|★ APPLICATIONS ★ UTILITAIRES PROGRAMMATION EN LIGNE DE COMMANDE (RSX) ★ BEEBUGSOFT - TOOLKIT BASIC PROGRAMMER' S AID ★|
|TOOLKIT (Computing with the Amstrad)||TOOLKIT (c) BeeBug Soft (Amstrad Computer User)||Toolkit - The Basic Programmer's Aid from Beebugsoft (CPC Magazin)|
TOOLKIT for the CPC 'series marks a successful transition for Beebugsoft from the BBC Micro to the Amstrad. It comes on tape or disc and has most of the facilities that you would expect from a toolkit, plus some you may not have thought of but which prove to be extremely useful.
For the uninitiated, a toolkit is a set of routines designed to make programming easier, and Beebug-soft's version does just that.
If you take a look at Table I you will see all the new commands Toolkit provides. They can be placed into general groups - disc accessing, printing, Basic program manipulation and memory inspection and editing.
Table 1: Toolkit commands
A menu of all the following commands can be displayed by typing |TOOLS. This menu enables you to select any of the utilities at a single key press. If you are unsure of how to use a particular utility |HELP displays a general help page giving the proper syntax and usage for each command.
|KON turns on Toolkit's abbreviated keyword entry feature. This gives you the facility to type P. for PRINT, F. for FOR or N. for NEXT and so on. Table II shows a list of Basic's keywords and their abbreviations. This utility can be cancelled with |KOFF.
|LMOVE comes in very handy when reaching the final stages of program development when most of the code has been written, but, as a result of de-bugging, you have several lines and subroutines in odd places. This command allows you to move lines around quickly and simply to more logical places, producing a more polished program.
To go with |LMOVE you also get |LCOPY, |BMOVE and |START. |LCOPY will copy a set of Basic lines to a new position, |BMOVE moves a Basic program from one part of memory to another and |START allows you to alter the start address of a Basic program in memory.
Quite often when testing a program you'll want to stop it running to edit a line. If the PEN and PAPER colours have been changed, when Escape is pressed you usually have to go through the laborious task of resetting them. Often you'll need to remove any character definitions as the screen has become impossible to read - usually due to the background and foreground colours being the same.
|RESET makes this an easy matter. When you enter it the Amstrad's default colours and standard character set are restored and you are presented with the familiar yellow text on a blue background Mode 1 screen with your program still intact.
If you are not sure whether or not you've used a particular variable name, using |SEARCH enables you to check through a listing to see if that variable already exists. In fact you can use |SEARCH to search for any string in a Basic program - including keywords which will have been tokenised by the Basic interpreter.
|REPLACE works in the same way as |SEARCH with the exception that if found, occurrences of the search string can be replaced with a new string. This is extremely useful for substituting the meaningful variable names that have been used during software development with shorter single character variable names to increase a program's running speed and cut its length.
|TRON is very useful for following the flow of Basic programs during debugging. This is an enhanced trace utility which allows you to state the start and end line between which the trace will function and choose where on the screen you wish output to appear.
There are four printer commands, |PRON, |DUMPA, |DUMPE and |PMEM. The first switches the printer on so that all text will be output to the printer, and |PROFF turns it off again.
|DUMPA and |DUMPE will respectively give a 16 colour dump on an Amstrad or Epson printer. |PMEM will dump a block of memory to a printer.
To save having to go into CP/M, disc users can format their discs with |FORMAT, and both disc and cassette users can list a program directly from tape or disc without loading it using |LIST. You can also save part of a program to tape or disc using |PARTSAVE.
Should you find yourself running out of memory |PACK will pack your program down to the smallest possible length by removing unnecessary spaces, REMs and program lines. There is also a sophisticated renumber facility which will renumber any part of a Basic program. This is called into action by typing |RENUM.
A very useful utility for nosing about in your Amstrad's innards is |EMEM which will display any area of memory and allow you to change it.
Finally there are six commands which will inform you of your Amstrad's status. |KEY lists the function key definitions in a form in which they can be edited and |KEYDEF lists whatever codes any key, or group of keys, has been set to.
|ROM and |RSX respectively give details on all the ROMs and resident software extensions (RSXs) present in the machine.
|FREE tells you how much memory has been taken up by a Basic program and how much is still available for use. |XREF provides extensive information about any of, or all, the variables in a program.
Beebugsoft has written an impressive set of utilities which seem to take care of every eventuality. Since I received a copy for review I have found myself relying more and more on its utilities, and would now be hard put to manage without them.
So if you are looking for a toolkit -or even if you are not - Beebugsoft's Toolkit is well worth considering.
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L'Amstrad CPC est une machine 8 bits à base d'un Z80 à 4MHz. Le premier de la gamme fut le CPC 464 en 1984, équipé d'un lecteur de cassettes intégré il se plaçait en concurrent du Commodore C64 beaucoup plus compliqué à utiliser et plus cher. Ce fut un réel succès et sorti cette même années le CPC 664 équipé d'un lecteur de disquettes trois pouces intégré. Sa vie fut de courte durée puisqu'en 1985 il fut remplacé par le CPC 6128 qui était plus compact, plus soigné et surtout qui avait 128Ko de RAM au lieu de 64Ko.