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BAS21.DOC -- Changes from V2(252) to V2.1(320) Page 1
COPYRIGHT (C) 1977, 1979, 1981 BY
DIGITAL EQUIPMENT CORPORATION, MAYNARD, MASS.
THIS SOFTWARE IS FURNISHED UNDER A LICENSE AND MAY BE USED AND COPIED
ONLY IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS OF SUCH LICENSE AND WITH THE
INCLUSION OF THE ABOVE COPYRIGHT NOTICE. THIS SOFTWARE OR ANY OTHER
COPIES THEREOF MAY NOT BE PROVIDED OR OTHERWISE MADE AVAILABLE TO ANY
OTHER PERSON. NO TITLE TO AND OWNERSHIP OF THE SOFTWARE IS HEREBY
THE INFORMATION IN THIS SOFTWARE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE
AND SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED AS A COMMITMENT BY DIGITAL EQUIPMENT
DIGITAL ASSUMES NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE USE OR RELIABILITY OF ITS
SOFTWARE ON EQUIPMENT WHICH IS NOT SUPPLIED BY DIGITAL.
BAS21.DOC -- Changes from V2(252) to V2.1(320) Page 2
1.0 SUMMARY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
2.0 EXTERNAL CHANGES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
2.1 Record Management System . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
2.2 Error And Warning Messages . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
2.2.1 Command Errors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
2.2.2 Compiler Errors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
2.2.3 Run Time Errors And Warnings . . . . . . . . . . 4
3.0 KNOWN BUGS AND DEFICIENCIES . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
3.1 BASIC-PLUS-2/20 Restrictions . . . . . . . . . . . 4
3.2 Operating System Deficiencies . . . . . . . . . . 5
3.3 Documentation Deficiencies . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
4.0 INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
4.1 Files Included On This Tape . . . . . . . . . . . 6
4.2 Installation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
5.0 INTERNAL CHANGES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
6.0 SUGGESTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
6.1 Output To Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
6.2 Array References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
BAS21.DOC -- Changes from V2(252) to V2.1(320) Page 3
BASIC-PLUS-2/20 is a powerful implementation of the BASIC
programming language for the DECSYSTEM-20. This release of the
product is a maintenance release which utilizes the newly released
stand alone version of RMS. RMS is now an unbundled product and is
used by BASIC-PLUS-2 V2.1 for file management.
BASIC-PLUS-2/20 runs on a KS or KL-20 processor under release 4
of the TOPS-20 MONITOR. It supercedes all previous versions of
BASIC-PLUS-2/20. During execution, BASIC-PLUS-2/20 requires the BASIC
run-time system, BASOTS.EXE which is included on this tape. RMS.EXE,
the record management system, included on a different tape, is
required for all record file operations.
Documentation errors and shortcomings found since version 2 of
BASIC-PLUS-2/20 are described in section 3.0 (BAS21.DOC). The current
documentation is the BASIC-PLUS-2 Language Manual (AA-H654A-TM). This
.DOC file together with the RMS20.DOC file and the current manual will
be more than adequate for most users of the product to make use of all
2.0 EXTERNAL CHANGES
The section below describes the external changes made to
BASIC-PLUS-2/20 version 2.1(320).
2.1 Record Management System
The file system, RMS, has previously been distributed as an
integral part of BASIC-PLUS-2. Recently, this file system was made
available as a separate piece of software distributed with the
RMS should have been received on a different tape with its own
documentation and utilities. There are no changes in
BASIC-PLUS-2/20's functionality because of this change in
2.2 Error And Warning Messages
The following section describes the new error and warning
messages added as a result of bugs found in version 2(252). Also,
some messages have been corrected. These are also described in the
BAS21.DOC -- Changes from V2(252) to V2.1(320) Page 4
2.2.1 Command Errors -
2.2.2 Compiler Errors -
2.2.3 Run Time Errors And Warnings -
% 444 BUCKETSIZE greater than maximum at line nn of MAIN PROGRAM
-Where the maximum is currently seven.
The ' Invalid character in input stream ' error message is
correctly documented as error 411 however, it actually produced the
number 41. This has been corrected.
? 449 Existing file created with non 7 bit ASCII strings
This error message has been added to BASIC. When BASIC
encounters an existant RMS file that is not in 7 bit ASCII, the error
will occur. No accesses of the file will be allowed.
3.0 KNOWN BUGS AND DEFICIENCIES
This section is divided into three subsections. The first
section describes the known deficiencies which are design related and
will therefore remain restrictions. The second section describes the
deficiencies due to TOPS-20 release 4 which affect BASIC-PLUS-2/20.
The third section clarifies and corrects the current documentation.
