[Oberon] Re: Oberon Digest, Vol 30, Issue 24

John Drake jmdrake_98 at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 29 18:31:59 CEST 2006

--- "Rory L. Starkweather" <starkweatherr at mchsi.com>

>  I would like to try Native Oberon, but, as I
> mentioned before, I had a
> lot of trouble figuring out how to do anything with
> it. The issue wasn't
> with the number of buttons my mouse had. The concept
> looked great, but I
> never found any explicit instructions on how to
> create what I would call
> a program. I understand that is not what Oberon
> calls them. Specifically
> I needed to know how to save a file that I had
> created. I just never
> figured that out. 

You click in the space directly to the left of
the [Close] button.  They you type a name, such
as "MyModule.Mod".  Then you click the [Store]
button.  That's it.

> There is a lot of documentation
> but it seems to me
> that it makes some assumptions about familiarity
> with the Oberon-2
> interface. I had no problem finding information on
> how to manipulate
> widgets, but I didn't ever really understand how to
> add one to a form.

Step 1.  Open a new panel.  (From System3.Tool
just click "New Panel").

Step 2.  Open Gadgets.Panel  (Again directly
accessible from System3.Tool.  Or you can
interclick on Gadgets.Panel.)

Step 3.  Set the caret in the panel by left
clicking on it.  You'll see a little "x".

Step 4.  In Gadgets.Panel click on the gadget
you want to insert.  (TextField for instance).

That's it.

>  Now I've seem some messages about Zonnon and
> Component Pascal and
> Bluebottle. Bluebottle didn't appear to me to be a
> complete system.
> Unless I misunderstood, the documentation said it
> didn't have a browser,
> for instance. Since it appears that most of the
> documentation available
> for some of these offerings is on the web, lack of a
> browser would seem
> to a problem.

The latest version has a webbrowser.  The 
documentation needs to be updated.  Also
the older versions can run Oberon System 3
inside a window.  System 3 has (a very limited)
web browser also.  But you won't be able
to do things that require Flash or JavaScript
with either of them.  "Feature creep" on
the WWW is an problem that few alternative
operating systems can completely get around.
That's why I use a "hosted" version of
Oberon (either System 3 Plugin, or V4 for 
Windows or Aos/BlueBottle for Windows).
I can still use Firefox when I need to.
Really, I rarely try to browse the web
from Oberon, but I use the built in webbrowser 
to download/parse/reformat web pages.  
That's similair to what people do with 
REBOL.  (http://www.rebol.com)

>  I have some experience with computers and
> programming, but I would be
> trying to use a programming language new to me with
> an operating system
> new to me. I would appreciate your hearing your
> thoughts.
>  Rory 

Well you also mentioned Zonnon and Component 
Pascal.  Component Pascal began life as 
"Oberon/F" where the "F" stands for "Framework".
It was originally meant as a framework where
people could write programs for Windows and
Mac that maintained the "look and feel" for
Windows and/or Mac.  In a way it had "skinning"
back before that was even a term.  BlackBox
Component Builder has grown from that, but with
a few syntactic changes which is why it's
called Component Pascal now instead of Oberon.

So the short answer is, you can get into 
programming with Oberon without having to
learn the new operating system if that's what
you want to do.  Many of us, however, have
learned to like the "Oberon system" in its
various flavors.  In a way, it's kind of
the same situation as with the 3D modeling
program Blender.  (http://www.blender.com)
The Blender user interface is different from
anything you might expect, and it has a
VERY high learning curve for a lot of 
people.  But most users say that once you
get used to it, it's one of the most 
productive 3D modelling packages available.


John M. Drake

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