Would it be possible to build website on a BBC Micro?

on-topic Acorn-related news and discussions not covered by the other forums
Post Reply
User avatar
Pablos544
Posts: 332
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:25 pm
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Would it be possible to build website on a BBC Micro?

Post by Pablos544 » Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:59 pm

Hi,

Just one of my stupid maybe not so daft ideas I dunno!?

Can you use the BBC Micro to actually code websites to then transfer the code to a modern PC for display?

i.e can you use the built-in BASIC editor to edit the code with?

'cause if you think about it the web sort of started on a BBC Micro, before there was web pages there were Teletext pages.... :? or maybe I should just ease my foot of the kellebrau a bit :oops:

Cheers,
Pablo.

User avatar
flaxcottage
Posts: 3185
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:46 pm
Location: Derbyshire
Contact:

Re: Would it be possible to build website on a BBC Micro?

Post by flaxcottage » Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:44 pm

Something like Wordwise Plus would write the code for websites - HTML, CSS, ASP, JSP, PHP, you name it. All is needed is a text editor.
- John
Image

User avatar
Pablos544
Posts: 332
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:25 pm
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: Would it be possible to build website on a BBC Micro?

Post by Pablos544 » Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:22 pm

flaxcottage wrote:Something like Wordwise Plus would write the code for websites - HTML, CSS, ASP, JSP, PHP, you name it. All is needed is a text editor.
Damn :oops: now I'm beginning to regret I threw away that WordWise ROM although to be fair my system is all IFEL / ROM / RAM board based so I think I would need an image of that WordWise Plus ROM and I'm not sure what the legal issues involve are. Never got into using stuff off ROMs much on the BBC Micro and I think this also is maybe why I never really got into it much further than the usual game of Elite etc..

But I must admit it sounds like a tremendous dea. I like the sound of using WordWise Plus. I'm sure concentrating on CSS code on my BBC Micro will bring about a whole new meaning to it 8)

Cheers, flaxcottage. :lol:
Pablo.

Btw sorry it's taken me so long to reply I've actually been trying to write out this message all night but then it got extremely busy where I work Fulham playing. I even got a woman calling me stupid. I wonder if she was referring to my BBC ROM skills? :lol:

User avatar
jgharston
Posts: 3182
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:22 am
Location: Whitby/Sheffield
Contact:

Re: Would it be possible to build website on a BBC Micro?

Post by jgharston » Sun Feb 25, 2018 12:14 am

I wrote most of my Website using View on my Master, a lot of the index pages are created with a bit of BASIC code that creates the index pages, and another bit of BASIC code scans the file system for recently-updated files to zip to to copy to my PC for uploading. If you view the page source on many pages you will see the line: <META name="Generator" content="Automatic BBC Tree Crawler">

Code: Select all

$ bbcbasic
PDP11 BBC BASIC IV Version 0.25
(C) Copyright J.G.Harston 1989,2005-2015
>_

User avatar
Pablos544
Posts: 332
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:25 pm
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: Would it be possible to build website on a BBC Micro?

Post by Pablos544 » Sun Feb 25, 2018 12:54 pm

jgharston wrote:I wrote most of my Website using View on my Master...
Sup jgHarston. Had a quick look on your profile but couldn't find it. Could you post the link? I would like to see it :D

User avatar
1024MAK
Posts: 7784
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:46 pm
Location: Looking forward to summer in Somerset, UK...
Contact:

Re: Would it be possible to build website on a BBC Micro?

Post by 1024MAK » Sun Feb 25, 2018 1:30 pm

For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk NOW!
BeebWiki‬ - for answers to many questions...

User avatar
Pablos544
Posts: 332
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:25 pm
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: Would it be possible to build website on a BBC Micro?

Post by Pablos544 » Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:59 pm

1024MAK wrote:http://mdfs.net/ :wink:

Mark
Thanks Mark! 8) I had a quick look at this, I think the flavour definitely tastes different to a regular PC/Macintosh site. I was loving the JSW Remakes section of the site. I think it's really amazing some of these sites are still going. I was one of the Spectrum kiddies who couldn't afford a BBC Micro at the time so this was the time when I was coming out onto the big wide world and it's great to taste the original flavour in this work :) Nice one jgharston

User avatar
Pablos544
Posts: 332
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:25 pm
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: Would it be possible to build website on a BBC Micro?

