HotBasic Compilers and Inline Assembly

Some of you may have looked at HotBasic and decided that there is
nothing there, or that it was not worth your time. That is or was
your call, but I've been getting deeper into it over the last few
years, and still maybe only know about a third of what's there.

What does HotBasic relate to? Well, it was first an effort to come
up with a compiler that would do RapidQ code. RapidQ (or RQ) is
an interpretive language, but having a compiler that goes the same
route is a net gain. HotBasic can produce Console, GUI, CGI, DLL,
and OBJ outputs just by specifying which you want at the start.
It is also available in a Linux compatible version.

What I'm trying to deal with now is its ability to handle inline
assembly code. The assembler capability is built right into the
compiler, unlike some basics that build on separate assemblers.
The gain is that the assembler can recognize variables being used
in the basic part and work with them.

My problem is that my background in assembler dates back to the
8086 16-bit architecture, and HotBasic is geared for the era of
80386+. There is some relearning involved, and I actually find
that some questions don't get answered that easily.

The thing I can't find out is what role the DS and ES segment
registers have in the 80386+. They had very specific roles to
play in string manipulation in the 8086, and they still exist in
the newer architecture, but how are they used now?

You got any answers, I am glad to listen. Or read, as the case
may be.


  • I've dropped HotBasic now. It was very promising, though it took me a
    few years to commit to really learning enough of it to work with it.
    The documentation is not that good, and the only way I found to get a
    handle on it was a 3rd party tool called HBAssistant.

    I've noted that the number of people apparently using HotBasic has gone
    down over time, while the price has gone up. The developer is a bit of
    an odd duck, but he has helped people who communicate with the two
    groups he moderates on Yahoo. Look up HotBasic when visiting the groups.

    Once you learn it, there is a lot to like about the HotBasic approach
    to things. But, and this took a while to learn, it has flaws that
    pop up here and there, that the developer refuses to acknowledge.
    Trying to work around that constraint, I decided to take a shot at
    using Inline Assembler to smooth out the bumps.

    Turns out the Assembler used is not an acknowledged one, that the
    developer worked that code into the compiler as well. And like the
    basic side, with its flaws, there are serious flaws and oversights
    on the Assembler side. Trying to get this message over to the
    developer was fruitless, and I was tossed out of the HotBasic groups
    because I persisted.

    So to me, HotBasic is now burnt toast, and looking for what Basic to
    take on next, I decided to make the move to PureBasic. For one thing,
    I already own a copy. For another, it seems to have what I want in
    a Basic language.

    You live, you learn. Sometimes it just takes awhile for the lesson
    to get over.
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