Programming Language Reference Manual

This document and the software it describes are copyrighted products of Microware Systems Corporation. Reproduction by any means is strictly prohibited, except by prior written permission from Microware Systems Corporation.

The information contained herein is believed to be accurate as of the date of publication, however, Microware will not be liable for any damages, including indirect or consequential, resulting from reliance upon the software or this documentation.

Revision History
Revision AMarch 2003
Updated for OS-9 Level One Version 02.01.01

Table of Contents
List of Figures
List of Tables

Chapter 1. Introduction

Comments on BASIC09

BASIC09 is an enhanced structured Basic language programming system specially created for the 6809 Advanced Microprocessor. In addition to the standard BASIC language statements and functions, BASIC09 includes many of the useful elements of the PASCAL programming language so that programs can be modular, well-structured, and use sophisticated data structures. It also permits full access to almost all of the OS-9 Operating System commands and functions so it can be used as a systems programming language. These features make BASIC09 an ideal language for many applications: scientific, business, industrial control, education, and more.

BASIC09 is unusual in that it is an Interactive Compiler that has the best of both kinds of language system: it gives the fast execution speed typical of compiler languages plus the ease of use and memory space efficiency typical of interpreter languages. BASIC09 is a complete programming system that includes a powerful text editor, multi-pass compiler, run-time interpreter, high-level interactive debugger, and a system executive. Each of these components was carefully integrated to give the user a friendly, highly interactive programming resource. that provides all the tools and helpful extra facilities needed for fast, accurate creation and testing of structured programs.

BASIC09 Features

  • Structured, recursive BASIC with Pascal-type enhancements:

    • allows multiple, independent, named procedures

    • procedures called by name with parameters

    • multi-character, upper or lower case identifiers

    • variables and line numbers local to procedures

    • line numbers optional

    • automatic linkage to ROM or RAM library procedures

    • PACK command compacts program and provides security

    • PRINT USING with FORTRAN-like format specifications

  • Extended data structures:

    • Five Basic data types: BYTE, INTEGER, REAL, BOOLEAN, and STRING

    • One, two, or three dimensional arrays

    • User-defined complex structures and data types

  • Extended Control Structures (with Unique Closure Elements):

    • IF...THEN...[ ELSE...] ENDIF

    • FOR...TO...[ STEP ]...NEXT

    • REPEAT...UNTIL...




  • Graphics Interface Module for Access to Dragon Computer Colour Graphics Functions

  • Powerful interactive debugging and editing features:

    • Integral, full-featured text editor

    • Syntax error check upon line entry and procedure compile

    • Trace mode reproduces original source statements

    • Renumber command for line numbered procedures

  • High-speed, high-accuracy math:

    • 9 decimal-digit 40 bit binary floating point

    • Full set of transcendentals (SIN, ASN, ACS, LOG, etc.)

The History of BASIC09

BASIC09 was conceived in 1978 as a high-performance programming language to demonstrate the capabilities of the 6809 microprocessor to efficiently run high-level languages. BASIC09 was developed at the same time as the 6809 under the auspices of the architects of the 6809. The project covered almost two years, and incorporated the results of research in such areas as interactive compilation, fast floating point arithmetic algorithms, storage management, high-level symbolic debugging, and structured language design. These innovations give BASIC09 its speed, power, and unique flavor.

BASIC09 was commissioned by Motorola, Inc., Austin, Texas, and developed by Microware Systems Corporation, Des Moines, Iowa. Principal designers of BASIC09 were Larry Crane, Robert Doggett, Ken Kaplan, and Terry Ritter. The first release was in February, 1980.

Excellent feedback, thoughtful suggestions, and carefully documented bug reports from BASIC09 users all over the world have been invaluable to the designers in their efforts to achieve the degree of sophistication and reliability BASIC09 has today.

Chapter 2. Introduction to BASIC09 Programming

This section is intended for persons who have not previously written computer programs. If you are familiar with programming in general or BASIC programming specifically, this section can give you a feel for the BASIC09 interactive environment.

What is a Program?

A computer works something like a pocket calculator. With a calculator you push a button, some calculation occurs, and the result is displayed. On some calculators you can write a program which is just a list of the buttons you want pushed, in the order you want them pushed. This is very similar to a computer program, but most computer languages use command names instead of buttons.

To get results from a computer, you must first put into the computer the list of commands you want executed in the order you want them executed. Each command will mean do this thing or do that thing, but the computer only has certain commands which it will understand. A computer can do things like add or save the result into memory. Typing get me a taco to a computer won't get it; similarly, on a calculator you can't push buttons which aren't there. After you have stored a list of commands into the computer, you can tell it to perform those operations. This is like actually pushing the buttons on a hand calculator. Then, if you remembered to have the computer display your results, you get to see them. Generally, a computer does not automatically display results like a hand calculator. More calculations occur in a computer then in a calculator, and displaying all these results would simply be overwhelming.

You enter a program into a computer by using the computer itself as a text editor, to store the commands you type in. Some editors allow you to enter any text you want. Other editors will only store valid computer commands. Even if the computer does store all the text you type in, it can only execute those commands it knows. If during program execution, BASIC09 finds a word which does not correspond to a command it will probably stop and print out an error message. Other editors check each command as you enter it (usually after the carriage-return ending each line) and print error messages immediately for invalid commands. After typing in your list of commands, there are ways to display that list, to modify the commands you have typed in, and to insert others. But simply entering a computer program does not get results any more than thinking which buttons to push will get results on a calculator. You store your program by typing it into a computer, but no results are available until after you start the program running.

Even though programming is conceptually simple, it is easy to misspell commands which BASIC09 will not interpret correctly. Unlike humans, BASIC09 does not infer anything: Every command must be perfectly spelled and punctuated or it is wrong. Even after spelling errors are eliminated, it is likely that the sequence of commands you have entered will not do the job you wanted it to do. The meaning of the program to BASIC09 is often quite different than was intended by the programmer, but good intentions just don't push the right buttons. After you get the program to run without obvious error, you must test the program with sample input and see that it produces results which are known correct. If the results are incorrect, the program must be modified and tested until it does produce correct results. This is known as testing and debugging. Computer malfunctions are rare, and if the computer works to store the program, it is probably working perfectly. If the program does not work, you need to puzzle out how the computer is doing something which you didn't realize that you told it to do. Programming can be frustrating, but if you enter the right commands, the computer will do the right things for you.

A Simple BASIC09 Program

Probably the easiest way to explain programming is by example. This simple program sometimes keeps kids happy for hours. First, the program asks the user for his name. Then the computer types out Hi, then the name, then see you later. This may not seem like much, but it is great fun to type in things which are not your name, and see if they will be printed out. They will, of course.

When you turn on the BASIC09 computer it will print some heading information. If the prompt is OS9: , enter the basic09 (and a carriage-return) to get to the prompt B:. When you have the prompt B:, it means that the system is in the BASIC09 command mode. While in the command mode, you can do several things, like: list, kill, or create programs (called procedures in BASIC09). BASIC09 lets you keep several different programs in memory at the same time. Each procedure is identified by a name you give it when you create the procedure.

To create a new procedure you command the system to enter the edit mode by typing a simple e (in upper or lower case) and a carriage-return (the ENTER or RETURN key). The Editor lets you enter or change programs and actually checks for many common errors as you type in your program. This automatic checking feature is one of the nicest things about BASIC09. Because it's always looking over your shoulder to catch mistakes, it saves a lot of debugging time! If you're not 100% sure about how something works - you can go ahead and try it instead of digging through this manual. If you guess wrong BASIC09 will usually show you where and why.

Because you did not specify a particular procedure name, BASIC09 will automatically select the name PROGRAM for you, and will respond by printing out PROCEDURE PROGRAM; this means that you will be editing a procedure which is named PROGRAM. Later you will see that you can enter many different procedures and give them different names (just type the name you want to use for the program after the e). A procedure name may be any combination of alphanumeric characters beginning with a letter.

The computer output so far is a follows:

OS9: basic09

The asterisk (*) indicates the current edit line in the procedure being edited. In this case the current line is empty since you have not yet entered anything. The asterisk is handy, since you will be moving back and forth between different lines to edit them. Later you will be opening existing procedures for modification, and the first line will be displayed automatically, helping identify that you are editing the correct program.

When BASIC09 responds with the edit prompt E:, it is in the edit mode. Now you can enter edit commands which help us enter the computer program. While in edit mode, BASIC09 always takes the first character of every line as an edit command. Some of the basic edit commands are:

SPACE program statement RETURN  insert line
? RETURN  go to next line down (just RETURN also does the same)
- RETURN  move back to previous line
L RETURN  list current line
d RETURN  delete current line

You must type an edit command at the start of each line. If you forget to type an edit command, BASIC09 will respond with WHAT?. The most-important edit command is the (invisible) space character; it means save the following line of text. The space command is the way most text is entered into the system. If a line is to be entered, you must type a space before the rest of the line. Another useful edit command is L* (or l*, since the editor accepts either upper or lower case) which will display the whole procedure. This allows you to watch the procedure develop as lines are entered.

You use the space command to enter the following line:

E: PRINT "type your name"

When BASIC09 executes procedure PROGRAM, this line will tell it to print on the screen all of the characters between the quotes.

As mentioned before, BASIC09 checks for errors at the end of each line and again when the edit is finished. These errors are, in general, anything BASIC09 cannot identify or things that don't conform to the rules of the language. An error could be a bad character, mismatched parenthesis, or one of many other things. BASIC09 will print out an error code to identify the error and print an up arrow character under the place in the line where it detected the error. The error codes are listed at the end of this manual. If the error was detected at the end of the edit session, the I-code location of the error will also be printed. This cryptic information is all BASIC09 knows about the problem, hopefully, it will help you to find and fix the error.

In the same way that you entered the first line, enter the following lines. Remember that the first character entered must be a space to get BASIC09 to save the rest of the line. Example:

E: INPUT name$
E: PRINT "Hi ";name$;", see you later."

The second line (input name$), when executed, commands BASIC09 to wait for a line of text to come in from the keyboard (this will happen after the user reads the message printed out in the first line). BASIC09 will accumulate text from the keyboard character-by-character until a carriage-return ends the line. This text is placed in memory corresponding to the variable name$. The dollar-sign ($) on the end of the variable tells BASIC09 that you want to store a sequence of characters as opposed to a number.

The third line of procedure PROGRAM (print "Hi ";name$;", see you later."), starts out like the first line. The command print causes BASIC09 to print out the various values which come after it. When this line is executed, the characters H, i, and space are printed out since the are enclosed in double-quotes. Next, without additional spaces, BASIC09 prints out the line which was typed in by the user and saved in the memory corresponding to name$ and prints out see you later. When a PRINT statement contains multiple values, it will print them out one after the other. If the separator is a comma, BASIC09 will move to the next 16-column tab stop before printing the next value. However, if the separator between print values is a semicolon, absolutely no space will separate the values. The last line of the procedure (END) tells BASIC09 to stop executing the program and return to the command mode (B:). You have not yet EXECUTED the procedure, you are just EDITING. If you type in l* the whole program will be listed, as follows:

 0000      PRINT "type your name"
 0012      INPUT name$
 0017      PRINT "Hi ";name$;", see you later."
 0035      END

Notice that the editor has added some information which you did not type in. You can use this listing to show exactly what to type in to run this program, but the editor only wants the relevant information.

The numbers to the left are I-code addresses. These are the actual memory locations relative to the start of the procedure where each line begins. These numbers may look strange because they are in hexadecimal (base 16). These values are important, since the compiler may find errors at some I-code location and will try to convey that information it has to the programmer. I-code addresses are supplied automatically by BASIC09.

The space between the I-code addresses and the beginning of the program line is reserved for line numbers. Line numbers are required in many versions of BASIC (although not in BASIC09). Notice that although the program was typed in lower case some words are printed in upper case. BASIC09 identifies valid command keywords and converts them to upper case automatically.

Now let's run it. First type q to quit the editor. We are now back in command mode ( B:). Now type run. BASIC09 remembers the procedure edited (PROGRAM) and starts to execute it.

type your name
? tex
Hi tex, see you later.

The question mark (?) is the normal input prompt to tell the user that the program is waiting for input.

This program is extremely simple, but younger kids can get great fun from it. Its action is especially amusing to young people who are learning a computer language for the first time because a machine is responding to them, and because the machine is too easily fooled if you do not type in a real name.

Basic Programming Techniques: Loops and Arithmetic

Another simple program that most of us can identify with is a program to print out multiplication tables.

PROCEDURE multable
  FOR i=1 TO 9
    FOR j=1 TO 9
      PRINT i*j; TAB(5*j);
    NEXT j
  NEXT i

First, open the editor by typing e multable, as follows:

B: e multable
PROCEDURE multable

Next, type in the program line-by-line starting with FOR i=1 TO 9 (lower-case is perfectly fine). If you loose your way, type L* to see where you are. This will display the entire procedure and put an asterisk at the left of the current line. If you make a mistake, use + or - to mode to that line, use d to delete the line, and use the space command to enter the line over. Make sure that there are no errors and then type q. When you have the program running, try adding a statement before FOR i=1 TO 9 as follows: DIM i,j:INTEGER.

The FOR i=1 TO 9 and NEXT i constitute the start and end of a control structure or loop. A control structure is used to cause repeated or conditional execution of the statement(s) it surrounds. A control structure usually has one entry at the top and one exit at the bottom. In this way, the entire structure take on the properties of a single statement. The beginning statement of the FOR...NEXT structure (FOR...) provides a loop initialization, places the value 1 in the storage called i, and sets up the operation of the following NEXT (every FOR must have a NEXT). When NEXT i is executed, the value in i is increased by 1 (which is the default STEP size) and compared to the value 9 (which is the ending value for this loop). If the resulting i is less than or equal to 9, the statement(s) following that FOR... is (are) executed.

Loops can be nested to execute the enclosed statements even more times. For example, the PRINT statement in multable is executed 81 times; once for each of 9 values of j and this number (9 times) for each of 9 values of i. The ability to tremendously increase the number of times some code is executed is at the heart of both computer programming and computer errors. It means that a vary small portion of a program can often be made to do the vast majority of the work. But a few remaining special cases may require individual handling and may consume more programming and code than that which usually works. Unfortunately, usually is not sufficient. A special case which occurs once in a thousand times may occur once a second, and if the error stops the program, further processing of normal values also stops. Experience has indicated that the programmer should know what is happening in the first and second pass, and the next-to-the-last and last pass through each loop in the program.

Listing Procedure Names

The DIR command causes BASIC09 to display the names and sizes of all procedures in memory. This command is used so frequently that there is a quick shorthand for DIR: a simple RETURN when in command mode does the same thing. You will see a table of all procedure names and two numbers next to each name. The first column, proc size, is the size of the corresponding procedure. The data size column shows the amount of memory that the procedure requires for its variables. On the last line this command shows the amount of free bytes of workspace memory remaining. You can use this information to estimate how much memory your program needs to run. You must have at least as much free memory as the data size of the procedure(s) to be run. If a data size number is followed by a question mark, you need more memory.

Requesting More Memory

BASIC09 automatically get 4K of workspace memory from OS-9 when it starts up. There is almost always more than this available, but BASIC09 does not grab it all so other tasks running on your computer can have memory too. If you are not multitasking and need more memory, the MEM command can get it if available. Just type MEM and the amount of memory you want. Depending on your computer and how it is configured, you can usually get at least 24K in OS-9 Level One Systems or 40K in OS-9 Level Two systems. For example:

MEM 20000

requests 20.000 (20K) bytes of memory. BASIC09 will always round the amount you request up to the next highest multiple of 256 bytes. If MEM responds with WHAT?, this means that much memory is not available. There is another convenient way to do the same thing when you first call up BASIC09 from OS-9. OS-9 has a # memory size option on command lines that let you specify how much memory to give the program. To call BASIC09 with 16K of memory to start with, you can type:

OS9: basic #16k

Storing and Recalling Programs

Nobody wants to retype a whole program every time it is to be run. Two commands, SAVE and LOAD, are used to store programs and recall previously SAVEd programs to or from OS-9 disk files. The simple way to use SAVE is by itself. It will store the procedure last edited or run on a disk file having the same name. For example:

B: save

If our procedure name was the default name PROGRAM, BASIC09 will create a file called PROGRAM to hold it. OS-9 won't let you have two files of the same name because unique names are necessary to identify the specific file you want. Therefore if a file called PROGRAM already exists, BASIC09 will ask you:


If you respond Y for YES, it will replace the file previously stored on that file with the program to be saved. This is OK if what you want to save is a never version of the same program. But if not you will permanently erase another program you may have wanted to keep. If this is the case answer N for NO. Fortunately, there is a simple way to store the procedure on a file using a different name: just type SAVE, a >, and a different file name of your choice. The file can consist of any combination of up to thirty-one letters, numbers, periods, or underscores (_). The only restriction is that the name must start with a letter A-Z or a-z. For example:

save >newprogram5

will save the program on a file called newprogram5. There are several useful variations of the SAVE command that let you save various combinations of programs on the same file. See the SAVE command description for more information. You should also read Chapter 2 of the OS-9 User's Manual to learn about the OS-9 commands that deal with disk files.

If you exit from BASIC09, it will not automatically save your programs. You must make sure to save them before you quit, or they will be lost unless the were saved at some time before!

The LOAD command, as it's name implies, reads in a previously save program from a file. You must give the name of the file with the command. For example:

load program

If you just started BASIC09 and have not created any procedures, the command is very straightforward. As the procedure(s) stored in the file are loaded, BASIC09 displays their name(s) as they are brought in. Once the program is loaded, you can edit and/or run it. But if you have a procedure in BASIC09 that has the same name as a procedure stored in the file, BASIC09 will replace it with the new version loaded from the file. If this kind of conflict exists you could loose your old program, so be sure to save or RENAME it before loading a new one (remember that BASIC09 can keep several procedures in memory at the same time as long as they have different names). If you want to permanently erase all other procedures before loading new ones, you can type:

B: kill*

This tells BASIC09 to kill all procedures in memory and has the same effect as completely resetting BASIC09.

How to Print Program Listings

If your computer is equipped with a printer, you will want to make hard-copy listings of your programs. This is easy to do - just type:

B: LIST* /p

This tells BASIC09 to LIST all procedures in memory to the output device /p which is the printer device name in most OS-9 systems. Like the SAVE command, LIST has several useful variations. If you want to list just one procedure (if there are more than on in memory) you can type:

B: LIST procedurename >/P

If you want, you can put two or more procedure names (separated by spaces) before the semicolon and those specific procedures will be listed.

Notice that if you omit the /p or >/p from the commands above, the programs will be listed on your display instead of the printer. This is the same as the L* command in Edit Mode. You will also notice that the listing will be automatically pretty-printed, e.g. program levels within loops are indented for easy reading.

BASIC09's Four Modes:

At any given time, BASIC09 is in one of four modes:

SYSTEM MODE: Used for executing system commands.
EDIT MODE: Used for creating/editing procedures.
EXECUTION MODE: Used for running procedures.
DEBUG MODE: Used for testing procedures for errors.