Post by Pablos544 » Sun Feb 25, 2018 4:50 pm

Just some thoughts. I think the point I was trying to drum up in my own stupid way is that concentrating on code is best done in a Zen like meditation state where suddenly everything flows naturally. I find Windows or even Mac OS with stuff running off in the background you have no idea why is distracting and what I was alluding at is because the BBC is done almost philosophically from a different standpoint is would sites created on it be better. Thanks guys I think I can see that it is. Now all I have to do is write a nice VIM for BBC Micros.... er... :roll: :lol:

Commie_User
Posts: 1129
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:50 am
Contact:

Re: Would it be possible to build website on a BBC Micro?

Post by Commie_User » Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:43 pm

Pictures are also possible but may require PCs to help, given scarcity of original photo hardware. That's something to need to program for as well.

I've my own question of the BBC today: can you get the tape save audio output to make music? The Tandy TRS-80 was made to do that for games and sound effects and it could be a nice way to have the BBC wired for stereo.

User avatar
jgharston
Posts: 3182
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:22 am
Location: Whitby/Sheffield
Contact:

Re: Would it be possible to build website on a BBC Micro?

Post by jgharston » Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:41 pm

You can create images on a BBC and convert them to BMPs or GIFs. The GIF conversion only creates rather huge uncompressed files at the mo, and it's on my to-do list to update the programs to allow 12-bit palettes.

* example
* many examples
* more examples
* even more examples

Code: Select all

$ bbcbasic
PDP11 BBC BASIC IV Version 0.25
(C) Copyright J.G.Harston 1989,2005-2015
>_

User avatar
richardtoohey
Posts: 3573
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:13 am
Location: Tauranga, New Zealand
Contact:

Re: Would it be possible to build website on a BBC Micro?

Post by richardtoohey » Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:13 am

Pablos544 wrote:concentrating on code is best done in a Zen like meditation state where suddenly everything flows naturally. I find Windows or even Mac OS with stuff running off in the background you have no idea why is distracting
That's another reason for Linux/BSDs/etc. and different window managers ... fewer pop-ups/distractions.

You could build a site on a BBC (obviously people have) ... but I think you'd find it a bit limiting quite soon!

User avatar
Pablos544
Posts: 332
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:25 pm
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: Would it be possible to build website on a BBC Micro?

Post by Pablos544 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:41 am

richardtoohey wrote:
Pablos544 wrote:concentrating on code is best done in a Zen like meditation state where suddenly everything flows naturally. I find Windows or even Mac OS with stuff running off in the background you have no idea why is distracting
That's another reason for Linux/BSDs/etc. and different window managers ... fewer pop-ups/distractions.

You could build a site on a BBC (obviously people have) ... but I think you'd find it a bit limiting quite soon!
I think I'm tending to agree with you. Perhaps I should be looking at some kind of Linux setup for my needs :wink:

User avatar
BeebMaster
Posts: 2572
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 4:59 pm
Location: Lost in the BeebVault!
Contact:

Re: Would it be possible to build website on a BBC Micro?

Post by BeebMaster » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:18 pm

In short I think the answer is yes, but as others have said there would be limitations. Certainly you could use a word-processor or text editor like Inter-Word, View, or Edit, to write HTML pages, and use some bits of BASIC file handling to generate multiple pages of HTML from standard header and footer code, and bring in the "middle part" for each page from some other text file source. In fact, I have had plans to do that myself for my own website for ages, but haven't got round to it yet.

Image manipulation and processing wouldn't really be possible, that's where the limits come in. Also moving the files from something the BBC can access to the world-wide-web would be a bit of a bind in itself.

When I first started using a personal e-mail account regularly in the early 2000s, I originally wrote all the messages on Inter-Word using Station 1. Then I spooled it to text, and sent the text file via serial link to my PC and cut and paste the text into e-mail messages and sent them on the PC. It was a nice way of using a Beeb to send e-mail, but it wasn't practical and I only kept it up a few months.

Since 2009, I have used Ubuntu as my main OS, so all my website creation is done on there. My website is deliberately very simple, there is a direct correlation with the author, and principally takes the form top level index pages, some sub-index pages and then individual topic pages with index pages for all the pictures in the set. Each index page has a table of picture links, and each main picture page has the full size picture with a link to the next one, and a caption.

