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Thread: “Open BASIC Stamp Editor” ??

  1. #1

    Default “Open BASIC Stamp Editor” ??

    If the product – in this case "BASIC Stamp Editor" – is free, why it cannot be “Open BASIC Stamp Editor” – with source code available?
    This editor is Parallax specific for limited audience, not like MS VS express editions.
    It would be to Parallax business advantage to have competent developers who use the product to drive its development.
    For example it would be nice to add “comment / uncomment block “ ability and common RAM management for BS2e slots.
    Vaclav

  2. #2

    Default Re: “Open BASIC Stamp Editor” ??

    It would be nice to have some kind of documentation on the format of the Stamp interpretive code, but the features you mention could be done at the source level in an IDE that then produces a finalized source that's internally presented to the existing tokenizer for compilation and downloading. There's very little in the way of enhancements that couldn't be done at the source level.

  3. #3

    Default Re: “Open BASIC Stamp Editor” ??

    Speaking of tokenizer, any way to get a 64-bit version of it? Preferably the .so for use in linux.
    Or just the source code, either way would be amazing!

  4. #4

    Default Re: “Open BASIC Stamp Editor” ??

    I would settle for being able to change the default font.
    - Rick

  5. #5

    Default Re: “Open BASIC Stamp Editor” ??

    There was a thread on this some time ago.

    Basically... Parallax licensed a Delphi component that is at the core of the Basic Stamp editor, and they are unable to release the source code for it. I believe that they contacted the component author to try and work something out, but it wasn't possible.

  6. #6

    Default Re: “Open BASIC Stamp Editor” ??

    One might just start from scratch for something in Linux

    http://dinosaur.compilertools.net/

    LEX and YACC are at the core of creating tokens. It is a lot easier to understand the process in Linux where tutorials are free and so is the software to make it happy.

  7. #7
    localroger's Avatar
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    Default Re: “Open BASIC Stamp Editor” ??

    Given that a PBasic program can read out the entire contents of the EEPROM, it seems like it shouldn't be too difficult for a suitably motivated person to reverse engineer the byte code language. With that and the download protocol you could do a completely clean-room clone of the editor.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: “Open BASIC Stamp Editor” ??

    OK, if a PBASIC program is written such as to read its eeprom and to send that to a terminal, or what have you, that's possible.
    If someone lost a program file but was only concerned with making more copies of that, the eeprom could be leaded out to practically any eeprom programmer to glom the code and burn that to other eeproms.
    Even with the raw code, the pin aliases and so on cannot be reconstructed.

  9. #9

    Default Re: “Open BASIC Stamp Editor” ??

    While Parallax can not release the source, they could release the specification on how code is translated to tokens. This should be enough to write a portable compiler. Would save someone the reverse engineering effort. I thought I saw a web page that detailed the upload protocol as well which would be needed to push tokens to the stamp.

    If you do want to reverse engineer the compiler, the easy way is to look at the memory map the compiler produces. It would be much easier than dumping the stamp EEprom.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: “Open BASIC Stamp Editor” ??

    Anything is possible; most anything is a matter of time and money.
    But, in all this time, and the BS2 has been around for nearly 20 years (what's the anniversary, anybody?), it's never been done.
    [I think releasing a spec is tantamount to releasing the source.]
    Anyway, why not just leave it go?

  11. #11

    Default Re: “Open BASIC Stamp Editor” ??

    It's never been done because most people have Windows machines and it isn't worth the effort to 90% of computer users. For Penguinistas there was a 32 bit compiler, but not a 64 bit one. I'm not a Mac user, but aren't they out of luck? So there's a small niche for a portable PBasic compiler.

    BTW A few years back I ran the PBasic editor under WINE on Linux. It worked except for the upload step. So I used that as an IDE and then used the 32 bit compiler to push it up to the stamp.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: “Open BASIC Stamp Editor” ??

    So there's a small niche for a portable PBasic compiler.
    Very small. Minute. Miniscule.
    (In a Hack-a-Day speak: Quite small. Quite minute. Quite miniscule.)


