Discussion:
Trying to Remember the IDE name
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HerrDoktor
2014-11-08 23:52:10 UTC
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Hello all,

I used to do a lot of work with Modula-2 in the 80s, mostly with a
compiler that I bought from A&L Meyer Vogt in Switzerland. I remember it
had a revolutionary IDE with a syntax driven editor, which was quite
ahead of it's time back then. I can't remember the name of it though.
Can anybody help me with it? Is it perhaps out there somewhere to be run
on a DOS box?

Thanks


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invalid
2014-11-09 07:53:42 UTC
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Post by HerrDoktor
Hello all,
I used to do a lot of work with Modula-2 in the 80s, mostly with a
compiler that I bought from A&L Meyer Vogt in Switzerland. I remember it
had a revolutionary IDE with a syntax driven editor, which was quite
ahead of it's time back then. I can't remember the name of it though.
Can anybody help me with it? Is it perhaps out there somewhere to be run
on a DOS box?
Windows and Linux
http://www.excelsior-usa.com/xdsdl.html
http://www.modula2.org/adwm2/
http://gpmclr.codeplex.com/

DOS and CPM including Borland Turbo?
http://www.retroarchive.org/cpm/lang/lang.htm

Many links
http://freepages.modula2.org/compi.html

Many links on the web. Use search engines.
m***@gmail.com
2014-11-09 08:08:26 UTC
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The original modula-2 compiler of course came from ETH and Wirth himself. But the key thing missing from the system was not a text editor - but the most important tool of all - the debugger. Logitech of all companies bought the "Multiscope" compiler and debugger, which was a fantastic product. The post mortem debugger meant when your program crashed you could load it back into the debugger and look at all the variables. A breakthrough feature at the time, along with the ability to peruse record structures.

We built a lot of good stuff with that product. But eventually it was surpassed by the WIndows product from Stony Brook. The StonyBrook IDE came with a somewhat crude editor, an automatic dependency calculating builder (no manual make files), an unbelievable compiler, and a decent debugger, and a linker. They didn't like the MS linker so they wrote their own. Boy is that a tough thing to do. Not 1000 people on the planet know how linking really works. I wrote hundreds of thousands of lines of modula-2 with the stonybrook system, which has been released as open source. The quality of the emitted code was outstanding and products you made ran super fast. You can compiile my over 100,000 lines of code for my Discus product in seconds. C's precompiled headers are no match for the DEF and MOD file separation. Modula-2 has an inherent advantage over C in that you can more conveniently modularize your code, and by sharing reduce the overall number of lines of code. The many run time checks such as array bounds and nil pointer checking eliminate a lot of errors that in C are a nightmare to detect and fix.

Anyway the multiscope product is long gone.

Wirth tried to simplify modula-2 even further with Oberon, but when he eliminated enumerated types in Oberon, he unwittingly created a language evolution path that could not permit conversion forward from his previous languages of Pascal and Modula-2, and Oberon was DOA. In computer languages, you either accomodate the past (like the abominable C++ did), or jump into clean space ignoring the past like Python and Ruby have done, both of which are fairly successful languages.

It's too bad that Wirth is retired! we desperately need a new simple language for multi-core programming. How on earth can anyone program these 16 core CPU's?
Hubert
2014-11-09 08:52:03 UTC
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Well I guess it's not so much a matter of the language, there is for
instance Ada, with which I am dabbling now but the problem is really the
compiler support. As with everything in this world, the concentration in
the hand of a few big corporations is killing innovations. Microsoft
Visual Studio has corrupted most developers with the ease of use and in
return locks them into the Windows frame.

I am using C++ myself, not because I like it particularly but because
there are not real alternatives out there, at least not when you need
fast code, not counting the slow languages like Java etc.

Ada is nice, but it can also be hellishly complicated. I wish there was
something like Modula still out there with some modern concepts but
without all that multilevel abstraction witchcraft that makes a
programmers live pure hell. Instead of worrying about the program logic,
we now worry about whether this 4th level instantiation of nested
templates is right or not.