So far, you have been exposed to System Mode (SAVE, LOAD, etc.), Edit Mode (the editor), and Execution Mode (RUN). A section of this manual is devoted to each mode. The chart below shows how various commands in each mode will cause a change to another mode.

Figure 2.1. BASIC09 Mode Change Possibilities
   OS-9          SYSTEM MODE           EDIT MODE
----------       ------------         ------------
|        |       |          |         | +        |
|        |       |  $       |         | -        |
|        | <-----+--<eof>   |         | <cr>     |
|        | <-----+--BYE     |         | <line#>  |
|        |       |  CHD     |         | <space>  |
|        |       |  CHX     |         | c        |
|        |       |  DIR     |         | d        |
|        |       |  EDIT----+-------> | l        |
|        |       |  KILL    | <-------+-q        |
|        |       |  LIST    |         | r        |       ------------
|BASIC09-+-----> |  LOAD    |         | s        |       | TRON     |
|        |       |  MEM     |         ------------       | TROFF    |
|        |       |  PACK    | <--------------------------+ END or Q |
|        |       |  RENAME  |                            | DEG/RAD  |
|        |       |  RUN-----+-------> ------------       | STATE    |
|        |       |  SAVE    | <-------+-END      |       | $        |
|        |       |          | <-------+-<CTRL Q> |       | BREAK    |
|        |       ------------ <-------+-STOP     | <-----+-CONT     |
|BASIC09 |                            | PAUSE----+-----> | DIR      |
|AUTORUN-+--------------------------> | ERROR----+-----> | LET      |
|        |                            | <CTRL C>-+-----> | LIST     |
|        | <--------------------------+-BYE      |       | PRINT    |
|        |                            | PROGRAM  | <-----+-STEP     |
----------                            ------------       ------------
                                     EXECUTION MODE       DEBUG MODE

More about the Workspace...

The workspace concept is important because BASIC09 and OS-9 are both highly modular systems, and the workspace is a way to logically group a set of procedures (i.e. modules) which are applicable to a particular line of study or development. Modular software development lets the programmer divide a large and complex project into smaller, more manageable, and individually testable sections. Modularity also lets programmers accumulate and use libraries of commonly used routines.

As the software is written and debugged, BASIC09 makes it easy to deal with the procedures that comprise an overall project, either individually or as a group. For example, you can save all procedures in the workspace to a single mass storage file or load a file containing multiple procedures. Usually all procedures associated with a project exists inside the workspace. However, you can also call library procedures which are outside the workspace in OS-9 memory module format. The library procedures can be written in BASIC09 or machine language, can be in RAM or ROM memory, and can even be shared by several users.

BASIC09 always reserves approximately 1.2K bytes of the workspace for internal use. All remaining space is used for storage of procedures and for procedure variable storage during execution. BASIC09 will not run a procedure if there is not enough space for variables. If you run out of workspace area, you can use the MEM command to enlarge the workspace or you can kill procedures in the workspace that are not needed. The MEM command can be used at any time to change the size of the workspace. The size of the workspace can be increased (subject to availability of free memory) or decreased (but not below the minimal amount needed to store the present workspace).

Where to go From Here?

A good way to learn BASIC09 is to use it! Try typing in and running some of the example programs in the back of the book. Look up and study the function of each program statement. Read the chapters on the EDIT and DEBUG modes and experiment with more advanced commands. Also, BASIC09 and the OS-9 Operating System are so intimately connected, a basic understanding of OS-9 is important. See Chapter 2 of the OS-9 User's Manual.

Chapter 3. System Mode

Table of Contents

System mode includes commands to save, load, examine procedures; commands to interact with OS-9; and other commands to control the workspace environment. A complete list of system commands is given below.

Table 3.1. System Mode Commands

The system commands are processed by the BASIC09 command interpreter which always identifies itself with the B: prompt. It is entered automatically when BASIC09 is started up and whenever you exit any other mode. Commands can be entered in either upper or lower-case letters. Commands such as DIR, MEM, $, and BYE don't operate on specific procedures, but may have optional or required parameters. Other commands (such as SAVE, LOAD, PACK, KILL, and LIST) can operate on a specific procedure or on ALL procedures within the workspace. If the command is used with a specific procedure name, the command is applied to only that procedure. For example:

list pete

will display the procedure named pete. The asterisk is a special name that means all procedures in the workspace. Therefore, if the command is given followed by an asterisk it is applied to all procedures. For example:


will display all of the procedures in the workspace.

If the command is given without any name at all, the current working procedure is used. This means the name of the procedure last given in another command. The DIR command prints an asterisk before its name so it can be found at any time. If you have not yet given a name in any command, the name PROGRAM is automatically used. Some commands that require a file name as well as (one or more) procedure names require that a > precede the file name so it is not mistaken for a procedure name. If you omit the file name, the name of the (first) procedure is used instead. In this manual, the phrase file name means an OS-9 pathlist which can describe either a file or device.

Here are some examples:

SAVE tom bill >myfile
SAVE* big_file


SAVE tic tac toe

which is exactly equivalent to

SAVE tic,tac,toe >tic

Another class of commands use only one procedure name, or the current working name if a name is omitted. These commands change the mode of BASIC09 by exiting the command mode and entering another mode. These commands are:

RUNwhich enters Execution Mode to run a procedure
EDITwhich enters Edit Mode to create or change a procedure

The one other mode, Debug Mode, cannot be entered directly from the system mode — more on this later.

Syntax Notation Used in System Command Descriptions

Individual descriptions of the available commands in each mode follow. In order to precisely describe their formats, the syntax notation shown below is used.

[ ]things in brackets are optional.
{ }things in braces can be optionally repeated.
procnamemeans a procedure name
pathlistAn OS-9 file name
numberA decimal or hex number

System Mode Commands

$ [text]   (Shell Command)

This command calls the OS-9 Shell command interpreter to process an OS-9 command or to run another program. Running the OS-9 command does not cause BASIC09 or its workspace to be disturbed.

If the $ is followed by text, the Shell is called to process the text as a single OS-9 command line. After the command is executed, BASIC09 is immediately re-entered.

If no text is specified, BASIC09 is suspended, and the OS-9 Shell is called to process multiple command lines individually entered from the keyboard. Control is returned to BASIC09 when an end-of-file character (usually ESCAPE) is entered. The contents of the BASIC09 workspace is not affected. This is a convenient way to temporarily leave BASIC09 to manipulate files or perform other housekeeping tasks.

This command is the gateway to OS-9 from inside BASIC09. It allows access to any OS-9 command or to other programs. It also permits creation of concurrent processes and other real-time functions.


B: $copy file1 file2          Calls the OS-9 copy command
B: $asm sourcefile&           Calls the assembler as a background task
B: $basic09 fourier(20)&      Starts another concurrent BASIC09 program

BYE (or ESCAPE character)

Exits BASIC09 and returns to OS-9 or the program that called BASIC09. Any procedures in the workspace are lost if not previously saved. The escape key (technically speaking, an end-of-file character condition on BASIC09's standard input path) does the same thing.

CHD pathlist or CHX pathlist

Changes the current OS-9 user Data or Execution Directory to the specified pathlist which must be a directory file. BASIC09 uses the Data Directory to LOAD or SAVE procedures. The Execution Directory is used to PACK or auto-load packed modules.


CHD /d1/joe/games

DIR [pathlist]

Displays the name, size, and variable storage requirement of each procedure presently in the workspace. The current working procedure has an asterisk before its name. All packed procedures have a dash before their name (see PACK). The available free memory within the workspace is also given. If a pathlist is specified, output is directed to that file or device.

A question mark next to a data storage size means the workspace does not have enough free memory to run that procedure.

Note: This command should not be confused with the OS-9 DIR command. They have completely different functions.

EDIT [procname]
E [procname]

Exits command mode and enters the text editor/compiler mode. If the specified procedure does not exist, a new one is created. See the Chapter 4 for a complete description of how edit mode works.


E newprog
EDIT printreport

KILL [procname {,procname}]

Erases the procedure(s) specified. KILL* clears the entire workspace. The process may take some time if there are many procedures in the workspace.


kill formulas
kill prog1, prog2, prog7

LIST [procname {,procname}] [> pathlist]
LIST* [pathlist]

Prints a formatted pretty printed listing of one or more procedures. The listing includes the relative I-code storage addresses in hexadecimal format in the first column. The second column is reserved for program line numbers (if line numbers are used).

If a pathlist is given, the listing is output to that file or device. This option is commonly used to print hard-copy listings of programs. The LIST, SAVE and PACK commands all have identical syntax, except that LIST prints on the OS-9 standard error path (#2) if no pathlist is given. The files produced are formatted differently, but the function is similar.


If an * is used with LIST, SAVE or PACK, the file name immediately follows WITHOUT a greater-than sign > before it!


list* /p
list prog2,prog3 >/p
list prog5 >temp

LOAD pathlist

Loads all procedures from the specified file into the workspace. As procedures are loaded, their names are displayed. If any of the procedures being loaded have the same name as a procedure already in the workspace, the existing procedures are erased and replaced with the procedure being loaded.

If the workspace fills up before the last procedure in the file is loaded, an error (#32) is given. In this case, not all procedures may have been loaded, and the one being loaded when the workspace became full may not be completely loaded. You should KILL the last procedure, use the MEM command to get more memory or KILL unnecessary procedure(s) to free up space, and then LOAD the file again.


load quadratics

MEM [number]

MEM used without a number displays the present total workspace size in (decimal) bytes. If a number is given, BASIC09 asks OS-9 to expand or contract the workspace to that size. A hex value can be used if preceded by a dollar sign. If MEM responds with What?, you either asked for more memory than is available, tried to give back too much memory (there has to be enough to store all procedures in the workspace), or gave an invalid number.


MEM 18000

PACK [procname {,procname}] [> pathlist]
PACK* [pathlist]

This command causes an extra compiler pass on the procedure(s) specified, which removes names, line numbers, non-executable statements, etc. The result is a smaller, faster procedure(s) that cannot be edited or debugged but can be executed by BASIC09 or by the BASIC09 run-time-only program called RunB. If a pathlist is not given, the name of the first procedure in the list will be used as a default pathname. The procedure is written to the file/device specified in OS-9 memory module format suitable for loading in ROM or RAM outside the workspace. The resulting file cannot be loaded into the workspace later on, so you should always perform a regular SAVE before PACKing a procedure!

BASIC09 will automatically load the packed procedure when you try to run it later. Here is an example sequence that demonstrates packing a procedure:

pack sortpacks procedure sort and creates a file
kill sortkills procedure inside the workspace
run sortrun (sort is loaded outside of the workspace)
kill sortdone; delete sort from outside memory

The last step (kill) does not have to be done immediately if you will use the procedure again later, but you should kill it when you are done so its memory can be used for other purposes.


pack proc1,proc2 >packed.programs

pack* packedfile

RENAME procname,new procname

Changes the name of a procedure. Can be used to allow two copies of the same procedure in the workspace under different names.


rename thisproc thatproc

RUN [procname [ ( expr , {expr} ) ]]

Runs the procedure specified. Technically speaking, BASIC09 then leaves Command mode and enters Execution mode.

A parameter list can be used to pass expected parameters to the procedure in the same way a RUN statement inside a procedure calls another procedure except for the restriction that all parameters must be constants or expressions without variables. See the PARAM statement description. Assembly language procedures cannot be run from command mode.

The procedure called can be normal or packed. If the procedure is not found inside BASIC09's workspace, BASIC09 will call OS-9 to attempt to LINK to an external (outside the workspace) module. If this fails, BASIC09 attempts to LOAD the procedure from a file of the same name.


run getdata

run invert("the string to be inverted")

run power(12,354.06)

run power($32, sin(pi/2))

SAVE [procname {procname} [> pathlist]]
SAVE* [pathlist]

Writes the procedure(s) (or all procedures) to an output file or device in source format. SAVE is similar to the LIST command except the output is not formatted and I-code addresses are not included. If a pathlist is not specified, it defaults to the name of the first procedure listed.

If a file of the same name already exists, SAVE will prompt with:


You may answer Y for yes which causes the existing file to be rewritten with the new procedure(s); or N to cancel the SAVE command.


save proc2 proc3 proc4 >

save* newprogram


save  >testprogram

Chapter 4. Edit Mode

Edit Mode (also called The Editor) is used to enter or modify BASIC09 procedures. It is entered from Command Mode by the EDIT (or E) command. As soon as Edit Mode is entered, prompts change from B: to E: If you have used a text editor before, you will find the BASIC09 editor similar to many others except for these two differences:

  1. The editor is both string and line number oriented. The use of line numbers is optional and text can be corrected without re-typing the entire line.

  2. The editor is interfaced to the BASIC09 compiler and decompiler. This lets BASIC09 do continuous syntax error checking and permits programs to be stored in memory in a more compact, compiled form.

Overview of Edit Commands

The Editor includes the following commands. Each command is described in detail later in this chapter.

Table 4.1. Edit Mode Commands
RETURNmove edit pointer forward
+move edit pointer forward
+*move edit pointer to end of text
-move edit pointer backward
-*move edit pointer to beginning of text
SPACE textinsert unnumbered line
line# textinsert or replace numbered line
line# RETURNfind numbered line
cchange string
c*change all occurrences of string
ddelete line
d*delete all lines
llist line(s)
l*list all lines
qquit editing
rrenumber line
r*renumber all lines
ssearch for string
s*search for all occurrences of string

How the Editor Works

In order to understand how the editor works it is helpful to have a general idea of what goes on inside BASIC09 while you are editing procedures. BASIC09 programs are always stored in memory in a compiled form called I-code (short for Intermediate Code). I-code is a complex binary coding system for programs that lies between your original source program and the computer's native machine language. I-code is relatively compact, can be executed rapidly, and most importantly, can be reconstructed almost exactly back to the original source program. The Editor is closely connected to the compiler and decompiler systems within BASIC09 that translate source code to I-Code and vice-versa. It is this innovative system that gives BASIC09 its most powerful and unusual abilities.

Whenever you enter (or change) a program line and return, the compiler instantly translates this text to the internal I-code form. When BASIC09 needs to display program lines back, it uses the decompiler to translate the I-code back to the original source format. These processes are completely automatic and do not require any special action on your part.

This technique has several advantages. First, it allows the text editor to report many (syntax) errors immediately so you can correct them instantly. Secondly, the I-code representation of a program is more compact (by about 30%) than its original form, so you can have have larger programs in any given amount of available memory.

When programs are listed by BASIC09, it is possible they will have a slightly different appearance than the way they were originally typed in, but they will always be functionally identical to the original form. This can happen if the original program had extraneous spaces between keywords, unnecessary parentheses in expressions, etc. BASIC09 keywords are always automatically capitalized.

When you have finished editing the procedure, use the q (for quit) command to exit edit mode and return to the command mode. When you give the q command, the compiler performs another pass over the entire procedure again. At this time syntax that extends over multiple lines is checked and errors reported. Examples of these errors are: GOTO or GOSUB to a non-existent line, missing variable or array declarations, improperly constructed loops, etc. These errors are reported using an error code and the hexadecimal I-code address of the error. For example:

01FC ERR #043

This message means that error number 43 was detected in the line that included I-code address 01FC (hexadecimal). The LIST command gives the I-code addresses so you can locate lines with errors reported during the compiler's second pass.

Line-Number Oriented Editing

As mentioned previously, the editor has the capability to work on programs with or without line numbers (or both). Line numbers must be positive whole numbers in the range of 1 to 32767.

If you have experience with another version of the BASIC language, this is the kind of editing you probably used. However, well-structured programs seldom really need line numbers. If you don't have to use line numbers, don't. Your programs will be shorter, faster, and easier to read.

The line-number oriented commands are:

line# textinsert or replace numbered line
line# RETURNfind numbered line
ddelete line
rrenumber line
r*renumber all lines

To enter or replace a numbered line, simply type in the line number and statement. Numbered lines can be entered in any order, but will be automatically stored in ascending sequence. To move to a numbered line, type the line number followed by a carriage return. The editor will move to that line (or the line with the next higher number if the specified number is not found) and print it. The line may be deleted using the d command.

The r renumber command will uniformly resequence all numbered lines and lines that refer to numbered lines. Its formats are:

r [ beg line # [,incr ] ] RETURN
r*[ beg line # [,incr ] ] RETURN

The first format renumbers the program starting at the current line and forward. Lines are renumbered using beg line# as the initial line number. incr is added to the previous line number for the next line's number. For example,

r 200,5

will give the first line number 200, the second 205, the third 210, etc. If beg line# and/or incr are not specified, the values 100 and 10, respectively, are assumed. The second form of the command is identical except it renumbers all lines in the procedure.

String-Oriented Editing

Most editor commands are string-oriented. This means that you can enter or change whole or partial lines without using line numbers at all. You will find that string-oriented editing is generally faster and more convenient.

Because line numbers are not used, there has to be another way to tell BASIC09 what place in the program to work on. To do this, the editor maintains an edit pointer that indicates which line is the present working location within the procedure, and commands start working at this point. The editor shows you the location of the edit pointer by displaying an * at the left side of the program line where the edit pointer is presently located.

Moving the Edit Pointer

The + and - are used to reposition the edit pointer:

-moves backward one line
- numbermoves backward n lines
-*moves to the beginning of the procedure
+moves forward one line
+ numbermoves forward N lines
+*moves to the end of procedure

The number indicates how many lines to move. Backward means towards the first line of the procedure. If the number is omitted, a count of one is used (this is true of most edit commands). A line consisting of a carriage return only also moves the pointer forward one line, which makes it easy to step through a program one line at a time. Therefore, the following commands all do the same thing:


Inserting Lines

The Insert Line function consists of a space followed by a BASIC09 statement line. The statement is inserted just ahead of the edit pointer position. (the space itself is not inserted).

Deleting Lines

The d command is used to delete one or more lines. Its format is:

d [number] RETURN

The first form deletes the number of lines starting at the current edit pointer location. The second form deletes ALL lines in the procedure (caution!). The editor accepts +* and -* to mean to the end, or to the beginning of the procedure respectively. If the number is negative, that many lines before the current line is deleted. If a line number is omitted, only the current line is deleted.

Listing Lines

The l command is used to display one or more lines. It also has the forms:

l [number] RETURN

The first form will display the number of lines starting at the current edit pointer position. If the number is negative, previous lines will be listed. The second form displays the entire procedure. Neither change the edit pointer's position. The line that is the present position of the edit pointer is displayed with a leading asterisk.

Search: Finding Strings

What's a string? A string is a sequence of one or more characters that can include letters, numbers, or punctuation in any combination. Strings are very useful because they allow you to change or locate just part of a statement without having to type the whole thing. In the Editor, strings must be surrounded by two matching punctuation characters (called delimiters) so the editor knows where the string begins and ends. The characters used for delimiters are not considered part of the string and cannot also appear within the string. Strings used by the Editor should not be confused with BASIC09's data type which is also called STRING — they are different creatures.

The s command may be used to locate the next occurrence or all occurrences of a string. The format for this command is:

s delim match str [delim] RETURN
s*delim match str [delim] RETURN

The first format searches for the match str starting on the current edit pointer line onward. If any line at or following the edit pointer includes a sequence of characters that match the search string, the edit pointer is moved to that line and the line is displayed. If the string cannot be located, the message:

CAN'T FIND: "match str"

will be displayed and the edit pointer will remain at its original position. The s* variation searches for all occurrences of the string in the procedure starting at the present edit pointer and displays all lines it is found in. The edit pointer ends up at the last line the string occurred in.

