Fwd: is there any word processing software for the pdp11?

Jacob Ritorto jacob.ritorto at gmail.com
Tue Dec 2 11:16:20 CST 2014

Given the gloomy weather and speaking of porting, I just got bored and
tried to compile /usr/src/games/rain.c from 2.11bsd on opensolaris using
gcc3.44.  It errored out with rain.c:61: error: parse error before '->'
token.  What's that all about?  There's not even a pointer on that line:
61     float cols, lines;

rain.c source here: http://www.retro11.de/ouxr/211bsd/usr/src/games/rain.c

On Tue, Dec 2, 2014 at 12:08 PM, Jon Elson <elson at pico-systems.com> wrote:

> On 12/02/2014 07:20 AM, Mark Wickens wrote:
>> Is there any general agreement on what the 'best' programming language is
>> for PDP-11 for this kind of application, if I'm getting what you're after
>> it's something like wordstar or WPS-PLUS? A text editor with some word
>> processing features. Good system integration and the ability to easily
>> control a terminal?
>> I know VAX Pascal is highly respected and can do most things - certainly
>> Theo De Klerk's book is very comprehensive.
>> I don't know *anything* about programming PDP-11's. Would be interested if
>> there is one language or it's a case of pick and choose like VAXen.
>>  Our shop at the time (1975-1981 or so, for the PDP-11) used FORTRAN.  I
> had a passion
> for Pascal, also got a Modula 2 compiler but never really moved to it.  We
> then got a
> VAX 11/780, and I used them until the migration to the Alpha systems, and
> used
> those until the end of DEC.  We continued to run one Alpha here until it
> became so
> obsolete that nobody would use it anymore.  We were STILL mostly a FORTRAN
> shop.  I created a few personal apps in Pascal.
> Now that I use Linux pretty exclusively, I have grudgingly accepted C.
> Recently,
> the Free Pascal Compiler (fpc) became available on Linux, and it is quite
> amazing.  I ported over a Turbo Pascal for Windows app that ran on Windows
> 95/Win 2K to run on Linux in a couple days.  It required some serious
> hacking
> to remove external hardware-specific parts that were no longer applicable,
> but the main thrust of FPC was to handle DEC and Borland Pascal extensions
> to the language well.  They really did a good job!  So, after a long time
> away
> from Pascal, it is again a viable language.  I doubt I'd ever write a major
> app in Pascal again, but I could if I wanted.
> Well, none of the above really applies to the PDP-11!  I will say that a
> major
> advantage with Pascal is that when I got a program to pass the compiler's
> syntax checking, it very often ran correctly the first time!  It forces you
> to think logically, structure well, and doesn't have all the insane hidden
> syntactic screwups that C does.  I still get called in at work to advise
> when C programs don't work right.  I'm still discovering new ways that
> C code that looks perfectly correct can screw up horribly.  Last one was
> yesterday.
> Boiling it down, we had :
> long long int A;
> int B;
> A = B << 32;
> This means that some field of B gets shifted to the right by 32 bits, and
> fit into the upper 32-bits of A.
> Now, any decent compiler should either extend B to the length of A, or
> as the C rules specify, NOT extend B, and therefor ought to warn you
> that it is losing significant bits.  No warning, no extending the variable
> before shifting the bits off the end of the word.  So, A always gets
> a zero!  UGH!  Stupid!  I could almost write a book of these sorts
> of gotchas.
> Jon

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