Saturday, 27 August 2011

New Software for the QL and SMSQ/E

No announcements or answers here in QL Heaven. Just two questions, what new software to existing users need and which bits of existing software need updating. Just a bit of market research and wondering what software to write next. Any suggestions leave as a comment please. Thanks

Monday, 8 August 2011

What do QLers want for their next QL?

This question occurred to QL Heaven when perusing the latest posts on the ql-users list regarding the Raspberry Pi PC on a USB stick. Mouths watered at the prospect of a QL running on this system and porting a QL OS onto it. Reality eventually bit through Marcel Kilgus who posted in response to an earlier post speculating about running QPC2 under WINE on Linux on a Raspberry Pi - "

Norman Dunbar wrote:
> Well, I suspect that QPC will run under WINE on any flavour of Linux,
 >and not necessarily one that has an Intel Processor of x86 fame beneath

Hmm, where to begin... The very name of WINE itself stands for "Wine
Is Not an Emulator". It does not do ANY CPU emulation. So, running QPC
is downright out. Actually there is a WINE port for ARM, but it only
works with Windows apps that have been cross-compiled for the ARM
architecture (QPC, being much assembler code, cannot be cross
Additionally there is a way to employ the QEMU x86 emulator, but
I somehow doubt running an unsupported QEMU solution on such a slow
and limited platform would really work or be anything near usable.

> More specifically, SuperBasic is "just" a language - albeit a good one.
> So I suppose someone could write a SuperBasic interpreter/compiler in,
> say C, to be packaged up and/or compiled from source on any Linux.

While this is true, most power of the language comes from its
extensions and these would all have to be rewritten, too.

Cheers, Marcel"

Basically, no pun intended, it seems that QPC2 is written in assembler and therefore cannot be ported to non PC systems while SBASIC could be ported as a language but with out all the extensions written for it.

Yet what we know about the QL scene from the survey conducted earlier this year is that most QLers have either or both a black box QL, (plus or minus an expansion card) plus QPC2 emulator running on a PC.
The black box give the nostalgia return while QPC2 gives power, flexibility and ease of undertaking complex computing tasks on a QL like system. This takes QL Heaven back to one of its earlier posts suggesting that the future of the QL should be on a mini PC system as the list was suggesting but one that while small can run windows and therefore QPC2, but is small enough to be installed in the carcass of a QL black box.