[Oberon] Current Oberon System

Les May zen53397 at zen.co.uk
Mon Dec 17 19:59:00 CET 2012

On 17/12/2012 12:31, Chris Burrows wrote:
> The "time when computing was simpler and memory was measured in 
> kilobytes" is still very much the case for a huge body of software 
> developers - those who live in the world of microcontrollers embedded 
> systems development. Users of our Astrobe system are developing Oberon 
> programs on systems with as little as a total of 8K of RAM for data 
> and 32K of Flash ROM for storing their programs. However, these are 
> the sorts of application areas where Oberon really excels. 

Astrobe is the one bright star in the Oberon firmament (pun not 
intended). It is forward not backward looking allowing users to build on 
their existing skills and is precisely the kind of thing which I think 
is needed to secure Oberon's long term future. Unfortunately it is 
targets only a small family of microprocessors and has not stimulated 
any imitators to target other processors. It can be contrasted with the 
Small Devices C Compiler SDCC.

On 17/12/2012 Oleg N. Cher wrote:

Your statement can be extended to - is now possible to develop for 
non-Oberon systems and the popular mainstream platforms in Oberon? My 
answer is - yes, it is. Here we come up against is not a mystical lack 
of Oberon compilers.

I think the list Oleg provides rather makes my point which was the heavy 
reliance on university projects (ULM and GPCP, POW Oberon could be added 
here) and the need for standalone compilers to be developed for 
different platforms if people are going to be attracted to Oberon. C 
translators are a convoluted way of doing things and at best a 
compromise. If my memory serves me correctly the XDS compiler does not 
have an Oberon specific module for file handling but has to press the 
Modula 2 module into service, another compromise. OPCL is a big step in 
the right direction but still seems to be very much a work in progress. 
I hope it continues to be developed.

Les May

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