TNT Basic Forums > Programming Q&A
Step Through?
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12-26-2002 18:14

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Is there a way to step through code one step at a time and view the results in real time? I know how to print real time variables on screen but would like to watch the code as it steps through the code. Is there a way to do this? If not is that somethiing that my be coming in a future upgrade?

12-26-2002 23:28

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Mark Tully

TNT HQ, England

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What you're basically talking about is a debugger. A debugger is an amazingly useful tool which so far very few people have asked about.

It's not a trivial extension to TNT Basic, and isn't likely to appear soon, but we tend to gather the feelings from the forums before developing any new feature so opinions on this would be welcome.

Other non-trivial long term goals of TNT Basic are:

* Object orientated extensions (classes, structures)
* Removal of the 16Mb file size limit
* Meta compiler (faster execution)
* Windows compatibility
* 3D support
and of course...
* Debugger

Like I said, each of these is a big job, but it would be interesting to see which are most in demand so any opinions on these goals would be welcome - especially with view to their relative importance.



12-27-2002 01:10

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OK, is there a way to code a pause and then hit a key to go on from where you paused and then on to the next pause etc. etc. Escape starts you over from the beginning again?
Doesn't it?

12-27-2002 02:05

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For the record here is how I would list these as important to me:

1 - Debugger
2 - Removal of the 16Mb file size limit
3 - Meta compiler (faster execution)
4 - Object orientated extensions (classes, structures)
5 - 3D support

No desire for:
Windows compatibility

12-27-2002 02:26

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Pause code

Oops! Right after I posted last I realized I could use; "wait mouse click". That works fine when I'm using the print command to check some variables at various points in my code. I'm pretty much a see it and learn kinda guy. I'm trying to get the concept of "arrays" and passing parameters down. Watching the progess of the passed variables helped me a lot. I sure like this forum, I feel safe in posting questions here. Others I have visited make one feel stupid for asking questions. Thanks again for the help.

12-27-2002 07:38

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Danlab games

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for me the best thing to do is:

>> add a 256 colors mode for 50fps scrolling
(i think its faster copy in memory 8bits than 16bits.. ;-))

>> add a window mode.. a lot of people want play my game in a window and not full screen

>> play quitime movie and load file from external file

.. that's all..

12-27-2002 09:00

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You asked for it...


I don't think a Interpreter language does need a debugger - instead it should work the following way: If you are running in the Interpreter (means: not a compiled version) whenever you press the ESC key, the console pops up. In this console you should be able to enter standard commands and you should have access to all global & local variables. Other BASIC derivates did also have 'Pause' commands which stopped the execution and did bring you into the console (a 'Resume' entered in the console did continue the execution).
So, instead of a debugger (which is a good tool for browsing through a compiled code) I would like to have a full working console.

Regarding the 'object-oriented coding': I, for myself, would prefer to have real functions which return values directly. This would clean up the code a lot. If I really would like to program object-oriented I would take something else than BASIC.

Other things on my wishlist:
A higher execution speed (Meta Compiler or even better: a real Compiler!).
A Windows mode would also be a good thing (a lot of my friends have those strange machines).
Getting rid of the 16 MB limitation - Yeah.

Ciao, Heiko.

12-27-2002 15:55

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Console Debugger

I guess my original topic got sidetracked into a wish list. :>)
But following up;
On checking variables while running code, I found that if I use the Print command:
Print "Y= ";y
Print "X= ";x
or Print "lickX[atParticle+loop]= ";lickX[atParticle+loop]

the console appears and shows real time variables running.
"Escape", pauses the console so I can scroll through to see what's happening. After clicking on pause in the menu bar it takes up where I left off until I hit escape again. Escape+quit takes me all the way out but doesn't quit Hieroglyph. That's good!:>)
The graphics run behind the console screen, which brings me to a wish. I wish the console screen could be smaller and movable while running, so I could see the graphics as the varibles change in the console.As it is now the console screen takes up 80% of the screen. It can be sized in pause mode but then returns to full size when running. Let me set the size and position before running it.

