It makes an ugly mess of displaying TurboAssembler code!
Hardly surprising! ROView is NOT intended for x86 code.
Why does it take a long time to load some files, while others are quick to load?
The sources use a variety of line termination styles. Some are in Windows (CRLF) format, which is very quick to load because it can be loaded using native Windows library routines. Other sources are in RISC OS (LF only) format, which is slower to load because it is loaded byte-by-byte using HLL code.
Sorry, I've tried to make the RISC OS loader as efficient as possible, but there isn't really any way around this. Hopefully it won't be too much of a problem.
How do I unpack the sources on a PC?
You'll need a program to decode bzip2 files. You'll need to Google...
This is the method that I used. It requires a PC and a RiscPC (or similar) and both machines running some kind of Ethernet between them. In my case, it was a simple cross-over cable.
The RISC OS sources may be found at: http://www.riscosopen.org/.
They are under a specific licence, so read the licence file before downloading.
When I last looked, they were arranged as "batches 1, 2, and 3" as one file and the newest "batch 4" as another file. They are around 10-14Mb in size and are "bzip2" file (extension
.bz2). You will need to find an 'unbzip' tool for Windows. The one linked to from the website is, obviously enough, for RISC OS. I did download an "official" package for Windows, but the file was corrupt, so I did it under RISC OS...
Sadly, as is common with a number of ported Unix programs, they work in a way that is slightly counter-intuitive to RISC OS. You should give your files short names with the correct extension, like:
Then, issue a command something like:
bzip2 -d ro123
(check that it is '-d' to decompress, I'm writing this from memory)
Go make a microwave pizza. On an ARM710 RiscPC, this takes a while...
You will be left with the same files, only without the extension (i.e. "
ro123" and "
ro4"). They will be a lot larger, adding up to around 160Mb(ish). Copy these to your Windows machine, it'll take forever using serial, about 10 minutes if you burn them to a CD-R, and around 6 minutes with 10baseT...
Give them both a "
.tar" extension, and double-click them. If nothing useful happens (like a message saying "Open with...?", install WinZip (v9 or later is recommended) and try again!).
Extract all of the files in each file to different places on your harddisc.
Locate the "
RiscOS" directory (which contains the sources) in the batch 4 files and copy it over the top of the "
RiscOS" directory of the batch 1/2/3 files. Let it go ahead and overwrite.
That done, copy the completely up to date "
RiscOS" directory somewhere convenient. I have set it to be in:
(which is, according to my setup, the same place as "
My Documents\RiscOS" (which used to be an alias for
C:\Documents And Settings\Rick Murray\My Documents\RiscOS, what a mouthful!) - refer to the built-in help if you want to make "
My Documents" easy to get to!)
What is the largest file that can be loaded?
Probably up to around 32,000 lines? The "Wimp02" source is one of the longest single sources, and that runs in at around 325Kb and 11,000 lines.
Is it "RISC OS" or "RiscOS"?
You'll find that newsgroup archives may contain some rather patronisingly rude postings pointing out that it is "RISC OS" (in capitals, with a space) and anybody who thinks otherwise is a <insert your preferred expletive>.
Now you'll see, within the actual sources, frequent references to "RiscOS" (mixed case, all run together).
I think that "RISC OS" is the trade name, the genuine name, while "RiscOS" was what real people called it.
That said, Acorn seemed to like to play with their acronyms... was it Acorn RISC Machine or is it Advanced RISC Microprocessor?
Actually, both! It was Acorn RISC Machine at the beginning, and somwhere I have a lapel-badge to prove it. Later, when they wanted to move away from the associations of the 'Acorn' brand (which, sadly, never got over the popularity of the BBC micro, but this held them back in the '90s when they released the A3000 BBC Micro and stupid people apparently didn't realise it was something totally new trading on the older name...) they changed it to Advanced RISC Machine. This later changed to Advanced RISC Microprocessor when ARM formed as a separate company, as their business was processor chipsets and not complete machines (so the 'machine' part didn't make as much sense).
Of course, this is all rather anecdotal. Ask twenty people and you'll probably get twenty slightly different answers. ☺
How do I use "BasLoad"?
The syntax is:
BasLoad.exe <input> <output> [-display]
The input must be the first parameter, and it should point to a tokenised BBC BASIC program.
The output must be the second parameter, it is a pointer to the text file that will be created holding the detokenised version of the program. You can use "
*" as a shorthand.
The third, optional, parameter is "
display" which will instruct BasLoad to display the resultant text file in Notepad.
If you want to make use of the output yourself (and not just display it), you'll need to either scan the process list until the BasLoad application quits, or keep trying to open-for-read the nominated output file until it works. BasLoad displays a slidey-status-bar thing and is intended to be used asynchronously; at least, that's all ROView needed to be able to do...
What is planned for the future?
Planned for the close(ish) future is line-based copy and also the HTML export (which I have uses for on my website - see the Econet stuff).
I do not know if/how I will support printing. Should I force printing monochrome (i.e. black-on-white)? If I support coloured printing, how do I deal with those who choose a back blackground? I know spitting twenty pages of black-backgrounded output would not make me at ALL popular, what with the price of refills/toner these days... Ideas to the usual email address please!
Further in the future? I have ideas, but nothing that I plan to disclose at this point.