I've been looking for this figlet program I used in the mid 80's for years and haven't located it. A couple of months ago I grabbed a graph paper pad and started sketching fonts out. After several sets were completed I kept thinking I needed that program again to make using them easier.
Over the last couple of weekends, with much time over the 4th, I started building my own. There will be 2 parts: a designer, and a paint program. I hope to have the designer complete by end of summer, and the painter done by the end of the year. I have to balance the coding with career education, and the latter takes time precedence unless I'm mentally saturated as I was after cramming for my last certification exam (and passed).
I decided I wanted to do this in Action!, since it's my favorite 8 bit language, and because I have written a robust library for it over the past 6+ years or so. Micheal Sternberg used it (1,0) a few years ago to create an app to flash TI roms from an Atari (or something like that). Many bugs have been fixed since then, and a lot of additions that I wanted to use in a real app (1.5 now).
The build time right now is about 50 seconds. Accelerating the emulator gets it done in 9 seconds. But because editing the code changes something in Action! available code space at compile time, I have to boot the Action! cart (B from its menu) after edits before then compiling from disk. Clearing the buffer doesn't fix this memory issue, and it's talked about in the manual. So I've been editing, cold booting the emulator, running the big stack program to increase the # of symbols, and setting the stack memory size, then compiling from disk - the process takes a bit of time for each change. This process would suck on real hardware.
The designer makes full use of the windowing and menu system of the library I built, and will use a few more of the new features added in the last couple of years (thank you pandemic). I also implemented a neat trick that's not part of the library, but its cool and you'll spot it right away.
I have a file format designed and will publish it along with the finished product(s).
I'm in the process of making the figlet editor parts work now. The edit commands may grow or shrink based on what I feel is needed after working with it. One thing missing off the File menu is Print. Ooops, oversight. Print may have a requirement to be output to an emulated ATASCII printer for ease of implementation. I don't think I want to get into bitmapping graphic chars to dot matrix. I did that back in the 80's and remember it being incredibly time consuming. So printing to Atari800MacX ATASCII printer would be a piece of cake on the A8 side and give a good output that can be saved as PDF.
Introducing the designer program: Mr. Figlet
This looks really great. I have only written one action program in my entire life and it wasn't anything to talk about. All of my development is done in Compiled Atari Basic and I have a 16MB Dev ATR that I use for all of it. I do it for fun...
On the plus side, I also created an Automator action to backup my Action data disk (which I also need to make bigger at some point). So hopefully I won't have to use Eddy any more.
I was working on this at lunch and added a procedure to update the information window ornament. It broke compilation with one of Action!s insightful errors: "Error 7", and pointed at a function that was clearly correct. I spent the entire lunch hour trying to figure out what was wrong, and ended up not finding it. Error 7 means incorrect number of arguments.
I was able to break away early today and resumed. I spent another 30m looking. I thought I ran out of symbol space so I renamed some variables, I moved code around, changed symbol table split, etc. No different errors.
As a last ditch effort, I printed the source to ATASCII printer for review later tonight. I immediately see the stupidest error:
Current screenshot, adjust colors a bit, resolved highlight flickering when moving cursors.
Thanks. And in case you missed the crisis, I got the file back sector by sector in raw disk mode. Here are some pics of Eddy in action (no pun intended). Note the jump in sectors between the first of the file and the rest, and this is the last and only file being written on this data disk recently.
I recompiled and its all working like I had it.
Pretty snazzy. Wish I had the patience to learn a language and write something.