What to do about a lack of developers for the compiler?

For other topics related to the FreeBASIC project or its community.
MrSwiss
Posts: 3257
Joined: Jun 02, 2013 9:27
Location: Switzerland

Re: What to do about a lack of developers for the compiler?

Postby MrSwiss » Aug 06, 2017 18:34

Managed to dig up the thread, related to the WIKI login problem: see here ...
Last answer from counting_pine:
"wish I could do something to help, but it's out of my area of expertise..", 21 Nov 2014, 15:01
coderJeff
Site Admin
Posts: 3061
Joined: Nov 04, 2005 14:23
Location: Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Re: What to do about a lack of developers for the compiler?

Postby coderJeff » Aug 06, 2017 19:02

MrSwiss, thank-you. It is news to me. I will follow up with admins (even if same people, different role from developers). Possible that it was a counter measure to spam attacks/infection. So you still get a "Registration must be done by using the Forum∞" when trying to register?

In the meantime, what do you think about recording your progress with first steps repo cloning/github/building freebasic?
MrSwiss
Posts: 3257
Joined: Jun 02, 2013 9:27
Location: Switzerland

Re: What to do about a lack of developers for the compiler?

Postby MrSwiss » Aug 06, 2017 19:48

Registering ??? (no such thing) ... Login, see below:
It seems different now: Sorry, this user name doesn't exist.
coderJeff wrote:I will follow up with admins (even if same people, different role from developers).
IMHO, another bad thing, because usually the interests are, at best, "conflicting".
I am an old (Sys-)Admin myself, and therefore am aware, of such things:
    Coding on the one side ...
    keeping Systems up & running, on the other ...
coderJeff wrote:In the meantime, what do you think about recording your progress with first steps repo cloning/github/building freebasic?
Well, I'm a lousy writer, in the first place ... I usually prefer *telegram*-style.
I hate writing (prose, not code) and avoid it, as much as possible (as can be seen in my posts).
Secondly: I don't like GIT's agressive "marketing" (asking to create a login, on the front-page).
Stuff used to be done on SF ... what's the "vote" against it?
(I've given a reason: SF login is there, right now)
coderJeff
Site Admin
Posts: 3061
Joined: Nov 04, 2005 14:23
Location: Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Re: What to do about a lack of developers for the compiler?

Postby coderJeff » Aug 06, 2017 21:19

MrSwiss, dude, wtf?!? OK, I take that as a NO; you are not going to contribute in that way.

Look, the OP is "What to do about a lack of developers for the compiler?" with 3 questions. It's a bit of a backhanded question, but, whatever, I'm game for it. I'm pretty sure, that up to this point, everyone thought dkl would be making the next release. He's not. And that's fair. He's given more than enough to the project.

There's an opportunity here for some individuals to step up and say .. here's what I can do.
coderJeff
Site Admin
Posts: 3061
Joined: Nov 04, 2005 14:23
Location: Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Re: What to do about a lack of developers for the compiler?

Postby coderJeff » Aug 06, 2017 21:21

About building:
As I have said in a previous post, I have only worked with 32-bit gen gas so it's new for me, to work with the 64-bit builds. I have been following instructions at DevBuildWindows and they are very good instructions.

I have been able to build the following sequence on windows 7 with mingw-w64:
fb.1.05.0 32-bit => fb.1.06.0 32-bit
fb.1.06.0 32-bit => fb.1.06.0 32-bit
fb.1.06.0 32-bit => fb.1.06.0 32-bit (to check for binary stability)
fb.1.06.0 32-bit => fb.1.06.0 64-bit
fb.1.06.0 64-bit => fb.1.06.0 64-bit (to check for binary stability)
pass all unit tests with 32-bit version and 64-bit version.

I have also tried msys2 mingw32 & mingw64 build environment, but I end up with a lot of DLL dependencies that I do not want for STAND_ALONE version. So far, the mingw-w64 seems best.

St_W, I think you mentioned building with msys2. Are you doing STAND_ALONE, or with the install prefix?
St_W
Posts: 1476
Joined: Feb 11, 2009 14:24
Location: Austria
Contact:

Re: What to do about a lack of developers for the compiler?

