CPCWiki forum

General Category => Applications => Topic started by: Ygdrazil on 15:47, 17 March 09

Title: COMAL80
Post by: Ygdrazil on 15:47, 17 March 09
Hi!

This i probably mostly a request to danish users of this forum..

Is there anybody out there that has a copy of the programming language Comal80 for the CPC.

I know (from memory - but this might be flawed by time  ::) )  that there existed a CPC version distributed on rom and disk of Comal80. It was released by a Danish company, which name I have forgotten(Dalgas something) The main reason for the release was that Comal80 was used in Danish public schools as an introductory language for programming in the 80s. There also was a version for the Commodore 64.

Comal80 was a (interpreted) programming language that resembled both Pascal and Basic. Basic was easy to learn but lacked the more structured programming paradigm approach that was present in Pascal. Therefore the mixture of Basic and Pascal.

I have not been able to find anything about the Amstrad CPC version.

Could be interesting to have though :-)

/Ygdrazil

Links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COMAL (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COMAL)

The CPCWIKI actually holds a reference to COMAL for the CPC:

http://cpcwiki.eu/index.php/Arbeitsbuch_COMAL (http://../index.php/Arbeitsbuch_COMAL)

And no its not the CP/M version i am remembering  ;D
Title: Re: COMAL80
Post by: mr_lou on 22:09, 17 March 09
I think I might have a copy on tape somewhere. I seem to recall having it somewhere, but I never used it. The tape might be gone though, but I'll look for it and get back to you.
Title: Re: COMAL80
Post by: Ygdrazil on 00:23, 18 March 09
Would be mighty nice, with a dump of the tape version!  ;D

I have done a bit more research..

In Amstradbladet 1985, issue 6 there is an article about Comal 80 (The Amstrad Comal 80 school), where some features of Comal 80 for the Amstrad CPC is described. The article also mentions the price of both the tape and disc version, and that a ROM version of Comal 80 is in the works by a guy called Freddy Dalgas Kristiansen.

http://cpcwiki.eu/index.php/Amstradbladet_1985%2C_Issue_6 (http://../index.php/Amstradbladet_1985%2C_Issue_6)

/Ygdrazil

I think I might have a copy on tape somewhere. I seem to recall having it somewhere, but I never used it. The tape might be gone though, but I'll look for it and get back to you.
Title: Re: COMAL80
Post by: mr_lou on 20:35, 18 March 09
Hm, bad news. I found the tape but it has a Read error a. :-/
Title: Re: COMAL80
Post by: Gryzor on 08:47, 19 March 09
Ah shame... Aren't there any techniques to remedy that?
Title: Re: COMAL80
Post by: Ygdrazil on 10:16, 19 March 09
Hmmm crap. I think as Gryzor suggests, that there is a way to remove the error from the tape. The process involves something like recording the tape into a wav file and then edit it...

I remember back in the days that a Read Error A was a rather fatal message to get, while a Read Error B could be corrected by eg. adjusting the azimuth. Is it only Read Error B that can be removed from sound tracks.

I have to find out eventually, as I plan to transfer my 200+  tapes someday (and the tapes quality will not improve over time)  :(

/Ygdrazil
 
Hm, bad news. I found the tape but it has a Read error a. :-/
Title: Re: COMAL80
Post by: mr_lou on 13:09, 19 March 09
I remember back in the days that a Read Error A was a rather fatal message to get, while a Read Error B could be corrected by eg. adjusting the azimuth. Is it only Read Error B that can be removed from sound tracks.

That's true. I've never ever been able to fix a Read error a.  :-[
Title: Re: COMAL80
Post by: Gryzor on 19:42, 19 March 09
Indeed I seem to remember a tutorial of some sort. I think that read a's come from distorted tape and such, so theoretically you could adjust the sound. But given that every peak represents a byte, I guess it's quite hard to get it right...
Title: Re: COMAL80
Post by: Ygdrazil on 09:54, 20 March 09
My knowledge about restoring old tape recordings is more or less non existant ;D

I think to recall that the difference between Read Error A's and B's was that if a Read Error B occured meant that the datacarrier frequency signal is present, but the data signal could not be decoded (The clearity of this data signal could then be adjusted using the azimuth).

A Read Error A was more fatal as it represented a missing datacarrier signal ie. a gap in the data. I think one could fix a Read Error A, with the method of editing the wav file, unfourtunatly this would involve some guesswork as to what data should be put in the gap, almost certenly ending up with a corrupted version of Comal80.

