[stella] Re: vcs.h

Subject: [stella] Re: vcs.h
From: "Andrew Davie" <adavie@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 21:16:36 +1000
This post in in relation to the recent discussion/argument about the naming
of registers, and differing VCS.H files...

Standards are important.  They are the mechanism by which people are able to
communicate and understand each other without having to first learn the
terminology (=language) that each other is using.  By all agreeing on some
standards on terminology, and using those standards consistently, much more
progress can be made in a shorter time.

A few years ago now we saw the disasterous effects of not clearly agreeing
and defining standards, in the form of the NASA spacecraft to Mars which
failed because of a miscommunication involving the use of metric and
imperial units of measurement.

In the world of biology, naming of organisms has a well-established and
ultimately successful method which, while it does not leave everyone
entirely happy, does manage to make sure that everyone is talking about the
same thing using the same name.  And that system is one of prior use.  Often
animals/organisms are given different names by different 'discoverers'.  In
most cases, the name that is eventually agreed as the 'correct' name is the
one which was published first.  This is sometimes overruled where names
which are in such common use that they become the standard.

The Stella Programmer's Guide dates from 1979, and clearly lists names for a
majority of the registers.  By the above rules, those names should take
absolute priority over all others in use.  We will all understand them, and
we should all use them.  Registers which are not defined in that document,
or where that document is ambiguous or in error, will have been defined in
various forms by various programmers over the years.  Certainly we should
NOT create new names for them - but should search for earlier use, and
especially for names which have become 'standard' due to their use by nearly

I was given a lot of help by the people on this list.  In return, I will be
delighted to help others where I can.  But, and here's the rub, I expect to
have certain standards in place (..."by which people are able to communicate
and understand each other without having first to learn the
terminology...").  If somebody submits code and asks for help - and that
code does NOT adhere to our commonly used and/or agreed standards - then I
am much much less likely to help.

Perhaps we should form a [stella] list sanctioned "official" vcs.h register
naming committee.  I do not believe embedding VCS.H inside your source is a
good way to go - it presupposes a single source file, which is not always
the case.  If we had a standard [stella] VCS.H then I would use it - even if
some of the names weren't the ones I was used to.


Archives (includes files) at http://www.biglist.com/lists/stella/archives/
Unsub & more at http://www.biglist.com/lists/stella/

Current Thread