On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 5:29 PM Erich Wälde <ew.fo...@nassur.net> wrote:

> Dear AmForthers,
> due to some unlikely fluctuation in probability space (or some
> other excuse) I declared this weekend to be "AmForth weekend 1"
> --- for me at least. While being working on this I decided to let
> you know, what is happening, and what is going around in my head
> regarding AmForth.

I've never been very good with trying to meld modern email with these
mailing lists. It seems those little time spigots have been working
overtime. I will give it my best go though. (also, it probably doesn't hurt
the sentiment that I just finished reading, The Man Who Folded Himself,
last week.)
I do like that I am standing here for AmForth Weekend $01 very much.

> - Contributions
>   I am very grateful for everyone who is sending anything to the
>   mailing list. Thank you! This is imho an important way to show
>   that this project is not dead. I am also very grateful that
>   Tristan W. and Martin N. have been helping out answering
>   questions. I will not be able to keep this project alive on my
>   own, so "Thank you!"
>   Along the same lines: "Welcome to all newcomers!"

Indeed. Without a community it is just a public facing private project. I
found it very promising that, upon asking the list something, a reply
appeared. Having seen a lot of names over and over again as I have been
doing searches (or just reading backwards in a linear fashion) of the
mailing list, it does seem that there are some old regulars here. This
project has been around for quite some time now.

>   That being said: I have been asked whether I accept email to my
>   private address. Yes I do. HOWEVER, every email not going
>   through the list, for whatever reason, does not add to the
>   "this project is alive" feature, does not inform all the others
>   on the list. I admit that I have been guilty of this myself
>   much too often. I herewith sincerely apologize --- while being
>   practical and easy it will be wrong in the long run.

Yeah, unless there is some strong reason for it to be private I suppose.
But when it's not public, it doesn't serve to help the community. Unless it
is something that needed to be private to be dealt with then released to
the list. Most of the time though, I think anyhow, those types of things
are for personal communication anyhow. It's not like people don't become
friends and do stuff off to the side.

+++++++++++++++START CLIP+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

>  - Commits
>   r2443: added one-line patch to amforth-shell.py, provided by
>          Tristan Williams. Will now report filenames which occur
>          more than once.
>   - " du< " is missing
>     link to email archive (Martin Nicholas August 2019)
>     https://sourceforge.net/p/amforth/mailman/message/36748496/

+++++++++++++++END CLIP+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

> - amforth-upload.py is broken for me, I use the file from 4.0.
>     But I have not bothered to find out exactly what breaks on
>     me/my code.
>   - both amforth-upload.py and amforth-shell.py are using
>     "python", which means python2. Since python2 is being
>     discontinued, these should be ported to python3. Anyone
>     interested?

I wish I would have learned Python 15 years ago when a guy I worked with at
a forum was talking about how it was the future. I think he has 2 or 3
books published now. Oh well...

amforth-upload.py seemed broken to me as well. I tried to use that after
reading something somewhere in the online docs. Luckily I gave
amforth-console.py a try since that did work really well for me once I got
it to connect. It doesn't seem perfect, but pretty close. And the thing it
does where it pulls port names (well, their values) in as needed is pretty
handy. It did confuse me though when trying to follow the flow of the code
and wondering why the port name, that is right there in the source,
wouldn't work for me from the interpreter. I suppose had I known to read
the docs in the script itself first I could have saved myself some

>   - The refcard generator is broken probably since release 5.6
>     link to email archive (Martin Nicholas June 2020)
>     https://sourceforge.net/p/amforth/mailman/message/37047630/
> - Open Questions
>   Apart from the code/documentation issues above there are more
>   open questions for me:
>   - How do I /reliably/ create the content of the webpage? How do
>     I synchronize my local version effortlessly with the official
>     copy? How can I diagnose changes, when sphinx upon generation
>     changes /every/ file somehow? Did I say I'm not a web person?
>     %^>
>   - How do I actually create a new release? Copying the files is
>     one thing, but where do I need to change the version? There
>     is more than one place, I'm afraid. I also happen to know
>     that after 6.9 there cannot be 6.10 due to a limitation
>     created very early. Matthias told me that, otherwise I would
>     be clueless.
>   - How to run the testcases? How many test files are there? Can
>     they be run reliably? Will errors show up in such a way that
>     they will not be lost? Where should the test cases go? How
>     about msp430, arm, risc-v? Folks, I break into cold sweat
>     when I work on the source code and hit "commit".