Interesting subject though, this also should have its own article in the WIKI  :D
 
/Ygdrazil

Indeed I seem to remember a tutorial of some sort. I think that read a's come from distorted tape and such, so theoretically you could adjust the sound. But given that every peak represents a byte, I guess it's quite hard to get it right...
Title: Re: COMAL80
Post by: Gryzor on 10:01, 20 March 09
On this issue: do tape-based loaders in general, and Amstrad ones in particular, contain verification and self-fixing data? I guess you know what I mean, like other media (magnetic tapes, CDs or zip/rar files) that make use of checksums and redundant data to rebuild damaged bits and bytes?
Title: Re: COMAL80
Post by: mr_lou on 10:24, 21 March 09
Good news. I found another tape that was working, and have copied the files onto a DSK. (I don't know how to make a CDT).
Here ya go.
Title: Re: COMAL80
Post by: Ygdrazil on 10:30, 21 March 09
Good work, Mr. Lou!  ;D

I cant wait to try it out! Any chance of uploading it to the WIKI?

/Ygdrazil

Good news. I found another tape that was working, and have copied the files onto a DSK. (I don't know how to make a CDT).
Here ya go.
Title: Re: COMAL80
Post by: Gryzor on 10:46, 21 March 09
Oh wow, indeed, can we upload it? This is so obscure...
Title: Re: COMAL80
Post by: mr_lou on 12:40, 21 March 09
Oh wow, indeed, can we upload it? This is so obscure...

Um, are you asking me? You can do whatever you want with it. It's not mine as such, and I doubt anyone will care about the copyright notice after 24 years.
Title: Re: COMAL80
Post by: Devilmarkus on 12:52, 21 March 09
Nice to see this dumped DSK!

I also added it to CPC-Live website to code directly in browsers:
follow this link (http://cpc-live.com/javacpc.php?system=CPC6128&disc=comal80.zip&title=Comal%2080&full=true&boot=comal80&menu=true)

Have fun!

(It autoboots, you can use your own DSK then, if Comal80 has loaded)

Edit: you can also download it now from http://cpc-live.com (look @ news)
Title: Re: COMAL80
Post by: Gryzor on 10:46, 22 March 09
Um, are you asking me? You can do whatever you want with it. It's not mine as such, and I doubt anyone will care about the copyright notice after 24 years.

It's not an issue of copyright, I'm asking for your permission since you're the one who dumped it. Trying to follow some sort of protocol :)
Title: Re: COMAL80
Post by: akj on 18:50, 29 July 09
I have translated almost all of the CPC Comal80 program from Danish to English, especially the error messages.
If someone will tell me how to upload the revised .DSK file to this forum, I will do so.

Has anyone any documentation for the CPC Comal 80?
I need some help on how to use the keywords that do not appear in Open Comal especially:
CODE, DISCARD, DISPLAY, EMPTY$, FIND, FREE, GET$, KEY$, LINK, MOUNT, PROTECT, PUT, RAND, REPORT, RND, SIZE, TIMER, TIMES, USE, USER

Many thanks if you can help.

Anthony Jordan
Title: Re: COMAL80
Post by: CPCLER on 20:30, 29 July 09
Hi AKJ
 
I am not a specialist on Comal80, actually when Comal80 was at its peak in the 80's I did'nt give it much notice - I was busy doing Pascal or assembler and for me Locomotive basic was sufficient as an interpreted language. However I remember having the Comal80 manual, so I guess that the manual is still on the attic in a box. I will try to dig it out and do a scan of it.
 
Please do upload the translated version of comal80 to the CPCWIKI. I think that an article on comal80 is in progress.. and your translation is surely a new angle on comal80 for the CPC.
 
/CPCLER
 
 
I have translated almost all of the CPC Comal80 program from Danish to English, especially the error messages.
If someone will tell me how to upload the revised .DSK file to this forum, I will do so.

Has anyone any documentation for the CPC Comal 80?
I need some help on how to use the keywords that do not appear in Open Comal especially:
CODE, DISCARD, DISPLAY, EMPTY$, FIND, FREE, GET$, KEY$, LINK, MOUNT, PROTECT, PUT, RAND, REPORT, RND, SIZE, TIMER, TIMES, USE, USER

Many thanks if you can help.

Anthony Jordan
Title: Re: COMAL80
Post by: akj on 20:43, 29 July 09
@CPCLER:

Many thanks for your helpful reply ... but ... I do not know HOW to upload a file to the CPCWIKI.  Can someone please give me a step-by-step procedure on the way to do it?

Anthony Jordan

                                                          
Title: Re: COMAL80
Post by: CPCLER on 21:00, 29 July 09
Hi ..
 