Postby St_W » Aug 06, 2017 22:31

coderJeff wrote:St_W, I think you mentioned building with msys2. Are you doing STAND_ALONE, or with the install prefix?
Currently I'm not using MSYS2 - i tried when I upgraded the build machine to Win10, but reverted to the old MSYS 1.0 environment due to some issues that I cannot remember anymore :-|
Anyway the MSYS environment is only used for running the shell scripts and tools; the really important thing is the toolchain being used. I'm using MinGW-w64 compilers (and there's also a build using TDM gcc). The toolchains are the following ones:
32-bit: i686-4.9.0-release-win32-dwarf-rt_v3-rev2.7z
64-bit: x86_64-4.8.2-release-win32-seh-rt_v3-rev2.7z
TDM: tdm-gcc-4.8.1-3.exe

For bootstrapping currently the following FB compiler is used:
FreeBASIC Compiler - Version 1.04.0 (07-27-2015), built for win32 (32bit)

The 32-bit compiler is used also for bootstrapping the 64-bit build of FB. That's a relict from former days when no official 64-bit FB release did exist and probably should be changed.
However, it shouldn't hurt on the other hand as every compiler will build itself anyway a second time.

And yes, win32-builds are configured as standalone builds.

You see that some changes will be needed :-)

--------------------------

The most effort will be probably needed for the Linux builds as I'll have to set up a completey new system with the according version of libc that should be used. (On Windows I can just change the compiler; that's easy.) Additionally I'll need to get Java8 somehow to run on that system (for the CI system), which is really a pain for older Linux versions.

Linux build version information:

stw@debian:~$ uname -a
Linux debian 3.16.0-4-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 3.16.7-ckt25-2 (2016-04-08) x86_64 GNU/Linux
stw@debian:~$ gcc --version
gcc (Debian 4.9.2-10) 4.9.2
Copyright (C) 2014 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
This is free software; see the source for copying conditions. There is NO
warranty; not even for MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.
stw@debian:~$ fbc/bin/fbc --version
FreeBASIC Compiler - Version 1.04.0 (07-27-2015), built for linux-x86 (32bit)
Imortis
Moderator
Posts: 1629
Joined: Jun 02, 2005 15:10
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: What to do about a lack of developers for the compiler?

Postby Imortis » Aug 07, 2017 14:51

coderJeff wrote:...Look, the OP is "What to do about a lack of developers for the compiler?" with 3 questions. It's a bit of a backhanded question, but, whatever, I'm game for it. ...


I never intended it as a backhanded question. I love freeBASIC and I want to see it continue to get bug fixes. I was attempting to get a conversation going about this to see what the community wants to do.

If my questions came off as leading or in-genuine, I am very sorry. That was not my intent.

By the way: I took you advice, and choose a bug I was pretty sure I could fix: QB type suffixes allowed on any keywords

I have found the problem. The lexer does not care what dialect you are in when checking for the suffixes. It is disallowed on variables, so I am going to see where the error is thrown for variables, and use that code to fix other keywords. I hope to have a fix before too long.
Tourist Trap
Posts: 2762
Joined: Jun 02, 2015 16:24

Re: What to do about a lack of developers for the compiler?

Postby Tourist Trap » Aug 07, 2017 17:09

Imortis wrote:I never intended it as a backhanded question.

I'm just jumping on this, not about backhanding anything (I don't even know what it does mean), but to make 2 fundamental suggestions that I always had in head but that I never found where I could simply express them. So let's give it a try ...
  • Could we have a topic where we would try to explain to any user how to compile FB from source. It's something that is not easy for the peasant. And it's also not easy to answer I know... many platforms, many tools to grab, things to understand about MAKE, and such items that are common to a few and quite difficult to handle for the masses...
  • Couldn't we have a topic that would be a window to have news on what is going on at the German board. This freebasic forum is just plenty of gems, but german is a language that sounds like cryptography for most of us I'm affraid... I can be wrong on that, at least for me it quite hard to decypher anything there despite my interest (see above the affair of Drag/Drog module or so, it's avaiable on the german board, who was aknowledged of this?)..

2 cents proposals only. But it's what is in my mind.
coderJeff
Site Admin
Posts: 3061
Joined: Nov 04, 2005 14:23
Location: Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Re: What to do about a lack of developers for the compiler?

Postby coderJeff » Aug 07, 2017 17:17

@St_W,
TDM packages work OK. I didn't find any release since the 2015 version.

msys2 looked really promising except for 2 major issues I had:
- command line length is 8K on win and I had to modify makefile commands especially for AR and LD
- the compiled program depends on many shared libs (.DLL's) in msys2/... tree - so looks like msys2 also becomes the run time environment

yeah, msys seems to handle the long command line lengths, and works well with mingw-w64, and can build an executable with fewest dependencies (well, I think so).

