I was sent an unusual set of documents and programs recently. David Denham has put together a set of documents and procedures to help with converting the wealth of older BASIC listings out on the internet to QL BASIC. The documents list just about every keyword imaginable in the older PC BASICs (the document is a 70+ page Xchange Quill one, which I’ve also converted to HTML and PDF) and goes on in some detail to describe how to write equivalent code in QL BASIC, and provides a set of hints and helpful SuperBASIC procedures for many such commands, which usually have the same names as those in Microsoft-style BASICs (e.g. string slicing functions called LEFT$ MID$ and RIGHT$).
The other half of the story of converting such old BASIC programs is the fact that many of them can be downloaded from the internet only in something called Tokenized format. Rather than being plain text files (like QL BASIC _bas files) they are in a special format, broadly equivalent to something like a QSAVE _sav file in QL BASIC. So the second package, Detokenize, documents this file format and provides a number of useful example QL BASIC programs which will read and detokenise the Microsoft BASIC programs and save them as plain text files for you to hand-edit into QL BASIC. Even if there is no detokenizer for a particular version of Microsoft BASIC, the documentation and the examples should make it easy to write your own I suppose (and I’d be pleased to receive copies for inclusion on the website with this package).
So, let’s hope that these two packages will lead to many more such BASIC programs being converted to run on a QL!
Download the two packages convert.zip and detokenize.zip from my website’s BASIC Page at http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/basic/index.html