What is Superglus

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Apr 8, 2009, 4:04:23 AM4/8/09
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Hi,

as Superglus itself has not been introduced into RAIF as far as I
know, this message is just a brief introduction to it, for those who
are interested in knowing what it is, whether they plan to use it or
not. I do this cause at the moment, there is no english documentation,
and I would like you to know about it so at least you can think it
exists :).

First I will explain what it is, and then some technical tips (for the
more thechie guys/gals).

Superglus is basically a PAWS clone. PAWS is (was) an authoring system
for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum home computer, a computer that was widely
used in Spain and, as far as I know, many other countries including of
course its homeland: UK. PAWS was very popular in Spain during the 80s
and early 90s so many PAW clones has been built, mainly for DOS, and
it's way of programming games is prefered by some authors over what
the consider more complex: Inform (ofc, this is their subjective point
of view). Superglus extends PAWS to make things easier for
programmers, but basically it follows the same original idea.

There are other PAW clones like WinPAW, but only Superglus generates
glulx files as output, making the results more portable.

There is no english documentation right now, but it may be coming some
day (in fact, part of it is done already).

Some people don't like Superglus, they consider it old way to do IF,
but the truth is it has found a gap in the spanish list of authoring
system, being today probably the second one in popularity. Some
authors consider they would have never been able to do their games
with Inform, some other think Superglus sucks big time.

And now, how it works?

Well, Superglus is not a single executable, but a pack of them.
Basically it uses the following executables in the process of making a
glulx file from source file:

1) txtpaws: this is a preprocessor, able to replace identifiers by
numbers, macros, etc., also, it generates input file for blorb
utilities.
2) spg: this is the compiler, given a source file previously processed
by preprocessor, it generates an assembler file.
3) glulxa: this is the assembler, given the assembler source file, it
generates an ulx file.
4) blc: this is pretty well know for you: using the file generated by
txtpaws it will build a blb file.

All this commands may be run form command line, but there is also an
IDE for Superglus, who's able to call the all in arow generating the
result file (actually there are two IDEs, one for Windows, one for
Linux).

The ULA file generated contains a base code written in assembler
(containing the interpreter) plus the code generated by the compiler
that is machine dependant.

You can find the last beta at http://www.caad.es/superglus, but I have
to warn you it is spanish version (only one existing atm). That means
basically spanish IDE, spanish error messages, and spanish version of
the initial library (providing default answers to most usual actions).

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