RichardRussell
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BBC BASIC for iOS

Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:58 am

Sorry if this is slightly off-topic, but 'BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0' - the version of the language that is available for the Raspberry Pi running Raspbian - has now been ported to iOS. This completes the 'set' of highly-compatible implementations for Windows, Linux (x86), Mac OS-X, Android, iOS and Raspbian. BBC BASIC is now one of the few available tools in which you can write a program on a Raspberry Pi , that uses 2D or 3D graphics and sound, and expect it to run without any modification on any of the other platforms, including a smartphone.

Details of 'BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0', including the Raspberry Pi and new iOS editions, can be found here.

Richard.

ejolson
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Re: BBC BASIC for iOS

Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:07 pm

RichardRussell wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:58 am
Details of 'BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0', including the Raspberry Pi and new iOS editions, can be found here.
Not so long ago any sort of programming language on iOS was against Apple policies. I noticed your footnote
from the above website wrote:* The iOS edition is an exception. Because iOS does not permit 'arbitrary code execution' the assembler, the CALL statement and the USR function are not usable. This is a restriction imposed by Apple and is unavoidable.
This implies to me that Apple still wants to enforce a division between people who use their products and creative people who are computer literate and know how to program. The same rules apply to most video game consoles.

Were it not for Raspberry Pi, the days would soon be upon us where it is against the law by beach of contract for a child or anyone else to create a computer program without a proper engineering license or company affiliation. Now that computers control the production of electricity, water, movement of trains, traffic lights and almost all financial transactions, power-hungry politicians backed by profit-hungry corporations will decide in the name of security and public safety that it is better if no common person knows how computers work. People are already happy to trade the difficult task of programming for the limitations offered by commercial software. Teachers will be happy not to teach a difficult subject in school. So will begin the the age of digital feudalism, where digital property rights are owned by a few, who generously let the peasants use the software but pass laws to prevent them from owning intellectual property, even if they create it themselves.

In regards to your footnote, it might be more accurate to say that this is a restriction imposed by Apple and is avoidable (at present) by using a Raspberry Pi.

RichardRussell
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Re: BBC BASIC for iOS

Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:39 am

ejolson wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:07 pm
Not so long ago any sort of programming language on iOS was against Apple policies.
They are not quite so restrictive now, but there are still some limitations. However it's important to note that they are limitations on whether apps can be made available for download from the iTunes app store, not on what you're allowed to run on a device! By adopting Apple's 'ad hoc' distribution mechanism rather than the app store, as I have, those limitations can be bypassed.
I noticed your footnote
Yes, it's the limitations which are enforced 'technically' on the device that are more important to BBC BASIC. The inbuilt assembler is of course a 'unique selling point' of the language and it is unusable on iOS because of the prohibition on running 'arbitrary code'. However in a cross-platform environment assembly language code is of limited practicality anyway, because you are likely to need to write four versions (32-bit and 64-bit x86 code, 32-bit and 64-bit ARM code) to cover all bases.
In regards to your footnote, it might be more accurate to say that this is a restriction imposed by Apple and is avoidable (at present) by using a Raspberry Pi.
I'd rather say: avoidable by using Android! At present Android has about an 86% market share of mobile devices, compared with iOS's 13%, and it imposes no significant restrictions that affect BBC BASIC (the assembler is certainly usable).

Richard.

hippy
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Re: BBC BASIC for iOS

Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:00 am

ejolson wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:07 pm
Were it not for Raspberry Pi, the days would soon be upon us where it is against the law by beach of contract for a child or anyone else to create a computer program without a proper engineering license or company affiliation.
That's the best hyperbolic nonsense I have read in a long time. Both in asserting where we would soon be and that it's the Raspberry Pi which has saved us from that.

You are however welcome to present evidence to support your assertions and convince me otherwise.
ejolson wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:07 pm
power-hungry politicians backed by profit-hungry corporations will decide in the name of security and public safety that it is better if no common person knows how computers work.
"Will" you say. Oh my ! Are you sure that shouldn't be "might" ?

ejolson
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Re: BBC BASIC for iOS

Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:45 pm

hippy wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:00 am
"Will" you say. Oh my ! Are you sure that shouldn't be "might" ?
In a country where people can't legally repair or improve their own cars because the digital millennium copyright act has been used by automobile manufacturers as a means to prevent customers from reverse engineering how the engine control computers in their cars work, in a country where the security of industrial control systems is cited as one of the reasons why programming information on the VC4 video chip can not be made publicly available, the correct phrase may be "already has."