Here are some examples:

E:s/counter/             Looks for the string: counter

E:s.1/2.                 Looks for the string: 1/2

E:s?three blind mice?    Looks for the string: three blind mice

Change: String Substitution

The c change string function is a very handy tool that can eliminate a tremendous amount of typing. It allows strings within lines to be located, removed, and replaced by another string. This command is very commonly used for things like: fixing lines with errors without having to retype the entire line, changing a variable name throughout a program, etc. Its formats are:

c delim match str delim repl str [delim] RETURN
c*delim match str delim repl str [delim] RETURN

In the first form, the editor looks for the first occurrence of the match string starting at the present edit pointer position. If found, the match string is removed from the line and the replacement string is inserted in its place. The second form works the same way, but changes ALL occurrences of the match string in the procedure starting at the present edit pointer position.

The c* command will stop anytime it finds or causes a line with an error. It cannot be used to find or change line numbers.

A word of warning: sometimes you can inadvertently change a line you didn't intend to change because the match string is embedded in a longer string. For example, if you attempt to change no to yes and the word normal occurs before the no you are looking for, normal will change to yesrmal.


c*,GOSUB 5300,GOSUB 5500

Chapter 5. Execution Mode

Running Programs

To run a BASIC09 procedure, enter:

RUN procname

If the procedure you want to run was the last procedure edited, listed, saved, etc., you can type RUN without giving a procedure name (the * shown in the DIR command identifies this procedure).

If the procedure expects parameters (see Chapter 7), they can be given on the same command line, however they must all be constant numbers or strings, as appropriate, and must be given in the correct order. For example:

RUN add(4,7)

is used to call a program that expects parameter, such as

PARAMETER a,b                a,b will receive the values 4,7

The ability to pass parameters to a program allows you to specifically initialize program variables. Sometimes certain procedures are parts of a larger software system and are designed to be called from other procedures. You can use this feature to individually test such procedures by passing them test values as parameters.

The RUN statement causes BASIC09 to enter Execution Mode, causing the procedure to run until one of the these things happen:

  1. an END or STOP statement is executed

  2. you type CTRL+E

  3. a run-time error occurs

  4. you type CTRL+C (keyboard interrupt)

In cases 1 and 2, you will return to system mode. In cases 3 and 4, you will enter DEBUG mode.

Execution Mode: Technically Speaking

The RUN statement is simple and normally you do not need to know what is happening inside BASIC09 when you use it. The technical description of execution mode that follows is given for the benefit of advanced BASIC09 programmers.

Execution mode is BASIC09's state when you run any procedure. It involves executing the I-code of one or more procedures inside or outside the workspace. Many procedures can be in use because they can call each other (or themselves) and nest exactly like subroutines. You can enter execution mode in a number of ways:

  1. By means of the RUN system command.

  2. By BASIC09's auto-run feature.

The Auto-run feature allows BASIC09 to get the name of a file to load and run from the same command line used to call BASIC09. The file loaded and run can be either a SAVED file (in the data directory), or a PACKED file (in the execution directory). The file may contain several procedures; the one executed is the one with the same name as the file. Parameters may be passed following the pathname specified. For example, the following OS-9 command lines use this feature:

OS9: BASIC09 printreport("Past Due Accounts")
OS9: BASIC09 evaluate(COS(7.8814)/12.075,-22.5,129.055)

Chapter 6. Debug Mode

Overview of Debug Mode

One of BASIC09's outstanding features is its set of powerful symbolic debugging commands. What is Symbolic Debugging? Simply stated, it is testing and manipulation of programs using the actual names and program statements used in the program. In this chapter you will learn how Debug Mode can let you watch your program run in slow motion you can observe each statement as it is executed. As a bonus, you will also learn how to use the Debug Mode as a calculator.

Debug mode is entered from execution mode in one of three ways:

  1. When an error occurs during execution of a procedure (that is not intercepted by an ON ERROR GOTO statement within the program).

  2. When a procedure executes a PAUSE statement.

  3. When a keyboard interrupt (control-C) occurs.

When any of the above happen, Debug Mode announces itself by displaying the suspended procedure name like this:


Notice that Debug Mode displays a D: prompt when it is awaiting a command. Any debug mode commands can the be used to examine or change variables, turn trace mode on/off, etc. Depending on which commands are used, execution of the program can be terminated, resumed, or executed one source line at a time.

Debug Mode Commands

$ text

Calls OS-9's Shell command interpreter to run a program or OS-9 command. Exactly the same as the System Mode $ command.

BREAK proc name

Sets up a breakpoint at the procedure named. This command is used when procedures call each other, and provides a way to re-enter Debug Mode when returning to a specific procedure. To illustrate how BREAK works, suppose there are three procedures in the workspace: PROC1, PROC2, and PROC3. Assume that PROC1 calls PROC2, which in turn calls PROC3. While PROC3 is executing, you type Control+C to enter debug mode. You can now enter:

D: BREAK proc1

Notice that BREAK responds with ok if the procedure was found on the current RUN stack. If you wish you can use the STATE command to verify that the three procedures are nested as expected. Now, you can resume execution of PROC3 by typing CONT. After PROC3 terminates, control passes back to PROC2, which eventually returns to PROC1. As soon as this happens, the breakpoint you set is encountered, PROC1 is suspended, and Debug Mode is reentered.

There are three characteristics of BREAK you should note:

  1. The breakpoint is removed as soon as it occurs.

  2. You can use one breakpoint for each active procedure.

  3. You can't put a breakpoint on a procedure unless it has been called but not yet returned to. Hence, BREAK cannot be used on procedures that have not yet been run.


The command causes program execution to continue at the next statement. It may resume programs suspended by Control-C, PAUSE statements, BREAK command breakpoints, or after non-fatal run-time errors.


These commands select either degrees or radians as the angle unit measure used by trigonometric functions. These commands only affect the procedure currently being debugged or run.

DIR [path]

Displays the workspace procedure directory in exactly the same way as the System Mode DIR command.

END or Q

Terminates execution of all procedures and exits Debug Mode by returning to System Mode. Any open paths are closed at this point.

LET var := expr

This command is essentially the same as the BASIC09 LET program statement, which allows the value of a procedure variable to be set to a new value using the result of the evaluated expression. The variable names used in this command must be the same as in the original source program; otherwise, an error is generated. LET does not work on user-defined data structures.


Displays a formatted source listing of the suspended procedure with I-code addresses. An asterisk is printed to the left of the statement where the procedure is suspended. Only list the current procedure may be listed.

PRINT [#expr,] [USING expr,] expr list

This is exactly the same as the BASIC09 PRINT statement and can be used to examine the present value of variables in the suspended program. All variable names must be the same as in the original program, and no new variable names can be used. User-defined data structures cannot be printed.


This command lists the calling (nesting) order of all active procedures. The highest-level procedure is always shown at the bottom of the calling list, and the lowest-level procedure will always be the suspended procedure. An example:


STEP [number]   or   RETURN

This command allows the suspended procedure to be executed one or more source statements at a time. For example, STEP 5 would execute the equivalent of the next 5 source statements. A debug command line which is just a carriage return is considered the same as STEP 1. The STEP command is most commonly used with the trace mode on, so the original source lines can be seen as they are executed.

Note: because compiled I-code contains actual statement memory addresses, the top or bottom statements of loop structures are usually executed just once. For example, in FOR...NEXT loops the FOR statement is executed once, so the statement that appears to be the top of the loop is actually the one following the FOR statement.


These commands turn the suspended procedure's trace mode on and off. In trace mode, the compiled code of each equivalent statement line is reconstructed to source statements and displayed before the statement is executed. If the statement causes the evaluation of one or more expressions, an equal sign and the expression result(s) are displayed on the following line(s).

Trace mode is local to a procedure. If the suspended procedure calls another, no tracing occurs until control returns back (unless of course, other called procedure(s) have trace mode on).

Debugging Techniques

If your program does not do what you expect it to, it is bound to show one of two symptoms: incorrect results, or premature termination due to an error. The second case will automatically send you into Debug Mode. In the first case, you have to force the program into Debug Mode either by hitting Control+C (assuming you have time to do so), or by using Edit Mode to put one or more PAUSE statements in the program. Once you're in Debug Mode, you can bring its powerful commands to bear on the problem.

Usually the first step after an error stops the program is to place a PAUSE statement at the beginning of the suspected procedure or at a place within it where you think things begin to go amiss, and the you rerun the program. When the program hits the PAUSE statement, and enters DEBUG mode, it is time to turn the trace mode on and actually watch your program run. To do so, just type:


After you have done this, you hit the carriage return key once for every statement. You will see the original source statement, and if expressions are evaluated by the statement, Debug Mode will print an equal sign and the result of the expression. Notice that some statements such as FOR and PRINT may cause more than one expression to be evaluated. Using this technique, you can watch your program run one step at a time until you see where it goes wrong. But what if in the process of tracing, you encounter a loop that works OK, but executes 200 statements repetitively? That's a lot of carriage returns. In this case, turn the trace off (if you want) and use the STEP command to quickly run through the loop. Then, turn trace mode back on, and resume single-step debugging. The command sequence for this example is:

D: STEP 200

Don't forget that trace mode is local to one procedure only. If the procedure under test returns to another procedure you need to use the BREAK command or put a PAUSE statement in the procedure to enter Debug Mode. If you call another procedure from the procedure being debugged, tracing will stop when it is called until it returns. If you also want to trace the called procedure, it will need its own PAUSE statement.

Debug Mode as a Desk Calculator

The simple program listed below turns Debug Mode into a powerful desk calculator. It's function is simple: it declares 26 working variables, then goes into Debug Mode so you can use interactive PRINT and LET statements.

PROCEDURE Calculator
DIM a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,i,j,k,l,m
DIM n,o,p,q,r,s,t,u,v,w,x,y,z

Recall that while in debug mode, you cannot create new variables, hence the DIM statements that pre-define 26 working variables for you. If you wish you can add more or fewer variables. The PAUSE statement causes Debug Mode to be entered. Here's a sample session:

B: run calculator
D:let x:=12.5
D:print sin(pi/2)
D:let y:=exp(4+0.5)
D:print x,y
12.5   90.0171313

Don't forget that the Debug Mode PRINT command can use PRINT USING to produce formatted output (including hexadecimal).

By adding less than a dozen statements to the program, you can make it store its variables on a disk file so they're remembered from session to session. There are also many other enhancement possibilities

Chapter 7. Data Types, Variables and Data Structures

Why are there different data types?

A computer program's primary function is to process data. The performance of the computer, and even sometimes whether or not a computer can handle a particular problem, depends on how the software stores data in memory and operates on it. BASIC09 offers many possibilities for organizing and manipulating data.

Complicating matters somewhat is the fact that there are many kinds of data. Some data are numbers used for counting or measuring. Another example is textual data composed of letters, punctuation, etc., such as your name. Seldom can they be mixed (for example multiplication is meaningless to anything but numbers), and they have different storage size requirements. Even within the same general kind of data, it is frequently advantageous to have different ways to represent data. For example, BASIC09 lets you chose from three different ways to represent numbers - each having its own advantages and disadvantages. The decision to use one depends entirely on the specific program you are writing. In order for you to select the most appropriate way to store data variables, BASIC09 provides five different basic data types. BASIC09 also lets you create new customized data types based on combinations of the five basic types. A good analogy is to consider the five basic types to be atoms, and the new types you create as molecules. This is why the five basic types are called atomic data types.

Data Structures

A data structure refers to storage for more than one data item under a single name. Data structures are often the most practical and convenient way to organize large amounts of similar data. The simplest kind of data structure is the array, which is a table of values. The table has a single name, and the storage space for each individual value is numbered. Arrays are created by DIM statements. For example, to create an array having five storage spaces called AGES, we can use the statement:


(5) tells BASIC09 how many spaces to reserve. The :INTEGER part indicates the array's data type. To assign a value of 22 to the third storage space in the array we can use the statement:

LET AGES(3):=22

As you shall see, BASIC09 lets you create complex arrays and even arrays that have different data types combined.

Atomic Data Types

BASIC09 includes five atomic data types: BYTE, INTEGER, REAL, STRING and BOOLEAN. The first three types are used to represent numbers, The STRING type is used to represent character data, and the BOOLEAN type is used to represent the logical values of either TRUE or FALSE. Arrays of any of these data types can be created using one, two, or three dimensions. The table below gives an overview of the characteristics of each type:

Table 7.1. BASIC09 Atomic Data Type Summary
Type:Allowable values:Memory requirement:
BYTEWhole Numbers 0 to 255One byte
INTEGERWhole Numbers -32768 to 32767Two bytes
REALFloating Point +/- 1*10^38Five bytes
STRINGLetters, digits, punctuationOne byte/character
BOOLEANTrue or FalseOne byte

Why are there three different ways to represent numbers? Although REAL numbers appear to be the most versatile because they have the greatest range and are floating-point, arithmetic operations involving them are relatively slower (by a factor of about four) compared to the INTEGER or BYTE types. Thus using INTEGER values for loop counters, indexing arrays, etc. can significantly speed up your programs. The BYTE type is not appreciably faster than INTEGER, it conserves memory space in some cases and serves as a building block for complex data types in other cases. If you neglect to specify the type of a variable, BASIC09 will automatically use the REAL data type.


BYTE variables hold integer values in the range 0 through 255 (unsigned 8-bit data) which are stored as a single byte. BYTE values are always converted to another type (16-bit integer values and/or real values) for computation, thus they have no speed advantage over other numeric types. However, BYTE variables require only half of the storage used by integers, and an 1/5 of that used by reals. Attempting to store an integer value outside the BYTE range to a BYTE variable results in the storage of the least-significant 8-bits (the value modulo 256) without error.


INTEGER variables consist of two bytes of storage, and hold a numeric value in the range -32768 through 32767 as signed 16-bit data. Decimal points are not allowed. INTEGER constants may also be represented as hexadecimal values in the range $0000 through $FFFF to facilitate address calculations. INTEGER values are printed without a decimal point. INTEGER arithmetic is faster and requires less storage than REAL values.

Arithmetic which results in values outside the INTEGER range does not cause run-time errors but instead wraps around modulo 65536; i.e., 32767 + 1 yields -32768. Division of an integer by another integer yields an integer result, and any remainder is discarded. The programmer should be aware that numeric comparisons made on values in the range 32767 through 65535 will actually be dealing with negative numbers, so it may be desirable to limit such comparisons to tests for equality or non-equality. Additionally, certain functions (LAND, LNOT, LOR, LXOR) use integer values, but produce results on a non-numeric bit-by-bit basis.


The REAL data type is the default type for undeclared variables. However, a variable may be explicitly typed REAL (for example, twopi:REAL) to improve a program's internal documentation. REAL-type values are always printed with a decimal point, and only those constants which include a decimal point are actually stored as REAL values.

REAL numbers are stored in 5 consecutive memory bytes. The first byte is the (8-bit) exponent in binary two's-complement representation. The next four bytes are the binary sign-and-magnitude representation of the mantissa; the mantissa in the first 31 bits, and the sign of the mantissa in the last (least significant) bit of the last byte of the real quantity.

Figure 7.1. Internal Representation of REAL Numbers
      |exponent|        |        |        |      |S| <- mant. sign
byte:     +0       +1       +2       +3       +4

The exponent covers the range 2.938735877 * 10^-39 (2^-128) through 1.701411835 * 10^38 (2^127) as powers of 2. Operations which result in values out of the representation range cause overflow or underflow errors (which may be handled automatically by the ON ERROR command). The mantissa covers the range from 0.5 through .9999999995 in steps of 2^-31. This means that REAL numbers can represent values on the number line about .0000000005 apart. Operations which cause results between the representable points are rounded to the nearest representable number.

Floating point arithmetic is inherently inexact, thus a sequence of operations can produce a cumulative error. Proper rounding (as implemented in BASIC09) reduces this effect but cannot eliminate it. Programmers using comparisons on REAL quantities should use caution with strict comparisons (i.e., = or <>), since the exact desired value may not occur during program execution.


A STRING is a variable length sequence of characters or nil (an empty string). A variable may be defined as a STRING either explicitly (e.g., DIM title:STRING) or implicitly by appending a dollar-sign character to the variable name (title$ := "My First Program."). The default maximum length allocated to each string is 32 characters, but each string may be dimensioned less (e.g., DIM A:STRING [4]) for memory savings or more (e.g., DIM long:STRING [2880]) to allow long strings. Notice that strings are inherently variable-length entities, and dimensioning the storage for a string only defines the maximum-length string which can be stored there. When a STRING value is assigned to a STRING variable, the bytes composing the string are copied into the variable storage byte-by-byte. The beginning of a string is always character number one, and this is not affected by the BASE0 or BASE1 statements. Operations which result in strings too long to fit in the dimensioned storage truncate the string on the right and no error is generated.

Normally the internal representation of the string is hidden. A string is stored in a fixed-size storage area and is represented by a sequence of bytes terminated by the value 255 or by the maximum length allocated to the STRING variable. Any remaining unused storage after the 255 byte allows the stored string to expand and contract during execution. The example below shows the internal storage of a variable dimensioned as STRING[6] and assigned a value of SAM. Notice the byte at +3 contains the 255 string terminator, and the two following bytes are not used.

      |   S    |    A   |    M   |  255   |        |        |
byte:     +0       +1       +2       +3       +4       +5

If the value ROBERT is assigned to the variable, the 255 byte terminator is not needed because the STRING fills the storage exactly:

      |   R    |    O   |    B   |    E   |    R   |    T   |
byte:     +0       +1       +2       +3       +4       +5


A BOOLEAN quantity can have only two values: TRUE or FALSE. A variable may be typed BOOLEAN (e.g., DIM done_flag:BOOLEAN ). BOOLEAN quantities are stored as single byte values, but they may not be used for numeric computation. BOOLEAN values print out as the character strings: TRUE and FALSE. BOOLEAN values result from comparisons (comparing two compatible types), and are appropriate for logical flags and expressions. ( result:=a AND b AND c ). Do not confuse BOOLEAN operations AND, OR, XOR, and NOT (which operate on the Boolean values TRUE end FALSE) with the logical functions LAND, LOR, LXOR, and LNOT (which use integer values to produce results on a bit-by-bit basis). Attempting to store a non-BOOLEAN value in a BOOLEAN variable (or the reverse) will cause a run-time error.

Automatic Type Conversion

Expressions that mix numeric data types (BYTE, INTEGER, or REAL) are automatically and temporarily converted to the largest type necessary to retain accuracy. In addition, certain BASIC09 functions also perform automatic type conversions as necessary. Thus, numeric quantities of mixed types may be used in most cases. Type-mismatch errors happen when an expression includes types that cannot legally be mixed. These errors are reported by the second compiler pass which automatically occurs when you leave EDIT mode. Type conversions can take time. Therefore, you should use expressions containing all values of a single type wherever possible.


