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[News] End of an Era: Last update of AmigaTalk (V2.7) uploaded to AminetANN.lu
Posted on 08-Oct-2004 07:10 GMT by Jim Steichen25 comments
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The last update of AmigaTalk (V2.7 - Smalltalk GUI) was uploaded to aminet (what's left of it). I dont' know when it will become available. If you really want it, contact me directly & arrange an upload. Horror of horrors! Jim Steichen, world-renowned Amiga programmer since 1986, is calling it quits & will no longer write programs for the Amiga or its successors. One would think that someone that's stuck with Amiga-brand PCs for close to twenty years would be willing to tough it out for another decade. Sadly this is not the case. Jim has written such great programs as Z80Simulator & ProgrammerAssist, which are entirely committed to the Intuition approach to programming in that they virtually need no documentation to explain how to use the GUI, unlike Windows (tm) programs which have gadgets/buttons that do different things under different circumstances (which is totally confusing). We're going to miss Jim's efforts to create programs & supply programming examples to the Amiga "Community" in the future.

We were graciously granted an interview in order to find out the whys & wherefores of this momentous decision:

Q: What finally drove you over the edge & precipitated this decision?
A: "Two words: INCREDIBLE FRUSTRATION! There's virtually no documentation on important parts of OS3.9, let alone OS4.0! Also, Hyperion chose to use the gcc compiler in their SDK (along with vbcc), neither of which has a GUI-type of debugger for them. Since a programmer spends more time debugging a program than writing it, one would think that a great debugger would be mand- atory for any compiler, especially a C compiler. You only have to look at the long list of programming languages that work on the Amiga & compare it to the number of these compiler/interpreters that have any kind of debugging ability to realize that it's obvioulsy much easier to write a programming language than a debugger."

Q: Will you continue to support the programs that you've already written?
A: "First I would ask, Has anyone done anything to support my efforts? I've received a total of three emails over the years about my software, & these were all bugfix requests. I never expected to get rich programming for the Amiga & I've not been disappointed. I have yet to receive a dime from 18 years of effort. That said, I will send out source code to anyone that asks for it (assuming it's not already posted on aminet). That's as far as I'm going to go."

Q: What is your best program, the one you're most proud of?
A: "That would have to be AmigaTalk (C). It's a GUI environment for the Little Smalltalk V1.0 interpreter. It's also the one I've spent the most time on."

Q: Where can other frustrated Amiga users find your great software?
A: "You can still access my programs at my Website, just click on the Amiga boing ball. Alternatively, you can find most of my programs on Aminet (what's left of it)."

Q: What are you going to do with your Amiga hardware?
A: "I'm going to continue to use the AmigaOne for surfing the internet & playing with Linux, which has a more promising future than AmigaOS 4.0."

Q: What are you going to do with all of your free time that was devoted to Amiga programming?
A: "I'm going to get back into researching & developing electronic hardware for human development such as R.E.M. monitors, consciousness altering devices, etc."

Q: Any last thoughts?
A: "I will be monitoring the Amiga scene from time to time, but I really do not see how it will ever become as good as it was in the 80's. Best of luck guys & gals."

So there you have it folks. A scathing indictment of the computer programming profession, especially as it relates to the Amiga. We can only wonder if MicroSoft will come to their senses before it's too late. Also Hyperion & whoever is really in charge of the Amiga franchise. Tsk, tsk.

End of an Era: Last update of AmigaTalk (V2.7) uploaded to Aminet : Comment 1 of 25ANN.lu
Posted by Peter Gordon (212.104.156.42) on 08-Oct-2004 07:45 GMT
Well, I've never heard of you or your software, which might be why I've never emailed you or sent any money to you. Also, having looked at the list of software on your site, i'm sure they're great programs, but I don't have any use for any of them at all. I'm sure they're probably well written, and that people out there are using them. I do empathise, getting feedback for Amiga software, even if you know people are using it, is like getting blood from a stone. If I was programming Amiga software for feedback or money, I'd have stopped a long time ago. I program the Amiga because I really like doing it. I enjoy programming for AmigaOS more so than any of the other systems I've programmed for (Windows, Linux, Gameboy, C64, Spectrum, TOS, and a few others).