My thesis, aside from bringing an off-topic post about iOS back to the Raspberry Pi, is about the origin of feudalistic societies. In the beginning, there is something attractive about giving up the responsibility of owning property in trade for an easier, simpler, more enjoyable life. In practice, concentration of power corrupts the landlords who then persecute the peasants rather than providing the care and safe keeping that was originally expected.

In today's world, power lies with the ownership of intellectual property. Although closed-source software promises a simpler more enjoyable life, avoiding the responsibilities of writing programs or knowing how computers work leads to a population that is not computer literate, which in turn allows power to concentrate in a few hands. The end result is digital feudalism, where corporations own all the intellectual property and function as corrupt landlords.

The Raspberry Pi is a light which encourages ownership and in this age shines against the hopelessness of digital feudalism. I'm not so sure about Android.

hippy
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Re: BBC BASIC for iOS

Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:48 pm

ejolson wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:45 pm
The Raspberry Pi is a light which encourages ownership and in this age shines against the hopelessness of digital feudalism.
I wonder how RPT, the RPF, Broadcom and others would react if I published the full source of the VC4 code and other binary blobs, what the consequences would be for telling people how to enable codecs without purchasing license keys ?

Maybe you are right.

It is possible it could come to be how you say but, if it does, neither the Raspberry Pi nor anything else will save us from that. But I don't see it as inevitable and am not convinced it would really matter if it was. From 'here' it might look bad, but we cannot tell how it will look to those 'there'.

Heater
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Re: BBC BASIC for iOS

Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:10 pm

hippy,
I wonder how RPT, the RPF, Broadcom and others would react if I published the full source of the VC4 code and other binary blobs,...
Do you happen to have "the full source of the VC4 code and other binary blobs" ?

If so, I feel you have duty to make them available somehow.

If not, please stop teasing us.

Heater
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Re: BBC BASIC for iOS

Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:26 pm

ejolson,
So will begin the the age of digital feudalism, where digital property rights are owned by a few, who generously let the peasants use the software but pass laws to prevent them from owning intellectual property, even if they create it themselves.
Appart from the "even if they create it themselves" thing this has already been the case for decades now.

Typically one does not "own" software, one pays a license to use it. Under onerous conditions.

It all started with Bill Gate's letter to hobbyists: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File ... byists.jpg in 1976. Written at a time when it was not clear that one could even have copyright protection for meaningless "binary blobs". Which soon became the case after lobbying from the software companies. Then came the DMCA etc,etc.

With that view in mind, it is perhaps paradoxical that today the "peasants" have the greatest opportunity ever to take control of their computing affairs. Everything you need to know about building computers, operating systems, compilers, whatever is out there for the taking. That was certainly not the case back in the early days of computing.

Linux is a fine example of this "peasants revolt". As is the up and coming RISC V processor concept. And everything on Github and elsewhere.

asandford
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Re: BBC BASIC for iOS

Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:57 pm

ejolson wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:07 pm
This implies to me that Apple still wants to enforce a division between people who use their products and creative people who are computer literate and know how to program. The same rules apply to most video game consoles.
I'm not sure about Microsoft, but Sony certainly used to allow 'homebrew' software to run on their devices until it was abused.

The PS4 is now totally locked down, (probably) not because Sony want to "enforce a division between people who use their products and creative people who are computer literate and know how to program", but want to avoid piracy, cheating and other issues on their platform (much the same as Apple I suppose).

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bensimmo
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Re: BBC BASIC for iOS

Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:38 am

Yep, only takes a few to mess it up for the rest.

Nice to see it come to iOS even if I have no interest with the platform. Many do and many Education places use it.

I wonder if SamsungTV's or Nintendo Switch* will be next, widely popular devices.


*Which is basically a Nvidia Sheild locked down and customised.