3.1 BASIC-PLUS-2/20 Restrictions
1. It is not possible to continue a BASIC program in the BASIC
environment after typing a control-C (^C). Due to the design
of BASIC-PLUS-2, this behavior cannot be implemented without
a major rewrite of the compiler.
2. MAP buffers larger than 256K are not detected and will
produce unpredictable results.
3. STREAM files by definition are a sequence of ASCII
characters. For this reason, it is not possible to specify a
MAP which contains numeric fields. Currently BASIC does not
detect the condition as an error and erroneous data will
BAS21.DOC -- Changes from V2(252) to V2.1(320) Page 5
KNOWN BUGS AND DEFICIENCIES
4. MAP statements must not appear on the same line as any other
MAP or COMMON statement. The compiler will not flag this as
an error but the results of using the MAP will be
5. Reading an element of a virtual array that has not been
defined and for which no page exists will generate an illegal
memory read if the file is opened with access read.
3.2 Operating System Deficiencies
1. The following deficiences are due to the FLIN JSYS which
BASIC uses to read all floating point numbers and convert
them into a machine representation.
1. The letter "D" will be accepted as a substitute for "E"
in the exponent field of a floating point number. The
lowercase letter "e" however, will not be accepted.
2. Numbers whose magnitude is greater than the largest
floating point number representable in the hardware, but
less than 10^64 will not give any error and will result
in the largest representable floating point number. For
numbers larger than 10^64, FLIN and therefore BASIC, will
give an error and result in the largest floating point
3. 'Nines disease': A single bit of precision is sometimes
lost when a floating point number is read.
3.3 Documentation Deficiencies
1. Version 2 of BASIC implemented a new facility which allows
the system manager to create a file which can contain BASIC
commands and immediate mode statements which will be
processed each time a user runs BASIC. This file, called
BASIC.INI, must be placed on device SYS: along with
BASIC.EXE, BASOTS.EXE and RMS.EXE.
If BASIC.INI does not exist, then BASIC will behave as
it should with its normal defaults. This facility is
optional and need only be used if the system manager wishes
BASIC to do something special upon startup.
BAS21.DOC -- Changes from V2(252) to V2.1(320) Page 6
KNOWN BUGS AND DEFICIENCIES
An example of a possible use for this command would be
to change the default syntax checking feature of BASIC to be
disabled since this can cause BASIC to put a heavy load on
the system if there are many BASIC users. This can be done
by creating a BASIC.INI file which contains the command
"QUIET CHECK". If any user then wishes to use the syntax
checking feature, the user would issue the "VERBOSE CHECK"
command which would enable syntax checking for just that
2. The format of the PRINT USING statement when writing to a
file is PRINT [#] expression, USING ....
3. When updating a record to an INDEXED file, the new record
size must be the same as that of the record being replaced.
This is documented for the sequential file, but not for the
4.0 INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS
4.1 Files Included On This Tape
This tape contains three savesets which contain the following
o BAS21.BWR - The beware file
o BAS21.DIR - The directory of this tape
o BAS21.DOC - This file
o BASIC.EXE - The BASIC-PLUS-2/20 compiler
o BASOTS.EXE - The BASIC-PLUS-2/20 run time system
o B20CMA.LNK - LINK command file for AUTOPATCH build of
o B20CMA.REL - LINK library file for AUTOPATCH build of
o B20OTA.LNK - LINK command file for AUTOPATCH build of
o B20OTA.REL - LINK library file for AUTOPATCH build of
BAS21.DOC -- Changes from V2(252) to V2.1(320) Page 7
The .EXE files should be placed on <SUBSYS>. BASIC will look for
its run time system BASOTS.EXE and its record file system RMS.EXE on
logical device SYS:, so you should make sure your installation has
<SUBSYS> as its system-wide definition of SYS:.
The files in saveset <AUTOPATCH> are for the use of those
facilities using the AUTOPATCH utility for updating software.
It is recommended that the system manager make this DOC file
available to all BASIC users and that they read this file.
5.0 INTERNAL CHANGES
253 DELETE command does not invalidate the lower fork so START will work
and RUN won't compile.
254 If a stack overflow occurs an Illegal Instruction may be generated.
255 Printing a NULL (ASCII value 0) with PRINT USING generates the error:
'? 410 Illegal character in output stream'.
256 MARGIN without a filespec generates error 9 for channel -1 in immediate
mode, or channel 42775 when restarting .EXE that has already been run.
257 An Internal error may be produced when attempting to RUN a program
containing a user defined function which has a local variable list.
260 When paging output, the formfeed added to the output gets counted,
causing the rest of the line to be off by 1 character.