Constants are frequently used in program statements and in expressions to assign values to variables. BASIC09 has rules that allow you to specify constants that correspond to the five basic data types.

Numeric Constants

Numeric constants can be either REAL or INTEGER. If a number constant includes a decimal point or uses the E format exponential form, it forces BASIC09 to store the number in REAL format even if the value could have been stored in INTEGER or BYTE format. Thus, if you specifically want to specify a REAL constant, use a decimal point (for example, 12.0). This is sometimes done if all other values in an expression are of type REAL so BASIC09 does not have to do a time-consuming type conversion at run-time.

Numbers that do not have a decimal point but are too large to be represented as integers are also stored in REAL format. The following are examples of REAL values:


Numbers that do not have a decimal point and are in the range of -32768 to +32767 are treated as INTEGER numbers. BASIC09 will also accept integer constants in hexadecimal in the range 0 to $FFFF. Hex numbers must have a leading dollar sign. Here are some examples of INTEGER constants:


Boolean Constants

The two legal Boolean constants are TRUE and FALSE.


DIM flag, state: BOOLEAN
flag := TRUE
state := FALSE

String Constants

String constants consist of a sequence of any characters enclosed in double quote characters. The binary value of each character byte can be 1 to 255. Double quote characters to be included in the string use two characters in a row to represent one double quote. The null string is important because it represents a string having no characters. It is analogous to the numeric zero. Here are some examples of string constants:

"BASIC09 is a new microcomputer language"
""   (a null string)
"An ""older man"" is wiser"


Each BASIC09 variable is local to the procedure where it is defined. This means that it is only known to the program statements within that procedure. You can use the same variable name in several procedures and the variables will be completely independent. If you want other procedures to be able to share a variable, you must use the RUN and PARAM statements to pass the variable when a procedure calls another procedure.

Storage for variables is allocated from the BASIC09 workspace when the procedure is called. It is not possible to force a variable to occupy a particular absolute address in memory. When the procedure is exited, variable storage is given back and the values stored in it are lost. Procedures can call themselves (this is referred to as recursion) which causes another separate storage space for variables to be allocated.


BASIC09 does not automatically initialize variables. When a procedure is run, all variables, arrays, and structures will have random values. Your program must assign any initial value if needed.

Parameter Variables

Procedures may pass variables to other procedures. When this occurs, the variables passed to the called procedure are called parameters. Parameters may be passed either by reference, allowing values to be returned from the called procedure, or by value, which protects the values in the calling procedure such that they may not be changed by the procedure which is called.

Parameters are usually passed by reference; this is done by enclosing the names of the variables to be sent to the called procedure in parentheses as part of the RUN statement. The storage address of each parameter variable is evaluated and sent to the called procedure, which then associates those addresses with names in a local PARAM statement. The called procedure uses this storage as if it had been created locally (although it may have a new name) and can change the values stored there. Parameters passed by reference allow called procedures to return values to their callers.

Parameters may be passed by value by writing the value to be passed as an expression which is evaluated at the time of the call. Useful expression-generators that do not alter values are +0 for numbers or +"" for strings. For example:

RUN inverse(x)                           passes x by reference.
RUN inverse(x+0)                         passes x by value.
RUN translate(word$)                     passes word$ by reference.
RUN translate(word$+"")                  passes word$ by value.

When parameters are passed by value, a temporary variable is created when the expression is evaluated. The result is placed in this new temporary storage. The address of this temporary storage is sent to the called procedure. Therefore, the value actually given to the called procedure is a copy of the result, and the called procedure can't accidentally (or otherwise) change the variable(s) in the calling program.

Notice that expressions containing numeric constants are either of type INTEGER or of type REAL; there is no type BYTE constant. Thus, BYTE-type VARIABLES may be sent to a procedure as parameters; but expressions will be of types INTEGER or REAL. For example, a RUN statement may evaluate an INTEGER as a parameter and send it to the called procedure. If the called procedure is expecting a BYTE-type variable, it uses only the high-order byte of the (two-byte) INTEGER (which, if the value was intended to be in BYTE-range, will probably be zero!).


The DIM statement can create arrays of from 1 to 3 dimensions (a one-dimensional array is often called a vector, while a 2 or 3 dimensional array is called a matrix ). The sizes of each dimension are defined when the array is typed (e.g., DIM plot(24,80):BYTE) by including the number of elements in each dimension. Thus, a table dimensioned (24,80) has 24 rows (1-24) of 80 columns (1 - 80) when accessed in the default (BASE 1) mode. You may elect to access the elements of an array starting at zero (BASE 0), in which case there are still 24 rows (now 0-23) and 80 columns (now 0-79). Arrays may be composed of atomic data types, complex data types, or other arrays.

Complex Data Types

The TYPE statement can be used to define a new data type as a vector (a one-dimensional array) of any atomic or previously-defined types. For example:

TYPE employee_rec = name:STRING; number(2):INTEGER; malesex:BOOLEAN

This structure differs from an array in that the various elements may be of mixed types, and the elements are accessed by a field name instead of an array index. For example:

DIM employee_file(250): employee_rec
employee_file(1).name := "Tex"
employee_file(20).number(2) := 115

The complex structure gives the programmer the ability to store and manipulate related values that are of many types, to create new types in addition to the five atomic data types, or to create data structures of unusual shape or size. Additionally, the position of the desired element in complex-type storage is known and defined at compile time and need not be calculated at run time. Therefore, complex structure accesses may be slightly faster than array accesses. The elements of a complex structure may be copied to another similar structure using a single assignment operator (:= ). An entire structure may be written to or read from mass storage as a single entity (e.g., PUT #2, employee_file). Arrays or complex structures may be elements of subsequent complex structures or arrays.

Chapter 8. Expressions, Operators, and Functions

Evaluation of Expressions

Many BASIC09 statements evaluate expressions. The result of an evaluation is just a value of some atomic type (e.g., REAL, INTEGER, STRING, or BOOLEAN). The expression itself may consist of values and operators. For example, the expression 5+5 results in an integer with a value of ten.

A value can be a constant value (e.g, 5.0, 5 , "5" , or TRUE), a variable name, or a function (e.g, SIN(x) ) which returns the result as a value. An operator combines values (typically, those adjacent to the operator) and also returns a result.

In the course of evaluating an expression, each value is copied to an expression stack where functions and operators take their input values and return results. If (as is often the case) the expression is to be used in an assignment statement, only when the result of the entire expression has been found is the assignment made. This allows the variable which is being modified (assigned to) to be one of the values in the expression. The same principles apply for numeric, string, and Boolean operators. These principles make assignment statements such as X=X+1 legal in all cases, even though it would not make sense in a mathematical context.

Any expression evaluates to one of the five atomic data types, i.e., real, integer, byte, Boolean, or string. This does not mean, however, that all the operators and operands in expressions have to be of an identical type. Often types are mixed in expressions because the RESULT of some operator or function has a different type than its operands. An example is the less than operator. Here is an example:

24 < 100

The < operator compares two numeric operands. The result of the comparison is of type BOOLEAN; in this case, the value TRUE.

BASIC09 allows intermixing of the three numeric types because it performs automatic type conversion of operands. If different types are used in an expression, the result will be the same type as the operand(s) having the largest representation. As a rule, any numeric type operand may be used in a expression that is expected to produce a result of type REAL. Expressions that must produce BYTE or INTEGER results must evaluate to a value that is small enough to fit the representation. BASIC09 has a complete set of functions that can perform compatible type conversion. Type-mismatch errors are reported by the second compiler pass when leaving Edit mode.


Operators take two operands (except negation) and cause some operation to be performed producing a result, which is generally the same type as the operands (except comparisons). The table below lists the operators available and the types they accept and produce. NUMERIC refers to either BYTE, INTEGER, or REAL types.

Table 8.1. BASIC09 Expression Operators
OperatorFunctionOperand typeResult type
^ or **ExponentiationNUMERIC (positive)NUMERIC
<> or ><Not equal toANYBOOLEAN
<= or =<Less than or EqualNUMERIC, STRING*BOOLEAN
>= or =>Greater than or EqualNUMERIC, STRING*BOOLEAN

When comparing strings, the ASCII collating sequence is used, so that 0 < 1 < ... < 9 < A < B< ... < Z < a < b< ... < z

Operator Precedence

Operators have precedence. This means they are evaluated in a specific order. (i.e., multiplications performed before addition). Parentheses can be used to override natural precedence, however, extraneous parentheses may be removed by the compiler. The legal operators are listed below, in precedence order from highest to lowest.

Highest Precedence
Lowest Precedence

Operators of equal precedence are shown on the same line, and are evaluated left to right in expressions. The only exception to this rule is exponentiation, which is evaluated right to left. Raising a negative number to a power is not legal in BASIC09.

In the examples below, BASIC09 expressions on the left are evaluated as indicated on the right. Either form may be entered, but the simpler form on the left will always be generated by the decompiler.

BASIC09 representationEquivalent form
a:= b+c**2/da:= b+((c**2)/d)
a:= b>c AND d>e OR c=ea:= ((b>c) AND (d>e)) OR (c=e)
a:= (b+c+d)/ea:= ((b+c)+d)/e
a:= b**c**d/ea:= (b**(c**d))/e
a:= -(b)**2a:= (-b)**2
a:=b=ca:= (b=c) (returns BOOLEAN value)


Functions take one or more arguments enclosed in parentheses, perform some operation, and return a value. They may be used as operands in expressions. Functions expect that the arguments passed to them be expressions, constants, or variables of a certain type and return a result of a certain type. Giving a function, an argument of an incompatible type will result in an error.

In the descriptions of functions that follow, the following notation describes the type required for the parameter expressions:

nummeans any numeric-result expression.
strmeans any string-result expression.
intmeans any integer-result expression.

The functions below return REAL results. Accuracy of transcendental functions is 8+ decimal digits. Angles can be either degrees or radians (see DEG/RAD statement descriptions).

SIN(num)trigonometric sine of num
COS(num)trigonometric cosine of num
TAN(num)trigonometric tangent of num
ASN(num)trigonometric arcsine of num
ACS(num)trigonometric arccosine of num
ATN(num)trigonometric arctangent of num
LOG(num)natural logarithm (base e) of num
LOG10(num)logarithm (base 10) of num
EXP(num)e (2.71828183) raised to the power num, which must be a positive number
FLOAT(num)num converted to type REAL (from BYTE or INTEGER)
INT(num)truncates all digits to the right of the decimal point of a REAL num
PIthe constant 3.14159265.
SQR(num)square root of num, which must be positive.
SQRT(num)square root of num; same as SQR.

if num = 0, returns random x, 0 <= x < 1.
if num > 0, returns random x, 0 <= x < num.
if num < 0, use ABS(num) as new random number seed.

The following functions can return any numeric type, depending on the type of the input parameter(s).

ABS(num)absolute value of num
SGN(num)signum of num: -1 if num < 0; 0 if num = 0; or 1 if num > 0
SQ(num)num squared
VAL(str)convert type string to type numeric

The following functions can return results of type INTEGER or BYTE:

FIX(num)round REAL num (up/down as appropriate) and convert to type INTEGER.
MOD(num1,num2)modulus (remainder) function. num1 mod num2.
ADDR(name)absolute memory address of variable, array, or structure named name.
SIZE(name)storage size in bytes of variable, array, or structure named name.
ERRerror code of most recent error, automatically resets to zero when referenced.
PEEK(int)value of byte at memory address int.
POScurrent character position of PRINT buffer.
ASC(str)numeric value of first character of str.
LEN(str)length of string str.
SUBSTR(str1,str2)substring search: returns starting position of first occurrence of str1 in str2, or 0 if not found.

The following functions perform bit-by-bit logical operations on integer or byte data types and return INTEGER results. They should not be confused with the BOOLEAN-type operators.

LAND(num,num)Logical AND
LOR(num,num)Logical OR
LXOR(num,num)Logical EXCLUSIVE OR
LNOT(num)Logical NOT

These functions return a result of type STRING:

CHR$(int)ASCII char. equivalent of int
DATE$date and time, format: "yy/mm/dd hh:mm:ss"
LEFT$(str,int)leftmost int characters of str.
RIGHT$(str,int)rightmost int characters of str.
MID$(str,int1,int2)middle int2 characters of str starting at character position int1.
STR$(num)converts numeric type num to displayable characters of type STRING representing the number converted.
TAB(num)returns the correct number of spaces to cause the next item to start in the print column specified by num. If the output line is already past the desired tab position, the TAB returns an empty string.
TRIM$(str)str with trailing spaces removed.

The following functions return BOOLEAN values:

TRUEalways returns TRUE.
FALSEalways returns FALSE.
EOF(#num)End-of-file test on disk file path num, returns TRUE if end-of-file condition

Chapter 9. Program Statements and Structure

Program Structure

Each BASIC09 can be a complete program in itself, or several procedures that call each other can be used to create an application program. It is up to the programmer to decide which approach to take. One procedure may suffice for small programs but large programs are easier to write and test if divided into separate modules (procedures) according to the program's natural flow. These suggestions reflect sound structured programming practice. Nonetheless, you can use a single large procedure for your program if you so desire.

A procedure consists of any number of program statement lines. Each line can have an optional line number, and more than one program statement can be placed on the same line if separated by \ characters. For example, the following statements are equivalent:



The maximum input line length is 255 characters. Line feeds can be used to make a single long line into shorter lines to fit display screens better. This is especially useful when working on hard-copy terminals.

Program statements can be in any order consistent with program logic Program readability is improved if all variables are declared with DIM statements at the beginning of the procedure, but this is not mandatory. The program can be terminated with END or STOP statements, which are also optional.

Line Numbers

Line numbers are optional. They can be any integer number in the range of 1 to 32767. Only use line numbers where absolutely necessary (such as with GOSUB). They make programs harder to understand, use additional memory space, and increase compile time considerably. Line numbers are local to procedures. i.e., the same line number can be used in different procedures without conflict.

Assignment Statements

Assignment statements are used for computing or initializing of variables.

LET Statement


[LET] var := expr
[LET] var = expr
[LET] struct := struct
[LET] struct = struct

This statement evaluates an expression and stores the result in var which may be a simple variable or data structure element. The result of the expression must be of the same or compatible type as var. BASIC09 will accept either = or := as an assignment operator, however, the second form ( := ) is preferred because it distinguishes the assignment operation from a comparison (the test for equality). The := operator is the same as used in PASCAL.

Another use of the assignment statement is to copy the entire value of an array or complex data structure to another array or complex data structure. The data structures do not have to have the same type or shape. The only restriction is that the size of the destination structure be the same or larger than the source structure. In fact this type of assignment can be used to perform unusual type conversions. For example, a string variable of 80 characters can be copied to a one-dimensional array of 80 bytes.


A := 0.1

value := temp/sin(x)

DIM array1(100), array2(100)
array1 := array2


DIM truth,lie:BOOLEAN
lie := 100 < 1
truth := NOT lie

count = total-adjustment
matrix(2).coefficient(n+2) := matrix(1).coefficient(n)

POKE Statement


POKE integer expr , byte expr

This statement allows a program to store data at a specific memory address. The first expression is used as the absolute address to store the type BYTE result of the second expression. This statement can alter any memory address so care must be taken when using it.


POKE ADDR(buffer)+5,ASC("A")

POKE 1200,14

POKE $1C00,$FF

POKE pointer,PEEK(pointer+1)

(* alternative to: alphabet$ := "ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ" *)
FOR i=0 to 25
  POKE ADDR(alphabet$)+i,$40+i
POKE ADDR(alphabet$)+26,$FF

Control Statements

This class of statements affect the (usually) sequential execution of program statements. They are used to construct loops or make decisions that alter program flow. BASIC09 provides a selection of looping statements that allow you to create any kind of loop using sound structured programming style.

IF Statement: Type 1


IF bool expr THEN line #

This form of the if statement causes execution to be transferred to the statement having the line number specified if the result of the expression is TRUE, otherwise the next sequential statement is executed. For example:

IF payment < balance then 400

IF Statement: Type 2


IF bool expr THEN statements
[ ELSE statements ]

This kind of IF structure evaluates the expression to a BOOLEAN value. If the result is TRUE the statement(s) immediately following the THEN are executed. If an ELSE clause exists, statements between the ELSE and ENDIF are skipped. If the expression is evaluated to FALSE control is transferred to the first statement following the ELSE, if present, or otherwise to the statement following the ENDIF.


IF a < b THEN
  PRINT "a is less than b"
  PRINT "a:";a;" b:";b

IF a < b THEN
  PRINT "a is less than b"
  IF a=b THEN
    PRINT "a equals b"
    PRINT "a is greater than b"

FOR/NEXT Statement


FOR var = expr TO expr [ STEP expr ]
NEXT var

Creates a loop that usually executes a specified number of times while automatically increasing or decreasing a specified counter variable. The first expression is evaluated and the result is stored in var which must be a simple integer or real variable. The second expression is evaluated and stored in a temporary variable. If the STEP clause is used, the expression following is evaluated and used as the loop increment. If it is negative, the loop will count down.

The body of the loop (i.e. statements between the FOR and NEXT are executed until the counter variable is larger than the terminating expression value. For negative STEP values, the loop will execute until the loop counter is less than the termination value. If the initial value of var is beyond the terminating value the body of the loop is never executed. It is legal to jump out of FOR/NEXT loops. The is no limit to the nesting of FOR/NEXT loops.


FOR counter = 1 to 100 step .5
  PRINT counter
NEXT counter

FOR var = min-1 TO min+max STEP increment-adjustment
  PRINT var
NEXT var

FOR x = 1000 TO 1 STEP -1

WHILE..DO Statement


WHILE bool expr DO

This is a loop construct with the test at the top of the loop. Statements within the loop are executed as long as bool expr is TRUE. The body of the loop will not be executed if the Boolean expression evaluates to FALSE when first executed.


WHILE a<b DO     is equivalent to     100 IF a>=b THEN 500
  PRINT a                                 PRINT a
  a := a+1                                a := a+1
ENDWHILE                                  GOTO 100
                                         500 REM

  PRINT "yes!  ";
  yes := POS<50

REM reverse the letters in word$
backward$ := ""
INPUT word$
WHILE LEN(word$) > 0 DO
  backward$ := backward$ + RIGHT$(word$,1)
  word$ := LEFT$(word$,LEN(word$)-1)
word$ := backward$
PRINT word$



UNTIL bool expr

This is a loop that has its test at the bottom of the loop. The statement(s) within the loop are executed until the result of bool expr is TRUE. The body of the loop is always executed at least one time.


x = 0            is the same as        x=0
REPEAT                             100 PRINT x
  PRINT x                              x=x+1
  x=x+1                                IF X <= 10 THEN 100
UNTIL x>10

(* compute factorial: n! *)
temp := 1.
INPUT "Factorial of what number? ",n
  temp := temp * n
  n := n-1
UNTIL n <= 1.0
PRINT "The factorial is "; temp




EXITIF bool expr THEN statements

These related types of statements can be used to construct loops with test(s) located anywhere in the body of the loop. The LOOP and ENDLOOP statements define the body of the loop. EXITIF clauses can be inserted anywhere inside the loop to leave the loop if the result of its test is true. Note that if there is no EXITIF clause, you will create a loop that never ends.

