immortalx wrote: ↑
Mon May 06, 2019 12:53 pm
OK first, the switch to the new forum was the nicest move. If I've learned anything by getting older is that, unfortunately, people tend to care more about the wrapping than the content.
The project comes from an ultra-experienced industry veteran and I'm sure that all of us are amazed at the speed things got done. I've seen way less complex projects take ages to complete. But I've also seen mediocre projects have huge success just because they were nicely polished. My point is, little things like the new website/forum and some exposure to media can help propel this project.
Stef, have you thought of reaching out to the demoscene? There are still old-schoolers and new blood that can make the foenix sing. A nice technical demo would certainly have people's eyes wide open.
The other thing I'd like to mention is an older project of someone (many of you probably know about it) called uzebox. It's nothing of the sort of the foenix. It's just a tiny, NES-like homebrew console which had huge success for over a decade. The secret to its success wasn't the low price. It was that the guy provided a C library and an easy to setup toolchain, with lots of documentation. That helped the community make over a 100 games for it. It was just that, easy to program for.
It would be a pity for such a nice machine to be hard to be programmed. So, I'd like to ask: Is there at this time a way to write in higher level (C, C++) languages, or is it all assembly? If not, are there any plans in the future to ease development in such languages?
I truly want this project to succeed and I'm torn between being an early adopter, or waiting a bit for it to mature. I'm afraid I won't be able to program anything for it unless there's some tutorial content and being able to write in C for example.
The demoscene has been in my crosshair for a while now but I know we are not ready for that. The old guard is stuck in its old ways which is very normal, the new blood might be hungry for something new to chew on but either way, the machine needs to be more advanced than it is now. I would think that by fall time, it will be ready for it, maybe before... Who knows. The thing is, I might be fast and experienced but I am still only one person. The actual dev group is doing a fantastic job at helping on the software side but yet, we are still only 5 people overall working on a regular basis on the project and I did that on purpose. Dealing with a lot of developers at the same time requires a lot of time. I spent most of April to build the unit and to cater to my small dev group. Which in one way helped, because now, I am not the only one anymore, but it also hindered my capacity to get further in with the design.
Trust me, everything is being done to make the development easy. The FoenixIDE is a good example of that. The Development platform has a port that allows you to upload and download code/data at will and if you want more Debug info, you can use the normal serial port as a console. The Dev people could tell you all about it. I know this is one of the major things that the machine needs to be. Documentation-wise, people you don't have to worry, you will have all the documentation you will need otherwise, it just defeats the purpose...
Most of the programming is done with Assembly which is very fun by the way and the toolset is geared towards that. However, one of our developers is implementing a GUI environment for the Foenix as we speak. And he is doing it in C with WDC toolset I believe, so he would probably be in a good position to share his experience with us and teach new developers how to go about it.
So, all in all, by the time Rev C is released, we will be way more advanced in the progress of the machine and its tool which will give you a headway into creating the next best thing. Also, I am working on a small demo for my splash screen of the game I want to do which will be offered as an example to help people get in the mood. By then, I hope to have more time to explain my workflow.
C256F Development Platform Rev C - July/August 2019
C256F Official User Release - March/April 2020