In resurrecting abandoned projects

Or, where the heck have you been?

Once I began analyzing some of the routines internal to PROMAL ages ago, I found myself fascinated and then obsessed with the simple elegance that the system is written with.  I’ve been working on commenting a full disassembly of the program but haven’t yet decided to officially relase it.

Therein comes a challenge for myself.  I’d like to document the steps I used to reverse the language’s concepts, internal variables, and machine code here.  However it will take some effort to refresh my memory as the initial disassembly was performed nearly two years ago, and I’m a bit stuck for time.

Let’s just provide a screenie of the title page for entertainment purposes, as well as a shout-out to the venerable COMPUTE! Books series that covered many CBM systems including drives and computers.

mappnig-promal

Hopefully life will be a bit more generous with spare time and inspiration so I can complete the work as well as get some serious documentation about the process posted here.

By the way, that font was HARD to find.  Still not an exact match for the one COMPUTE! used, but it’s close enough to pass. 🙂

[Edit: Found an attempted escape : q and removed it.  Meh.]

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2 thoughts on “In resurrecting abandoned projects

  1. I’ve been watching you progress with this project (even printed the mapping book) and am impressed with what you have accomplished to this point. There is NO doubt you have put some serious time into this, and I, for one, sincerely applaud the effort. It’s a shame the Commodore Community was never able to adopt PROMAL in any meaningful way, but there is still hope.

    PROMAL is probably my #1 choice as a programming language for the 65832-based CBM-style fantasy emulator I’ve been working on these past few years (for Windows, written in x86 assembly language). As that project nears completion it would be nice to try a scaled implementation of all that you have uncovered with the REing of PROMAL, a fantastic language by any measure.

    Again, congratulations on having the will to stick with your project!

    • Thanks Bert! I sent you an email directly in response.

      PROMAL’s timing was a bit late in the CBM era, sadly. If it were perhaps a couple years earlier it could have gained some popularity for business use. Its inability to generate native machine code on the 8bit systems would have limited its use for games and the like, I suspect. There were a few games for DOS written in PROMAL that I found on archive.org. Apparently the MS/DOS version compiled native 8088 code.

      I did consider using the 65816 as a conceptual target, using separate banks for the nucleus, ram-backed files, application binaries, and their scalar variables. There’s much to ponder during moments of distraction 😉

      Just need to figure out how to extend the language to support the extra ram, even if just for additional variable storage or ramdisk’ing.

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