The EXITIF clause evaluates an expression to a Boolean result. If the result is FALSE, the statement following the ENDEXIT is executed next. Otherwise, the statement(s) between the EXITIF and ENDEXIT are executed, then control is transferred to the statement following the body of the loop. This exit clause is often used to perform some specific function upon termination of the loop which depends on where the loop terminated.

EXITIF statements are almost always used when LOOP..ENDLOOP is used, but they can also be useful in ANY type of BASIC09 loop construct (e.g., FOR/NEXT, REPEAT... UNTIL, etc.). Examples:

LOOP                 is equivalent to   100 REM top of loop
  count=count+1                             count=count+1
EXITIF count >100 THEN                      IF COUNT <= 100 then 200
  done = TRUE                               done = TRUE
ENDEXIT                                     GOTO 300
  PRINT count                           200 PRINT count
  x = count/2                               x = count/2
ENDLOOP                                     GOTO 100
                                        300  REM out of loop

  PRINT "x became zero first"
  x := x-1
EXITIF y < 0 THEN PRINT "y became zero first"
  y := y-1

GOTO Statement


GOTO line #

The GOTO unconditionally transfers execution flow to the line having the specified number. Note that the line number is a constant, not an expression or a variable.


GOTO 1000



GOSUB line #

The GOSUB statement transfers program execution to a subroutine starting at the specified line number. The subroutine is executed until a RETURN statement is encountered, which causes execution to resume at the statement following the calling GOSUB. Subroutines may be nested to any depth.


    FOR n := 1 to 10
      x := SIN(n)
      GOSUB 100
    NEXT n
    FOR m := 1 TO 10
      x := COS(m)
      GOSUB 100
    NEXT m

100 x := x/2
    PRINT x



ON int expr GOTO line # {,line #}
ON int expr GOSUB line # {,line #}

These statements evaluate an integer expression and use the result to select a corresponding line number from an ordered list. Control is then transferred to that line number unconditionally in ON GOTO statements or as a subroutine in ON GOSUB statements. These statements are similar to CASE statements in other languages.

The expression must evaluate to a positive INTEGER-type result having a value between 1 and n, n being the amount of line numbers in the list. If the result has any other result, no line number is selected and the next sequential statement is executed.


   (* spell out the digits 0 to 9 *)
   DIM digit:INTEGER
   A$="one digit only, please"
   INPUT "type in a digit"; digit
   ON digit+1 GOSUB  10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19

   (* names of digits *)
10 A$ := "ZERO"
11 A$ := "ONE"
12 A$ := "TWO"
13 A$ := "THREE"
14 A$ := "FOUR"
15 A$ := "FIVE"
16 A$ := "SIX"
17 A$ := "SEVEN"
18 A$ := "EIGHT"
19 A$ := "NINE"



ON ERROR [ GOTO line # ]

This statement sets a trap that transfers control to the line number given when a non-fatal run-time error occurs. If no ON ERROR GOTO has been executed in a procedure before an error occurs, the procedure will stop and enter DEBUG mode. The error trap can be turned of by executing ON ERROR without a GOTO.

This statement is often used in conjunction with the ERR function, which returns the specific error code, and the ERROR statement which artificially generates errors. Note: the ERR function automatically resets to zero any time it is called.


   (* List a file *)

   DIM path,errnum: INTEGER, name: STRING[45], line: STRING[80]
   INPUT "File name? "; name
   OPEN #path,name:READ
     READ #path, line
     PRINT line

10 errnum=ERR
   IF errnum = 211 THEN
     (* end-of-file *)
     PRINT "Listing complete."
     CLOSE #path
     (* other errors *)
     PRINT "Error number "; errnum

Execution Statements

Execution statements run procedures, stop execution of procedures, create shells, or affect the current execution of the procedure.

RUN Statement


RUN proc name [ (param {,param}) ]
RUN string var [ (param {,param}) ]

This statement calls a procedure by name; when that procedure ends, control will pass to the next statement after the RUN. It is most often used to call a procedure inside the workspace, but it can also be used to call a previously compiled (by the PACK command) procedure or a 6809 machine language procedure outside the workspace. The name can be optionally taken from a string variable.

Parameter Passing

The RUN statement can include a list of parameters enclosed in parentheses to be passed to the called procedure. The called procedure must have PARAM statements of the same size and order to match the parameters passed to it by the calling procedure.

The parameters can be variables, constants, or the names of entire arrays or data structures. They can be of any type, (EXCEPT variable of type BYTE but BYTE arrays are O.K.). If a parameter is a constant or expression, it is passed by value, i.e., it is evaluated and placed in a temporary storage location, and the address of the temporary storage is passed to the called procedure. Parameters passed by value can be changed by the receiving procedure, but the changes are not reflected in the calling procedure.

If the parameter is the name of a variable, array, or data structure, it is passed by reference, i.e., the address of that storage is sent to the called procedure and thus the value in that storage may be changed by the receiving procedure. These changes are reflected in the calling procedure.

Calling External Procedures

If the procedure named by RUN can't be found in the workspace, BASIC09 will check to see if it was loaded by OS-9 outside the workspace. If it isn't found there, BASIC09 will try to find a disk file having the same name in the current execution directory, load it, and run it. In either case, BASIC09 checks to see if the called procedure is a BASIC09 I-code module or a 6809 machine language module, and executes it accordingly. If it is a 6809 machine language module, BASIC09 executes a JSR instruction to its entry point and the module is executed as 6809 native code. The machine language routine can return to the original calling procedure by executing an RTS instruction. The diagram on the next page shows what the stack frame passed to machine-language subroutines looks like.

After an external procedure has been called but is no longer needed, the KILL statement should be used to get rid of it so its memory space can be used for other purposes.

Figure 9.1. Stack Frame Passed to Machine Language Procedures
+----------------------+         ^
|                      |         |
                          higher addresses

|  more parameters     |

|                      |
+----------------------+        ---
|                      |         |
|  size of 1st param   |         |
+  -  -  -  -  -  -  - +      4 bytes
|  addr  of 1st param  |         |
|                      |         |
+----------------------+        ---
|                      |         |
|  parameter count     |      2 bytes
|                      |         |
+----------------------+        ---
|                      |         |
|  return address      |      2 bytes
|                      |         |
+----------------------+        ---  <- 6809 Stack Pointer
                                        Register value

Machine language modules return error status by setting the C bit of the MPU condition codes register, and by setting the B register to the appropriate error code. For an example of a machine language subroutine (INKEY), See Appendix A, Sample Programs.

Example of use of the RUN statement:

PROCEDURE trig_table
num1 := 0 \ num2 := 0
  RUN display(num1,SIN(num1))
  RUN display(num2,COS(num2))
UNTIL num1 > 1

PARAM passed,funcval
PRINT passed;":";funcval,
passed := passed + 0.1

KILL Statement


  KILL str expr

This statement is used to unlink an external procedure, possibly returning system memory, and remove it from BASIC09's procedure directory. If the procedure is inside the workspace, nothing happens and no error is generated. KILL can be used with auto-loading PACKed procedures as an alternative to CHAIN when program overlay is desired.


  1. It can be fatal to OS-9 to KILL a procedure that is still active.

  2. When KILL is used together with a RUN statement, the RUN statement must use the same string variable which contains the name of the procedure. See the first example below:


LET procname$="average"
RUN procname$
KILL procname$

INPUT "Which test do you want to run? ",test$
RUN test$
KILL test$

CHAIN Statement


CHAIN str expr

The CHAIN statement performs an OS-9 chain operation on the SHELL, passing the specified string as an argument. This causes BASIC09 to be exited, unlinked, and its memory returned to OS-9. The string should evaluate to the name of an executable module (such as BASIC09), passing parameters if appropriate.

CHAIN can begin execution of any module, not just BASIC09. It executes the module indirectly through the Shell in order to take advantage of Shell's parameter processing. This has the side-effect of leaving an extra incarnation of the Shell active. Programs that repeatedly chain to each other eventually find all of memory filled with waiting shells. This can be prevented by using the ex option of the Shell. Consult the OS-9 User's Guide for more details on the capabilities of the shell.

Files that are open when a CHAIN occurs are not closed. However, the OS-9 Fork call will only pass the standard I/O paths (0,1,2) to a child process. Therefore, if it is necessary to pass an open path to another program segment, the ex option of Shell must be used.


CHAIN "ex BASIC09 menu"

CHAIN "BASIC09 #10k sort (""datafile"",""tempfile"")"


CHAIN "Dir; Echo *** Copying Directory ***; ex basic09 copydir"

SHELL Statement


SHELL str expr

This statement allows BASIC09 programs to run any OS-9 command or program. This gives access to virtually any OS-9 function including multiprogramming, utility commands, terminal, and I/O control, and more. Consult the OS-9 User's Guide for a detailed discussion of OS-9 standard commands.

The SHELL statement requests OS-9 to create a new process, initially executing the shell, which is the OS-9 command interpreter. The shell can then call any program in the system (subject to the normal security functions). The string expression is evaluated and passed to the shell to be executed as a command line. (just as if it had been typed in). If the string is null, BASIC09 is temporarily suspended and the shell process displays prompts and accepts commands in its normal manner. When the shell process terminates, BASIC09 becomes active again and resumes execution at the statement following the SHELL statement.

Here are a few examples of using the shell from BASIC09:

SHELL "copy file1 file2"            sequential execution

SHELL "copy file1 file2&"           concurrent execution

SHELL "edit document"               calling text editor

SHELL "asm source o=obj ! spool &"  concurrent assembly

SHELL "kill "+STR$(N)

file$ := "/d1/batch_jobs"           concurrent execution of a
SHELL file$ + " -p >/p &"           batch procedure file

END Statement


END [output list]

This statement ends execution of the procedure and returns to the calling procedure, or to BASIC09 command mode if it was the highest level procedure. If an output list is given, it also works the same as the PRINT statement. END is an executable statement and can be used several times in the same procedure. END is optional: it is not required at the bottom of a procedure.



END "I have finished execution"

STOP Statement


STOP [output list]

This statement immediately terminates execution of all procedures and returns to the command mode. If an output list is given it also works like a PRINT statement.

BYE Statement



This statement ends execution of the procedure and terminates BASIC09. Any open files are closed, and any unsaved procedures or data in the workspace will be lost. This command is especially useful for creating PACKed programs and/or programs to be called from OS-9 procedure files.


This command causes BASIC09 to abort. It should only be used if the program has been saved before it is tested!

ERROR Statement


ERROR(integer expr)

This statement generates an error having the error code specified by the result of evaluation of the expression. ERROR is often used for testing error routines. For details on error handling see the ON ERROR GOTO statement description.

PAUSE Statement


PAUSE [output list]

PAUSE suspends execution of the procedure and causes BASIC09 to enter Debug Mode. If an output list is given it also works like a PRINT statement.

output BREAK IN PROCEDURE procedure name

The Debug Mode CONT command can be used to resume procedure execution at the following statement.



PAUSE "now outside main loop"

CHD and CHX Statements


CHD str expr
CHX str expr

These statements change the current default Data or Execution directory, respectively. The string must specify the pathlist of a file which has the DIR attribute. For more information on the OS-9 directory structure, consult the OS-9 User's Guide.

DEG and RAD Statements



These statements set the procedure's state flag to assume angles stated in degrees or radians in SIN, COS, TAN, ACS, ASN, and ATN functions. This flag applies only to the currently active procedure. The default state is radians.

BASE 0 and BASE 1 Statements



These statements indicate whether a particular procedure's lowest array or data structure index (subscript) is zero or one. The default is one. These statements do not affect the string operations (e.g., MID$, RIGHT$, OR LEFT$) where the beginning character of a string is always index one.

TRON and TROFF Statements



These statements turn the trace mode on or off, and are useful for debugging. When trace mode is turned on, each statement is decompiled and printed before execution. Also, the result of each expression evaluation is printed as it occurs.

Comment Statements


REM chars
(* chars [ *) ]

These statements are used to put comments in programs. The second form of the statement is for compatibility with PASCAL programs. Comments are retained in the I-code but are removed by the PACK compile command. The ! character can be typed in place of the keyword REM when editing programs. The compiler trims away extra spaces following REM to conserve memory space.


REM this is a comment

(* This is also a comment *)

(* This is another kind of comment

Declarative Statements

The DIM, PARAM, and TYPE statements are called declarative statements because they are used to define and/or declare variables, arrays, and complex data structures. The DIM and PARAM statements are almost identical, the difference being that DIM are used to declare storage used exclusively within the procedure, and the PARAM statement is used to declare variables received from another calling procedure.

When do you need to use the DIM statement? You don't need to for simple variables of type REAL because this is the default format for undeclared variables. You also don't need to for 32-character STRING type variables (any name ending with a $ is automatically assigned this type). Even though you don't have to declare variables in these two cases, you may want to anyway to improve your program's internal documentation. Those things you must declare are:

  1. Any simple variables of type BYTE, INTEGER, or BOOLEAN.

  2. Any simple STRING variables shorter or longer than 32 characters.

  3. Arrays of any type.

  4. Complex data structures of any type.

The TYPE statement does not really create variable storage. Its purpose is to describe a new data structure type that can be used in DIM or PARAM statements in addition to the five atomic data types built-in to BASIC09. Therefore, TYPE is only used in programs that use complex data structures.

DIM Statement


DIM decl seq {; decl seq}
decl seq := decl {, decl} [: type ]
decl := name [ subscript ]
subscr := ( const [,const [,const]] )
 STRING | STRING max len | user defined type
user def := user defined by TYPE statement

The DIM statement is used to declare simple variables, arrays, or complex data structures of the five atomic types or any user-defined type. During compilation, BASIC09 assigns storage required for all variables declared in DIM statements.

Declaring Simple Variables

Simple variables are declared by using the variable name in a DIM statement without a subscript. If variables are not explicitly declared, they are automatically assumed to be REAL, or type STRING[32] if the variable name ends with a $ character. Therefore all simple variables of other types must be explicitly declared. For example:


Several variables can be declared in sequence with a :type following a group of the same type:


In addition, several different types can be declared in a single DIM statement by using a semicolon ; to separate different types:

DIM a,b,c:INTEGER; n,m:decimal; x,y,z:BOOLEAN

In this example a, b, and c are type INTEGER, n and m are type decimal (a user-defined type), and x, y, and z are type BOOLEAN. String variables are declared the same way except an optional maximum string length can be specified. If a length is not explicitly given, 32 characters are assumed:

DIM name:STRING[40]; address,city:STRING; zip:REAL

In this case, name is a string variable of 40 characters maximum, address and city are string variables of 32 characters each, and zip is a real variable.

Array Declarations

Arrays can have one, two, or three dimensions. The DIM statement format (including type grouping) is the same as for simple variables except each name is followed by subscript(s) to indicate its size. The maximum subscript size is 32767. Simple variable and array declarations can be mixed in the same DIM statement:

DIM a(10),b(20,30),c:INTEGER; x(5,5,5):STRING[12]

In the example above, a is an array of 10 integers, b is a 20 by 30 matrix of integers, c is a simple integer variable, and x is a three-dimensional array of 12-character strings.

Arrays can be any atomic or user-defined type. By declaring arrays of user-defined types, structures of arbitrary complexity and shape can be generated. Here's an example declaration that generates a doubly-linked list of character strings. Each element of the array consists of the string containing the data and two integer pointers.

TYPE link_pointers = fwd,back: INTEGER
TYPE element = data: STRING[64]; ptr: link_pointers
DIM list(100): element

(* make a circular list *)
FOR index := 0 TO 99
  list(index).data := "secret message " + STR$(index)
  list(index).ptr.fwd := index+1
  list(index).ptr.back := index-1
NEXT index
(* fix the ends *)
list(0).ptr.back := 99
list(99).ptr.fwd := 0

(* Print the list *)
  PRINT list(index).data
  index := list(index).ptr.fwd
UNTIL index=0

PARAM Statement

Syntax: Same as DIM statement

PARAM is identical to the DIM statement, but it does not create variable storage. Instead, it describes what parameters the called procedure expects to receive from the calling procedure.

The programmer must insure that the total size of each parameter (as evaluated by the RUN statement in the calling procedure) conforms to the amount of storage expected for each parameter in the called procedure as specified by the PARAM statement. BASIC09 checks the size of each parameter (to prevent accidental access to storage other than the parameter) but does not check type. However, in most cases the programmer should ensure that the parameters evaluated in the RUN statement and sent to the called procedure agree exactly with the PARAM statement specification with respect to: the number of parameters, their order, size, shape, and type.

Because type-checking is not performed, if you really know what you are doing you can make the parameter passing operation perform useful but normally illegal type conversions of identically-sized data structures. For example, passing a string of 80 characters to a procedure expecting a BYTE array having 80 elements assigns the numeric value of each character in the string to the corresponding element of the byte array.

TYPE Statement


TYPE type decl {; type decl}
type decl := field name . decl : type}
decl := name [, subscript ]
subscript := ( const [,const [,const]] )
 STRING | STRING [max len] | user defined
user defined := user defined by TYPE statement

This statement is used to define new data types. New data types are defined as a vector (a one-dimensional array) of previously defined types. This structure differs from an array in that the various elements may be of different types, and the elements are accessed by field name instead of an array index. Here's an example:

TYPE cust_recd := name,address(3):STRING; balance

This example creates a new data type called cust_recd which has three named fields: a field called name which is a string, a field called address which is a vector of three strings; and a field called balance which is a (default) REAL value.

The TYPE statement can include previously-defined types so very complex non-rectangular data structures can be created such as lists, trees, etc. This statement does not create any variable storage itself; the storage is created when the newly-defined type is used in a DIM statement. The example show below creates an array having 250 elements of type cust_recd that was defined above:

DIM customer_file(250):cust_recd

To access elements of the array in assignment statements, the field name is used as well as the index:

name$ = customer_file(35).name
customer_file(N+1).address(3) = "New York, NY"
customer_file(X).balance= 125.98

The complex structure allows creation of data types appropriate to the job at hand by providing more natural organization and association of data. Additionally, the position of the desired element is known and defined at compilation-time and need not be calculated at run time, unlike arrays, and can therefore be accessed faster than arrays.

Chapter 10. Input and Output Operations

Files and Unified Input/Output

A file is a logical concept for a sequence of data which is saved for convenience in use and storage. File data may be pure binary data, textual data (ASCII characters), or any other useful information. Hardware input/output (I/O) devices used by OS-9 also work like files, so you can generally use any I/O facility regardless of whether you are working with disk files or I/O devices such as printers. This single interface standard for any device and simple communication facilities allow any device to be used with any other device. This concept is known as unified I/O. Note that unified I/O can benefit routine programming. For example: file operations can be debugged by communicating with a terminal or printer instead of a storage device, and procedures which normally communicate with a terminal can be tested with data coming from and sent to a storage device.

BASIC09 normally works with two types of files: sequential files and random-access files.

A sequential file sends or receives (WRITE/READ) textual data only in order. It is not generally possible to start over at the beginning of a sequential file once a number of bytes have been accessed (many I/O devices such as printers are necessarily sequential). A sequential file contains only valid ASCII characters; the READ and WRITE commands perform format conversion similar to that done automatically in INPUT and PRINT commands. A sequential file contains record-delimiter characters (carriage return) which separate the data created by different WRITE operations. Each WRITE command will send a complete sequential-file record, which is an arbitrary number of characters terminated by a carriage return. Each READ reads all characters up to the next carriage return.

