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Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:25 pm
by Mequa
Hello fellow Raspberry Pi users,

I am working on the XAMOS project, which is a work-in-progress rewrite in C++ of the famous AMOS BASIC dialect from the Commodore Amiga. It also includes support for AMOS Animation Language (AMAL) scripts. XAMOS was based on my earlier project jAMOS (written in Java). Currently XAMOS is runtime-only without an editor as yet. It was recently reviewed in Amiga Future magazine.

In addition to ports to MS Windows, Linux on various architectures, and Amiga-like platforms AROS (x86), MorphOS (PPC) and AmigaOS4 (PPC), I already have two experimental builds for Raspberry Pi of the latest XAMOS alpha 0.281, for Raspbian ARMHF and Debian ARMEL, which are available from

Currently this is pretty slow on the Raspberry Pi (pulling around 10-12 frames per second in the default demo), largely due to unaccelerated SDL performance on an unaccelerated X window. I have began to implement OpenGL acceleration (available via a command line flag), however this isn't yet working on the Raspberry Pi and isn't yet compliant with OpenGL ES 2.0. The interpreter however, though not very optimised at this stage, performs reasonably well already on the Pi during my tests. A compiler (based on converting code to C++ and invoking G++) is planned for a later date.

I'm wondering if this project could be another useful addition to the variety of programming languages on the Pi, being another BASIC-like language with some heritage behind it (going back to 1990), as well as some distinctive new features. If it could run on the Raspberry Pi with hardware acceleration, it could have a chance of achieving reasonable performance on a very affordable device, and perhaps the prospect of allowing some cross-platform games to be created (and ported) with ease, as well as allowing new programmers to tinker.

Any thoughts on this project?


Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:33 am
by ghans
Go for it ! When you're at it , why don't you add it to the Debian AND
Raspbian repos ?



Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:52 pm
by Wizard
FAB!!!!!!!! :D

Although I mainly used MSeka v1.80 on the Amiga platform, AMOS was really powerful if you got into it!
I think I really knew AMOS in and out towards the end of the Amiga-era but now it's all but gone...

I will certainly have a go at XAMOS!

I've only just bought an old A500 a few days ago in order to be able to read all of my old floppies that I haven't seen for 17-ish years and there's bound to be plenty of AMOS games & demos that I wrote all those years ago... Really cool if I could revive some of those today!

There's far to few vector balls and sinewave scrollers today :p

Raspberry Pi have really got me back into 80's hacking again - and I'm loving it!


Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:47 pm
by Mequa
XAMOS is nowhere near complete yet, so it can't run old AMOS games at this stage. I'm looking for more developers to join this project to make a more complete AMOS clone for all modern platforms.

Unfortunately my SDHC card with Raspbian (after hours of installing packages to build XAMOS) just died, so no tinkering with OpenGL ES 2.0 for a while. Perhaps it would be best to use EGL combined with SDL for a hardware-accelerated build of XAMOS on the R.Pi (potentially for both Linux and Android).

If anyone has experience with this on the Raspberry Pi, your input might be helpful to get it running (as opposed to crawling) on our favourite credit card-sized computer (and perhaps other mobile devices too). Current XAMOS sources are available to browse. :)

P.S. XAMOS relies heavily on floating-point operations (currently for all numeric variable data, unlike AMOS, and the interpreter's arithmetic operations), so a Raspbian ARMHF build looks the best bet over Debian ARMEL.