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Old 16 December 2017, 20:33   #1
P-J
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Did Blitz Basic ever become 'stable'?

Hey all,

So I used to use Blitz Basic a lot back in the early 90's, and my overriding memory of it was that it used to crash *all the time* and eventually I just gave up trying to work around it's deficiencies.

Was there ever a truly stable version?
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Old 16 December 2017, 20:45   #2
indigolemon
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I can only assume yes, as it's still being used by many people right now. I'm currently trying to learn it myself, following a tutorial in Amiga Future.

Current version (still being maintained) is here: http://www.amiblitz.de/
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Old 17 December 2017, 00:55   #3
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Blitz Basic 2 produced fairly efficient and stable exes provided you wrote it well. Only issue I ever had was using quick pointers with lists of lists (or something like that). Ether way once the problem was identified it was easily fixed
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Old 17 December 2017, 14:14   #4
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I have used the latest version of the "classic Blitz Basic 2" (which was released in 1995 I think) for some 2 years now, and to me it seems stable.

I have had a few crashes, but they have always been caused by "normal reasons" such as running out of memory ( the debugger will sometimes save you when this happens, but not always ) , or running work-in-progress code and forgetting to turn the debugger ON ( which means even a small error can cause a guru ), or trying to run Blitz projects made by others that need some special libraries to be present in your blitz installation (missing library = automatic crash without any warnings).

Also having too much Chip RAM set in WINUAE (more than the normal maximum of 2 MB) can crash Blitz (gives an error message after loading a project or strange side effects in the text editor).

But aside from these small things the current Blitz version is very stable. Both the editor and the compiled executables run fine. I have made stuff for all possible classic Amiga configurations: OCS, ECS and AGA, and have had no troubles with stability.
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Old 17 December 2017, 14:18   #5
Graham Humphrey
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I've had Blitz Basic 2.1 installed together with the Blitz Support Suite for many years and I think this is the optimal Blitz configuration. It has a more stable and superior editor, debugger and additional commands and support programs. It's certainly never caused me any issues outside of my own incompetence.
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Old 17 December 2017, 14:43   #6
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I have only made a couple of simple games. But I would definitely say it is stable.
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Old 17 December 2017, 14:44   #7
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Yep, there are a few quirks, but once you update from the default editor and debugger (much better ones are included on the Extras floppy, and better still are the ones on the Ultimate Blitz Basic CD), it should be fairly rock solid. Crashes invariably end up being down to the code doing naughty things - after all, Blitz allows you direct access to the OS, memory and hardware, so it's very easy to do something wrong and scupper the system. The debugger is very good at catching these things first, but that only applies when it's enabled and used from the IDE, stand-alone executables don't have that fallback cushion.
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Old 17 December 2017, 16:21   #8
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Is it worth applying this patch to superted?
http://aminet.net/package/dev/basic/SuperTED252

Are there others also worth the effort?
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Old 17 December 2017, 23:01   #9
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Thanks for all the discussion, good stuff. I'm thinking back to making small games with no assembler and experiencing guru meditations even doing simple stuff. That's my memory. Also I vaguely remember even the examples killing the compiler.

Will definitely try out that newer release though. Thanks!
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Old 17 December 2017, 23:55   #10
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If the examples were crashing, it could be that the library files weren't standard (problems with installation, see the previous post about the upgraded components from the Extras disk), or required external files couldn't be found at a relative path and no error checking was included (again, possibly an installation issue or simply not setting the correct path for the executable).

The new version is greatly improved over the old floppy version, but requires an 020 and FPU to run so is really aimed at expanded Amigas, emulation and NG systems. The Ultimate Blitz CD (and fixed installer from Aminet) will give you the best version of the old Blitz 2.1 for plain 68000 / no FPU machines.
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Old 18 December 2017, 12:29   #11
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Ultimate Blitz is quite stable, so I think your problems were either due to a bad installation or system patches which didn't go well with Blitz. I do all my Blitz development on systems with a fairly small range of patches, although by no means bare-bones.
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Old 28 December 2017, 13:05   #12
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There was a nifty little intro released at the Load Error 2017 earlier this year showing that shows that Blitz basic really goes a long way, even for some demo coding.

http://retronavigator.com/post/16674...rat-amiga-demo

Last edited by jizmo; 28 December 2017 at 13:17.
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Old 07 January 2018, 01:00   #13
Shatterhand
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I use Blitz Basic 2 for a while. I write code on PC and then transfer to Amiga when I want to do "real hardware tests" When I try to load code on my A600, half of the time (I'd guess even more than that) I get a "Program Failed" followed by a Guru Meditation. Then sometimes it works. I do absolutely nothing different and it works.