A random-access file sends and receives (PUT/GET) data in binary form exactly as it is internally represented in BASIC09. This minimizes both the time involved in converting the data to and from ASCII representation, as well as reducing the file space required to store the data. It is possible to PUT and GET individual bytes, or a substructure of many bytes (in a complex structure). The GET structure statement merely recovers the number of bytes associated with that type of structure. It is possible to move to a particular byte in a random-access file (using SEEK) and to begin to PUT or GET sequentially from that point (in general, SEEK #path,0 is equivalent to the REWIND used in some forms of BASIC). Since the random-access file contains no record-separators to indicate the size of particular elements of the file, the programmer should use the SIZE function to determine the size of a single element, then use SEEK to move to the desired element within the file.

A new file is made on a storage device by executing CREATE. Once a file exists, the OPEN command is used to notify the operating system to set up a channel to the desired device and return that path number to the BASIC09 program. This channel number is then used in file-access operations (e.g., READ, WRITE, GET, PUT, SEEK, etc.). When the programmer is finished with the file, it should be terminated by CLOSE to assure that the file system has updated all data back onto magnetic media.

I/O Paths

A path is a description of a channel through which data flows from a given program outward or from some device inward. In order for data to flow to or from a device, there must be an associated OS-9 device driver — see the OS9 User's Manual. When a path is created, OS-9 returns a unique number to identify the path in subsequent file operations. This path number is used by the I/O statements to specify the file to be used. Three path numbers have special meanings because they are standard I/O paths representing BASIC09's interactive input/output (your terminal). These are automatically opened for you and should not be closed except in very special circumstances. The standard I/O path numbers are:

0Standard Input (Keyboard)
1Standard Output (Display)
2Standard Error/Status (Display)

The table below is a summary of the I/O statements within BASIC09 and their general usage. This reflects typical usage; most statements can be used with any I/O device or file. Sometimes certain statements are used in unusual ways by advanced programmers to achieve certain special effects.

StatementGenerally Used WithData Format (File Type)
INPUTKeyboard (interactive input)Text (Sequential)
PRINTTerminals, PrintersText (Sequential)
OPENDisk Files and I/O DevicesAny
CREATEDisk Files and I/O DevicesAny
CLOSEDisk Files and I/O DevicesAny
DELETEDisk FilesAny
SEEKDisk FilesBinary (Random)
READDisk FilesText (Sequential)
WRITEDisk FilesText (Sequential)
GETDisk Files and I/O DevicesBinary (Random)
PUTDisk Files and I/O DevicesBinary (Random)

INPUT Statement


INPUT [#int expr,] ["prompt",] input list

This statement accepts input during the execution of a program. The input is normally read from the standard input device (terminal) unless an optional path number is given. When the INPUT statement is encountered, program execution is suspended and a ? prompt is displayed. If the optional prompt string is given, it is displayed instead of the normal ? prompt. This means that the INPUT statement is really both an input and output statement. Therefore, if a path other than the default standard input path is used, the path should be open in UPDATE mode. This makes INPUT dangerous if used on disk files, unless you like prompts in your data (use READ).

The data entered is assigned in order to the variable names in the order they appear in the input list. The variables can be of any atomic type, and the input data must be of the same (or compatible) type. The line is terminated by a carriage return. There must be at least as many input items given as variables in the input list. The length of the input line cannot exceed 256 characters.

If any error occurs (type mismatch, insufficient amount of data, etc.), the message:


is displayed, followed by a new prompt. The entire input line must then be reentered.

The INPUT statement uses OS-9's line input function (READLN) which performs line editing such as backspace, delete, end-of-file, etc. To perform input WITHOUT editing (i.e., to read pure binary data), use the GET statement.


INPUT number,name$,location

INPUT #14, "What is your selection", choice

INPUT "What's your name? ",name$

Here's how to read a single character (without editing) from the terminal (path #0):

DIM char:STRING[1]
GET #0,char

For a function to test if data is available from the keyboard without hanging the program, see the INKEY assembly language program included in Appendix A, Sample Programs.

PRINT Statement


PRINT output list
PRINT #int expr, output list
PRINT USING str expr, output list
PRINT #int expr, USING str expr, output list

This statement outputs the values of the items given in the output list to the standard output device (path #1, the terminal) unless another path number is specified.

The output list consists of one or more items separated by commas or semicolon characters. Each item can be a constant, variable, or expression of any atomic type. The PRINT statement evaluates each item and converts the result to corresponding ASCII characters which are then displayed. If the separator character following the item is a semicolon, the next item will be displayed without any spacing in between. If a comma is used, spaces are output so the next item starts at the next tab zone. The tab zones are 16 characters long starting at the beginning of the line. If the line is terminated by a semicolon, the usual carriage return following the output line is inhibited.

The TAB(expr) function can be used as an item in the output list, which outputs the correct number of spaces to cause the next item to start in the print column specified by the result of the expression. If the output line is already past the desired tab position, the TAB is ignored. A related function, POS, can be used in the program to determine the output position at any given time. The output columns are numbered from one to a maximum of 255. The size of BASIC09's output buffer varies according to stack size at the moment. A practical value is at least 512 characters.

The PRINT USING form of this statement is described at the end of this chapter.


PRINT value,temp+(n/2.5),location$

PRINT #printer_path,"The result is "; n

PRINT "what is " + name$ + "'s age? ";

PRINT "index: ";i;TAB(25);"value:  ";value

PRINT USING "R10.2,X2,R5.3",x,y

PRINT #outpath USING fmt$,count,value

(* print an 80-character line of all dashes *)
  PRINT "-";

OPEN Statement


OPEN #int var,"str expr" [ : access mode ]
access mode := mode ! mode + access mode

This statement issues a request to OS-9 to open an I/O path to an existing file or device. The STRING expression is evaluated and passed to OS-9 as the descriptive pathlist.The variable name specified must be DIMensioned as type INTEGER or BYTE and is used receive the path number assigned to the path by OS-9. This path number is used to reference the specific file/device in subsequent input/output statements.

The OPEN statement may also specify the path's desired access mode which can be READ, WRITE, UPDATE, EXEC, or DIR. This defines which direction I/O transfers will occur. If no access mode is specified, UPDATE is assumed and both reading and writing are permitted. The DIR mode allows OS-9 directory type-files to be accessed but should not be used in combination with WRITE or UPDATE modes. The EXEC mode causes the current execution directory to be used instead of the current data directory. Refer to the OS-9 User's Guide for more information on how files access modes.


DIM printer_path:BYTE; name:STRING[24]
OPEN #printer_path,name:WRITE
PRINT #printer_path,"Mary had a little lamb"
CLOSE #printer_path

INPUT name$
OPEN #inpath,dev$+name$:READ

OPEN #path:userdir$:READ+DIR

OPEN #path,name$:WRITE+EXEC

CREATE Statement


CREATE #int var,"str expr" [ : access mode ]
access mode := mode ! mode + access mode

The CREATE statement is used to create a new file on a multifile mass storage device such as disk or tape. If the device is not of multifile type, this statement works like an OPEN statement. The variable name is used to receive the path number assigned by OS-9 and must be of BYTE or INTEGER type. The STRING expression is evaluated and passed to OS-9 to be used as the descriptive pathlist.

The access mode defines the direction of subsequent I/O transfers and should be either WRITE or UPDATE. UPDATE mode allows the file to be either read or written.

OS-9 has a single file type that can be accessed both sequentially OR at random. Files are byte-addressed, so no explicit record length need be given (see GET and PUT statements). When a new file is created, it has an initial length of zero. Files are expanded automatically by PRINT, WRITE, or PUT statements that write beyond the current end of file. File size may be set explicitly using the OS9 statement.


CREATE #trans,"transactions":UPDATE

CREATE #spool,"/user4/report":WRITE

CREATE #outpath,name$:UPDATE+EXEC

CLOSE Statement


CLOSE #int expr {,#int expr}

The CLOSE statement notifies OS-9 that one or more I/O paths are no longer needed. The paths are specified by their number(s). If the path closed used a non-sharable device (such as a printer), the device is released and can be assigned to another user. The path must have been previously established by means of the OPEN or CREATE statements.

Paths #0, #1, and #2 (the standard I/O paths) should never be closed unless the user immediately opens a new path to take over the Standard Path number.


CLOSE #master,#trans,#new_master

CLOSE #5,#6,#9

CLOSE  #1          \(* closes standard output path *)
OPEN #path,"/T1"   \(* Permanently redirects Std Output *)

CLOSE #0            \(* closes standard input path *)
OPEN #path,"/TERM"  \(* Permanently redirects Std Input *)

DELETE Statement


DELETE str expr

This statement is used to delete a mass storage file. The file's name is removed from the directory and all its storage is deallocated, so any data on the file is permanently lost. The string expression is evaluated and passed to OS-9 as the descriptive pathlist of the file.

The user must have write permission for the file to be deleted. See the OS-9 User's Guide for more information.


DELETE "/D0/old_junk"

DELETE name$
DELETE "/D2/"+name$      (deletes file named "/D2/file55")

SEEK Statement


SEEK #int expr num,real expr

SEEK changes the file pointer address of a mass storage file, which is the address of the next data byte(s) that are to be read or written next. Therefore, this statement is essential for random access of data on files using the GET and PUT statements.

The first expression specifies the path number of the file and must evaluate to a byte value. The second expression specifies the desired file pointer address, and must evaluate to a REAL value in the range 0 <= result <= 2,147,483,648. Any fractional part of the result is truncated. Of course, the actual maximum file size depends on the capacity of the device.

Although SEEK is normally used with random-access files, it can be used to rewind sequential files. For example:

SEEK #path,0

is the same as a rewind or restore function. This is the only form of the SEEK statement that is generally useful for files accessed by READ and WRITE statements. These statements use variable-length records, so it is difficult to know the address of any particular record in the file.


SEEK #fileone,filptr*2

SEEK #outfile,208894

SEEK #inventory,(part_num - 1) * SIZE(inv_rcd)

WRITE Statement


WRITE #int expr,output list

This statement writes data in ASCII character format on a file/device. The first expression specifies the number of a path that was previously opened by a OPEN or CREATE statement in WRITE or UPDATE mode.

The output list consists of one or more expressions separated by commas. Each expression can evaluate to any expression type. The result is then converted to an ASCII character string and written on the specified path beginning at the present file pointer which is updated as data is written.

If the output list has more than one item, ASCII null characters ($00) are written between each output string. The last item is followed by a carriage return character.

Note that this statement creates variable-length ASCII records.


WRITE #outpath,cat,dog,mouse

WRITE #xfile,LEFT$(A$,n),count/2

READ Statement


READ #int expr num,input list

This statement causes input data in ASCII character format to be read from a file or device. The first expression specifies a path number. The path number which must have been previously opened by an OPEN or CREATE statement in READ or UPDATE access mode (except the standard input path #0). Data is read starting at the path's current file pointer address which is updated as data is read.

This statement calls OS-9 to read a variable length ASCII record. Individual data items within the record are converted to BASIC09's internal binary format. These results are assigned in order to the variables given in the input list. The input data must match the number and type of the variables in the input list.

The individual data items in the input record are separated by ASCII null characters. Numeric items can also be delimited by commas or space characters. The input record is terminated by a carriage return character.


READ #inpath,name$,address$,city$,state$,zip

PRINT #1,"height,weight? "
READ #0,height,weight


READ is also used to read lists of expressions in the program. See the DATA statement section for details.

GET/PUT Statement


GET #expr,struct name
PUT #expr,struct name

The GET and PUT statements read and write fixed-size binary data records to files or devices. These are the primary I/O statements used for random access input and output.

The first expression is evaluated and used as the number of the I/O path which must have previously been opened by an OPEN or CREATE statement. Paths used by PUT statements must have been opened in WRITE or UPDATE access modes, and paths used by GET statements must be in READ or UPDATE mode.

The statement uses exactly one name which can be the name of a variable, array, or complex data structure. Data is written from, or read into, the variable or structure named. The data is transferred in BASIC09's internal binary format without conversion which affords very high throughput compared to READ and WRITE statements. Data is transferred beginning at the current position of the path's file pointer (see SEEK statement) which is automatically updated.

OS-9's file system does not inherently impose record structures on random-access files. All files are considered to be continuous sequences of addressable binary bytes. A byte or group of bytes located anywhere in the file can be read or written in any order. Therefore the programmer is free to use the basic file access system to create any record structure desired.

Record I/O in BASIC09 is associated with data structures defined by DIM and TYPE statements. The GET and PUT statements write entire data structures or parts of data structures. A PUT statement, for example, can write a simple variable, an entire array, or a complex data structure in one operation. To illustrate how this works, here is an example based on a simple inventory system that requires a random access file having 100 records. Each record must include the following information: the name of the item (a 25-byte character string), the item's list price and cost (both real numbers), and the quantity on hand (an integer).

First it is necessary to use the TYPE statement to define a new data type that describes such a record. For example:

TYPE inv_item=name:STRING[25];list,cost:REAL;qty:INTEGER

This statement describes a new record type called inv_item but does not cause variable storage to be assigned for it. The next step is to create two data structures: an array of 100 records of type inv_item to be called inv_array and a single working record called work_rec:

DIM inv_array(100):inv_item
DIM work_rec:inv_item

You can manually count the number of bytes assigned for each type to calculate the total size of each record. Sometimes these can become complicated and error-prone. Also, any change in a TYPE definition could require recalculation. Fortunately, BASIC09 has a built-in function:


that returns the number of bytes assigned to any variable, array, or complex data structure. In our example, SIZE(work_rec) will return the number 37, and SIZE(inv_array) will return 3700. The size function is often used in conjunction with the SEEK statement to position a file pointer to a specific record's address.

The procedure below creates a file called inventory and initializes it with zeroes and nulls:

PROCEDURE makefile
TYPE inv_item = name:STRING[25]; list,cost:REAL; qty:INTEGER
DIM inv_array(100):inv_item
DIM work_rec:inv_item
DIM path:byte
CREATE #path,"inventory" = ""
work_rec.list := 0.
work_rec.cost := 0.
work_rec.qty := 0
FOR n = 1 TO 100
  PUT #path,work_rec

Notice that the assignment statements referenced each named field of work_rec by name, but PUT referenced the record as a whole.

The subroutine below asks for a record number, then asks for data, and writes it in the file at the specified record:

INPUT "Record number ?",recnum
INPUT "Item name? ",
INPUT "List price? ",work_rec.list
INPUT "Cost price? ",work_rec.cost
INPUT "Quantity? ",work_rec.qty
SEEK #path, (recnum - 1) * SIZE(work_rec)
PUT #path,work_rec

This routine below uses a loop to read the entire file into the array inv_array:

SEEK #path,0 \ (* "rewind" the file *)
FOR k = 1 TO 100
  GET #path,inv_array(k)

Because ENTIRE STRUCTURES can be read, we can eliminate the FOR/NEXT loop and do exactly the same thing by:

SEEK #path,0
GET #path,inv_array

The above example is a very simple case, but it illustrates the combined power of BASIC09 complex data structures and the random access I/O statements. When fully exploited, this system has the following important characteristics:

  1. It is self-documenting. You can clearly see what a program does because structures have descriptive, named sub-structures.

  2. It is extremely fast.

  3. Programs are simplified and require fewer statements to perform I/O functions than in other BASICs.

  4. It is versatile. By creating appropriate data structures you can read or write almost any kind of data in any file, including files created by other programs or languages.

These advantages are possible because a single GET or PUT statement can move any amount of data, organized any way you want.

Internal Data Statements



READ input list
DATA expr, {expr}
RESTORE [ line number ]

These statements provide an efficient way to build constant tables within a program. DATA statements provide values, the READ statement assign the values to variables, and RESTORE statements can be used to set which data statement is to be read next.

The DATA statements have one or more expressions separated by commas. They can be located anywhere in a program. The expressions are evaluated each time the data statements are read and can evaluate to any type. Here are some examples:

DATA 1.1,1.5,9999,"CAT","DOG"
DATA SIN(temp/25), COS(temp*PI)

The READ statement has a list of one or more variable names. When executed, it gets input by evaluating the current expression in the current data statement. The result must match the type of the variable. When all the expressions in a DATA statement have been evaluated, the next DATA statement (in sequential order) is used. If there are no more DATA statements following, processing wraps around to the first data statement in the program.

The RESTORE statement used without a line number causes the first DATA statement in the program to be used next. If it is used with a line number, the data statement having that line number is used next.


    DATA 1,2,3,4
    DATA 5,6,7,8
100 DATA 9,10,11,12
    FOR N := 1 TO X
    NEXT N
    RESTORE 100
    READ A,B,C,D

Formatted Output: The Print Using Statement

BASIC09 has a powerful output editing capability useful for report generation and other applications where formatted output is required. The output editing uses the PRINT USING statement which has the following syntax:

PRINT [expr#,] USING str expr , output list

The optional path number expression can be used to specify the path number of any output file or device. If it is omitted, the output is written to the standard output path (usually the terminal).

The string expression is evaluated and used as a format specification which contains specific formatting directives for each item in the output list. The items in the output list can be constants, variables, or expressions of any atomic type. Blanks are not allowed in format strings! As each output item is processed, it is matched up with a specification in the format list. The type of each expression result must be compatible with the corresponding format specification. If there are fewer format specifications than items in the output list, the format specification list is repeated again from its beginning as many times as necessary.

A format string has one or more format specifications which are separated by commas. There are two kinds of specifications: ones that control output editing of an item from the output list, and ones that cause an output function by themselves (such as tabbing and spacing). There are six basic output editing directives. Each has a corresponding one-letter identifier:

Rreal format
Eexponential format
Iinteger format
Hhexadecimal format
Sstring format
Bboolean format

The identifier letter is followed by a constant number called the field width. This number indicates the exact number of print columns the output is to occupy and must allow for the data and overhead character positions such as sign characters, decimal points, exponents, etc. Some formats have additional mandatory or optional parameters that control subfields or select editing options. One of these options is justification which specifies whether the output is to line up on the left, right side, or center of the output field. Fields are commonly right-justified in reports because it arranges them into neat columns with decimal points aligned in the same position.

The abbreviations and symbols used in the syntax specifications are:

wTotal field width1 <= w <= 255
fFraction field1 <= w <= 9
jOPTIONAL justification< (left) > (right) ^ (center)

Real Format


This format can be used for numbers of types REAL, INTEGER, or BYTE. The total field width specification must include two overhead positions for the sign and decimal point. The f specifies how many fractional digits to the right of the decimal point are to be displayed. If the number has more significant digits than the field allows for, the undisplayed places are used to round the displayed digits. For example:

PRINT USING "R8.2", 12.349  gives    12.35

The justification modes are:

<Left justify with leading sign and trailing spaces. (default if justification mode omitted)
>right justify with leading spaces and sign.
^right justify with leading spaces and trailing sign (financial format)


PRINT USING "R8.2<",5678.123          5678.12
PRINT USING "R8.2>",12.3                   12.30
PRINT USING "R8.2<",-555.9            -555.90
PRINT USING "10.2^",-6722.4599            6722.46-
PRINT USING "R5.1","9999999"            *****

Exponential Format


This format prints numbers of types REAL, INTEGER, or BYTE in the scientific notation format using a mantissa and decimal exponent. The syntax and behavior of this format is similar to the REAL format except the w field width must allow for eight overhead positions for the mantissa sign, decimal point, and exponent characters. The < and > justification modes are allowed and work the same way.


