[stella] bBasic feature requests

Subject: [stella] bBasic feature requests
From: Glenn Saunders <mos6507@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2005 00:24:49 -0400
I spent some time reading over the bBasic docs.  I
haven't written my first test program in it yet, but
based on what I read I wanted to give a little
feedback on the featureset.

There is a way to define a sprite shape.  It's nice
that sprites can be any size rather than just 8
scanlines.  However, I don't see any way to animate
sprites without simulating some kind of massive
switch-case construct.  Could there be a way to define
arbitrary shapes and then just point the sprite to the
data?  That would mean the kernel would have to do
indirect loading.

Also, the built-in playfield bitmap manipulation only
lets you turn on, off, or invert a single bit at a
time.  There is no way to paint an entire screen at
once.  It would be nice if there were a way to lay out
a bitmap in a visual way and have batari Basic do what
it takes to translate that into the kernel.  By visual
I mean the sourcecode could just be 40 bits across
like this:

45 playfield:

Otherwise it makes it very inefficient to lay out a
playfield because your code has to draw it
programmatically one block at a time.

Now obviously these things can be accomplished with
straight assembly.  But I think that the core
convenience functions should have enough richness to
it to maximize what the built-in kernel provides.

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