All this (waves arms around randomly) that you are talking about needs to
be documented. When I realized that my command line (later to find it was
the ver word) was spitting out 6.7 when I knew that I had downloaded 6.8
seemed like an easy thing to handle. Then my head exploded. Luckily my kid
was nearby and mopped up the mess, tossed it in a bucket then into the
freezer to reconstitute. I can't say that I know how Sourceforge does all
that. I could probably dedicate some time to looking into all those webpage
source files in the source tree. I could look a little more into sphinx and
see if I can't get it to run on my local svn copy. I can't promise
anything, but one thing I do have to barter with is time.
Having spent quite a bit of the last couple weeks (or so, who knows how
time flies) I have noticed a lot of minor typos that are probably generated
by working in a second (third, fourth whatever) language. If I can remember
how to do the patch thing for svn I'll try and keep track of them as I go.

> - Whacky Ideas
>   - git? -- With all the cool kids using git repositories, should
>     I attempt do convert the existing repositories, webpage, etc?
>     does sourceforge.net provide git repositories? Can the
>     existing svn repository be converted on the server side?
>   - Should we use a ticket system rather than mailing list?

I like git a lot more than svn but I don't remember hating svn when I
noodled around with the FLTK group way back in the stone ages. (cvs on the
other hand could get you hit with a shovel) At any rate, I had toyed around
with pulling the svn source into a git repo. I almost got it to work but I
couldn't get your latest commits to fetch. Apparently I didn't get it quite
right. I did make up a contributors file though that seemed to catch all
the committers.

Sourceforge has a more thread based thing as well for bug reports and
questions. That seems to be easier for most people to use imho. I like the
way github does it since those threads are so tightly bound with the repo
but, once again, that is a personal preference. I'm never quite sure if I'm
doing the mailing list thing correctly, which is odd considering I lived
through the no internet - weird message boards - bbs - modern internet
thing. I've found the mailing list to be clunky when I've been doing
searches and reading and doing more searches (lather rinse repeat) and I'll
just have to put it aside before picking it up again. Being able to scan
threads for me makes doing blind or mass quests less painful.

>   - Who of you is using which target controller? Would it be
>     feasible to drop msp430, arm, risc-v in order to simplify the
>     whole thing? yes/no?

I've been a fan of the AVR stuff for some time now ever since I finally
stopped flogging my old SX(28/48)s. I tried the arduino thing for a bit but
found it to be too much of a pain overall. Last year I started playing
around with the avr chips by themselves thanks to the Make avr book. Once I
got back to doing things from the command line with make (which I've always
been partial to) I enjoyed it more. When I found AmForth it seemed a
perfect fit to build something like those neat backplane z80 boards, but
using a modern center. Everytime I tip into it, I can't help but think how
much it is like my commodore 64 (then 128 then 4000 with toaster) where you
get a prompt and what you do from there is entirely up to you. To me, as a
neophyte, AmForth seemed to be for the AVR and FlashForth seemed to be for
the PIC. I could be over simplifying things since there are other platforms
here, but that was why I took the plunge here.

>   - Can we get rid of the Atmel/Microchip Avrasm Assembler?

This was the only thing that concerned me since the only other thing I use
wine for is the Parallax IDE for the SX chips. Luckily though, it Just
Worked so, while it would be nice to have a gcc based assembler, there just
doesn't seem to be one that works.

I'm going to wrap up here for now but I will add that I am trying to use
AmForth as an OS of sorts for something like those z80 backplane computers.
It seems like a great fit to make a nice learning board for me and my son
to play with. Right now I just have an atmega1284p running from a 20mhz
clock with a bank of leds and an eeprom. I do have a 2221 usb bridge that
will replace the usb-ttl board I use for communication right now. I use a
usbasp for reprogramming the chip. Once I get the memory thing worked out
I'll work on adding an lcd then keyboard. Open ended project ftw!