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invalid
2014-11-09 09:24:37 UTC
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Post by Hubert
Well I guess it's not so much a matter of the language, there is for
instance Ada, with which I am dabbling now but the problem is really the
compiler support. As with everything in this world, the concentration in
the hand of a few big corporations is killing innovations. Microsoft
Visual Studio has corrupted most developers with the ease of use and in
return locks them into the Windows frame.
Adacore is the Microsoft of the Ada world so you are also locked in to gnat
Ada.
Post by Hubert
Ada is nice, but it can also be hellishly complicated. I wish there was
something like Modula still out there
As has been pointed out in comp.lang.ada in response to your post, and here
by me Modula 2 is still supported. Modula 3 is still supported. There are
multiple versions from different places available for Linux and Windows and
old copies for DOS. Do you read any replies?
HerrDoktor
2014-11-09 10:47:43 UTC
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Post by invalid
As has been pointed out in comp.lang.ada in response to your post, and here
by me Modula 2 is still supported. Modula 3 is still supported. There are
multiple versions from different places available for Linux and Windows and
old copies for DOS. Do you read any replies?
Yes I do. Did I give you a reason to be so aggressive?



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invalid
2014-11-09 11:31:20 UTC
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Post by HerrDoktor
Post by invalid
As has been pointed out in comp.lang.ada in response to your post, and here
by me Modula 2 is still supported. Modula 3 is still supported. There are
multiple versions from different places available for Linux and Windows and
old copies for DOS. Do you read any replies?
Yes I do.
You said you wish Modula 2 was still available. You got numerous links
giving you some choices to currently available and currently maintained
compilers for Windows and Linux and DOS. After those links were posted you
posted again you wish Modula 2 was still around. From this historical chain
of events it appears you don't read all the replies. Maybe you have a spam
filter and don't know how to use it. Maybe you're trolling by implying
Modula 2 is not available over and over again when Modula 2 is available. We
don't know so we have to ask.
Post by HerrDoktor
Did I give you a reason to be so aggressive?
Hmmm let me think. Is trying to help by posting links aggressive? Is asking
a simple question aggressive? Oops there I did it again.

It's common courtesy to acknowledge people who try to help. You didn't do
that so the first question is if you read the replies.
a***@drrob1.com
2014-11-09 21:19:29 UTC
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Post by invalid
Post by HerrDoktor
Post by invalid
As has been pointed out in comp.lang.ada in response to your post, and here
by me Modula 2 is still supported. Modula 3 is still supported. There are
multiple versions from different places available for Linux and Windows and
old copies for DOS. Do you read any replies?
Yes I do.
You said you wish Modula 2 was still available. You got numerous links
giving you some choices to currently available and currently maintained
compilers for Windows and Linux and DOS. After those links were posted you
posted again you wish Modula 2 was still around. From this historical chain
of events it appears you don't read all the replies. Maybe you have a spam
filter and don't know how to use it. Maybe you're trolling by implying
Modula 2 is not available over and over again when Modula 2 is available. We
don't know so we have to ask.
Post by HerrDoktor
Did I give you a reason to be so aggressive?
Hmmm let me think. Is trying to help by posting links aggressive? Is asking
a simple question aggressive? Oops there I did it again.
It's common courtesy to acknowledge people who try to help. You didn't do
that so the first question is if you read the replies.
I, too, have used the multiscope and stony brook products. I still
use the stony brook compiler system, which still works for me and was
an excellent product for its time. Too bad Norman Black could not
continue it.

I also was surprised by the aggressive tone of a response to a polite
query in this thread.

And I also have been frustrated by the lack of support for a modula-2
programmer. ADW, really?! My stony brook code does not compile in
it. It vanished for > 1 yr. I posted in this very group a while back
asking about ADW, and was told to forget about it.

gm2 is extremely difficult (for me) to build. I do not make my living
in as a programmer so I have only hobby experience, though 30+ years
of it. It is useless to me.

So I agree w/ the OP comment that modula-2 is effectively unsupported.
Unless someone here is graciously offering to support it???

