As promised I worked on the Amiga OS 4 problem in Lazarus Cross Amiga Docker. I tried to used vlink and vasm for it, but it seems vlink has some problems with the resources. But when switching back to the GNU tools (as and ld) it again works.
I also added a little Updater Script to the archive, so if you want to use the new Amiga OS 4 download again the archive. Start the script ./CheckForUpdate.sh if there is a newer version of the docker it will automatically download.
I’m playing with docker and how to put Free Pascal for Amiga Systems and even Lazarus inside a docker container. Works quiet nicely with the latest FPC (3.2.0) and Lazarus (2.0.10), sadly there are some bugs in the published MUI interface for Lazarus, or better left overs of old Free Pascal inconsistencies between the Amiga flavors. I fixed them in FPC but did forget to remove the workarounds in the LCL. So I had to patch the official LCL. Must also check them in the official repository. Sadly the OS4 the LCL compile does not work at all, something wrong with the resource stuff, so I removed it for now. I will look into it later. So still some stuff to work on.
To actually use the Lazarus IDE I also installed a VNC server and hence also a small as possible window manager, I played around with some simple one, most old simple window managers are very annoying (e.g. twm) but icewm seems to be nice (looks like Java though).
And why docker? It’s much easier to keep the software up to date and there are automatically running scripts to create, modify and start them. But there are some drawbacks. The first compilation of a LCL program for any Amiga-style system will need a long time (as seen in the video), because it will compile the whole LCL. This will happen for every start of the docker container. This is good to have a clean compilation of LCL (especially when developing on the actual LCL) but a bit annoying when only compile simple programs. There should be some ways around it. But for now for me that’s good enough.
You know the online FPC compiler, right? Until now it was only with soft float because usually that is enough. But I added now a possibility also compile with FPU enabled (therefore the resulting program will need a FPU, but will run much faster). For example the raycaster I presented the last days only runs this fast with FPU. And because it’s just a single file, it is perfect for the online FPC compiler, Have fun!
With normal raycasting the floor and ceiling looks kinda boring (like in Wolfenstein), I was trying to introduce texture mapping floor but it was always too slow for my 030 Amiga. New Idea some easy reflection effect should be easy to make and not eat much resources. an voila.
I proudly (?, more present in shame) present the most ugly and nasty reflection like floor.
Also introduced push-able block and switches on the floor, when you move the blocks over it the block changes the color. In principle one could make a sokoban like game with this mechanic, just in 3D, would be much harder to solve, especially if you do not have the map 😉
As always the download with source (still a single file 😉 ) Raycaster3 (source + exe compiled for m68k-amiga 68020+68882, OS3.0+)
I did a big mistake on the last AskYourAmiga release, by accident the MorphOS binary was missing and instead the OS4 binary was copied as MorphOS binary. Sorry for the confusion. Therefore I made a new release. But the MorphOS release is somehow strange (or better MorphOS is) after some picture loaded some pictures look wrong, wrong colors and seems also the size is wrong calculated. But not all pictures are affected only some but when it appears all these type pictures will become wrong. restart AskYourAmiga and try the same question try to load the picture and it works. Very strange, seems like something is crashing inside the datatypes system (but the log does not show anything related).
To be honest I did not try AskYourAmiga very much on the other Amiga Platforms, only on Amiga OS3.x m68k because on all the other you could theoretically use the browser for wolffram alpha. So I concentrate to make it run nicely on classic m68k Amiga.
Other changes with this version are pure internal, some little redrawing problems I got report from OS4 and some bugfixing I found myself (not cleared buffer, such stuff).
You can use the Update function of AskYourAmiga 0.2 (in Suggestion/History Window, it will download the archive and save it to where you want, you only have to unpack it) or you download it from this page.
A little bit improvement of the raycaster engine, now with simple texture mapping included. I had to invent some fixed point mathematics to make it fast enough on real m68k Amiga but still it works nicely and just a bit slower. I found a little bug in FreePascal when using functions Trunc() or Frac(), but Charlie thankfully saved the day and made a super quick fix of it.
Again a little video on my Amiga 1200 (68030/50Mhz, 68882/50Mhz, 32 color AGA Screen) and it’s still a single source code file of less than 20kb size (many of them are comments 😉 ). and the executable is less than 100k, not bad especially because I did not optimize for size, just for speed
By random I came across a funny video on youtube showing the basics behind a simple raycaster like Wolfenstein 3D. I know the mathematics behind it for real rayshading and on a real Amiga it’s awefuly slow. So for me it was interesting which short-cuts they take to make it fast. It’s really not complicated to understand (if you know the mathematics already, if not I guess it stays a black box).
I tried to implement that into a FreePascal program (with some tiny changes (block size smaller for example, because of the smaller screens on Amiga)). It runs rather well, I did not want to code hardware, but use OS functions which make it a bit slow of course (especially the line drawing).
For the actual 3D image s I used RectFill but of course on a non-RTG Amiga thats very slow, therefore I changed that to write chunky pixels to a temp buffer and use WriteChunkyPixels to copy that to screen, already much faster but still not max speed. I found a funny patch (Blazewcp), which patches the WriteChunkyPixels function to be much faster, and voila really nice speed of already 12.5 fps, without turning OS of or Assembler/Hardware stuff, in pure FreePascal.
You want to have it? try it? Sure why not: Download (Source and Exe for m68k Amiga OS3.x 68020+ and FPU needed, but can be compiled and run for all Amiga-likes)
You know whats most funny when browsing Wolfram Alpha or such databases, just following the links inside it, sadly the API does not give infomations for links in the text. BUT it supplies related searches, I implemented an additional page to AYA that you can find close searches, sometimes there are even some weird stuff… maybe they are searches other user used? I don’t know.
Besides that I implemented a history of your searches and also added some suggestions sorted in categories, some starting points what to search. Also if you find something funny (like the people curves e.g. “Arnold Schwarzenegger curve” and so on) why not share them with other. In the result window is now a “Share” button where you can add a short description and your name (if you like) and I will add them to the suggestion database. (which you can update via the suggestion window)
Also the software itself can be updated from the suggestion window.
Finally I found some motivation to put a release together of “Ask Your Amiga” the new tool for your beloved Amiga. It’s working nicely, now also can save the image or text, but nothing more… just very basic functionality but even so I like it working rather smooth even on my slower Amiga 68030.
As always it is available for all Amiga systems with an Internet connection and a GIF Datatype installed.