CP/M text Editor Required

discussion of beeb/electron applications, languages, utils and educational s/w
Post Reply
torrind
Posts: 82
Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:57 pm
Location: Bristol
Contact:

CP/M text Editor Required

Post by torrind » Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:43 am

Hi All,

Can anyone suggest a really good CP/M text editor for the BBC please? ED for me is completely unusable and I'm currently using VDE - unfortunately I have to load STEM as a ROM and invoke VT52 emulation before I can use the editor (it also uses fiddly CTRL cmds to navigate and use the editor)

I've tried other editors but they're either too complex to install, have too many dependancies and just don't work.

Basically I'd like a nice simple text editor which runs with no other dependancies and is easy to navigate :) (If such exists)

Any suggestions most welcome.

Thank you.

Darren

Coeus
Posts: 1080
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:05 am
Contact:

Re: CP/M text Editor Required

Post by Coeus » Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:45 pm

torrind wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:43 am
...ED for me is completely unusable...
I remember thinking that, back in the day. Then, I didn't understand why "they" (Digital Research) thought a line editor was a good idea but at that age I didn't have a sense of how fast progress in computing had been and that when CP/M was designed having a VDU rather than a hard-copy terminal was a luxury and, if you did have one, there was no standard as to how to control it so a line editor is what would work equally badly on all installations. Most other OSes that date back that far have them too, each with their own quirks.
torrind wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:43 am
...and I'm currently using VDE - unfortunately I have to load STEM as a ROM and invoke VT52 emulation before I can use the editor (it also uses fiddly CTRL cmds to navigate and use the editor)
As there was no standard for full-screen control in CP/M each system either had a real external terminal or emulated one internally so full-screen programs would always have to use some kind of terminal control codes. This is actually very similar to the way the BBC VDU drivers work - effectively they are a kind of terminal - one that happens to have codes for drawing graphics etc. as well as moving the cursor around.

CP/M programs generally had an area which could be patched with the codes for the particular terminal/emulator your system had. If VDE has an area such as this, and you can find the documentation on how to patch it, you could patch in the BBC VDU codes in place of the VT52 ones and then it should run with no extra support ROMS.

As for the keystokes, there is a *FX (I can't remember the number) to turn the cursor/editing keys into programmable functions keys like f0-f10. If you do that, you should be able to use *KEY to program the unmemorable control codes into keys that make more sense.

I have briefly played with VEDIT but I think this is another editor from the same mould. This was how things were done, then. It was only when targetting a program at specific hardware (like the BBC or an IBM PC) that fancy full-screen stuff became easy.
Last edited by Coeus on Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
jgharston
Posts: 3248
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:22 am
Location: Whitby/Sheffield
Contact:

Re: CP/M text Editor Required

Post by jgharston » Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:10 pm

I've used, I think it was, WordStar. You need to run a config program to set the VDU control characters, eg UP=CHR$11, cursor=CHR$31,X+0,Y+0, etc.

Code: Select all

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

Coeus
Posts: 1080
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:05 am
Contact:

Re: CP/M text Editor Required

Post by Coeus » Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:16 pm

Further to my last post, here is a disc (in Acorn CP/M format, so ready to go on Z80 2nd proc) with VDE configured for the BBC micro, i.e. I have been through the installation program and set up the terminal control sequences to be the BBC VDU sequences. The other half of the picture, i.e. making the arrow keys work normally is easily achieved with the following:

Code: Select all

*FX 4,2
*KEY 12 |S
*KEY 13 |D
*KEY 14 |X
*KEY 15 |E
If you want to execute these from CP/M you need to replace the '*' with 'STAR'. STAR is a .COM file on the CP/M boot disc that passes the rest of the command line over the tube just like * would in BASIC.
Attachments
cpm_vde.zip
VDE Configured for BBC
(130.42 KiB) Downloaded 13 times

Coeus
Posts: 1080
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:05 am
Contact:

Re: CP/M text Editor Required

Post by Coeus » Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:20 pm

The other thing I forgot to suggest is that all the other obscure commands can be programmed into function keys with *KEY and you could make a keystrip with a suitable legend. To set up some things ready for running VDE for the first time in any one session you can always place the commands in a SUBMIT file - this is the CP/M equivalent of a *EXEC file or DOS batch file.

torrind
Posts: 82
Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:57 pm
Location: Bristol
Contact:

Re: CP/M text Editor Required

Post by torrind » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:47 pm

Coeus -

Superb effort here. Thank you for taking the time and trouble to post. I'll give it all a go and see how I get on.

Really appreciate the time you've taken to explain.

Thankyou

Darren

User avatar
jgharston
Posts: 3248
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:22 am
Location: Whitby/Sheffield
Contact:

Re: CP/M text Editor Required

Post by jgharston » Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:49 pm

Coeus wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:16 pm
Further to my last post, here is a disc (in Acorn CP/M format, so ready to go on Z80 2nd proc) with VDE configured for the BBC micro,
Note that that attached file is actually a sequential image, which usually has a .ssd extension, not an interleaved image as suggested by the .dsd extension.

Code: Select all

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

torrind
Posts: 82
Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:57 pm
Location: Bristol
Contact:

Re: CP/M text Editor Required

Post by torrind » Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:58 pm

Ahhh that explains why I couldn't read the file.

Changed to .ssd and all works now!

User avatar
jgharston
Posts: 3248
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:22 am
Location: Whitby/Sheffield
Contact:

Re: CP/M text Editor Required

Post by jgharston » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:10 pm

Ooo, and it doesn't like text lines terminated with LFs. I should update the text files on my CPM disks that slipped through.

Code: Select all

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

torrind
Posts: 82
Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:57 pm
Location: Bristol
Contact:

Re: CP/M text Editor Required

Post by torrind » Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:20 pm

I have to say that the support I've received regarding the thread has been outstanding!

My problem has been completely resolved. I'm now using the version of VDE supplied by Coeus and using the *key commands, I have now mapped the control buttons to the cursor keys! and most importantly no more loading a rom and running additional VT commands! now far too simple to setup :)

As always, StarDot delivers =D>

<awww bugger it, I'm starting to tear up :roll: >

Darren

Post Reply