261 The PAGE statement does not do paging (output a formfeed, reset
counters, etc.) as specified in the documentation.
262 Errors produced in immediate will be handled by any error handler left
enabled in the code fork.
263 Run time file specification recognition worked in versions thru 1A.
Now the error: '? 2 Illegal filename...' occurs.
264 The error '% 56 Cannot invert matrix' may be generated when attempting
to invert a matrix which does actually have an inverse.
265 Using TRM$ on MAPped strings can corrupt other random strings in the
BAS21.DOC -- Changes from V2(252) to V2.1(320) Page 8
266 Update DDT start page number to version 41 value, to allow debugging to
work properly. Otherwise an Illegal Instruction occurs.
267 End of file is not properly detected by IFEND when the last byte of
a file appears in the last byte of the 512th word of the last page in
the file. Also, EOF is falsely detected when one byte remains in the
input buffer at end of file. Also, RESTORE and IFEND do not work
properly for device NUL:.
270 CRYSTL, the BSTL pre-processor no longer works due to some duplicately
271 When an EXE is running under control of the compiler (i.e. CHAIN), no
check is made for compatible versions of the compiled code and the OTS.
Generate a warning.
272 When MONITOR v.4 is installed, a 'JFN not assigned' error is printed
after the commands: MLIST, DO, and BUILD or when BASIC is invoked and
BASIC.INI is present.
273 An extra comma at the end of a DATA statement can cause the error:
'? 52 Invalid floating point number ' if the read is of a numeric
DATA item. Extraneous characters can appear if it is a string read.
274 PAGE outputs CR LF FF when it should only output CR FF (e.g. PAGE 60
for normal LPT would cause line 60 to be written, then a CR and a LF
would then bring us to the new top-of-page. A FF would then bring us
to the next top-of-page thereby skipping a whole page).
275 VAL% did not work for negative numbers.
276 Concat for strings (&) spewed junk when passed numerics.
277 BUCKETSIZE is now allowed to be from one to MAXBUCKETSIZE (currently
eight). Modified error message 444.
300 One too many items can get popped off the stack causing problems
with continuable errors.
301 Error 41 should actually be error 411. This is because 41 is reserved
for errors that also occur in BASICs on other systems. The documentation
correctly describes error 411.
302 Added error message 449 and the code to check for non 7 bit ASCII
303 When an OPENF fails and the error is trapped, the END routine will release
the JFN for which the OPENF failed. Then the END routine closes (and releases)
all files for which a file block exists (including the file block from
the open failure). This causes error '442- Cannot CLOSE file' because
of the attempt of closing the non existent file.
304 Increase the BASOTS patching area, OTSPAT, to 2 pages instead of 1.
305 Development edit.
BAS21.DOC -- Changes from V2(252) to V2.1(320) Page 9
306 Development edit.
307 Development edit.
310 Append does not work for SEQUENTIAL STREAM files.
311 RELATIVE and SEQUENTIAL files with a RECORDSIZE > 520 and no MAP
statement can fail with various internal errors.
312 An uninformative error is produced if RMS.EXE is not on logical SYS:.
313 String DEF* functions do not work properly.
314 INVALID clause of OPEN statement ignored when illegal character
is found in filename.
315 Edit 310 broke the use of the COUNT clause in sequential stream
316 New BASIC/RMS interface does not allow use of ACCESS READ without
FOR clause in OPEN statement.
317 Correct the value of MAXBUCKETSIZE from eight to seven.
320 Development edit
6.1 Output To Files
Because of the BASIC-PLUS-2/20 buffering scheme, I/O being done
to more than one file at a time is faster when all the outputs to a
particular file are done together before the next file is output to.
00010 OPEN 'DATA1' FOR OUTPUT AS FILE #1
00020 OPEN 'DATA2' FOR OUTPUT AS FILE #2
00030 PRINT #1, 'A record'; I% FOR I% = 1% TO 1000%
00040 PRINT #2, 'A record'; I% FOR I% = 1% TO 1000%
Is much faster than:
00010 OPEN 'DATA1' FOR OUTPUT AS FILE #1
00020 OPEN 'DATA2' FOR OUTPUT AS FILE #2
00030 FOR I% = 1% TO 1000%
00040 PRINT #1, 'A record'; I%
00050 PRINT #2, 'A record'; I%
BAS21.DOC -- Changes from V2(252) to V2.1(320) Page 10
00060 NEXT I%
6.2 Array References
References to array elements of arrays which are not in a MAP
buffer or a COMMON will be about 40% faster if the array is
dimensioned before the reference. This means that it is good practice
to dimension all arrays prior to any array reference.