Also, 99 in 100 times I exit BLitz 2 I also get a Guru. In *very rare* situations I can quit blitz and go back to Workbench without a Guru on my face.

For a little more than 2 years I've been using Blitz 2 and it has *always* been like that to me. I've formatted the CF card once, reinstalled Blitz 2, and it has always been like that.

Amiblitz2 on Winuae is also not exactly "stable" to me either, with halts and crashes happening a fair amount of times too.
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Old 07 January 2018, 14:49   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jizmo View Post
There was a nifty little intro released at the Load Error 2017 earlier this year showing that shows that Blitz basic really goes a long way, even for some demo coding.

http://retronavigator.com/post/16674...rat-amiga-demo
That's super impressive.

I wonder why not more people code stuff with this on the Amiga then.
Seems easy enough..
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Old 07 January 2018, 15:03   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steril707 View Post
I wonder why not more people code stuff with this on the Amiga then.
Seems easy enough..
I think it's the same dilemma that "easy" languages and development tools have always suffered from — those who want something easy want something even easier than that and cannot make full use of the relatively easy tool, whereas those who can make full use of it choose to use a less easy tool.
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Old 09 January 2018, 11:28   #16
Daedalus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shatterhand View Post
I use Blitz Basic 2 for a while. I write code on PC and then transfer to Amiga when I want to do "real hardware tests" When I try to load code on my A600, half of the time (I'd guess even more than that) I get a "Program Failed" followed by a Guru Meditation. Then sometimes it works. I do absolutely nothing different and it works.
Are you using AmiBlitz? That sounds like some FTP code is sneaking into your executables.

Quote:
Also, 99 in 100 times I exit BLitz 2 I also get a Guru. In *very rare* situations I can quit blitz and go back to Workbench without a Guru on my face.
There's something badly wrong there so. Are you using the most up-to-date versions of Blitz and Ted?

Quote:
For a little more than 2 years I've been using Blitz 2 and it has *always* been like that to me. I've formatted the CF card once, reinstalled Blitz 2, and it has always been like that.
what versions are you installing that behave like that? I've never seen that behaviour in my ~20 years of coding in Blitz across many machines, though there are so many updates and library combos that I haven't tried them all.

Quote:
Amiblitz2 on Winuae is also not exactly "stable" to me either, with halts and crashes happening a fair amount of times too.
Hmmm, again, that shouldn't happen, though I would say you should use Amiblitz 3 instead. There's not much benefit from using AB2 - you get the FPU incompatibility without the benefit of years of extra development found in AB3.
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Old 09 January 2018, 15:03   #17
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Quote:
Are you using AmiBlitz? That sounds like some FTP code is sneaking into your executables.
Yes I am. I usually code on AmiBlitz on Winuae then transfer code to Blitz 2. Now I remember at some point I always saved the code on Blitz 2 first even on Winuae before "transfering" to the real A600, and maybe that's the problem. What's really weird is that sometimes the code loads without problem. The *very same* code from the very same file.

Quote:
There's something badly wrong there so. Are you using the most up-to-date versions of Blitz and Ted?
I believe so, but I'll check it out. Ted always behaved like this to me, but the Guru after exiting never bothered me too much to be honest.


Quote:
Quote:
Amiblitz2 on Winuae is also not exactly "stable" to me either, with halts and crashes happening a fair amount of times too.
Hmmm, again, that shouldn't happen, though I would say you should use Amiblitz 3 instead. There's not much benefit from using AB2 - you get the FPU incompatibility without the benefit of years of extra development found in AB3.
Yeah, now that you asked, I don't know why I'm using Amiblitz2 instead of 3.
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