I like this (your and our) project a lot. I'm still learning Forth more and
more every day plus having to work out just what things are doing with the
eeprom code has helped a lot. Once I got my brain bent around how things
like bitmask: actually worked (it got it's name how, wait what did it just
do there) I was able to make progress. The language itself it really pretty
amazingly cool.

Until the next AmForth Weekend!
All the best,

>     One big difference between the avr8 and the risc-v tree is
>     the assembly language. avr8 is using Atmels assembly. Which
>     is good, because it is thoroughly documented. And which is
>     bad, because there is no working free/libre alternative to
>     avrasm.exe. Yes there is the "avra" project but it has been
>     abandoned long ago. I have been able to assemble AmForth with
>     avra way back in releases 4.2 up until maybe 4.9. I have even
>     contributed a small patch to make atmega644p working.
>     https://sourceforge.net/projects/avra/
>     Matthias has contemplated the idea to port AmForth/avr8 to
>     use gnu assembly. He might even have produced a working
>     branch, I don't know.
>     For risc-v there is no avr assembly, naturally. That's where
>     all the .s assembly files come into the game.
>     I personally would love to have a free/libre assembler for
>     avr assembly. AVRASM.EXE is the only thing that forces me to
>     install wine on my system.
> - Happy Häcking
>   I have been working with AmForth lately. Yes really!
>   The Code in my RS485 bus project is showing its age.
>   http://amforth.sourceforge.net/Projects/RS485/RS485Bus.html
>   First, I was able to reduce the assembly part of this game
>   considerably, after Matthias has included a few goodies just
>   for my beloved use case :-) That is working and needs to be
>   documented again.
>   Along the way I was bitten by the "because I can" bug and
>   created my own hardware:
>   https://erwaelde.gitlab.io/posts/0005-avr-boards.html
>   Two iterations down the road I do have functional boards.
>   Another board with rs485 and power is needed, but heck, one
>   thing at a time.
>   So I have a few controllers distributed about my home. They are
>   taking measurements. There is a collector (perl script)
>   collecting the measurements periodically. The data is going to
>   a sqlite database. The data is viewed using another perl script
>   with a very old extension: pgplot5. This has been working for
>   10 years or more, however, pgplot5 is not being ported to the
>   new worlds of visualization, so a replacement is clearly
>   needed.
>   My current plan is to rewrite the collector script, (perl plus
>   EV, AnyEvent, MQTT) let it report the data to a mosquitto
>   daemon. A component called telegraf will subscribe to mosquitto
>   and report all configured messages into a new and shiny influx
>   database. The visualization is currently done with grafana, but
>   I am aiming for R and some javascript component to make it
>   interactive. The results to be shown on a MagicMirror2 info
>   terminal. This is all working in principle, but not yet in the
>   desired detail.
>   Yes, yes, there is still a long way to go. But that keeps me
>   out of trouble :-)
>   That being said, I would love to hear from you, what you are
>   using AmForth for. Show off your projects, even if too small or
>   too unpolished to show anyone else. We will all be kind to each
>   other, promised!
> One last thing: Matthias was a regular participant in the net2o
> forth chat. I'm there almost every Thursday (20h Germany local
> time). This chat round is open to anyone, however, since the
> technology used resembles a "dark" net ;-) you need to get your
> key "invited". Feel free to join and bother me about how to
> participate, details are here:
> https://fossil.net2o.de/net2o/doc/trunk/wiki/net2o.md
> https://fossil.net2o.de/net2o/doc/trunk/wiki/get-it.md
> https://fossil.net2o.de/net2o/doc/trunk/wiki/try-it.md
> Still reading? Yes?
> That's very kind of you.
> Thank you for your precious time.
> I would be very grateful for any comments, ideas, contributions
> from you. I would love to hear what you are using AmForth for.
> Thanks.
> I herewith declare the next AmForth Weekend to be on
> 2020-08-01,02, right after "SysAdmin Day".
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sysadmin_day
> Cheers,
> Erich
> PS: Halfway through this weekend I can only express deepest
> admiration for Matthias juggling all these pieces so well!
> --
> May the Forth be with you ...
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