I tried my slackware VM to build a linux version - but it's an old version. I got stuck on linking to libcunit and libffi. I have abandoned that for now, and anyway, I think there are others here that would be more successful helping with linux builds.


@Imortis, Nice. Sounds good. yeah, let's keep the conversation going in positive ways. Thanks, man.
St_W
Posts: 1476
Joined: Feb 11, 2009 14:24
Location: Austria
Contact:

Re: What to do about a lack of developers for the compiler?

Postby St_W » Aug 07, 2017 19:27

coderJeff wrote:I tried my slackware VM to build a linux version - but it's an old version. I got stuck on linking to libcunit and libffi. I have abandoned that for now, and anyway, I think there are others here that would be more successful helping with linux builds.

I'm using a modified version of cunit on my CI machine. I've changed and/or fixed the resultfile output so that I could integrate it into the CI system. You can find the sources and 32/64-bit Linux/Windows builds here:
https://bitbucket.org/st_w/fb-jenkins/src
The repo also contains some other tools I'm using to automate some tasks on the CI machine. (but some of them are not in use and not really "finished")

Tourist Trap wrote:Could we have a topic where we would try to explain to any user how to compile FB from source. It's something that is not easy for the peasant. And it's also not easy to answer I know... many platforms, many tools to grab, things to understand about MAKE, and such items that are common to a few and quite difficult to handle for the masses...
There's a wiki page describing the process. Of course some basic knowledge e.g. how to use the operating system are assumed, but if you have that you should be able to build FBC from sources using that description. If not feel free to ask about concrete problems on the forums.

Tourist Trap wrote:Couldn't we have a topic that would be a window to have news on what is going on at the German board. This freebasic forum is just plenty of gems, but german is a language that sounds like cryptography for most of us I'm affraid... I can be wrong on that, at least for me it quite hard to decypher anything there despite my interest (see above the affair of Drag/Drog module or so, it's avaiable on the german board, who was aknowledged of this?)..
As I've mentioned previously the german forum is not very active anymore. What might be interesting is the content on freebasic-portal.de. Unfortunately the site is not available in english, but i think that some translation service could make it readable (Google Translate, ...). There are also other non-english sites with interesting stuff like the free-basic.ru, which seems to be more active than the german site.
sancho2
Posts: 547
Joined: May 17, 2015 6:41

Re: What to do about a lack of developers for the compiler?

Postby sancho2 » Aug 08, 2017 0:12

Imortis wrote:I never intended it as a backhanded question. I love freeBASIC and I want to see it continue to get bug fixes. I was attempting to get a conversation going about this to see what the community wants to do.

This is a very necessary topic and an interesting read so far.
If there is a backhand to it, its that it highlights the amount of work DKL was doing and the important role he played.
Its great to see some interest in taking the leads even if its just bug fixing.
For me the compiler is very stable to the lengths I take it to.

By the way, the way I read it, CoderJeff was not being critical but instead was saying that the topic was sure to invoke separate but related discussions.
counting_pine
Site Admin
Posts: 6172
Joined: Jul 05, 2005 17:32
Location: Manchester, Lancs

Re: What to do about a lack of developers for the compiler?

Postby counting_pine » Aug 08, 2017 12:34

I've posted to the thread in the OP - I can add new accounts to the wiki now, if anyone wants to post there. (You may have to be a bit patient, and I'll get to it when I have a moment.)

Using Github is optional. I believe it's possible to fork on SourceForge as well.
We don't want to tie people in to GitHub, it's just a fairly easy way to make changes to code.

We don't get a lot of patches, so we probably won't reject outright any kind of patch or pull request. But it will be easier to more quickly review the code if it's posted online somewhere.

If you would rather just post terse instructions rather than prose, that's OK. Sometimes it's better just to have step-by-step instructions than to try and understand the whole process.
MrSwiss
Posts: 3257
Joined: Jun 02, 2013 9:27
Location: Switzerland

Re: What to do about a lack of developers for the compiler?

Postby MrSwiss » Aug 08, 2017 13:31

counting_pine wrote:I've posted to the thread in the OP - I can add new accounts to the wiki now, if anyone wants to post there.
Great news and definitely a good step towards restoring the "community effort", on WIKI stuff...
Suggestion: make this post of yours, sticky in NEWS (or similar, TO BE SEEN BY ALL!)
Reason: some users might have "given up" waiting, for this to "happen"!

