[Oberon] Building Oberon0.dsk

Paul Reed paulreed at paddedcell.com
Fri Apr 14 15:52:27 CEST 2006

> Jan,
>> First get a system people can build at home.
> Oberon0.Dsk and rawrite.exe are available.
> Anyone can get these files and make the
> installer diskette using a conventional system on a PC at home.  MacOS and
> Linux
> can also copy Oberon0.Dsk to a diskette.
>> ... chicken and egg paradox we are in now.
> The system can be installed from the
> diskette.  The only cost is the effort. How can this be a paradox?

I think what Mr. Verhoeven means (BTW, was a reply forthcoming
from Mr. Negroponte?) is to *build* Oberon0.Dsk at home, rather
than just copy it onto a floppy and use it.  I completely agree -
the first thing you should be able to do with an open source
system is build it yourself, to see whether what you have is
what you thought you had.

If this was to be done via the SourceForge/CVS/(different host
operating system) route, then it would presumably require
the relevant Native/BB compiler and build tools to be hosted
on Windows/Linux, together with a method for executing the tool
text commands.  I believe that the Oberon for Windows compiler
can make Win32 applications - could it be used to make itself
(as a Win32 app)?

Having already built a portable Oberon compiler/cross-compiler
myself (DOS, Win32, Unix/Linux, Mac, Palm) for building
commercial applications on those platforms, I have recently been
putting it to use as a build tool for a simple Oberon System
which I can then boot off a floppy, CD, USB-stick or hard drive
(it's *really* nice to be able to access the hardware directly,
even if that's not the flavour of the month).  I have some
really messy build batch files which have to be maintained
separately on Win32 and Unix - this would be cleaned up
considerably with a tool-text-type approach, and would also be
more self-documenting.

Although Pieter Muller might slap me for saying this, I
think that hosting the build tools outside Oberon is a good
idea, particularly for a collaborative project (sorry Pieter!).
(Native, it must be said, is a great environment for developing
software on one's own - wonderful in fact, no disks flashing
mysteriously or constant worries about someone hacking in.)
In Unix/Windows there are just more system programming tools
available, particularly for people who are new to Oberon but
not to programming generally (favourite editors, grep, CVS,
backup etc.).

At the moment, a lot of people who are prepared to improve
Oberon are not necessarily prepared or able to dedicate a
machine (or even a partition) to it.  BB, for example, has
not run on any of the machines I use as development machines
(mainly laptops) and I can't readily re-build it to find out

As people build an Oberon system they can trust, they are then
more likely to "eat their own dog food" as Microsoft has it, i.e.
build from within the environment they're building.

Paul Reed

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