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BASIC-M Compiler v1.35

BASIC-M Compiler v1.35
BASIC-M Compiler v1.35

SystemAtari ST
Floppy (3.5")5

Philon

Atari ST

Release Date: 1/1/1985
Manufacturer: Philon
 
Philon has created a compiled Basic for the 520ST. A compiled Basic translates the entire program into executable machine code and stores this on disk. The program thus does not consume any time translating individual commands into machine language during execution of the program. In principle, programs that are very long and/or contain lengthy loops can be speeded up significantly by compilation. Engineering, scientific, game and business programs are typical categories.

A very efficient programming technique is to write a program with an interpreter, debug it interactively with the interpreter, then compile it for speed and execution from the desktop. The Philon compiler achieves this, except for speed in mathematics routines. During the course of this review, two speed tests were run. One test was a repetitive number cruncher and the second, a character string sorting routine. The math test ran SLOWER under the Philon compiler than it did from ST Basic, while the sort test ran faster. The Philon code does run directly from the desktop and will compile ST Basic files, provided the commands used in the ST Basic file are common to the Philon dialect.

The major uses for the compiler would be in applications requiring considerable math accuracy. Engineering, scientific and business applications seem appropriate, although they may run slower than expected. Additionally, the compiled program runs directly from TOS - loading ST Basic is not required.

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