PRINT USING "E12.3",1234.567               1.235E+03

PRINT USING "E12.6>",-0.001234            -1.234000E-3

Integer Format



This format is used to display numbers of types INTEGER or BYTE, and REAL numbers that are within range for automatic type conversion. The w field width must allow for one position overhead for the sign. The justification modes are:

<left justify with leading sign and trailing spaces (default)
>right justify with leading spaces and sign
^right justify with leading spaces and zeroes


PRINT USING "I4<",10         10

PRINT USING "I4>",10             10

PRINT USING "I4^",10             010

Hexadecimal Format



This format can be used to display the internal binary representation of ANY data type, using hexadecimal characters. The w field width specification determines the number of hexadecimal characters to output. Justification modes are:

<left justify with trailing spaces
>right justify, leading spaces
^center justify

Because the number of bytes of memory used to represent data varies according to type, the following specification make the most sense for each data type:

H2boolean, byte (one byte)
H4integer (two bytes)
H10real (five bytes)
Hn*2string of length n


PRINT USING "H4",100               00C4

PRINT USING "H4",-1                FFFF

PRINT USING "H10",1.5              01D0000000

PRINT USING "H8","ABC"             414243

String Format



This format is used to display string data of any length. The w field width specifies the total field size. If the string to be displayed is shorter than the field size, it is padded with spaces according to the justification mode. If it is too long, it will be truncated on the right side. The format specifications are:

<Left justify (default if mode omitted)
>right justify
^Center justify



PRINT USING "S8>","HELLO"               HELLO

PRINT USING "S8^","HELLO"             HELLO

Boolean Format



This format is used to display Boolean data. The result of the Boolean expression is converted to the strings TRUE and FALSE. The specification is otherwise identical to the STRING format.

Control Specifications

Control specifications are useful for horizontal formatting of the output line. They are not matched with items in the output list and can be used freely. The control formats are

TnTab to column n
XnSpace n columns
'str'Include constant string. The string must not include single or double quotes, backslash or carriage return characters.

Warning: Control specifications at the end of the format specification list will not be processed if all output items have been exhausted.


PRINT USING "'addr',X2,H4,X2,'data',X2,H2",1000,100     prints

addr  03E8  data  C4

Repeat Groups

Many times identical sequences of specifications are repeated in format specification lists. The repeated groups can be enclosed in parentheses and preceded by a repeat count. These repeat groups can be nested. Here are some examples:

"2(X2,R10.5)" is the same as  "X2,R10.5,X2,R10.5"

"2(I2,2(X1,S4))" is the same as "I2,X1,S4,X1,S4,I2,X1,S4,X1,S4"

Chapter 11. Program Optimization

General Execution Performance of BASIC09

The BASIC09 multipass compiler produces a compressed and optimized low-level I-code for execution. Compared to other BASIC languages program storage is greatly decreased and execution speed is increased.

High-level language interpreters have a general reputation for slowness which is probably not deserved. Because the BASIC09 I-code is kept at a powerful level, a single, fast I-code interpretation will so that there is often result in many MPU instruction cycles (such as execution of floating-point arithmetic operations). Thus, for complex programs there is little performance difference between execution of I-code and straight machine-language instructions. This is generally not the case with traditional BASIC interpreters that have to compile from text as they run or even tokenized BASICs that must perform table-searching during execution. BASIC09 I-code instructions that reference variable storage, statements, labels, etc., contain the actual memory addresses so no table searching is ever required. Off course, BASIC09 fully exploits the power of the 6809's instruction set which was optimized for efficient execution of compiler-produced code.

Because the BASIC09 I-code is interpreted, a variety of entry-time tests and run-time tests and development aids are available to help in program development; aids not available on most compilers. The editor reports errors immediately when they are entered, the debugger allows debugging using the original program source statements and names, and the I-code interpreter performs run-time error checking of things such as array bound errors, subroutine nesting, arithmetic errors, and other errors that are not detected (and usually crash) native-compiler-generated code.

Optimum Use of Numeric Data Types

Because BASIC09 includes several different numeric representations (i.e., REAL, INTEGER, and BYTE) and does automatic type conversions between them, it is easy to write expressions or loops that take at least ten times longer to execute than is necessary. Some particular BASIC09 numeric operators (+, -, *, /) and control structures (FOR..NEXT) include versions for both REAL and INTEGER values. The INTEGER versions, off course, are much faster and may have slightly different properties (e.g., INTEGER divides discard any remainder). Type conversions takes time so expressions whose operands and operators are of the same type are more efficient.

BASIC09's REAL (floating point) math package provides excellent performance. A special 40-bit binary floating point representation designed for speed and accuracy was developed especially for BASIC09 after exhaustive research. The new CORDIC technique is used to derive all transcendental functions (SIN, TAN, LOG, EXP, etc.). This integer shit-and-add technique is faster and more consistently accurate than the commonly used series-expansion approximations.

Nonetheless, INTEGER operations are faster because they generally have corresponding 6809 machine-language instructions. Overall program speed will increase and storage requirements will decrease if INTEGERs are used whenever possible. INTEGER arithmetic operations use the same symbols as REAL but BASIC09 automatically selects the INTEGER operations when working with an integer-value result. Only if all operands of an expression are of types BYTE or INTEGER will the result also be INTEGER.

Sometimes, similar or identical results can be obtained in a number of different ways at various execution speeds. For example, if the variable value is an integer, then value*2 will be a fast integer operation. However, if the expression is value*2.0 the value 2.0 will be represented as a REAL number, and the multiplication will be a REAL multiplication. This will also require that the variable value will have to be transformed into a REAL value, and finally the result of the expression will have to be transformed back to an INTEGER value if it is to be assigned to a variable of that type. Thus a single decimal point will slow this particular operation down by about ten times!

Table 11.1. Arithmetic Functions Ranked by Speed
OperationTypical Speed (MPU Cycles)
REAL POWER (^)39200

This table can be used to deduce some interesting points. For example, value*2 is not optimum - value+value can produce the same result in less time because multiplication takes longer than addition. Similarly, value*value or SQ(value) is much faster than the equivalent value^2. Another interesting case is x/2.0. The REAL divide will cost 3870 cycles, but REAL multiplication takes only 990 cycles. The mathematical equivalent to division by a constant is multiplication by the inverse of the constant. Therefore, using X*0.5 instead is almost four times faster!

Looping Quickly

When BASIC09 identifies a FOR..NEXT loop structure with an INTEGER loop counter variable, it uses a special integer version of the FOR..NEXT loop. This is much faster than the REAL-type version and is generally preferable. Other kinds of loops also run faster if INTEGER type variables are used for loop counters.

When writing program loops, remember that statements inside the loop may be executed many times for each single execution outside the loop. Thus, any value which can be computed before entering a loop will increase program speed.

Optimum Use of Arrays and Data Structures

BASIC09 internally uses INTEGER numbers to index arrays and complex data structures. If the program uses subscripts that are REAL type variables or expressions, BASIC09 has to convert them to INTEGERs before they can be used. This takes additional time, so use INTEGER expressions for subscripts whenever you can.

Note that the assignment statement (LET) can copy identically sized data structures. This feature is much faster than copying arrays or structures element-by-element inside a loop.

The PACK Command

The PACK command produces a compressed version of a BASIC09 procedure. Depending on the number of comments, line numbers, etc., programs will execute from 10% to 30% faster after being packed. Minimizing use of line numbers will even speed up procedures that are unPACKed.

Eliminating Constant Expressions and Sub-Expressions

Consider the expression:

x = x+SQRT(100)/2

is exactly the same as the expression:

x = x+5

The subexpression SQRT(100)/2 consists of constants only, so its result will not vary regardless of the rest of the program. But every time the program is run, the computer must evaluate it. This time can be significant, especially if the statement is within a loop. Constant expressions or subexpressions should be calculated by the programmer while writing the program (using DEBUG mode or a pocket calculator).

Fast Input and Output Functions

Reading or writing data a line or record at a time is much faster than a character at a time. Also, the GET and PUT statements are much faster than READ and WRITE statements when dealing with disk files. This is because GET and PUT use the exact binary format used internally by BASIC09. READ, WRITE, PRINT, and INPUT must perform binary-to-ASCII or ASCII-to-binary conversions which take time.

Professional Programming Techniques

One sure way to make a program faster is to use the most efficient algorithms possible. There are many good programming cookbooks that explain useful algorithms with examples in BASIC or PASCAL. Thanks to BASIC09's rich vocabulary you can use algorithms written in either language with little or no adaptation.

BASIC09 also eliminates any possible excuse for not using good structured programming style that produces efficient, reliable, readable, and maintainable software. BASIC09 generates optimized code to be executed by the 6809 which is the most powerful 8-bit processor in existence at the time of this writing. But a computer can only execute what it is told to execute, and no language implementation can make up for an inefficient program. An inefficient program is evidence of a lack of understanding of the problem. The result is likely to be hard to understand and hard to update if program specifications change (they always do). The identification of efficient algorithms and their clear, structured expression is indicative of professionalism in software design and is a goal in itself.

Appendix A. Sample Programs

PROCEDURE fibonacci
  REM computes the first ten Fibonacci numbers
  DIM x,y,i,temp:INTEGER

  x:=0 \y:=0
  FOR i=0 TO 10

    IF i<>0 THEN
    ELSE y:=1

    PRINT i,y
  NEXT i

PROCEDURE fractions
  REM by T.F. Ritter
  REM finds increasingly-close rational approximations
  REM to the desired real value


  FOR m=1 TO 30000
    IF ABS(trial-desired)<ABS(last-desired) THEN
      PRINT n; "/"; m; " = "; trial,
      PRINT "difference = "; trial-desired;
  NEXT m

   REM by T.F. Ritter
   REM prints the integer parameter value in binary

   FOR i=15 TO 0 STEP -1
     IF n<0 THEN
       PRINT "1";
     ELSE PRINT "0";
   NEXT i


  REM by T.F. Ritter
  REM move n discs in Tower of Hanoi game
  REM See BYTE Magazine, Oct 1980, pg. 279

  PARAM n:INTEGER; from,to_,other:STRING[8]

  IF n=1 THEN
     PRINT "move #"; n; " from "; from; " to "; to_
    RUN hanoi(n-1,from,other,to_)
    PRINT "move #"; n; " from "; from; " to "; to_
    RUN hanoi(n-1,other,to_,from)


  REM prints integer parameter as Roman Numeral
  DIM value,svalu,i:INTEGER
  DIM char,subs:STRING

  subs:="CCXXII "
  DATA 1000,100,500,100,100,10,50,10,10,1,5,1,1,0

  FOR i=1 TO 7
    READ value
    READ svalu

    WHILE x>=value DO
      PRINT MID$(char,i,1);

    IF x>=value-svalu THEN
      PRINT MID$(subs,i,1); MID$(char,i,1);

  NEXT i

PROCEDURE eightqueens
  REM originally by N. Wirth; here re-coded from Pascal
  REM finds the arrangements by which eight queens
  REM can be placed on a chess board without conflict
  DIM n,k,x(8):INTEGER
  DIM col(8),up(15),down(15):BOOLEAN
  BASE 0

  (* initialize empty board *)
  FOR k:=0 TO 7 \col(k):=TRUE \NEXT k
  FOR k:=0 TO 14 \up(k):=TRUE \down(k):=TRUE \NEXT k
  RUN generate(n,x,col,up,down)

PROCEDURE generate
  PARAM col(8),up(15),down(15):BOOLEAN
  DIM h,k:INTEGER \h:=0
  BASE 0

    IF col(h) AND up(n-h+7) AND down(n+h) THEN
      (* set queen on square [n,h] *)
      col(h):=FALSE \up(n-h+7):=FALSE \down(n+h) := FALSE
      IF n=8 THEN
        (* board full; print configuration *)
        FOR k=0 TO 7
          PRINT x(k); "   ";
        NEXT k
      ELSE RUN generate(n,x,col,up,down)

      (* remove queen from square [n,h] *)
      col(h):=TRUE \up(n-h+7):=TRUE \down(n+h):=TRUE
  UNTIL h=8

PROCEDURE electric
     REM re-programmed from "ELECTRIC"
     REM by Dwyer and Critchfield
     REM Basic and the Personal Computer (Addison-Wesley, 1978)
     REM provides a pictorial representation of the
     REM resultant electrical field around charged points
     DIM a(10),b(10),c(10)
     DIM x,y,i,j:INTEGER

     INPUT "How many charges do you have? ",n
     PRINT "The field of view is 0-50,0-50 (x,y)"
     FOR i=1 TO n
       PRINT "type in the x and y positions of charge ";
       PRINT i;
       INPUT a(i),b(i)
     NEXT i
     PRINT "type in the size of each charge:"
     FOR i=1 TO n
       PRINT "charge "; i;
       INPUT c(i)
     NEXT i

     REM visit each screen position
     FOR y=32 TO 0 STEP -1
       FOR x=0 TO 78
         REM compute field strength into v
         GOSUB 10
         REM map z to valid ASCII in b$
         GOSUB 20
         REM print char (proportional to field)
         PRINT b$;
       NEXT x
     NEXT y

10   v=1.
     FOR i=1 TO n
       EXITIF r=.0 THEN
     NEXT i

20   IF z<32 THEN b$:=" "
       IF z>57 THEN z:=z+8
       IF z>90 THEN b$:="*"
         IF z>INT(z)+.5 THEN b$:=" "
         ELSE b$:=CHR$(z)

PROCEDURE structst

  REM example of intermixed array and record structures
  REM note that structure d contains 200 real elements

  TYPE a=one(2):REAL
  TYPE b=two(10):a
  TYPE c=three(10):b
  DIM d,e:c

  FOR i=1 TO 10
    FOR j=1 TO 10
      FOR k=1 TO 2
        PRINT d.three(i).two(j).one(k)
        PRINT e.three(i).two(j).one(k)
      NEXT k
    NEXT j
  NEXT i

  REM this is a complete structure assignment

  FOR i=1 TO 10
    FOR j=1 TO 10
      FOR k=1 TO 2
        PRINT e.three(i).two(j).one(k);
      NEXT k
    NEXT j
  NEXT i


  REM display PIA at address (T.F. Ritter)
  REM made understandable by K. Kaplan

  DIM address:INTEGER
  INPUT "Enter PIA address:  "; address
  RUN side(address)
  RUN side(address+2)

  REM display side of PIA at address

  (* loop until control register input strobe
  (* flag (bit 7) is set
  REPEAT \ UNTIL LAND(PEEK(address+1),$80) <> 0
  (* now read the data register
  data := PEEK(address)
  (* display data in binary
  RUN prinbyte(data)

PROCEDURE prinbyte
  REM print a byte as binary

  n:= n*256
  FOR i = 7 TO 0 STEP -1
    IF n < 0 THEN PRINT "1";
    ELSE PRINT "0";
    n:= n + 1
  NEXT i


  REM quicksort, by T.F. Ritter
  PARAM bot,top,d(1000):INTEGER


  LOOP  \REM each element gets the once over
    REPEAT  \REM this is a post-inc instruction
    UNTIL NOT (btemp)
    n:=n-1 \REM point at the tested element

    REPEAT  \REM this is a post-dec instruction
    UNTIL d(m)<=d(top) OR m=n

    RUN exchange(d(m),d(n))
    n:=n+1 \REM prepare for post-inc


  IF n<>top THEN
    IF d(n)<>d(top) THEN
      RUN exchange(d(n),d(top))

  IF bot<n-1 THEN
    RUN qsort1(bot,n-1,d)
  IF n+1<top THEN
    RUN qsort1(n+1,top,d)


PROCEDURE exchange



  PARAM n,m,d(1000):INTEGER

  FOR i=n TO m
    PRINT d(i);
  NEXT i


  REM This procedure is used to test Quicksort
  REM It fills the array "d" with randomly generated
  REM numbers and sorts them.
  DIM i,d(1000):INTEGER

  FOR i=1 TO 1000
  NEXT i

  RUN prin(1,1000,d)

  RUN qsort1(1,1000,d)

  RUN prin(1,1000,d)


The following procedures demonstrate multiple-precision arithmetic, in this case using five integers to represent a twenty decimal digit number, with four fractional places.