I didn't think so.
Marco van de Voort
2014-11-10 08:51:25 UTC
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Post by Hubert
Well I guess it's not so much a matter of the language, there is for
instance Ada, with which I am dabbling now but the problem is really the
compiler support.
There is also still Pascal :-)

I went back to Free Pascal/Delphi after my Topspeed period, mostly because
of compiler support. There is a major commercial player
(Borland/Embacadero), and the OSS offering is also faily strong with
Lazarus/Free Pascal.
Nemo
2014-11-10 22:57:19 UTC
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Post by m***@gmail.com
We built a lot of good stuff with that product. But eventually it was surpassed by the WIndows product from Stony Brook. The StonyBrook IDE came with a somewhat crude editor, an automatic dependency calculating builder (no manual make files), an unbelievable compiler, and a decent debugger, and a linker. They didn't like the MS linker so they wrote their own. Boy is that a tough thing to do. Not 1000 people on the planet know how linking really works.
I wrote hundreds of thousands of lines of modula-2 with the stonybrook
system, which has been released as open source.
Did you mean to write "released as freeware" or has Stonybrook really
open source?

N.
Martin Brown
2014-11-11 08:10:32 UTC
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Post by m***@gmail.com
The original modula-2 compiler of course came from ETH and Wirth himself. But the key thing missing from the system was not a text editor - but the most important tool of all - the debugger. Logitech of all companies bought the "Multiscope" compiler and debugger, which was a fantastic product. The post mortem debugger meant when your program crashed you could load it back into the debugger and look at all the variables. A breakthrough feature at the time, along with the ability to peruse record structures.
It was a remarkable product for the time with mainframe debugging
technology on a PC. There was also a runtime debugger although it didn't
work too well on larger projects and a partially syntax directed editor
ISTR called MOD.EXE in the later versions.

The PMD made it possible to determine the cause of most in service on
site failures from the PMD file and then eliminate the root cause.
Post by m***@gmail.com
We built a lot of good stuff with that product. But eventually it was surpassed by the WIndows product from Stony Brook. The StonyBrook IDE came with a somewhat crude editor, an automatic dependency calculating builder (no manual make files), an unbelievable compiler, and a decent debugger, and a linker. They didn't like the MS linker so they wrote their own. Boy is that a tough thing to do. Not 1000 people on the planet know how linking really works. I wrote hundreds of thousands of lines of modula-2 with the stonybrook system, which has been released as open source. The quality of the emitted code was outstanding and products you made ran super fast. You can compiile my over 100,000 lines of code for my Discus product in seconds. C's precompiled headers are no match for the DEF and MOD file separation. Modula-2 has an inherent advantage over C in that you can more conveniently modularize your code, and by sharing reduce the overall number of lines of code. The many run time che
cks such as array bounds and nil pointer checking eliminate a lot of errors that in C are a nightmare to detect and fix.

We moved to JPI M2 partly because we moved to the ill fated but
otherwise excellent OS/2 at about the same time and their code generator
could run rings around Logitechs aging product.

Its PMD facility was much less complete but also produced miniscule
crash dumps that were more like tracebacks - good enough to point the
cursor at the offending line of code.
Post by m***@gmail.com
Anyway the multiscope product is long gone.
Wirth tried to simplify modula-2 even further with Oberon, but when he eliminated enumerated types in Oberon, he unwittingly created a language evolution path that could not permit conversion forward from his previous languages of Pascal and Modula-2, and Oberon was DOA. In computer languages, you either accomodate the past (like the abominable C++ did), or jump into clean space ignoring the past like Python and Ruby have done, both of which are fairly successful languages.
It's too bad that Wirth is retired! we desperately need a new simple language for multi-core programming. How on earth can anyone program these 16 core CPU's?
Modula 2 was a clean minimalist language that for a while held its own
in various mission critical and educational niches. Sadly industry
favoured the crash and burn hack it together and fix all the bugs later
approach of C and the rest is history. We still pay the price of that
decision today every time the canonical buffer overrun exploits occur.
--
Regards,
Martin Brown
Chris Burrows
2014-11-14 23:52:31 UTC
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Post by m***@gmail.com
It's too bad that Wirth is retired! we desperately need a new simple language for multi-core programming. How on earth can anyone program these 16 core CPU's?
He might have retired from his ETH job but he certainly hasn't stopped working. He and Paul Reed have rewritten the Oberon operating system using the latest version (2013) of Oberon running on his own elegant RISC CPU design implemented in an FPGA. The book documenting everything and all the source code is available:

