> Theme file format > I had a look at Theme file format on QL forum. Some > comments and questions: > > Rethorical question: Is it worthwhile to create a new > format to save some space (a few bytes, I suppose) > when we have (QPC2, SMSQmulator) 128MB at our disposal? Despite computers getting ever faster and bigger, the likes of Windoze still seem slow at times, and just as soon run out of space - as they always did.. That may partly be down to BLOAT and lazyness.
In the case of the "QL", software might be expected to run on a wide variety of platforms, some fast and big, some slow and tight. IMHO, efficiency is rarely a bad thing unless achieving it is considerably more costly that what it is likely to save. I dont know where the current theme file format originated, but a few programs use that. It is sometimes (usually?) given the extension _thm. It is a pure text file that looks like this: $200 $FFC0 .. etc altogether 57 lines To load a palette (theme) youd use something like: .. FOR ofs = 0 to SP_GETCOUNT - 2 STEP 2 INPUT#ch; it$ POKE_W addr + ofs, HEX(it$(2 to)) Whats not to improve? ;) I propose to use a binary format (see below) and use LBYTES instead. This cuts space and time, and would allow a number of such files to be concatenated. But instead of LBYTESing any kind of rubbish, I suggested we make a header that would give a strong indication, if not absolute certainty, that we were loading the right kind of file. A number of file formats on the QL scene dont have headers, and this sometimes causes confusion not to mention frustration and the potential for inelegant crashes unless preventive steps are taken by each and every program using them. The _scn extension, for example means widely different things.. > Not all palette files have 57 entries. Well, thats the current tally, as given by the Wman2 function SP_GETCOUNT. If that were to change, a file header might help to identify that fact quickly. > In fact, a complete palette should have 58 entries. > The original author forgot to reserve a slot for the > border of the error window. Doesn’t a new format imply > a rewrite of existing programs? No. > Will Qspread, QD, Files,... comply? I dont think any of them load external palettes. If they do, they will no doubt happily continue to use whatever standard theyre using now. > Afraid of having 57 entries filled with wrong data? Not afraid, as loading the wrong data will not crash the program, only display strange colours. POKEing or LBYTESing more data than ALCHPed would be seriously problematic. > Why not create a new type of file? I would suggest type > 84 (T for theme). File types are sadly not much supported in QL land. Defining a new file type could cause problems - for existing file managment programs, for example. > Just my two cents. Glad for your interest so this matter can be finalised. The current suggestion is for theme files to have an additional format to the existing one. It will be dead easy to convert theme files between "standards", so programmers can choose to support the new standard (if it becomes one) - or not. The reason Im bringing this up is to try to prevent a third and a fourth "standard" to emerge (unnecessary creating confusion and nonsense), by engaging anyone who has an opinion to "speak now or be forever silent" (as they say at the wedding ceremony in the C of E.) As mentioned, the file will be binary, but I describe it here in assembler for clarity: header dc.b "THM",57 data dc.w $200 dc.w $FFC0 etc.. Other suggestions have been made. This is V3.0, currently my preferred option, but Im open to improvements, including a header-less binary, considered earlier on. Per On 13 November 2017 at 15:50, François Van Emelen via Ql-Users < firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > Hi, > > Theme file format > I had a look at Theme file format on QL forum. > Some comments and questions: > > Rethorical question: Is it worthwhile to create a new format to save some > space (a few bytes, I suppose) when we have (QPC2, SMSQmulator) 128MB at > our disposal? > Not all palette files have 57 entries. > In fact, a complete palette should have 58 entries. The original author > forgot to reserve a slot for the border of the error window. > Doesn’t a new format imply a rewrite of existing programs? > Will Qspread, QD, Files,... comply? > Afraid of having 57 entries filled with wrong data? Why not create a new > type of file? I would suggest type 84 (T for theme). > Just my two cents. > > Have a nice day. > > François Van Emelen > > > > _______________________________________________ > QL-Users Mailing List _______________________________________________ QL-Users Mailing List