What you have to remember about OS4 is that its a new system. Just because there isn't a graphical IDE and debugger right now doesn't mean that will always be the case. OS4 has a port of GDB, a very powerful debugger, and one for which a GUI *CAN* be written.

By the way, if you really do spend more time in the debugger than programming the software, maybe you should try not to make so many mistakes to start with ;-)
End of an Era: Last update of AmigaTalk (V2.7) uploaded to Aminet : Comment 2 of 25ANN.lu
Posted by Coder (202.129.2.4) on 08-Oct-2004 09:03 GMT
I do agree on the docs part. But then again so far it has been a pre-release so I understand the part of the info was not done 100%. Everything will come. In the next update the SDK will contain more. And more will follow. Not a good idea to jump out now. You will come back! :-)

Coder
End of an Era: Last update of AmigaTalk (V2.7) uploaded to Aminet : Comment 3 of 25ANN.lu
Posted by Crumb // AAT (Registered user) on 08-Oct-2004 09:27 GMT
you may try to write a GUI for the debugger... It may be fun :-)

When I started to learn reaction I realized that reactor didn't suit my needs and started to write xml2reaction :-)
End of an Era: Last update of AmigaTalk (V2.7) uploaded to Aminet : Comment 4 of 25ANN.lu
Posted by Peter Gordon (212.104.156.42) on 08-Oct-2004 09:33 GMT
In reply to Comment 3 (Crumb // AAT):
Hows that going, btw? Is that a convert once and compile method, or on the fly?

On the fly could be pretty cool.. Program A loads PROGDIR:programagui.xml and builds a reaction interface on the fly. That way, if a user says "Hmmm.. I don't like the layout", he can tinker with the XML and customise the app.
End of an Era: Last update of AmigaTalk (V2.7) uploaded to Aminet : Comment 5 of 25ANN.lu
Posted by Crumb // AAT (Registered user) on 08-Oct-2004 09:48 GMT
In reply to Comment 4 (Peter Gordon):
It creates the C source code, mostly because there's always people who complain about code not being optimal etc...

creating the reaction gui on the fly would be similar to what AWNPIPE does, but with xml code, wouldn't it?

my main doubt is how to interface it in a standard way with C sources, the idea of this program came when I read about XAML and XUL, I thought that it may be cool to have something like that or maybe something compatible.


I haven't touched the sources for a month or so... I was trying to make it more modular, with each class being an xml file, so the result code won't be hardcoded inside my sources and anyone will be able to modify the classes (or add new ones). The syntax would be user definable too.

The current source code is quite dirty (specially the main file, but adding new classes only requires to change one line in the main file, add some definitions in the main header and add the class to the include class directory. OS4 code generation is supported but not tested much coz I don't have it), that's mostly the reason I don't want to release the sources yet. Anyway I know you have experience with Reaction and it would be a honour for me to work in this project with you (yeah, this is an invitation) :-)
End of an Era: Last update of AmigaTalk (V2.7) uploaded to Aminet : Comment 6 of 25ANN.lu
Posted by itix (130.234.189.82) on 08-Oct-2004 09:56 GMT
"Hyperion chose to use the gcc compiler in their SDK (along with vbcc), neither of which has a GUI-type of debugger for them." But what other compilers are out there? NONE. MorphOS uses GCC and VBCC as well, there is nothing else left.
End of an Era: Last update of AmigaTalk (V2.7) uploaded to Aminet : Comment 7 of 25ANN.lu
Posted by itix (130.234.189.82) on 08-Oct-2004 09:57 GMT
In reply to Comment 2 (Coder):
"And more will follow. Not a good idea to jump out now. You will come back! :-)" Unfortunately developer mailing lists are slowly draining...
End of an Era: Last update of AmigaTalk (V2.7) uploaded to Aminet : Comment 8 of 25ANN.lu
Posted by priest (Registered user) on 08-Oct-2004 10:37 GMT
In reply to Comment 6 (itix):
Right.

