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File: HLP:VAX6.HLP Written: 09-Jul-82/MEH
Length: 3 Pages Updated: 12-Jul-82/MEH
How to Convert DEC-10 BASIC Programs to VAX-11 BASIC Programs
Very little or no modification is necessary to be able to run your DEC-
10 BASIC programs on the VAX computer. The purpose of this help file is
to make you aware of any changes that might be necessary as well as make
you aware of some enhancements available in the BASIC on the VAX.
The first thing to do is to transfer your BASIC files from the DEC-10 to
the VAX. You can do this with the TVAX command procedure. Type HELP TVAX
or HELP VAX3 for details.
Once the programs are on the VAX, you will need to rename the file so
that it has the extension .B2S. To do this use the RENAME command as
RENAME *.BAS *.B2S
Once this is accomplished, the simplest way to discover what changes, if
any, need to be made is to recompile the programs with the VAX BASIC
compiler. Then make any necessary modifications indicated by the
compiler's diagnostic messages. Feel free to call the DEC-10/VAX
consultant (378-4941) to explain any diagnostic messages you don't
To invoke the VAX BASIC compiler type the following command:
$BASIC/RSX (After a few seconds time, the compiler will
respond with the Basic prompt.)
When the prompt appears, type the following commands substituting your
file name for the example file name: myfile.
OLD myfile (This tells the compiler the name of the file you
want to access.)
COMPILE (This instructs the compiler to compile the file
found in the command above.)
BUILD/SEQUENTIAL (This command builds the necessary binary files so
that the program will be able to run on the VAX.)
EXIT (This command gets you out of BASIC and back to
$MCR TKB @myfile (This command uses the binary files created by the
compiler to generate an image file.)
RUN myfile (This is the command to start execution of your
The above sequence of commands is only necessary when the BASIC program
is being compiled for the first time OR after modifications have been
made to it with an editor. At other times, use the RUN command as shown.
Converting to VAX-11 BASIC Page 2
Perhaps the most important incompatability between the two BASICs is the
variable naming conventions. All string variables must end with a dollar
sign ($). All integer variables must end with a percent sign (%). All
real variables end in a space. Therefore, most variable names from DEC-
10 BASIC programs will be considered as real variables. This only
presents a problem if your program specifically needs integer values.
FOR NEXT loops do NOT need to be modified as they will work with real
FILE and FILES statements have been replaced by more versatile OPEN and
CLOSE statements. In addition, more versatile file handling commands
have been added. If these are of interest, please contact the Consultant
for specific information.
NEW FEATURES OF VAX-11 BASIC
There are MANY new features in BASIC.
Here's a sampling:
o IF-THEN-ELSE, WHILE-NEXT, and UNTIL-NEXT for structured
o Additional mathematical functions such as:
COMP% (to compare two values)
DIF$ (returns the difference of two values)
PROD$ (returns the product of two values)
QUO$ (returns the quotient of two values)
SUM$ (returns the sum of two values)
o Enhanced error handling allowing the use of error routines,
determining the line that caused the error, the ability to resume
execution after error processing, etc.
o Enhanced INPUT statement allowing a prompt to be included as part
of the statement.
o FNEXIT statement to exit from a multi-line function.
o Enhanced subroutine capabilities using the CALL statement.
o Enhanced random access file capabilites allowing:
DELETE (to delete a record)
FIND (to find a specific record)
GET (to read a record into a buffer)
PUT (to put a record into a buffer)
UPDATE (to update a specific record)
BUFSIZ (to define the size of the buffer)
Converting to VAX-11 BASIC Page 3
o COMMON statement to allow for common variables between subprograms.
o Control-C trapping within programs.
o Enhanced string capabilities allowing translation from strings to
numeric values (or vice versa).
o DATE$ and TIME$ functions.
o KILL statement to delete temporary disk files and NAME statement to
rename disk files.
All enhancements are documented in the BASIC-PLUS-2 users guide and
language reference manuals available from the Consultant in 424 Clyde
FOR MORE INFORMATION
If you need any help converting your BASIC programs to the VAX, please
Stan Peters 424A Clyde Building 378-6554
or Matt Hawkes 424 Clyde Building 378-4941
[End of HLP:VAX6.HLP]