You need to register on the CPCWIKI..  ;)
 
When you login on the CPCWIKI a upload option will appear in the bottum left...
 
That should do it
 
/CPCLER
 
@CPCLER:

Many thanks for your helpful reply ... but ... I do not know HOW to upload a file to the CPCWIKI.  Can someone please give me a step-by-step procedure on the way to do it?

Anthony Jordan
Title: Re: COMAL80
Post by: Gryzor on 21:22, 29 July 09
Heya mate! If you attach the file here I can do it myself :)
Title: Re: COMAL80
Post by: akj on 23:35, 29 July 09
I have (hopefully) uploaded a version of Comal80 in which most of the Danish words have been translated to English, especially the error messages.
I did this by hex-editing the .DSK file and using a free Google auto-translation facility (and with a bit of help from my friends at www.purebasic.fr/english/viewtopic.php?t=38331 (http://www.purebasic.fr/english/viewtopic.php?t=38331) ).

However a few problems remain which I have not yet managed to resolve:

1. I have doubts about the correctness of a small number of my Danish -> English translations.  With luck, this will get resolved in time..

2. Where the message should be something like:
    "Overflow in 1230"
it is shown as
    "Overflow i 1230"
You can probably realise how hard it is to track down appropriate occurrences of the word 'i' in order to change them to 'in'.  But with enough effort, who knows ...

3. Because some English phrases are longer than the equivalent Danish phrases, occasionally there was insufficient memory space for an ideal translation, so a few phrases had to be abbreviated.
The worst example of this is the error message "Stak overflow" when needs just one more byte, but this was not readily available.  Can you think of an alternative shorter message with the same meaning?

4. The two lines of code:
    x$:="X"
    a$:=X$+4
seem to give the wrong error message of "Numeric expression expected" (and highlights the digit 4 as the source of the error, so I would think the correct message is "Text expression expected") even though this appears to be the correct translation of the Danish phrase "Numerisk udtryk forventet".  This leads me to think there may be a bug in the Comal 80 interpreter.

- - - - - - -

I have added two extra programs to the .DSK file:

1. KEYWORDS.SAV lists all defined keywords (some multi-word) on the screen and also saves the list to a file KEYWORDS.TXT .

2. ERRORS.SAV lists [almost] all defined error messages on the screen and also saves the list to a file ERRORS.TXT .


Anthony Jordan
Title: Re: COMAL80
Post by: CPCLER on 15:17, 30 July 09
Article now on the CPCWIKI!

Great work with the translations!

Had at quick glance at it this morning.

/CPCLER


If have (hopefully) uploaded a version of Comal80 in which most of the Danish words have been translated to English, especially the error messages.
I did this by hex-editing the .DSK file and using a free Google auto-translation facility (and with a bit of help from my friends at www.purebasic.fr/english/viewtopic.php?t=38331 (http://www.purebasic.fr/english/viewtopic.php?t=38331) ).

However a few problems remain which I have not yet managed to resolve:

1. I have doubts about the correctness of a small number of my Danish -> English translations.  With luck, this will get resolved in time..

2. Where the message should be something like:
    "Overflow in 1230"
it is shown as
    "Overflow i 1230"
You can probably realise how hard it is to track down appropriate occurrences of the word 'i' in order to change them to 'in'.  But with enough effort, who knows ...

3. Because some English phrases are longer than the equivalent Danish phrases, occasionally there was insufficient memory space for an ideal translation, so a few phrases had to be abbreviated.
The worst example of this is the error message "Stak overflow" when needs just one more byte, but this was not readily available.  Can you think of an alternative shorter message with the same meaning?

4. The two lines of code:
    x$:="X"
    a$:=X$+4
seem to give the wrong error message of "Numeric expression expected" (and highlights the digit 4 as the source of the error, so I would think the correct message is "Text expression expected") even though this appears to be the correct translation of the Danish phrase "Numerisk udtryk forventet".  This leads me to think there may be a bug in the Comal 80 interpreter.

- - - - - - -

I have added two extra programs to the .DSK file:

1. KEYWORDS.SAV lists all defined keywords (some multi-word) on the screen and also saves the list to a file KEYWORDS.TXT .

2. ERRORS.SAV lists [almost] all defined error messages on the screen and also saves the list to a file ERRORS.TXT .


Anthony Jordan
Title: Re: COMAL80
Post by: Gryzor on 19:37, 30 July 09
Ah, you beat me to it :) Thanks!
Title: Re: COMAL80
Post by: akj on 19:56, 30 July 09
@Gryzor:

Sorry for not taking advantage of your download offer, but I wanted to see whether I could do it for myself.  And I can.

