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GUI Based Word Processor - Geneve and/or TI-99/4A


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I am going to throw out here an idea for a GUI type word processor.  The first question, would there be any significant use or would it be more novelty?  If it is more novelty than real use, then I am not sure I would invest any time into the project since if you are reading this forum with a web browser, you are already likely to have non-TI word processors to do what you want.


My first thought, I have code for the Geneve capable of handling multiple fonts and displays. Modifications of this code could be done to implement on a TI-99/4A, however there are issues.  Multiple fonts means lots of memory needed for character sets with an impact on memory availability.  SAMS is an option on the TI, but you would really need a 9938 chip with graphics mode.  The F18A does not support the 9938 graphic modes, so that is an issue as well with the existing base code I have.


Again, this is just a thought at this point in time.  I am thinking each character would be a 16-bit value.  The LSB would be the ASCII character, and the MSB of 8 bits would be along the lines of 4 bits for font size, and the other 4 bits would be for italic, underline, bold, and another unidentified function.


Characters would be drawn onto a 512x192 screen.  Any type of printing I would imagine would need to be through PI.PIO thus requiring a TIPI to use that would convert the resulting printed file to a PDF file.  I think writing individual printer drivers would be a hopeless endeavor for this small of community.


Anyways, if this is of much interest or if you have thoughts, let me know.

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This is an interesting idea.  My favourite word processor from back in the day was "Bank Street Writer", graphical word processing on 8-bit computers!  Something like that on TI would be cool.


Having said that, I would not use it beyond playing around.

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16 bits per char would make a lot of redundancy. How about 8-bit chars with some above 128 coding for font,size,style,color change?

The TMS3477 graphics chip does something like that with 8 bit chars in VDP RAM. 

Your display package could be pretty interesting if paired with a Geneve command line version of the TI Writer Formatter. The Formatter could be extended to have commands for  font codes, or TL could do the job, like  in the Epson MX-80 graphics days.  (Assembling Formatter from source is on my deferred list.)





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Minimally 7 bits is needed for characters 32 through 126 to get the symbols on the keyboard.  I was thinking adding 128 to the ASCII code would be for the inverse of the character description for highlighting purposes.  If color was added, then that would require another 4 bits to the already 16 bits.  


As far as the TI-Formatter, I don't think anyone has the source code for the Formatter though I do not recall the details on FunnelWeb's printing.



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@9640NewsAbove >80 - I meant something like command chars.

But then you have multibyte characters, which complicates an editor. It's fine for a byte stream from formatter to display-er. 




80 reset format to defaults
91 bold off
92 underline off
94 italic off
98 something else off
90 no effect
91 bold on
92 underline on
94 italic on
98 something else on
(8x does SZCB operation on mode)
(9x does an SOCB operation om mode)
A0 size 0
A1 size 1
A4 size 4
Ax size x
B0 background color 0
C0 foreground color 0
C1 color 1
Cx color x
F0 font 0
F1 font 1
Fx font x


More compact than ANSI escape codes. 




The TI-Writer Editor/Formatter source code will be in "Origins of TI Writer Formatter" thread soon 



Edited by FarmerPotato
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