I doubt it would have been worth it to post pone AOS4 developer release months (year?s?) untill GUI equipped tools are ready.
End of an Era: Last update of AmigaTalk (V2.7) uploaded to Aminet : Comment 9 of 25ANN.lu
Posted by miksuh (195.148.82.17) on 08-Oct-2004 12:29 GMT
Gdb maybe does not have a gui, but it's much better debugger than any other currenmtly available for the Amiga. If there would be GUI for it would be even better ofcourse, but who knows sooner or later there might be gdb with GUI for the OS4.
End of an Era: Last update of AmigaTalk (V2.7) uploaded to Aminet : Comment 10 of 25ANN.lu
Posted by miksuh (195.148.82.17) on 08-Oct-2004 12:34 GMT
In reply to Comment 8 (priest):
Well most of us can use gdb and gcc from the commandline whitout any problem. I actually prefer commandline style, and so do many Linux developers too. Not all use IDE systems in Linux.

So i don't think GUI based tools should have so big priority, it would be good to have those someday ofcourse.
End of an Era: Last update of AmigaTalk (V2.7) uploaded to Aminet : Comment 11 of 25ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous (80.133.135.136) on 08-Oct-2004 12:37 GMT
In reply to Comment 9 (miksuh):
> Gdb maybe does not have a gui, but it's much better debugger than any other currenmtly available for the Amiga

You think so?! Codeprobe for SAS/C is very nice and the StormC debugger looks great and then there is Barfly, too (of these I've only used the SAS/C debugbger). Frankly, I can not imagine a command line tool being "a much better debugger" than these programs.
End of an Era: Last update of AmigaTalk (V2.7) uploaded to Aminet : Comment 12 of 25ANN.lu
Posted by miksuh (195.148.82.17) on 08-Oct-2004 12:42 GMT
In reply to Comment 6 (itix):
Yep. And GCC is wery popular mainstream compiler, so it's development will not stop. I think it's good to have standard widely supported compiler like GCC. Ofcourse VBCC is a wery good compiler too, but it's future is not quite as clear.
End of an Era: Last update of AmigaTalk (V2.7) uploaded to Aminet : Comment 13 of 25ANN.lu
Posted by miksuh (195.148.82.17) on 08-Oct-2004 12:46 GMT
In reply to Comment 11 (Anonymous):
Nice loking GUI is not exactly the most important part of the debugger. What matters is how powerful the debugger is and how much it has features. You really should not underestimate the power and flexibility of gdb just because it does not have a GUI.
End of an Era: Last update of AmigaTalk (V2.7) uploaded to Aminet : Comment 14 of 25ANN.lu
Posted by James Carroll (210.86.92.197) on 08-Oct-2004 12:49 GMT
I've had a lot of feedback about WookieChat, and a few donations too. I think you need to ask for money on your site otherwise no one will bother.
End of an Era: Last update of AmigaTalk (V2.7) uploaded to Aminet : Comment 15 of 25ANN.lu
Posted by Coder (Registered user) on 08-Oct-2004 13:56 GMT
In reply to Comment 7 (itix):
Give it some time and we will see some more action.

Coder
End of an Era: Last update of AmigaTalk (V2.7) uploaded to Aminet : Comment 16 of 25ANN.lu
Posted by James Carroll (210.86.92.197) on 08-Oct-2004 14:20 GMT
In reply to Comment 15 (Coder):
Coder hasnt seen any action in a long time I take it. :D
End of an Era: Last update of AmigaTalk (V2.7) uploaded to Aminet : Comment 17 of 25ANN.lu
Posted by Jon (82.128.191.234) on 08-Oct-2004 15:14 GMT
Jim, what's wrong with GCC? It's the only C++ supporting modern compiler for AmigaOS. Lots of code are written with GCC, so it should be also a "portable", standard solution. My personal favourite is light and small VBCC.