Thanks for your effort, to restore broken stuff.
Tourist Trap
Posts: 2762
Joined: Jun 02, 2015 16:24

Re: What to do about a lack of developers for the compiler?

Postby Tourist Trap » Aug 08, 2017 19:57

counting_pine wrote:I've posted to the thread in the OP - I can add new accounts to the wiki now, if anyone wants to post there. (You may have to be a bit patient, and I'll get to it when I have a moment.)

Just to warn softly. There is a issue with wikies that can not make their content converge towards a solid content due to the lack of users. Wikipedia for instance is of quality each time a category is reviewed multiple times by virtually dozens of guys. Moreover wikipedia has some bots that make a lot of clean up, that also can force some standardization on the way the things are just shaped (titles, paragraphs, links etc...).

My point here finally would only be to ask, if possible, to have a stable restricted wiki which would feed the official manual revision, and besides this a free wiki that could feed the first one only after a proper filtering, in order to seek for the best quality of the stabilized version.

The documentation is maybe the only part where a too little amount of users can be a real source of disapointment, and it's a paradox but even opening the wiki can not increase this amount. There is a critical mass aspect. Not to say that due to the extrem quality of the current work, I'm just not sure that this is what we really must modify. Unless of course we loose a redactor like fxm, and if the developpers decided that all this is out of their scope finally. This, of course, is possible. Today anyway it seems that this is not of any actuality.

Again sorry if I'm misunderstanding what it is about. As I understand it humbly, it sounds to my ears like a possible disturbance regarding the documentation. My remarks after all are not about the wiki but the downloadable official docs.

sancho2 wrote:If there is a backhand to it, its that it highlights the amount of work DKL was doing and the important role he played.
Its great to see some interest in taking the leads even if its just bug fixing.
For me the compiler is very stable to the lengths I take it to.

I loved the type of mind that dkl exhibited. I can not remember an example where he lost patience in some explanation when he decided to answer you on some aspect. Moreover I found him very logical in a very elegant way. Of course this doesn't mean anything bad about the others with which I finally less often had to ask anything. After all I often asked for informations about OOP that in general was answered by fxm or dkl. Fortunately they are absolutely unexhaustable on the topic :)
coderJeff
Site Admin
Posts: 3061
Joined: Nov 04, 2005 14:23
Location: Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Re: What to do about a lack of developers for the compiler?

Postby coderJeff » Aug 08, 2017 21:42

@Tourist Trap, 2 wikis? I dunno. On one hand that does kind of follow a version control strategy -- with one copy being the stable release version, and another copy being the 'development' version that everyone is working on. Ultimately, whomever merges changes to the stable version, has to actually review the changes. Personally, I would rather have everyone contributing someting to the documentation, even if it is not perfect.

Yeah, the wiki has some issues to say the least. The wiki software itself needs some attention. I have a little time to look at it. Unfortunately, my holiday is over in a few days, so I don't what I can accomplish just now.

---

@St_W, looks promising. Some automation for some things that I remember doing manually. Nice work.

---

I'm going to ramble on here a bit, if not interetsed, that's okay ... skip ahead :P

My hope is that people reading these posts, might have the interest to try and do something to help FreeBASIC. To try and do things they thought only other people can do. Yes, it can be hard, difficult, time consuming, but not impossible.

I have been working through using 'contrib/release/build.sh' using instructions at DevMakingReleases. Amazing what dkl has left for us! First time though, it will punish your internet connection. Once the big files are downloaded, they do get cached.

I can make the win32 & win64 distribution packages, including installer. Next step is to test that what actually goes in the package is correct. And then the concern I knew I would get to eventually: verifying that the bindings match the import libs & run time environment. The herioc effort dkl has put forth on fbfrog, header files, and import libs, is remarkable. But, I have not touched this area yet. Any thoughts, from anyone?

The only problem I really had with build.sh was with mingw.org build: ddraw.h and dinput.h used to come from a file off of the allegro site and that zip file no longer exists. I grabbed them from my mingw install, but that's not a good solution.

Also, I tried starting the dos build. I needed to change the version numbers on djgpp packages because previous packages no longer exist. djgpp (DPMI) executables can't run on win 7, so once I get a WinXP VM running, I might make more progress. Looks like still possible to do DOS release, though, to be completely open and honest about it, I'm not really interested.

Return to “Community Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests