Small, Smaller, Smallest
We (ChainQ and me) activated the section linking for the other Amiga Platforms as well. Freepascal for MorphOS for example will now also use vasm and vlink with section linking. The mentioned MUI demo for example has a size of 82k on MorphOS, so a little bit bigger as on Amiga 68k. Sadly vasm and vlink does not exist for AROS currently (except 68k of course) so there we are bind to the GNU tools. But the AROS ld is much more recent so it supports section linking already. The sizes of the MUI demo for the AROS Platforms: i386: 83k, ARM: 86k, x86_64: 144k. Sadly on AmigaOS4 it still not work, it still needs some fixing in the linker and startup code. Of course it’s nice to have this small sizes on NG Amigas, but more important on the 68k Platform, maybe you remember the compilation attempt on a real Amiga (so not UAE) which needed around 3 minutes and 160 MB RAM. I retried that with vasm and vlink today. It is smaller (1.6 MB instead of 6.5 MB) and also need less RAM for compiling and linking (around 100 MB instead of 160 MB), really nice. The speed does not really change, because it is limited by the Harddisk speed, which is around 1.2 MB/s only for my A1200. I’m thinking to use the SCSI of Blizzard 1260 but I need a fast SCSI to SATA Adpater or so, the one I found in Internet seems not so good, no synchronous transfer, questionable compatibility with the SCSI interface of Blizzard.
Amiga LCL goes official
As explained in the 2016 summary I started to try to introduce the MUI LCL Interface to the official Lazarus subversion repository. I started with the basic compilation nogui LCL, which is a rather small patch (when compared to the complete new MUI widgetset). Today I got answer (after posting that as Bug in the lazarus bug tracker) and the patch got accepted to the official repository. That was my introduction, so now I would like to also include the MUI LCL which will be my next target. It would make the development so much easier. Especially because they change a lot in Lazarus over the time. My branch at github is again so outdated that it means again a new implementation to bring it to latest status (for the 4th time). If it is in the official repository I will directly notice if something change which need my attention. And the people will see the HASAMIGA defines everywhere and maybe care about to not break it 😉
About this year … 2016
Again a year passed so I will try to give a short summary about things going on in the Freepascal world for Amiga-style systems.
In Januar 2016 a big change in Freepascal was done to fix the Varargs version of the amiga library version. All “array of const” are replaced with the better “array of PtrUInt” which is much better to emulate the open end parameter list
The MorphOS LCL implementation took a big step in the begin of the year until got the usual suspects to work. All resulted in the first MorphOS FPC release including LCL units in March 2016.
A little funny new experience started also in March. I created the first 64Bit ABIv1 AROS distribution. Mainly, of course because I need a test field for the FreePascal AROS x64. For me x64 would be the perfect successor of the i386-aros ABIv1. My suggestion for AROS developer would be to leave i386 ABIv0 as it is, backport changes to there. And change then to x64 ABIv1 (and do not use/promote i386 ABIv1). But the x64 AROS still need much work, many things still crash, much code still cast Pointers to integer so not 64bit ready. This is also the main reason the 64bit distribution did not get much new version, not much changed with the problems there, I retest the usual problems from time to time. Also the FPC 64bit had big problems, which I found out end of 2016 are mainly alignment problems, where AROS made it’s own life much harder than it should be. (reminder “stacked int”s)
EdiSyn got a new Version with some bugfixes and basic printing support. End of year it got also a ARM version of EdiSyn to public with some more advanced features.
I also tried EdiSyn on MorphOS and Amiga. But both have some problems because of the different behavior of MUI and Zune. And I did not took much work on it because on MorphOS there is already a very good Editor with syntax highlighting and on Amiga m68k it’s just too slow. But in principle it works just LCL need some more work.
LCL on a native Amiga got some improvements to work also if no Graphic card is present, like my A1200 and also ported the usual suspects to m68k Amiga.
I used already a Lazarus on Linux to cross compile to AROS i386, in April I created a Lazarus which can cross compile for all supported Platforms (AmigaOS 3, AROS, MorphOS). Because it worked to nicely I planed to release a Lazarus for Linux including the binutils and cross compilers for all Amiga systems. But I noticed it is very difficult, even to write a Manual how to install such a systems. Therefore I decided to create a virtual machine which includes Lazarus, cross compilers and binutils for all Amiga Systems. After Amiga OS 4 was added to Freepascal and LCL I released a 2nd Version including the Amiga OS 4 binutils and cross compiler.
ChainQ implemented FreePascal for OS4 long time before already but because of changes in FreePascal and without a maintainer it did not compile anymore. In April ChainQ resurrected it and fixed some basic things, make it self compiling again. Then I took the lead and implemented some OS4units bring FP-IDE to work and finally the LCL with the usual suspects for OS4. Which resulted to a Amiga OS 4 FPC release including LCL. I will continue to maintain the OS4 fpc but will not improve it much more, maybe someone will appear to continue it especially with the unusual interfaces can be found on AmigaOS4.
I continued to work on applications using my LCL. This time I got the idea to create a Map application showing routes of my bike GPS. I played around with google maps API and openstreet API. Openstreetmap is much better because google maps you are forced to use the google libs which is difficult at AROS. It get some releases for all available platforms. I also experimented with GPS support, first via a extra program later also directly inside Mapparium, which is still not released.