RichardRussell
Posts: 154
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Re: BBC BASIC for iOS

Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:19 am

bensimmo wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:38 am
I wonder if SamsungTV's or Nintendo Switch* will be next, widely popular devices.
The existing Android edition of BBC BASIC will run on a number of 'smart' TVs and on the Amazon Fire TV/Stick. Sometimes (as is the case with the Amazon Fire) you need to install a file-manager (e.g. ES File Explorer) in order to download and install it, because apps are normally available only from the dedicated app store. But once installed it runs well, and I have adapted a few of the supplied games to be usable from the TV remote.

Richard.

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Z80 Refugee
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Re: BBC BASIC for iOS

Thu May 10, 2018 8:33 am

Apple's "restrictive" policies are there for good reason: the vast majority of their users just want the product to work - and Apple products do because they are very careful about anything that might interfere with the reliability (whether by accident or design), or which might infringe the copyright of content providers.

If you want an open platform you can do what you like with, there is plenty of choice (although Windows is pretty restrictive itself nowadays) - Linux as an open OS and the RPi as open hardware. If you want something that "just works", and gets the job done without falling over every five minutes or needing a tech support department, buy Apple.

NB: Google's Android plays fast and loose with system security, and is thus perceived as open - but that also means open to abuse, including by Google (who are incessant in their data gathering). It could be hypothesised that Android is deliberately less restrictive than iOS so as to make it attractive, and therefore widely used and a large source of free data for Google.

RichardRussell
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Re: BBC BASIC for iOS

Fri May 11, 2018 9:04 am

Z80 Refugee wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 8:33 am
Apple's "restrictive" policies are there for good reason...
It's not clear to me how your comments (many of which I disagree with) are relevant to this thread, since Apple's policies do not prevent BBC BASIC running on iOS. It's true that I have to use the 'ad hoc' distribution method rather than the App Store (and the same is effectively the case in Android) but that's not a major limitation. It would, in principle, be possible to use BBC BASIC to create a standalone iOS application which could be made available from the App Store, just as it is in Android using my BBC2APK tool.

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Z80 Refugee
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Re: BBC BASIC for iOS

Fri May 11, 2018 9:05 pm

Strange, I think my observations are relevant to posts 2-9 (or are we not allowed to discuss anything other than the first post in a thread?!). You are entirely at liberty to disagree, the idea of a forum is to be able to voice opinions.

Be that as it may, my point is "horses for courses".

asandford
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Re: BBC BASIC for iOS

Fri May 11, 2018 9:39 pm

Z80 Refugee wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 9:05 pm
Strange, I think my observations are relevant to posts 2-9 (or are we not allowed to discuss anything other than the first post in a thread?!). You are entirely at liberty to disagree, the idea of a forum is to be able to voice opinions.

Be that as it may, my point is "horses for courses".
I replied purely for this conspiracy nonsense as a long-time console user
This implies to me that Apple still wants to enforce a division between people who use their products and creative people who are computer literate and know how to program. The same rules apply to most video game consoles.
After several secuity breaches and software hacks, Sony has locked down their platform. I expect Microsoft have done the same. Apple have a walled garden for ease of support, which doesn't always mean "it just works" - more recently "it just about works".

Anyway, back on topic - Richard's BBC BASIC is very good on Windows

ejolson
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Re: BBC BASIC for iOS

Sat May 12, 2018 3:58 am

asandford wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 9:39 pm
Anyway, back on topic - Richard's BBC BASIC is very good on Windows
Windows?

Is there a recommended Bluetooth keyboard for iOS (and Android) phones and tablets?

RichardRussell
Posts: 154
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Re: BBC BASIC for iOS

Sat May 12, 2018 2:13 pm

asandford wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 9:39 pm
Anyway, back on topic - Richard's BBC BASIC is very good on Windows
You don't say which BASIC (BB4W or BBCSDL) but no matter: neither of them is "very good".

asandford
Posts: 1998
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Location: Waterlooville

Re: BBC BASIC for iOS

Sat May 12, 2018 6:38 pm

RichardRussell wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 2:13 pm

You don't say which BASIC (BB4W or BBCSDL) but no matter: neither of them is "very good".
BB4W (bought it in Jan 2013).

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