12-27-2002 16:55

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Correction on last Post

After hitting escape and scolling through the console, you are not returned to where you left off. I was using the "Torch" sample and after clicking "Pause" I was sent back to the graphic screen without seeing the console again. I had to repost because there is no editing feature on this forum. Another side-light if you want the console to slow down, simply put in a counting "for loop" before the "Print" command. I know, you already knew that. :>)

Maybe others can share how they debug a program in TNT. Or how they learn how it runs. Like I said I'm a visual person and learn by seeing what's happening.

12-27-2002 20:15

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windowsMode != Micro$oft Window OS support

M$indows less than a fan, perhaps cross compatibility
(data files and an EXE file for windows, a tidy 9/X package for Mac) of compiled games but Windows version...not really it'll lead to the painstaking porting of exsiting functions and the slowdow of continued development...and essentially lopsided evolution/progress of TNT.

useage of Package technology to house resources which could be processed(renamed by type and id number, like "exploding glass" becomes 'sfil129')

WindowMode collapsing, dragging, resizing,floating(definite plus for simple games)...most games that get produced aen't meant to be the next blockbuster 'put Quake/Doom/UnReal in their place', 'know your role', 'end all be all' feature.

The debugger is a nice idea, especially if its accurate (who remembers coding COBOL...shiver)

3d support is nice(for now i'm just prerendering...which results in bloated analog-esque project size.)

12-28-2002 01:56

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my ranking of the list

- object-oriented extensions
structs at least are a must - classes would be great as well.

- debugger
as the name suggests, this is GREAT for finding bugs :)

- bytecode compilation / metacompiler
speed is GOOD - especially for a game-oriented tool.

- window mode
its quite annoying to have a fullscreen game that really should be in a window. for instance, i have a risk game that i got from versiontracker. It's written in flash and is full screen, taking up 1024x768. Risk does NOT need fullscreen...heck, ColorRisk on a Mac Plus with that small screen ( 532x3xx ? ) fit into a window...

- 256 color mode
as suggested by danlab - would be great for speeding it up on my old Mac ;)

- removal of the 16MB filesize limit
not something I'm that worried about right now, but it would be good for projects with lots of music, high quality graphics, etc.

- Windows95/98/NT compatibility
Always nice to be able to show your games off to your friends who don't have Macs...this has a great potential to be buggy, however

01-05-2003 03:03

Posted by:
Ashlin Aronin

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I think 3-D and classes are at the top of my list.

01-06-2003 18:34

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debugger? yes please!

I just downloaded TNT a couple of days ago and am struggling with my first game to try it out. So far I am very impressed with the design and ease of use of the language and DE, although I wish I could divide my code into more than one file, like in C. I presume there's a good reason why separate code files aren't possible, is there?

The function pop-up menu behaves strangely on my TiBook (initially empty but for a downward-pointing scroll arrow, and I only get to the list of functions when I scroll down - a bit slow and awkward. Also, I hit the dock and pop that up accidentally when I'm aiming for the function pop-up, which is a pain. I'd prefer it up the top and easier to hit accurately as in BBEdit).

A debugger is certainly at the top of my wish-list already, although I'll have a go at printing variables to the screen or console and see how that works. Having never programmed in BASIC before (or any interpreted language, for that matter), I'm all at sea. I'm used to C/C++ and everything seems backwards :-( but I suppose I'll get used to it...

The ability to run games within a window sounds good. Then maybe you could log variables to the console output and keep an eye on them in real time as well as being able to step through if you wish...

Not interested in M$ compatibility for the same reasons as others have given above, and am not qualified to comment on the other issues yet...:-)

I still can't get over how easy it is to put a (more or less) working game together in a few hours, even when you are a beginner and don't know the language or DE. Very intuitive set-up. I only downloaded it to see if it would be suitable for teaching my 10 yr old son programming while I concentrate on getting to grips with Objective C for OSX, but I think I'm hooked myself...and I don't even play computer games...

looking forward to input polling and more speed on OSX...

Erica in Australia

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