BB4W themes?

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5against4
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BB4W themes?

Post by 5against4 » Fri 13 Jul 2018, 20:37

i'm sure this issue must have been discussed at some point – though a search on the current and previous fora hasn't yielded anything on it – but has there been any suggestion of offering different themes for BB4W? i know we can change the fonts and syntax colours, but i've never entirely made my peace with the bright white background.

Anyone know anything about this? i for one would love to have some options for this, particularly as it's a standard feature in all decent modern coding environments.

Zaphod
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Re: BB4W themes?

Post by Zaphod » Sat 14 Jul 2018, 03:20

Hi 5:4,

I don't recall that coming up. What you may not realize is that BB4W has been out of development for several years and the design is frozen, so I very much doubt if such a feature would ever be added. But the SDL versions are still being developed. As part of the package there are two IDE's that are written in BBC BASIC and the source provided so I would assume that you could customize one of those IDE's to be as you would wish. Take a look as one of those may be closer to what you want.
As BBC BASIC can be saved as a text file with the "bas" extension you could use any other dark themed coding environment of your choice as I am sure it would also be able to save as text. Then you could load that into the BB4W IDE only for test and compilation.

Z

Patrick M
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Re: BB4W themes?

Post by Patrick M » Sat 14 Jul 2018, 10:47

I think your best option is (assuming you're using windows 10) to apply windows's high contrast theme mode, and in bb4w set the text/syntax colours accordingly.

I have BB4W running on linux via wine with bright text on a dark background. One strange thing, though, is that I had to edit the registry to change the bb4w syntax/text colours, the menu option from bb4w didn't work, it's probably some bug or problem in wine.

I sometimes use the computer at night and have the same sort of requirement, so I modified SDLIDE so that the colors are inverted. I use the unmodified SDLIDE during daylight and my modified version during the night.

Here's a screenshot of how I have it set up: http://dusthillguy.ddns.net/folder/file ... olours.png

PM
Last edited by Patrick M on Tue 17 Jul 2018, 19:05, edited 1 time in total.

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5against4
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Re: BB4W themes?

Post by 5against4 » Tue 17 Jul 2018, 18:01

Patrick M wrote:
Sat 14 Jul 2018, 10:47
I think your best option…
Hmm, well i wouldn't exactly call that suggestion anything close to a 'solution' - but i admire your creativity in finding a way around the lack of built-in themes!

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5against4
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Re: BB4W themes?

Post by 5against4 » Tue 17 Jul 2018, 18:05

Zaphod wrote:
Sat 14 Jul 2018, 03:20
What you may not realize is that BB4W has been out of development for several years and the design is frozen…
No, i didn't realise that; i assumed that it was still being 'actively' managed by Richard Russell. That's a real shame; i've been tempted numerous times to abandon BB4W and switch to something else (such as Python) for my work, but for now i've stuck with it. But knowing it's developmentally defunct doesn't really inspire one to envisage continuing using it for the long term…

Patrick M
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Re: BB4W themes?

Post by Patrick M » Tue 17 Jul 2018, 19:42

5against4 wrote:
Tue 17 Jul 2018, 18:01
Patrick M wrote:
Sat 14 Jul 2018, 10:47
I think your best option…
Hmm, well i wouldn't exactly call that suggestion anything close to a 'solution' - but i admire your creativity in finding a way around the lack of built-in themes!
Why not?
No, i didn't realise that; i assumed that it was still being 'actively' managed by Richard Russell. That's a real shame; i've been tempted numerous times to abandon BB4W and switch to something else (such as Python) for my work, but for now i've stuck with it. But knowing it's developmentally defunct doesn't really inspire one to envisage continuing using it for the long term…
I also feel a bit uneasy about the future of BB4W and BBCSDL. At this point I've invested quite a bit of work into BB4W/BBCSDL-based utility programs and tools for my own personal use. If Richard were to completely disappear and stop releasing new versions of BBCSDL, I would be in trouble.

I'm not clear if he has plans to release source code for BBCSDL, but I hope he will eventually, because it would ensure that BBCSDL will continue to exist indefinitely. It would also mean that BBCSDL could be ported to/compiled on other operating systems that Richard may not be personally interested in, like OpenBSD or NetBSD or Haiku OS, which would be cool. I would like to be able to use my BBCSDL programs for a long time to come.

Don't misunderstand me, I have a lot of respect for Richard, and I think the work he's done on BBCSDL and BB4W is fantastic. I don't think anyone else would be able to do a better job. It just worries me that the future of BBCSDL is dependent on one single person.

Zaphod
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Re: BB4W themes?

Post by Zaphod » Tue 17 Jul 2018, 22:31

You seem to be reading a lot into what I said, so let me clarify what I believe the situation to be. BB4W IS still supported by Richard. Maintenance releases would probably occur if there were a need but there are no plans for any extension or changes to the language or IDE. Version 6.11a is the latest version and was a maintenance update issued exactly a year ago. There will be no 64 bit version of BB4W.
So long as 64 bit Windows versions still support the Win32 API then nothing has changed in the viability of programming using BB4W, nor would it should Richard not be available to continue support as this is a very mature product and as bug free as any software you will ever likely buy.

Richard has been very active developing BBCSDL as you can see by the releases and would like that to continue. He also expressed his willingness to release the source if the right person could be found with the necessary skills etc. to continue the work. I don't think you need jump ship just yet, there is more to come I am sure.
I believe that all this is in public statements on the various boards, but please correct ADMIN if my understanding is incorrect in any way.

Z

Patrick M
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Re: BB4W themes?

Post by Patrick M » Wed 18 Jul 2018, 17:15

Zaphod wrote:
Tue 17 Jul 2018, 22:31
He also expressed his willingness to release the source if the right person could be found with the necessary skills etc. to continue the work.
That still sounds a bit worrying to me. The fact that there's an "if", on its own, makes it sound uncertain. But that condition, that someone with necessary skills could be found to continue the work, sounds pretty unlikely to happen any time soon. It may also be a chicken and egg problem, maybe the people with the necessary skills won't show up until the source is available.

Of course it's entirely up to Richard what to do with his personal project, and whatever he chooses to do, I will respect that. But I still feel uneasy, as I see it there's a real chance that BBCSDL may stop being a viable choice at some point in the future (ie, if Richard totally disappears without releasing the source, and then if newer versions of Linux or the SDL library break binary compatibility, meaning that you'd have a choice between running a very old version of linux and having BBCSDL or running a modern version of linux and not having BBCSDL. Or if everyone ditches x86_64 and switches to RISC-V or some new CPU architecture... etc)

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