AKJ
Title: Re: COMAL80
Post by: Gryzor on 19:58, 30 July 09
Of course you can man, that's the point (and the spirit!): everyone can :D
Title: Re: COMAL80
Post by: akj on 22:56, 30 July 09
FYI

Working versions of Comal for Win32, MsDOS and Linux are all available in the single download at:

http://www.josvisser.nl/opencomal/opencomal-0.2.6.tar.gz (http://www.josvisser.nl/opencomal/opencomal-0.2.6.tar.gz)
Title: Re: COMAL80
Post by: Freddy Kristiansen on 19:57, 19 January 10
Funny to see a post from 2009 about this very old piece of software.

I actually have a couple of the old ROM based amstrad COMAL still - I tried to get the roms read into files and wanted to see whether I could get a Amstrad emulator to work with theese ROMs.

If anybody want to give it a try, let me know and I will see if I can find the ROM files agian.

/Freddy
Title: Re: COMAL80
Post by: robcfg on 21:17, 19 January 10
Hello Freddy!

It would be very nice to have the rom version of COMAL80 as I've read that it was enhanced.

If you don't have the rom dumps but the rom chips, I can dump them for you.

Best regards
Title: Re: COMAL80
Post by: Ygdrazil on 01:34, 20 January 10
Hi Freddy!

Are you the "Freddy Kristiansen"?   :)

Nice of you to drop in!

It would be extremely interesting to get hold of the Comal80 roms as it seems no body has a copy anymore, and the roms are therefore missing in any archive.

Is it the normal version or the advanced version (3 roms) mentioned in "Amstradbladet"?

Regards,
Ygdrazil

Funny to see a post from 2009 about this very old piece of software.

I actually have a couple of the old ROM based amstrad COMAL still - I tried to get the roms read into files and wanted to see whether I could get a Amstrad emulator to work with theese ROMs.

If anybody want to give it a try, let me know and I will see if I can find the ROM files agian.

/Freddy
Title: Re: COMAL80
Post by: TFM on 23:47, 09 May 12
Did somebody ever get those COMAL ROMs ???
 
Title: Re: COMAL80
Post by: Bert on 20:17, 11 May 12

Hi guys,


I’m new to the forum, but not to the CPC.


After having gained some experience on the ZX Spectrum in 1984/85, I bought my first CPC (Schneider CPC464) in 1985, soon followed by the CPC664. On this machine I did a lot of programming, mainly in BASIC, and it served me well unto 1992, when I bought my first Macintosh (the Macintosh Classic). I now work on a MacBook Pro 13”, with of course Richard Bannister’s Arnold installed. It’s hard to get rid of good habits.


Now sometime ago I wanted to do some programming in COMAL (the best of both worlds - BASIC and Pascal) and I was happy to find COMAL on CPCWiki <http://cpcwiki.eu/index.php/Comal80> (http://cpcwiki.eu/index.php/Comal80>);, both the original Danish version and the English translation.


Since I don’t speak Danish, the Danish version was not practical, so I downloaded the English version (Comal80eng). This version doesn’t download as a .dsk, but as a text file, which is no problem as such, but I noticed that Arnold can’t load/read the disk.


So I made a hex dump and saw that the disk creator is WinCPC32 and that the disk appears to have a non standard format fill byte: instead of &E5, a strange &C3 &A5 - apparently a double byte.


I have no idea what this means or which program or emulator has done this, but I wonder if any of you is willing and able to correct this error (?) in any way, or to transfer the programs to a standard disk image, so that I can use the English version of COMAL.


The new disk could then be uploaded to CPCWiki. And hopefully the COMAL ROMs will be here soon.




Thanx in advance,


Bert

Title: Re: COMAL80
Post by: robcfg on 22:23, 11 May 12
Hi Bert, and welcome to the forum!


I just tried the english version and work fine for me. The dsk file has the usual 194816 byte size, and loads just dandy on WinAPE.


Which browser are you using?
Title: Re: COMAL80
Post by: Bert on 12:22, 12 May 12

Hello Rob,


Thanks for your reply.


Your suspicion (if I may call it thus) was right: the problem with the unreadable disk was caused by iCab, my default browser, which may have a text encoding problem. I’ve reported this the Alexander Clauss, the developer of iCab.


Immediately after I had read your reply, I downloaded the disk with Safari, and the problem did not occur: Arnold now happily opens the disk.


Thanks again for directing me in the right direction.


Cheers,


Bert