    It's Gates' world, Martin, we just live in it.

  13. #13

    Default Re: “Open BASIC Stamp Editor” ??

    You're probably right. It's easier to switch to an Arduino for the Mac and Linux users.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: “Open BASIC Stamp Editor” ??

    It hasn't been a concern in 20 years or so.

    What's the beef? "MacBS2" doesn't work?

    You can't get everyone.

    Is an "open letter" a-la Dear Mr. Parallax Claus... in the offing here? (Barf.)

  15. #15

    Default Re: “Open BASIC Stamp Editor” ??

    Actually, bytecodes for the Stamp have been reverse engineered (though I think these are for Pbasic 2). See link below.

    Additionally, the Basic Stamp Editor is way past overdue for upgrades, primarily the lack of Mac/Linux support and the need for any kind of "include" especially for multi-slot Stamps. MacBS2 is OK, but it hasn't been updated in a long time, does not support all the available Stamps, is slow as molasses, and does NOT support DEBUGIN.

    http://mcmanis.com/chuck/robotics/stamp-decode.html
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. -- HST

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  16. #16

    Default Re: “Open BASIC Stamp Editor” ??

    Zoot, thanks for the pointer. If I recall correctly PBasic 2.5 was just syntactic sugar and the token language remained the same.

    PJ, don't look for me to write an open letter. Parallax is a business and they've probably decided to cash cow the BS2 while they invest in the Propeller and Propeller 2. My thinking was if I was a Mac or Linux only user, rather than write a PBasic compiler I would take the path of least resistance and use an Arduinio.

  17. #17

    Default Re: “Open BASIC Stamp Editor” ??

    >>> While Parallax can not release the source, they could release the specification on how code is translated to tokens.

    The only part that they can't release is the Delphi component, which, if I remember correctly, has to do with the editing functionality.

    If the tokenizer source isn't released, it's most likely an IP issue. Which is fine... not everything needs to open-sourced. A good solution for the majority of users would be offering "official" command line tools to let people choose their own editor / IDE. For tools that don't change that often, the maintenance overhead should be very small.

  18. #18

    Default Re: “Open BASIC Stamp Editor” ??

    I have always thought that Parallax just did not want to release the source code, not that they couldn't. After all, the tokenizing of the programs and then having the BasicStamp chip using them is what Parallax has excelled at. It is the same thing all over with the Propeller. We have Spin, a tokenized language that is interpreted by the Propeller. Yes you can do assembly with the Propeller as well, but Spin load the software and often is much needed to fully communicate between cogs and OOP modules.

    Both the BasicStamp and the Propeller has something of a virtual machine that handles the tokens and makes everything work. That seems to be a trade secret. So be it. To me it is just an interesting puzzle and rather good success story for a small outfit in a world of barracudas.

  19. #19

    Default Re: “Open BASIC Stamp Editor” ??

    @Zoot,
    The link you posted is to a very well done reverse engineering effort for the BS1. Presumably, Proteus has done the same sort of thing for the BS2 series to develop their VSM, but their work is proprietary.

    MacBS2 is now broken. The latest MacOS no longer supports PowerPC programs which is how the most recent Mac tokenizer was compiled. Unless the tokenizer is recompiled by Parallax, there's no way for the author to update MacBS2. The only way to use a Mac now for Stamp development is to use Windows. Using Linux seems to depend on the distribution involved. The Linux tokenizer is compiled as a 32-bit library which can be used with some Linux distributions, but not all.

  20. #20

    Default Re: “Open BASIC Stamp Editor” ??

    Mike -- good point; I forgot about that pesky Lion upgrade (my own Mac right now is 10.5.8 so MacBS2 works more or less; my partner's Mac is more recent). At risk of harping on a point I've made before, the lack of official support by Parallax for any other platforms than Windows is becoming seriously problematic. The same is not true for WinAVR, Processing/Wiring, various GCC builds, Eclipse, etc., all of which are utterly cross-platform.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. -- HST

    my site: 1uffakind.com
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    resistor ladder tool: 1uffakind.com/robots/resistorLadder.php
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