About documentation. I think Hyperion is doing a good work on the SDK. Just wait for the update. What do you need to know, meanwhile?
End of an Era: Last update of AmigaTalk (V2.7) uploaded to Aminet : Comment 18 of 25ANN.lu
Posted by Coder (Registered user) on 08-Oct-2004 15:14 GMT
In reply to Comment 16 (James Carroll):
:-) Snoozing at my bedroom window?

Coder
End of an Era: Last update of AmigaTalk (V2.7) uploaded to Aminet : Comment 19 of 25ANN.lu
Posted by MarkTime (67.106.203.98) on 08-Oct-2004 17:41 GMT
this is the first I've heard of this guy...if he wanted feedback, he should have talked a bit...just dumping something to aminet hasn't been a good way fo getting attention for a 5 years, maybe longer.

I bet his site got a lot of hits today....oh well, always they figure it out, 'too late'.

but while I'm sorry amiga won't get another version of smalltalk...well. we'll find a way to survive.
End of an Era: Last update of AmigaTalk (V2.7) uploaded to Aminet : Comment 20 of 25ANN.lu
Posted by itix (130.234.189.82) on 08-Oct-2004 23:31 GMT
In reply to Comment 15 (Coder):
"Give it some time and we will see some more action." I hope so, but amiga-c mailing list has been very quiet. Year 2004 is slower than year 2003, which was slower than year 2002, which was slower than year 2001, which was slower than year 2000... I have to admit I never tried AmigaTalk, or never heard of that developer, but saying "you probably come back soon" is self-deception. They are not coming back.
End of an Era: Last update of AmigaTalk (V2.7) uploaded to Aminet : Comment 21 of 25ANN.lu
Posted by Arteck (82.48.139.6) on 09-Oct-2004 01:34 GMT
In reply to Comment 20 (itix):
Plase don't leave Amiga :-(
End of an Era: Last update of AmigaTalk (V2.7) uploaded to Aminet : Comment 22 of 25ANN.lu
Posted by Jim Steichen (67.137.101.182) on 12-Oct-2004 06:42 GMT
Here's an example of this supposedly great SDK we received:
How do you add patches (which are available for gdb & gcc) when there is no
patch program in SDK:c/ nor in gcc/bin? If these patches are self installing,
Why is this not documented anywhere? Also, since the AmigaOS4 update has been
applied to my AmigaOne, the SDK:c/make & gdb programs now get harvested by the grim reaper! Some update.
\
End of an Era: Last update of AmigaTalk (V2.7) uploaded to Aminet : Comment 23 of 25ANN.lu
Posted by Alfred Schwarz (80.128.183.115) on 12-Oct-2004 11:02 GMT
In reply to Comment 22 (Jim Steichen):
A working make command is available at http://os4depot.net/ and you will there find a patch command too.

Ciao, Alfred
End of an Era: Last update of AmigaTalk (V2.7) uploaded to Aminet : Comment 24 of 25ANN.lu
Posted by Jim Steichen (67.137.101.182) on 13-Oct-2004 02:35 GMT
In reply to Comment 23 (Alfred Schwarz):
I did get a working make program, so now the question is how do you debug the
debugger?
End of an Era: Last update of AmigaTalk (V2.7) uploaded to Aminet : Comment 25 of 25ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous (144.138.154.12) on 14-Oct-2004 20:54 GMT
Hyperion have not exactly been very supportive of developers. If they really wanted to get people coding for the platform, they would release the 4.0 NDK as a free download. Seems a logical step.

Surely you can still use StormC and/or SAS/C under OS4.0? It's supposed to be backwards-compatible isn't it!?
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