Author Topic: Preserving Type-In Programs and Software Source Code?  (Read 333 times)

Offline load81

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Preserving Type-In Programs and Software Source Code?
« on: April 27, 2020, 02:47:14 PM »
I realize this might be somewhat "out of scope" for TOSEC but are there any organized efforts to preserve type-in programs, original source code listings; or, failing that, reverse engineered source code listings?



Offline mictlantecuhtle

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Re: Preserving Type-In Programs and Software Source Code?
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2020, 04:08:18 PM »
It's not something I'm aware we've ever done on an organised basis here. I added something to the Camputers Lynx dats years ago by typing a program listing in to an emulated machine and saving it out to a tape file, but that's about the extent of it.

There are some machine-specific examples, Bally Alley has a pretty complete set of type-ins etc. for the Bally Astrocade, but not sure how things sit for other computers.

Obviously the PIX project preserves a lot of magazines etc. many of which I imagine contain type-in listings and similar but again not aware of any concerted effort to catalog there.

It's not my decision to make really as to whether a project like that would be "in scope" for TOSEC - I personally think it fits well with the mission to preserve and catalog software history - but think it's safe to say it's a discussion we'd be interested in having. I guess it would be good to understand what the eventual aim would be, how we might aim to "preserve" the programs (e.g. as plain text files, as compiled/runnable programs file, etc.). Lots to think about!


Offline load81

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Re: Preserving Type-In Programs and Software Source Code?
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2020, 07:23:51 PM »
Okay, gotcha.

I've been slowly getting my hands on some 1970's era computing magazines that I think need to be preserved. I may start a side-project devoted entirely to source code preservation. But, I'm definitely in the "alpha" stages of figuring out what tools are needed, what's available, and what I need to write myself.

For Commodore BASIC games like these, it wouldn't be too hard to have a Perl script extract them with by leveraging petcat, But then there is the dependency documentation for things like alternate character ROMs, the the need to create a sane build system so that everything extracted can be converted back to exactly the same binary, etc.

EDIT: Also, thanks for the links!