I write all my own HTML using Gedit. I have an Open Office spreadsheet which will make a table of index page links by filling in the picture set title and alt text wording in the first row, and then it generates the table entries in subsequent rows using string concatenation. I don't actually use that very much, I normally just find a similar index page and find and replace and edit the table to the right number of entries. I could easily do the table generation in BBC BASIC if I set my mind to it. Similarly, I could generate all the main picture pages using BBC BASIC if I had a text file containing all the captions.

The limitation would be that I wouldn't see the pages as I go along, there would be no way of displaying the end result on the Beeb. And I like to see each page as I've finished it, save-as the HTML file as the next one along, update the links, change the caption and continue. So it would be quite a different way of working.

There's a certain spontaneity with the current way of working as well, which I rather like. I don't review the pictures in advance, just make the index page and then get going with the individual main picture pages. As I am always several years behind taking the picture and writing it up, I can't always remember the circumstances of what was happening at the time. Sometimes I make a mistake because I can't recall what happened next, and occasionally I go back and edit a caption which is clearly wrong or out-of-sequence, but more often than not I leave it as it is and say later something like "remember when I said such a thing was going to happen, well look what really happened!"

So actually I would lose all that by having a system of auto-generating HTML pages.

I don't do much image manipulation, but even so it isn't something I could do on a Beeb. I either take a lot of photographs, or grab a lot of screenshots, and then select the best ones and sequence them into a picture set. The photographs I crop at the time, but I don't actually resize them until they are going to be uploaded. I do the cropping in Gthumb, a very old version which I have to wrangle back to life every time there is a Ubuntu distro update, and I do the resizing and generating the 200px wide index images using Phatch.

I very rarely do any other kind of manipulation. I used to be doing a lot of adjustment of brightness and contrast, but I don't do that any more. My cameras have got better and I think my photography has got better as well. Recently I had to edit a couple of pictures for the first time for a few years, just to blot out black marker pen on an item advertising the name, rank and number of its previous owner.

Recently for RISC PC screenshots I have started using !Snapper, and most of the time it will save a PNG format image directly to my network share, but there are some occasions (taking a screenshot via a keyboard shortcut when the Desktop isn't "active" for example) where it does it as an Acorn sprite file. I couldn't find a PC tool to convert sprite files to JPEG or PNG, even after a couple of promising false starts, so I have to use Acorn's own ChangeFSI instead. I was absolute amazed that there didn't appear to be any method of batch processing with ChangeFSI whether using the Desktop application or command line. Even a BASIC for-next loop didn't work, because the ChangeFSI code is actually BASIC itself, so it always overwrite the BASIC doing the loop when calling the ChangeFSI command! In the end I had to write some BASIC to create an Obey file and then exec the Obey file:
ChangeFSI3.png
ChangeFSI4.png
Image

paulb
Posts: 811
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:02 pm
Contact:

Re: Would it be possible to build website on a BBC Micro?

Post by paulb » Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:42 pm

BeebMaster wrote:I couldn't find a PC tool to convert sprite files to JPEG or PNG, even after a couple of promising false starts, so I have to use Acorn's own ChangeFSI instead.
davidb's Spritefile code should work for this: it's written in Python and provides some command line tools. It also provides an extension for The Gimp, but I'm not sure what the state of the Python interfacing is with that these days, and I seem to remember this being discussed here not that long ago.

User avatar
Pablos544
Posts: 332
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:25 pm
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: Would it be possible to build website on a BBC Micro?

Post by Pablos544 » Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:58 pm

Slightly OT now; I think I found the perfect setup for my website development work. :lol:

I use my PC just to do the actual typing up with my friend the iPad showing the resulting site. Here you can see I am working on a very tasteful yellow site at the moment. :lol:

The nice thing about it is how smoothly it flows. Windows 7 is just running a very efficient editor called VIM, which even upload stuff if you ask it nicely, so you can literally command everything from your keyboard where the ipad is displaying a mobile user's typical view of the website so you can get nice poitnters to where design might be becoming unusable on mobile devices. Nice to see my gadget doing some good =D>
Attachments
perfect-setup-001.jpg

Post Reply