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Grammer Release / Interview
Posted by Ryan on 8 September 2011, 21:35 GMT

Many weeks ago, our own Zeda "ThunderBolt" Elnara released a new programming language for the TI-83/84+ series named Grammer. While it is hoped that you did not miss this release, a delay in news was required for the purpose of contacting Zeda for further information. Instead of the usual manner of reporting, an interview was arranged so that the software author could tell you about the release firsthand! Jump to the comments page in order to get the full interview.

How do you go about developing a new language for this platform?
With Grammer, I pretty much tried to smoosh together BASIC and Assembly. I wanted a language that had a familiar syntax, yet included features found in assembly games. I also added in anything that I thought might be useful that I could code.

How long did it take?
Since I had already had experience working on BASIC ReCode (for BatLib), it was actually quick work to get Grammer to a functional state. It took maybe a day or two to get the brunt of the code finished with game examples. Over the next few months I added in better sprite features, drawing algorithms, and some more advanced math.

What were some of the difficulties?
This is the first project that I have added in a sprite command that drew to pixel coordinates and I had a fun time coming up with fast algorithms for some of the math and other drawing.

What advantages/disadvantages are there to Grammar compared to other languages (such as using the Axe Parser, etc)?
Grammer is actually pretty close in speed to assembly or Axe, yet it is interpreted. This means that the code size is relatively small for complex tasks, yet programs don't have a size limit. On the other hand, the code has to be interpreted and converted on the fly which slows it down a little. Also, Grammer does not create external data and does not have any way to get user input (except through key presses). Some other miscellaneous advantages, though, are:

  • Labels can be any size
  • Math is limited, but still very fast
  • The code has many optimisations that save memory and speed

What do you plan to add in the future?

  • Creation of external data such as strings, pictures, and lists.
  • I hope to add a way to "compile" the code to a format that is much faster to interpret.
  • More graphical commands such as screen shifting
  • More math features
  • Possibly a linking feature (but this isn't likely for a long while, if ever)

What are some of the known bugs for the release?
I know there is something up with End statements, but it is nothing serious. I believe it is an issue with including a For( loop inside a Repeat loop, but it will be likely fixed in the next version. I have yet to find a way to crash the calc with Grammer (aside from using some undocumented features).

Thanks for the interview, Zeda, and keep up the good work!

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The comments below are written by ticalc.org visitors. Their views are not necessarily those of ticalc.org, and ticalc.org takes no responsibility for their content.

Re: Grammer Release / Interview
superluigi Account Info
(Web Page)


Reply to this comment    8 September 2011, 23:10 GMT

Re: Grammer Release / Interview
ThunderBolt  Account Info

Darn, this means I have to include more features! Haha, this ought to be fun!

Reply to this comment    9 September 2011, 02:00 GMT

Re: Re: Grammer Release / Interview
tifreak8x  Account Info
(Web Page)

Woo~ Congrats on the interview :D

Can't wait to see more out of Grammer.

Reply to this comment    10 September 2011, 20:10 GMT

Re: Grammer Release / Interview
Kevin Kofler Account Info
(Web Page)

"Grammmer"?! Yeah, right, LOL… At least it's not called "Speling". ^^

Reply to this comment    10 September 2011, 20:25 GMT

Re: Re: Grammer Release / Interview
superluigi Account Info
(Web Page)


Reply to this comment    10 September 2011, 20:32 GMT

Re: Re: Grammer Release / Interview
ThunderBolt  Account Info

Haha, there is actually a reason for this :) When I made Grammer, I was designing a language just like the languages we use to communicate with each other. Grammer is the tool to communicate to the processor, memory, and screen and is the language that I like to speak to all this in. There are so many correct versions of syntax that it is like a true language. For example, replacing text coordinates with a degree symbol is like throwing in a contraction. This is why I call it Grammer. This is a language and so the better you are with the grammar of Grammer, the better your results will be :)

Reply to this comment    10 September 2011, 21:26 GMT

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