Long Time before I got the direct linking of C static objects to freepascal programs at AROS to work, which was really nice, but no real program resulted from it. On magoriums work on mikmod, I got an idea for a Delitracker like program for AROS, to Play my old modules. I results into my first native Zune program (so without LCL wrapper) ZuPaPlayer. And because Delitracker is working directly on MorphOS and Amiga I concentrated on AROS.
There I also noticed its rather difficult to write MUI applications in Freepascal. In C there are many many macros to make it easier, but they are not directly possible to convert to pascal. There is a muihelper unit in MorphOS with some starts to make it easier. I moved it to ami-extra to make it available to all platforms and extended it a lot. To test and prove the usability of it I started to port the example codes of the official MUI 3.8 release. On Amiga it works very nice on AROS it shows very good the differences of MUI and Zune.
Because ChainQ included support for 68000 processor which need some more alignment care. Because of this I created a little RTL for Workbench 1.3 which is really difficult because much things are not available.
This year also the port of FPC to ARM AROS including LCL and the usual suspects was done.
I try to bring the MUI-LCL to the official repository, started with the basic LCL implementation. Announced at mailing list. We will see how it goes.
Programming MUI 2
The same program (MUI-Demo) looks at AROS x86_64 like this:
So far it looks ok, just the texts are not complete shown, it seems that the width calculation does not care about the scrollbar so the text continues under the scrollbar and is half hidden. but at least it work. I did not find this MUI demo compiled for AROS so I cannot compare to C program, but I can compare to the Amiga, where are C and Pascal versions looks exactly the same.
Worked a little bit more on the ABIv1 x86_64 started long time before. Found some errors and got the FP-IDE to work and some simple example sources. But LCL and fpGUI still do not work. The main reason for that are the changes between ABIv1/ABIv0 and some inconsistencies of 32bit/64bit types.
Bad thing, changes are not denoted in the C-header files for AROS, so it’s a very annoying comparing work done by hand to find if there are differences. Differences in Library offsets for functions in the most important libs are done and exec structures are also fixed.
FP-IDE on x86_64 AROS
EdiSyn for ARM-AROS
After the compilation problems are solved, it is also possible to compile and use EdiSyn (finally a good editor in ARM-AROS :-P).
So here it is, same case as for Mapparium, it’s a special version for ARM-AROS (0.55). This new Version has already some advanced features like reload last open files (also remember the line the cursor is placed)
Download at EdiSyn Page
EdiSyn 0.55 ARM-AROS
Mapparium 0.7 ARM-AROS special Release
I found the reason Mapparium, Edisyn and some other application crashed. All things have to be compiled with “-CaEABIHF” to make sure all sources use the same way to transfer floating point values. The -dFPC_ARMHF is only needed by the compiler, the ABI has to set for every other compilation, so I added them also to the fpc.cfg, fp.cfg.
I created Mapparium Release, with the latest not official Release 0.7 which already has some basic GPS Support (position only) and the Zoom and Find me Buttons are moved into a small menu inside the map (like google maps and open streetmap webpage also have). The menu can be hidden if this disturbs someone 😉
Releases for all the other Platforms will need more time.
Download at the Mapparium Page
Mapparium 0.7 on RasPi AROS
ARM LCL Problems
In principle the ARM AROS freepascal works very nicely, but some of the LCL programs does crash, especially EdiSyn and Mapparium have this problem. I try to debug it, its strange that it only appears on ARM (i386, PowerPC, m68k no problem at this point). It seems that it is a classical use after free, but the source seems to be right. I need to check if this also happen on the other platforms and only work by random. Or ARM has special properties which bring this error. With some tricks I come around this problem and got EdiSyn and Mapparium to work. Both work well on RasPi AROS but still crash on exit so I guess there are more problems inside.
EdiSyn and Mapparium on ARM-AROS
ZuPa, ZuPa, ZuPaPlayaaaahhh
Tried a little bit more the ZuPaPlayer on ARM, seems the Zune on ARM is not on the same status as i386. A List event fired on i386, seems never fire on ARM, which makes it impossible to move songs in the list. Because I compiled the libmikmod myself, I increased the buffer for the AHI mikmod module (on i386 AROS I had some stutter problems). It works but now the pause button needs nearly 500 ms before it really stops. Not so nice, so I edited the AHI driver again a little bit and calculate the Buffersize dynamically from the frequency to cover 120 ms (got the idea from the Windows driver). Works rather nicely. So I made a release for ARM-AROS of ZuPaPlayer 0.2
Download: ZuPaPlayer 0.2 for arm-aros
I tried some linking to AROS C Linklibs on ARM-AROS and the basic example with sqlite3 works rather nicely. But more interesting for me would be the mikmod lib because then I could compile ZuPaPlayer for my RasPi.
The main problem is the Libmikmod is not available for arm as binary. But I found the source a while ago. I tried to compile directly on the ARM-AROS and it works. And I was also amazed that also my ZuPaPlayer compiles without much changes… and you would not believe ZuPaPlayer even plays the sounds without any problems 🙂
ZuPaPlayer on arm-AROS
Very nice, my Raspi has a touchscreen, so now I can use my Raspi as nice little Mod Player 😉