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(Mad) Pascal vs. C (CC65) ?

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It seems like Mad Pascal gets a lot of attention in A8 development lately.

I understand that Mad Pascal compiles into MADS Assembler sources. This is much like CC65 compiles into CA65 sources.

So it seems both approaches are pretty similiar in terms of high level language 2 low level binary rollout.


Say I would start a new A8-specific game project, would there be any specific advantage/disadvantage on any of these two dev stacks?

I see there might be a benefit for CC65 with its (Ansi-) C89 standard. But AFAIK Pascal and C a very close and have similiar patterns for high level languages problems.

CC65 might be better in terms of multi platform support. On the other side Mad Pascal also allows other platform targets like C64, etc.


any thoughts on this?



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For me, really depends on what you're familiar with and prefer to code. That being equal you're then looking at the type of game you're coding, e.g. slow moving turn based RPG, fast moving S'em'UP, both can mix asm code and so interfacing with such fairly straightforward. CC65 suite is a lot older and multi-platform from early 2000's so I haven't kept up on developments but would think it not needing a high turnover of changes and updates not posted here, whereas MP has been and continues evolve and the developer resident here. I feel due to its MADS connection there is more focused A8 h/w support (e.g. VBXE) than with CC65 but even then VBXE is not so much of an Out-of-the-Box target unless using console drivers. 

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I have tried cc65 long time ago and it was painful. You can read the stories here:



You just have to translate the pages :), back then I was writing articles in Slovak.


there is definitely way to optimize/write the cc65 code to compile faster and shorter, but I'm not sure if it then it's similarly long leaning curve compared to writing directly in ASM. 

I have been struggling with IDEs, however that's normal when using C. If you are not a C coder, I suggest to not even trying.


if there were mad pascal existing at the time I was coding Roxblox, I would 100% go for it.

also the generated code is better translated (faster,shorter,more readable) to 6502 ASM code.


The only drawback is the evil block definition with begin/end that I really hate.


So in nutshell: lot of subjective stuff against cc65, no real experience with mad pascal at all.



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i had a similar choice to do, and did go for mad pascal,

because i thought the ATARI support will be much better.


but i had a rough time to get used to pascal again. still

doing occasionally 'if x == 0 then' in python now.


mad pascal had also small bugs which cost me some hours

of debugging time -- compiler&bugs? something i was not used to.


however, the support is EXCELLENT. if you have problems,

one of those guys will for sure help you, and they will fix

bugs in no time. 


so i'd recommend to go for mad pascal.







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