http://www.projectoberon.com/

More recently (October 2014) he released the source code of an even simpler compiler (written in Oberon) for his language called PICL which targets PIC controllers. This runs on the RISC FPGA Oberon operating system.

As for multicore programming in Oberon I believe that is the intention behind 'Active Oberon'. The most recent developments were reported a few days ago:

https://lists.inf.ethz.ch/pipermail/oberon/2014/007842.html

Regards,
Chris

Chris Burrows
CFB Software
http://www.astrobe.com

Manuel Collado
2014-11-09 15:26:30 UTC
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Post by HerrDoktor
Hello all,
I used to do a lot of work with Modula-2 in the 80s, mostly with a
compiler that I bought from A&L Meyer Vogt in Switzerland. I remember it
had a revolutionary IDE with a syntax driven editor, which was quite
ahead of it's time back then. I can't remember the name of it though.
Can anybody help me with it?
Probably you are talking about:

Interface Technology's Modula-2 Software Development System (M2SDS)

See also:

http://www.computer.org/csdl/mags/so/1986/03/01695553.pdf

At that time it was marketed also by:

A+L AG
Daederiz 61
CH-2540 Grenchen
Post by HerrDoktor
Is it perhaps out there somewhere to be run
on a DOS box?
It seems that this product has vanished:

http://freepages.modula2.org/compi.html#disap

I still keep an irregular copy someone gave to me just to make
demonstrations. It only runs on true DOS boxes, and not in a DOS command
shell on Windows.

Don't know if I could send to you a private copy without breaking any
copyright enforcement.
--
Manuel Collado - http://lml.ls.fi.upm.es/~mcollado
Hubert
2014-11-10 00:50:03 UTC
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Post by Manuel Collado
Interface Technology's Modula-2 Software Development System (M2SDS)
Yes exactly. That was the name, thanks I tried everything but could not
remember it. Oh well too bad it is lost now, it was really a good IDE
and I wish something like that syntax driven model was around these
days, it really made writing code much easier.



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j***@gmail.com
2014-11-10 10:30:48 UTC
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Post by Hubert
Yes exactly. That was the name, thanks I tried everything but could not
remember it. Oh well too bad it is lost now, it was really a good IDE
and I wish something like that syntax driven model was around these
days, it really made writing code much easier.
I remember having a file called M2SDS.zip on my system. Cannot find it at the moment.

Have you considered obc? http://spivey.oriel.ox.ac.uk/corner/Oxford_Oberon-2_compiler

Obc is an Oberon compiler. So not M2. But it is a good compiler, it is cross platform, reasonably fast, free of charge and, most importantly: it is still being maintained.
If you need plenty of libraries, don't even give it a thought. But I like it a lot.

GNU M2 is impossible. I tried it for the last time a few years ago. It was impossible to use.

When you need Modula-2 and a fair number of libraries, consider mocka. The most elaborate site covering mocka may well be http://fruttenboel.verhoeven272.nl/mocka/. That guy also pays attention to obc.
Bruce M. Axtens
2014-11-12 09:08:44 UTC
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Post by Manuel Collado
Interface Technology
There's a blurb about M2SDS at http://www.langreiter.com/space/M2SDS

bugmagnet
Hubert
2014-11-13 01:41:45 UTC
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Post by Bruce M. Axtens
Post by Manuel Collado
Interface Technology
There's a blurb about M2SDS at http://www.langreiter.com/space/M2SDS
bugmagnet
Thanks


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