  REM a+b=>c:five_integer_number (T.F. Ritter)
  PARAM a(5),b(5),c(5):INTEGER
  DIM i,carry:INTEGER

  FOR i=5 TO 1 STEP -1
    IF c(i)>=10000 THEN
    ELSE carry:=0
  NEXT i

  PARAM a(5),b(5),c(5):INTEGER
  DIM i,borrow:INTEGER

  FOR i=5 TO 1 STEP -1
    IF c(i)<0 THEN
    ELSE borrow:=0
  NEXT i


  FOR i=1 TO 5
    IF i=5 THEN PRINT ".";
    PRINT MID$("0000"+s,LEN(s)+1,4);
  NEXT i


  INPUT "input ultra-precision number: ",b$

  IF n<>0 THEN
  ELSE a(5):=0

  FOR i=4 TO 1 STEP -1
  NEXT i

PROCEDURE mptoreal

  FOR i=2 TO 4
  NEXT i

  (* Program to examine and patch any byte of a disk file *)
  (* Written by L. Crane *)
  DIM buffer(256):BYTE
  DIM path,offset,modloc:INTEGER; loc:REAL
  DIM rewrite:STRING
  INPUT "pathlist? ",rewrite
  OPEN #path,rewrite:UPDATE
    INPUT "sector number? ",rewrite
    SEEK #path,loc
    GET #path,buffer
    RUN DumpBuffer(loc,buffer)
      INPUT "change (sector offset)? ",rewrite
    EXITIF rewrite="" THEN
      RUN DumpBuffer(loc,buffer)
    EXITIF rewrite="S" OR rewrite="s" THEN ENDEXIT
      EXITIF offset>256 THEN ENDEXIT
        PRINT USING "h4,' - ',h2",modloc,buffer(offset);
        INPUT ":",rewrite
      EXITIF rewrite="" THEN ENDEXIT
        IF rewrite<>" " THEN
    INPUT "rewrite sector? ",rewrite
    IF LEFT$(rewrite,1)="Y" OR LEFT$(rewrite,1)="y" THEN
      SEEK #path,loc
      PUT #path,buffer
  CLOSE #path

  (* Called by PATCH *)
  TYPE buffer=char(8):INTEGER
  PARAM loc:REAL; line(16):buffer
  WHILE loc>65535. DO
  FOR j=1 TO 16
    PRINT USING "h4",FIX(INT(loc))+(j-1)*16;
    PRINT ":";
    FOR i=1 TO 8
      PRINT USING "X1,H4",line(j).char(i);
    NEXT i
    RUN printascii(line(j))
  NEXT j

  TYPE buffer=char(16):BYTE
  PARAM line:buffer
  DIM ascii:STRING; nextchar:BYTE; i:INTEGER
  FOR i=1 TO 16
    IF nextchar>127 THEN
    IF nextchar<32 OR nextchar>125 THEN
      ascii=ascii+" "
  NEXT i
  PRINT "  "; ascii;

     PROCEDURE MakeProc
     (* Generates an OS-9 command file to apply a command *)
     (* Such as copy, del, etc., to all files in a directory *)
     (* or directory system.  Author: L. Crane *)

     DIM DirPath,ProcPath,i,j,k:INTEGER
     DIM CopyAll,CopyFile:BOOLEAN
     DIM ProcName,FileName,ReInput,ReOutput,response:STRING
     DIM SrcDir,DestDir,DirLine:STRING[80]
     DIM Function,Options:STRING[60]
     DIM ProcLine:STRING[160]

       PRINT "Proc name ("; ProcName; ")";
       INPUT response
       IF response<>"" THEN

       ON ERROR GOTO 100
       SHELL "del "+ProcName
100    ON ERROR
       INPUT "Source Directory? ",SrcDir
       ON ERROR GOTO 200
       SHELL "del procmaker...dir"
200    ON ERROR
       SHELL "dir "+SrcDir+" >procmaker...dir"
       OPEN #DirPath,"procmaker...dir":READ
       CREATE #ProcPath,ProcName:WRITE
       PRINT "Function ("; Function; ")";
       INPUT response
       IF response<>"" THEN
       INPUT "Redirect Input? ",response
       IF response="y" OR response="Y" THEN
	    ReInput="<" \ ELSE  \ReInput=""
       INPUT "Redirect Output? ",response
       IF response="y" OR response="Y" THEN
	 ReOutput=">" \ ELSE  \ReOutput=""
       PRINT "Options ("; Options; ")";
       INPUT response
       IF response<>"" THEN
       INPUT "Destination Directory? ",DestDir
       WRITE #ProcPath,"t"
       WRITE #ProcPath,"TMode .1 -pause"
       READ #DirPath,DirLine
       INPUT "Use all files? ",response
       CopyAll=response="y" OR response="Y"
       WHILE NOT(EOF(#DirPath)) DO
	 READ #DirPath,DirLine
	 IF i>0 THEN
	     WHILE j<=i AND MID$(DirLine,j,1)<>" " DO
	     IF NOT(CopyAll) THEN
	       PRINT "Use "; FileName;
	       INPUT response
	       CopyFile=response="y" OR response="Y"
	     IF CopyAll OR CopyFile THEN
	       ProcLine=Function+" "+ReInput+SrcDir+"/"+FileName
	       IF DestDir<>"" THEN
		 ProcLine=ProcLine+" "+ReOutput+DestDir+"/"+FileName
	       ProcLine=ProcLine+" "+Options
	       WRITE #ProcPath,ProcLine
	     WHILE j<i AND MID$(DirLine,j,1)=" " DO
	   UNTIL j>=i
       WRITE #ProcPath,"TMode .1 pause"
       WRITE #ProcPath,"Dir e "+SrcDir
       IF DestDir<>"" THEN
	 WRITE #ProcPath,"Dir e "+DestDir
       CLOSE #DirPath
       CLOSE #ProcPath
       SHELL "del procmaker...dir"
       INPUT "Another ? ",response
     UNTIL response<>"Y" AND response<>"y"
     IF response<>"B" AND response<>"b" THEN

* INKEY - a subroutine for BASIC09 by Robert Doggett

* Called by: RUN INKEY(StrVar)
*            RUN INKEY(Path, StrVar)
* Inkey determines if a key has been typed on the given path
* (Standard Input if not specified), and if so, returns the next
* character in the String Variable.  If no key has been type, the
* null string is returned. If a path is specified, it must be
* either type BYTE or INTEGER.

  0021             TYPE     set   SBRTN+OBJCT
  0081             REVS     set   REENT+1

  0000 87CD005F             mod   InKeyEnd,InKeyNam,TYPE,REVS
  000D 496E6B65    InKeyNam fcs   "Inkey"
D 0000                      org   0          Parameters
D 0000             Return   rmb   2          Return addr of caller
D 0002             PCount   rmb   2          Num of params following
D 0004             Param1   rmb   2          1st param addr
D 0006             Length1  rmb   2          size
D 0008             Param2   rmb   2          2nd param addr
D 000A             Length2  rmb   2          size
  0012 3064        InKeyEnt leax  Param1,S
  0014 EC62                 ldd   PCount,S   Get parameter count
  0016 10830001             cmpd  #1         just one parameter?
  001A 2717                 beq   InKey20    ..Yes; default path A=0
  001C 10830002             cmpd  #2         Are there two params?
  0020 2635                 bne   ParamErr   No, abort
  0022 ECF804               ldd   [Param1,S] Get path number
  0025 AE66                 ldx   Length1,S
  0027 301F                 leax  -1,X       byte available?
  0029 2706                 beq   InKey10    ..Yes; (A)=Path number
  002B 301F                 leax  -1,X       Integer?
  002D 2628                 bne   ParamErr   ..No; abort
  002F 1F98                 tfr   B,A
  0031 3068        InKey10  leax  Param2,S
  0033 EE02        InKey20  ldu   2,X        length of string
  0035 AE84                 ldx   0,X        addr of string
  0037 C6FF                 ldb   #$FF
  0039 E784                 stb   0,X        Initialize to null str
  003B 11830002             cmpu  #2         at least two-byte str?
  003F 2502                 blo   InKey30    ..No
  0041 E701                 stb   1,X        put str terminator
  0043 C601        InKey30  ldb   #SS.Ready
  0045 103F8D               OS9   I$GetStt   is there an data ready?
  0048 2508                 bcs   InKey90    ..No; exit
  004A 108E0001             ldy   #1
  004E 103F89               OS9   I$Read     Read one byte
  0051 39                   rts
  0052 C1F6        InKey90  cmpb  #E$NotRdy
  0054 2603                 bne   InKeyErr
  0056 39                   rts              (carry clear)
  0057 C638        ParamErr ldb   #E$Param   Parameter Error
  0059 43          InKeyErr coma
  005A 39                   rts
  005B 1A6926               emod
  005E             InKeyEnd equ   *

Appendix B. Quick Reference

Table B.1. System Mode Commands

Table B.2. Edit Mode Commands
+*line #dqs

Table B.3. Debug Mode Commands

Table B.4. Program Reserved Words

Table B.5. BASIC09 Statements

Table B.6. Transcendental Functions
ACS (x)COS (x)LOG10 (x)SIN (x)
ASN (x)EXP (x)PITAN (x)
ATN (x)LOG (x)  

Table B.7. Numeric Functions
ABS (x)LAND (m,n)MOD (m,n)SQ (x)
FIX (x)LNOT (m,n)RND (x)SQR (x)
FLOAT (m)LOR (m,n)SGN (x)SQRT (x)
INT (x)LXOR (m,n)  

Table B.8. String Functions
ASC (char$)LEFT$ (str$,m)RIGHT$ (str$,m)TRIM$ (str$)
CHR$ (m)LEN (str$)STR$ (x)VAL(str$)
DATE$MID$ (str$,m,n)SUBSTR(st1$,st2$) 

Table B.9. Miscellaneous Functions
EOF (#path)PEEK (addr)SIZE (var)TRUE

Table B.10. Operator Precedence
highest ->NOT-(negate)
lowest ->ORXOR

Appendix C. BASIC09 Error Codes

10 - Unrecognized Symbol
11 - Excessive Verbage (too many keywords or symbols)
12 - Illegal Statement Construction
13 - I-code Overflow (need more workspace memory)
14 - Illegal Channel Reference (bad path number given)
15 - Illegal Mode (Read/Write/Update/Dir only)
16 - Illegal Number
17 - Illegal Prefix
18 - Illegal Operand
19 - Illegal Operator

20 - Illegal Record Field Name
21 - Illegal Dimension
22 - Illegal Literal
23 - Illegal Relational
24 - Illegal Type Suffix
25 - Too-Large Dimension
26 - Too-Large Line Number
27 - Missing Assignment Statement
28 - Missing Path Number
29 - Missing Comma

30 - Missing Dimension
31 - Missing DO Statement
32 - Memory Full (need more workspace memory)
33 - Missing GOTO
34 - Missing Left Parenthesis
35 - Missing Line Reference
36 - Missing Operand
37 - Missing Right Parenthesis
38 - Missing THEN statement
39 - Missing TO

40 - Missing Variable Reference
41 - No Ending Quote
42 - Too Many Subscripts
43 - Unknown Procedure
44 - Multiply-Defined Procedure
45 - Divide by Zero
46 - Operand Type Mismatch
47 - String Stack Overflow
48 - Unimplemented Routine
49 - Undefined Variable

50 - Floating Overflow
51 - Line with Compiler Error
52 - Value out of Range for Destination
53 - Subroutine Stack Overflow
54 - Subroutine Stack Underflow
55 - Subscript out of Range
56 - Parameter Error
57 - System Stack Overflow
58 - I/O Type Mismatch
59 - I/O Numeric Input Format Bad

60 - I/O Conversion: Number out of Range
61 - Illegal Input Format
62 - I/O Format Repeat Error
63 - I/O Format Syntax Error
64 - Illegal Path Number
65 - Wrong Number of Subscripts
66 - Non-Record-Type Operand
67 - Illegal Argument
68 - Illegal Control Structure
69 - Unmatched Control Structure

70 - Illegal FOR Variable
71 - Illegal Expression Type
72 - Illegal Declarative Statement
73 - Array Size Overflow
74 - Undefined Line Number
75 - Multiply-Defined Line Number
76 - Multiply-Defined Variable
77 - Illegal Input Variable
78 - Seek Out of Range
79 - Missing Data Statement
80 - Print Buffer Overflow

Error codes above 80 are those used by OS-9 or other external programs. Consult the OS-9 User's Guide for a list of error codes and explanations.

Appendix D. RunB

RunB is the the BASIC09 run-time package. It is similar to BASIC09 with the following exceptions: RunB is about half the size of BASIC09 and no file editing or debugging can be done. The main purpose of RunB is to save space and to execute packed modules. It should be noted that RunB will only execute packed modules. Another feature of RunB is that CONTROL-C and CONTROL-Q can be trapped by ON ERROR GOTO where BASIC09 can't.

When the name of a packed module is typed at the OS-9 prompt, Shell will determine that the module is packed BASIC09 I-code. Shell then loads and forks RunB, and RunB will link to and execute the named program. To run packed modules in this way, RunB must be in the commands directory.

Packed modules can be executed without RunB, but BASIC09 will have to be used and more space will be required.

Appendix E. The BASIC09 Graphics Interface Module

The Graphics Interface module provides a simple and convenient way to access the colour graphics and joystick functions of the Dragon Computer from BASIS09 programs. The module is a program written in assembly language and stored in a file called GFX. It can be loaded into memory using the OS-9 LOAD command prior to or after called BASIS09, or it will be automatically called by BASIS09 the first time it is referenced in a program if the GFX file is located in the execution (CMDS) directory.

GFX is called using the BASIS09 RUN statement. The first parameter passed is the name of the graphics function desired. Other parameters are used to pass coordinates, colour modes, etc.

The are two basic graphics modes: 4-colour having 128 by 192 pixel resolution, and 2-colour having 256 by 192 pixel resolution. The display is treated as a 256 by 192 point grid with coordinates 0,0 in the lower left-hand corner. X (horizontal) coordinates in either mode must be in the range of 0 to 255. An X-coordinate greater than 255 will cause a run-time error. Y coordinates (vertical) must be in the range of 0 to 191. A number greater than 191 will be replaced by 191. Some of the graphics functions require or optionally accept a colour mode which controls the foreground colour and colour set. The mode and colour codes are given in the table on the next page.

Table E.1. Colour Graphics Modes and Colour Codes
 Colour CodeTwo Colour FormatFour Colour Format
Colour Set 100BlackBlackGreenGreen
02  GreenBlue
03  GreenRed
Colour Set 204BlackBlackBuffBuff
06  BuffMagenta
07  BuffOrange
Colour Set 3*08  BlackBlack
09  BlackDark Green
10  BlackMed. Green
11  BlackLight Green
Colour Set 4*12  BlackBlack
13  BlackGreen
14  BlackRed
15  BlackBuff


Colour Sets 3 and 4 are not available on PAL video system (U.K. and European) models.


RUN GFX("Mode",format,colour)

MODE switches the screen from alphanumeric to graphics display mode, and selects the screen mode and colour mode. Format determines between two-colour (Format = 0), or four-colour (Format = 1) graphics modes. Colour is the initial colour code that specifies the foreground colour and colour set.

This command must be given before aby other graphics command is used. The first time MODE is called, it requests 6K bytes of memory from OS-9 for use as the graphics display memory. MODE will return an error if sufficient free memory is not available.

An example:

RUN GFX("Mode",1,3)

selects four-colour mode graphics is used, and the initial foreground colour is red.


RUN GFX("Move",x,y)

MOVE positions the (invisible) graphics cursor to the specified location without changing the display. X and Y are the coordinates of the new position.


RUN GFX("Move",0,0)

This example positions the cursor in the lower left-hand corner.


RUN GFX("Color",colour)

COLOR changes the current foreground colour (and possibly the colour set). The current graphics mode and cursor position are not changed. For example:

RUN GFX("Color",0)

changes the foreground colour to green in four-colour format (or black in two-colour format).


RUN GFX("Point",x,y) or

RUN GFX("Point",x,y,colour)

POINT moves the graphics cursor to the specified X.Y coordinate and sets the pixel at that coordinate to the current foreground colour. If the optional Colour is specified, the current foreground colour is set to the given Colour. For example:

RUN GFX("Point",0,192,1)

Point moves the cursor to the upper left-hand corner and changes the foreground colour to green in two-colour format, or it changes the colour to yellow in the four-colour format.


RUN GFX("Clear") or

RUN GFX("Clear",colour)

CLEAR resets all points on the screen to the background colour, or if the optional colour is given presets the screen to that colour. The current graphics cursor is reset to (0,0).


RUN GFX("Line",x2,y2)

RUN GFX("Line",x2,y2,colour)

RUN GFX("Line",x1,y1,x2,y2)

RUN GFX("Line",x1,y1,x2,y2,colour)

LINE draws lines in various ways. If one coordinate is given, the line will be drawn from the current graphics cursor position to the coordinates specified. If two sets of coordinates are given, they are used as the start and end points of the line. The line will be drawn in the current foreground colour unless a new colour is given as a parameter. After the line is drawn the graphics cursor will be positioned at x2,y2. For example

RUN GFX("Line",0,0,0,192)

draws a line from (0,0) to (0,192).

RUN GFX("line",24,65,2)

draws a blue line (4-colour mode) to point 24,65.


RUN GFX("Circle",radius)

RUN GFX("Circle",radius,colour)

RUN GFX("Circle",x,y,radius)

RUN GFX("Circle",x,y,radius,colour)

CIRCLE draws a circle of the given radius. The current graphics cursor position is assumed if no X,Y value is given. The current foreground colour is assumed if the Colour parameter is not used. The center of the circle must be on the screen.


RUN GFX("Alpha")

Alpha is a quick convenient way of getting the screen back to alphanumeric mode. When graphics mode is entered again, the screen will show the previous unchanged graphics display.


RUN GFX("Quit")

QUIT returns the 6K byte graphics display memory to OS-9. If the screen is not in alpha mode, then behaviour is undetermined.


RUN GFX("Gloc",vdisp)

GLOC returns the address of the video display RAM as an integer number. This address may be used in subsequent PEEK and POKE operations to access the video display directly. GLOC can be used to create special functions that are not available in the Graphics Module.


RUN GFX("Gcolr",colour)

RUN GFX("Gcolr",x,y,colour)

GCOLR is used to read the colour of the pixel at the current graphics cursor position, or from the coordinates X,Y. The parameter Colour may be an integer or a byte variable in which the colour code is returned.


RUN GFX("Joystk",stick,fire,x,y)

JOYSTK returns the status of the specified joystick's Fire button, and returns the X,Y position of the joystick. The Fire button may be read as a BYTE, INTEGER, or a BOOLEAN value. Non-zero (TRUE) means the button was pressed. The X,Y values returned may be BYTE or INTEGER variables, and they will be in the range 0 to 63. The Stick parameter may be BYTE or INTEGER, and should be 0 for RIGHT, or 1 for LEFT, depending on whether the RIGHT or the LEFT joystick is to be tested.


RUN GRX("Joystk",1,leftfire,leftx,lefty)

A Sample Graphics Program

The program on the next page illustrates how the GFX module is called and used. It creates an analog clock on the graphics display.

 0000      (* Simple Clock Simulator *)
 001C      DIM time(4),last(4),xx(3),yy(3):INTEGER
 0043      DIM x0,y0,radius,bkg:INTEGER
 0056      DIM i,j,x1,y1,x2,y2:INTEGER
 0071      DEG
 0073      bkg=0
 007A      x0=128
 0081      y0=96
 0088      radius=95
 008F      RUN GFX("MODE",1,bkg+1)
 00A5      RUN GFX("CLEAR")
 00B2      RUN GFX("CIRCLE",x0,y0,radius)
 00CF      FOR i=0 to 89 STEP 6
 00E4        x2=SIN(i)*radius
 00F4        y2=COS(i)*radius
 0104        x1=x2*.9
 0115        y1=y2*.9
 0126        j=MOD(i/30,3)+bkg+1
 013B        RUN GFX("LINE",x0+x1,y0+y1,x0+x2,y0+y2,j)
 016C        RUN GFX("LINE",x0-x1,y0-y1,x0-x2,y0-y2,j)
 019D        RUN GFX("LINE",x0+y1,y0-x1,x0+y2,y0-x2,j)
 01CE        RUN GFX("LINE",x0-y1,y0+x1,x0-y2,y0+x2,j)
 01FF      NEXT i
 020A      FOR i=1 TO 3
 021A        time(i)=0
 0225        xx(i)=x0
 0231        yy(i)=y0
 023D      NEXT i
 0248      LOOP
 024A        time$=DATE$
 0250        last=time
 0258        time(3)=VAL(MID$(time$,16,2))*6
 026E        time(2)=VAL(MID$(time$,13,2))*6
 0284        time(1)=MOD(VAL(MID$(time$,10,2))*30+time(2)/12,360)
 02A9        j=last(3)
 02B3        FOR i=3 TO 1 STEP -1
 02C9          IF i=3 OR j=0 OR ABS(time(i)-last(i+1))<6 OR
               ABS(time(i)-j)<6 THEN
 0300            RUN GFX("LINE",x0,y0,xx(i),yy(i),bkg)
 032B            xx(i)=x0+SIN(time(i))*radius*(.3+i*.2)
 035A            yy(i)=y0+COS(time(i))*radius*(.3+i*.2)
 0389            RUN GFX("LINE",x0,y0,xx(i),yy(i),bkg+i)
 03B7          ENDIF
 03B9        NEXT i
 03C4        WHILE time$=DATE$ DO
 03CF        ENDWHILE
 03D3      ENDLOOP