Hisoft BASIC v GFA Basic?

Hisoft BASIC v GFA Basic?

Post by Robert Cas » Tue, 04 Jul 1995 04:00:00



I am about to start a programming project that will be a fairly lengthy
piece of software. I would like to use GEM dialogs and menus and I am in
a bit of a muddle! I own HiSoft Basic 2.1 & GFA Basic 3.6 and have limited
knowledge of HiSoft (to be fair I have only used the simpler commands in GFA)
but before I start delving into the intricacies of GEM programming, is
there anyone that could give a idea as to the easier of the two languages
to use. To be honest GFA puts me off because of the lack of support for it
and the limited description of using GEM with it. HiSoft looks friendlier
and its still supported (I think!). Also I cant get the GFA Editor to
work in anything but ST High (I'm using a 4MB Falcon). Is it possible to
use the new AES 3D dialogs with GFA?

Im sorry if this sounds daft, but any comments would be appreciated before
I dive in.

(PS does anyone know anything about a rumour concerning GFA Basic in that
the upgrade to complete Falcon compatibilty had been virtually complete
when the developer decided to put it on hold? I think I remember
someone saying there was about 300 hours programming to finish it off
and they were asking for volunteers.)

 
 
 

Hisoft BASIC v GFA Basic?

Post by Hutc » Fri, 07 Jul 1995 04:00:00



Quote:> I own HiSoft Basic 2.1 & GFA Basic 3.6 and have limited knowledge of
> HiSoft (to be fair I have only used the simpler commands in GFA)
> but before I start delving into the intricacies of GEM programming,
> is there anyone that could give a idea as to the easier of the two
> languages to use.

OK, first and foremost, be advised that I do NOT like HiSoft BASIC.
I am an old (OK, knock off that snickering in the back row) GFA user
and I am very comfortable with it and its, er, idiosyncracies. But...
having said all that, I'd recommend you use the latest version (whatever
that is now) of HiSoft BASIC for the project you describe.

Using GFA 3.5 or 3.6 with TOS 4.x requires a few workarounds on some
GEM calls. It's mostly just inconvenient but still a hassle. The new
version of HiSoft BASIC, however, is -supposedly- fully compatible
with the Falcon's goodies and TOS 4.x and HiSoft continues to support
the Atari platform. In your case, since your programming environment
will be on the Falcon, I'd bite the bullet and go with HiSoft. BTW, GFA's
editor works in medium res on my Falcon so I don't know why yours won't.

You didn't mention any other languages (like C) so I won't either. :)

Quote:> (PS does anyone know anything about a rumour concerning GFA Basic

Fact: GFA has abandoned support for the Atari market altogether. They
forgot their roots and went off chasing the almighty DOS & Windoze
dollar (deutschmark, pound, yen, yer choice). They made a pretty nice
product too, but their lousy docs and poor marketing (sound familiar?)
have just about killed their share of the USA market. I'm not sure how
they are doing in Europe but I imagine it's a similar story.

Rumor: Another outfit (Richter GmbH, I recall) had 'supposedly' nearly
completed a complete rewrite of the language before falling into a
legal disagreement with GFA Systemtechnik. Before it could be resolved
the Atari market died off so much as to make the project unviable.

My Guess: I don't think we'll ever see another version of GFA BASIC.
Then again, I don't think we'll ever see another personal computer
from Atari Corporation, either. But time will tell, yes? ;-)



 
 
 

Hisoft BASIC v GFA Basic?

Post by Mario Becro » Fri, 07 Jul 1995 04:00:00


: I am about to start a programming project that will be a fairly lengthy
: piece of software. I would like to use GEM dialogs and menus and I am in
: a bit of a muddle! I own HiSoft Basic 2.1 & GFA Basic 3.6 and have limited

Well, I've had to do with HiSoft BASIC 2.10 and GFA BASIC 3.5, and HiSoft
BASIC is, IMHO, far ahead of GFA as far as user friendliness is
concerned. At least the editor is GEM based, and therefore runs in any
resolution!

: work in anything but ST High (I'm using a 4MB Falcon). Is it possible to
: use the new AES 3D dialogs with GFA?

The GFA editor only operates in the ST Compatible resolutions. Yes, you
can do anything with GFA do do with GEM, including 3D diaolgues, but it's
just a lot more fiddly than HiSoft BASIC. The other advantage of HBASIC
is that you can have Header files, and include other files in your
programme.

One other reply said that HiSoft BASIC was "supposedly" compatible with
all the MiNT and AES 4 etc. enhancements. Well, it's not just supposedly,
it really is, unlike GFA. And it' still supported by HiSoft, though they
aren't that interested when problems are reported to them, but it's
better than no support at all.

All in all, I would suggest that you use HiSoft BASIC, as it is much more
GEM friendly, and supports GEM and the latest enhancements much more
comprehensively than GFA. And the manual is much better than GFAs, IMHO,
but it's still got a few errors. What yuo really need is the Compendium,
as the manual lacks any mention of the latest things like iconification,
MiNT specific calls, Falcon030 sound system calls and so forth. Naturally
all these are fully supported by HBASIC, but not mentioned in the manual.

I think you'll find that with GFA, you'll have quite a job keeping up
with all the latest bits and pieces, and just with GEM programming in
general it can be a pain, as some calls have major limitations, and some
calls are missing, meaning that you have to write yuor own "library" for
them in BASIC and as you can't include headers, this is a real nuisance!

The other thing is, if yuo want to save yourself a lot of bother writing
non-modal dialogue routines and whatnot, HBASIC comes with a GEM
"toolkit" of routines which are designed to do all this for you. They are
somewhat buggy, however, and I use a *very* heavily modified version of
them. But they do the job, and with a few minor modifications, they can
be fairly bug free.

Of course, you could switch to C like most people do, but IMHO, there are
no advantages offered by C for most applications, so if you're used to
BASIC, why shift just because "it's the thing to do"?

 
 
 

Hisoft BASIC v GFA Basic?

Post by CALLUM LERWI » Tue, 11 Jul 1995 04:00:00


In message #925, ROBERT CASEY writes:

Quote:> I am about to start a programming project that will be a fairly lengthy
> piece of software. I would like to use GEM dialogs and menus and I am in
> a bit of a muddle! I own HiSoft Basic 2.1 & GFA Basic 3.6 and have limite
> knowledge of HiSoft (to be fair I have only used the simpler commands in
> but before I start delving into the intricacies of GEM programming, is
> there anyone that could give a idea as to the easier of the two languages
> to use. To be honest GFA puts me off because of the lack of support for i
> and the limited description of using GEM with it. HiSoft looks friendlier
> and its still supported (I think!). Also I cant get the GFA Editor to
> work in anything but ST High (I'm using a 4MB Falcon). Is it possible to
> use the new AES 3D dialogs with GFA?

Don't bother trying to write Falcon-Enhanced programs with GFA, I dunno
much about HiSoft, but it is probavly better for writing Falcon programs,
you should probably dump Basic and get yourself a nice C compiler...
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1. Hisoft BASIC v GFA Basic?



        Don't worry about GEM and GFA Basic, OASIS (the internet off line
reader) is GEM based and written entirely in GFA Basic! E-Mail me if you would
like some details.

        I have used GFA Basic 3.6TT on a Falcon, it works fine in any TT
compatible screen resolution (320*480 256C,640*480 16C).

        As for Falcon enhanced programming with GFA, I couldn't agree more, I
just wish that somebody would finish version 4 of GFA Basic.

__

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