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Did TI themselves develop TI Writer? I've noticed from way back that a couple of other word processors on other machines (notably Scribble! on the Amiga) use the same sorts of formatting commands... i.e. .LM, etc. to change the formatting. Makes me wonder if that was just a popular paradigm or if there was a common genesis.



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TI-Writer was based on the text Formatter lesson in "Software Tools in Pascal" by Brian Kernighan. (The first edition was in Ratfor.) 

That dot-command format came from  Unix:  Runoff aka Roff, etc.

The Editor and Formatter were written in 9900 assembly chiefly by Susan (umm?).  (Name in manual.) Also Allan Acree.  

Home Computer software authors had the advantage of faster 990 minicomputers with good development tools, including upload/download  and debug connections to the 4A.  What other home computers had a heritage like that? 

So it's possible that  Susan first wrote the formatter  in TI Pascal.  Maybe?


 Some of the Pascal source is embedded in the assembly comments! 


The assembly code closely follows the Pascal, even using the book's function names and their arguments. 

Some added features were  the .TR transliterate  macro, and mail merge. 



A memo about word processing packages used at TI shows  little  evidence that engineers used this format. (One 1983 HexBus tech spec has a typo: a space before .LM)  Still, all tech specs were supposed to use a company macro format, a formatter called PDWS or something. It had macros like /title and /box

which I can imagine might  generate an intermediate dot-command format. 


There's some evidence that, atypically, Susan developed on a 4A system.  The source code uses only features found in the 99/4A Editor/Assembler package. 

The final version was assembled in a 990 minicomputer because there's a DX10 batch file to invoke the big assembler for 990,  and the GPL assembler.  There is a short program to download it to a 4A for testing. 

I posted parts of this story in a thread "Origins of TIW on the 990"

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Susan Schrade (then Bailey) is in the ti99ers facebook group

she did the manuals for Ti Writer and Editor Assembler


her post:

Susan G. Schrade
Great. Ask if she knew me. I did the editor/assembler software and the manual (ignore the fact that the manual writer gave credit to Alan Acree - we just asked him to review the manual. I also did TI Writer, and then I quit. Doesn't look like anyone really uses the Writer, I was looking for the manual. I wanted to make the machine more useful because you couldn't do much with it.

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