on How does the 6502 implement its branch instructions? I'm working on a cycle accurate VHDL implementation on an FPGA. I have much of the program logic already written, but I ...
28
votes
5answers
7k views

Why was nil defined as a reserved word in Pascal?

In Pascal, nil (the pointer value to "nothing") is a reserved word. Why wasn't it simply a predefined identifier as true and false are, for example? This is stated in PASCAL User Manual and Report p....
5
votes
3answers
580 views

When were the analogs of the C operators “break” and “continue” introduced in Pascal?

When published in 1970, the Pascal language did not have a way to implement the functionality equivalent to the (future) C language operators "break" and "continue". Their convenience having been ...
30
votes
3answers
10k views

Where does this esoteric Pascal operator come from?

In the documentation for an implementation of Pascal for a Soviet computer, I've encountered a very weird language extension. I'll try to translate it: Branching operator (branch) Syntax &...
4
votes
0answers
138 views

How to use IIgs enhanced graphics modes in AppleSoft BASIC with System 6?

There are many packages that let you use the enhanced graphics modes of the IIgs in AppleSoft BASIC. However most packages like Iconix do not like System 6 so they have to run off disks and not the ...
28
votes
5answers
5k views

How was the C language ported to architectures with non-power-of-2 word sizes?

By the time the C language started to gain popularity outside of the PDP-11 circles (mid-1970s), mainframes with "weird" word sizes, and no capability to address individual bytes efficiently were ...
13
votes
8answers
2k views

Uses for the halt instruction?

What was the halt instruction in early CPUs such as the Z80 and 8080 used for? Here's a description of the Z80 instruction: The HALT instruction suspends CPU operation until a interrupt or reset ...
13
votes
3answers
843 views

What is going on in the overscan area of Sega Genesis games?

What is going on in the overscan area of Sega Genesis games? I noticed that different games display different things in the overscan area. I understand this was never intended to be seen. However,...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

What are the rules for Applesoft BASIC formatting for code?

What are the rules for Applesoft BASIC formatting for code? I've been doing some BASIC coding and noticed that: 10 input "some question?"; name$ Will be reformatted as: 10 INPUT "some question?";...
3
votes
4answers
539 views

Was there ever a compiler type that was just large enough to contain a memory segment?

From this answer, Hark back to the days of segmented 16-bit architectures for example: an array might be limited to a single segment (so a 16-bit size_t would do) BUT you could have multiple ...
6
votes
1answer
378 views

What is the title of this Macintosh programming book?

Back when Mac OS was called "System" and preemptive multitasking was a distant fantasy, I had a small collection of Macintosh programming books. For the life of me, though, I can't remember what one ...
14
votes
1answer
679 views

Fortran variable type defaults - origin

In older versions of Fortran, e.g. 77, variables did not need to be declared. If the name starts with I, J, K, L, M, or N then it would be assumed to be an INTEGER. Otherwise, it would be assumed to ...
10
votes
1answer
241 views

Does a CDC 1604 emulator exist with a functional FORTRAN compiler?

The first FORTRAN compiler for the Soviet BESM-6 mainframe was written by means of manually retargeting the assembly code of the CDC 1604 FORTRAN compiler donated by CERN to JINR. As a result is it ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

Do any mainframe emulators exist with a functional FORTRAN compiler?

Similar to this question, but generalized to any mainframe computer from before the microprocessor era, does there exist an emulator and OS for a vintage mainframe computer that will run the output ...
0
votes
1answer
487 views

Is it possible to make VICE load .prg files faster?

When I load a C64 .prg with the Hoxs64 emulator, my .prg loads pretty much instantly. But when I load the same .prg file with VICE (x64 app.prg) it takes quite a while (depends on memory map, but ...
26
votes
4answers
2k views

Why were early versions of BASIC different?

Most major computer manufacturers/distributors in the 70's and 80's included BASIC with their computers. Some (as answers to this great question have detailed: Why was BASIC built into so many ...
2
votes
1answer
186 views

Is it possible to use the BRK instruction when ROM is banked out?

I used to use the BRK instruction when debugging on the C64. However, when I bank out ROM with... lda #$35 // Bank out kernal and basic sta $01 // $e000-$ffff ...the BRK instruction (...
1
vote
2answers
498 views

Reading both keyboard and joystick with non-KERNAL code on C64

I'm implementing non-KERNAL joystick and keyboard controls for my Commodore 64 game. I used to use the KERNAL SCNKEY routine earlier to read keyboard and it worked well with my joystick port 2 code. ...
20
votes
7answers
1k views

What implementations of BASIC had a robust flood fill operator?

When I learned BASIC on Elektronika BK, I got fascinated with the flood fill (PAINT) operator: how does it know to get to all nooks and crannies of the shape to fill? I've devised an algorithm, tried ...
35
votes
4answers
11k views

Who is credited for the creation of Assembly Language?

The C Programming Language was originally developed by Dennis Ritchie who also co-designed the Unix operating system with which development of the language was closely intertwined. Is there a ...
10
votes
3answers
427 views

How do I store data and/or code in AUX RAM on an Apple //e?

Despite owning several Apple IIe's, I've never gotten around to doing any major programming on them. I hope to change that. Anyway, how did programmers actually use the expanded RAM seeing that a ...
25
votes
7answers
11k views

How can you run a program that is bigger than RAM?

Suppose you have a program that is 218 words long. However you are using a 16 bit machine and have 216 words of RAM. (The RAM is directly addressed by the CPU). On the other hand, you have unlimited '...
6
votes
2answers
349 views

What books did schools use to teach BASIC?

What books would have been used to teach school aged kids BASIC in a classroom setting back when BASIC was in common use? 8-Bit computers commonly came with tutorials to learn BASIC, like A Touch of ...
10
votes
2answers
624 views

Did the VIC-20 support raster scanline tricks like the Commodore 64?

I've been programming the C64 on/off for over 30 years (wow). However, I have a few VIC-20's I want to program. I never had a VIC-20 as a kid so I haven't had much exposure to them. Am I correct in ...
6
votes
2answers
5k views

Best path to learn C64 assembly [closed]

The amount of tutorials, youtube videos, scanned books on C64 programming is overwhelming. What materials would you recommend -- and, importantly, in what order! -- to build a path to programming my ...