Re: [stella] DASM wish list

Subject: Re: [stella] DASM wish list
From: Kevin Lipe <kevin.lipe@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 16 Aug 2005 16:44:25 -0400
What features could be added to a 6502 assembler to optimize the
syntax for VCS prgramming? I don't really have a problem with the need
for whitespace, but when I first started using DASM it took me a while
to figure out it's quirks, and it made learning the 2600 a lot more
frustrating. I've used the WLA-DX assemblers some (I'm not sure where
the site is but they're open source) and I liked using them a little
bit more than DASM.

Just my $0.02, since I never say much on the list :)

~ kevin

On 8/16/05, B. Watson <atari@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> On Tue, 16 Aug 2005, xucaen wrote:
> > Hi, I just had a thought: A new assembler should be compatible with the
> > books that have aleady been written on 6502 assembler.
> A good idea.
> However (there's always a however)...
> So far as I know, there are no 6502 assembler books that have any
> information on the illegal opcodes. There are at least two different
> sets of names for the illegal opcodes...
> Also, different books are written for use with different assemblers. Some
> of them call "ROR A" just plain "ROR", and some don't... different
> macro assemblers use different syntax for defining and calling macros.
> Some assemblers, you set the current origin by assigning to "*", some
> you use an "ORG" directive, and some allow both. Some assemblers use <
> and > to mean low-byte and high-byte, and some don't support this (so you
> have to use value/256 and value%256, except sometimes it's \ instead of %
> to mean "modulus", and sometimes there's no modulus operator so you have
> to use value>>8, except when there's no >> bit shift operator)...
> The list goes on. There never was anything like an ANSI or ISO 6502
> assembly standard. The chip documentation (as far as I know) specifies
> the opcodes and addressing modes, but doesn't say anything about how an
> assembler should handle symbols, expressions, directives, macros, etc.
> I think it'd be literally impossible to support every 6502 assembly
> dialect in the same assembler, even if it were desirable... The ATASM
> project attempts to mimic the MAC/65 assembler, which is probably the
> closest thing to a "standard" syntax in the Atari world, but it's a
> limited syntax compared to DASM.
> Sorry, I didn't mean to go into rant-mode on you. This is just one of
> those irritating things that sets me off. Today seems to be my day for
> ranting about problems without providing any useful solutions :(
> --
> B.
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