News Team Current issue History Online Support Download Forum @Pouet

01 - 02 - SE - 03 - 04 - 05 - 06 - 07 - 08 - 09 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14

Alive 2
    Source Availability Announcement


It has come to my attention that there are many programs available for the
atari that are very nice, but with minor problems, such as not properly
supporting long filenames, GEM iconification, or having minor bugs that
nobody is able to fix. In some cases, programs that everybody uses are
discontinued or not updated for a very long time. This is, for me, a very
unacceptible situation. Examples of these programs include CAB, Edith Pro,
N.AES, and more. More specific examples follow:

   * There is currently no well working AES with source to modify, and
     N.AES behaved very poorly under memory protection. Since the authors
     haven't seen fit to fix it, not release the source, the MiNT using
     Atari community is left with a poor solution
   * MagiC works fine on my machine, but has major problems on some
     machines, especially falcons. Since this has been a longstanding
     problem since at least 1996, it is apparent that it won't be fixed
     any time soon.
   * Edith Pro is an excellent editor, but has problems with long
     filenames in MagiC (through improper use of the MiNT cookie to detect
     long filenames), and doesn't support proper GEM iconification.
   * CoNnect 98 is an excellent terminal program, but has some bugs that
     have yet to be fixed. Because nobody has the source who is willing to
     fix them, we are forced to deal with these bugs.
   * There is no remotely modern desktop with source currently available.
     As a result, the choices are relatively poor. Neodesk has not been
     updated in a long time, Thing and Jinnee are a bit bloated, and there
     is no source to add features or create light versions. An example is
     my largely ignored X-Inf specification for adding more recognition
     modern features like Mac OS has.
   * ST-Guide hasn't been updated to solve memory protection problems, and
     as a result, members of the Atari community have had to disassemble
     it to fix it. We don't have time to disassemble every program with
     bugs, they are much easier to fix in the source, and it would be nice
     to be able to do so with the author's blessing.
   * GEM Graph II's color works on MagiCMac and apparently Falcons, but
     not with the Nova card, but nobody has responded to my inquiries, and
     there is no source available for me to fix it myself.
   * Many old programs like Tree-View should be updated to cope with
     symbolic links and long filenames, but instead have to be re-written
     because they are no longer supported and there are no sources
   * DaCappo is a nice program, but I don't use it because it crashes on
     MagiCMac (and so I assume atari clones), and also has re-draw
     problems for iconified windows.
   * Many authors that have written software, either it is commercial,
     shareware, or freeware have left the Atari scene, leaving us stuck
     with a dead-end upgrade path. (f.e. CAB web browser).
   * Atari software authors routinely start new projects and then abandon
     them for apparent lack of interest leaving others to completely re-do
     the project.
   * The atari community is international, and much of the software is
     available only in German, or the language of the author, and some
     programs can be very difficult to translate without the source code.

Obviously the Atari community is small, and we have some great software
and some great software authors. We are also, however, a small and
dwindling community. If we are to survive, we need to be able to update
our software. With commercial software being very expensive, and difficult
to obtain overseas (and only available in foreign languages), shareware
difficult to register overseas, and infrequently updated, the situation is
bad. With authors leaving the scene without a trace, the situation is
worse. The MiNT kernal can be upgraded all we like, but without an AES to
match it's useless to many people. Many of our older programs will not run
on newer systems like 68040 or 68060, without sources, this means giving
them up to upgrade to newer hardware.

Obviously, not everyone can or should give away their source code. I
personally don't agree with the GPL idea of locking your source-code into
GPL and away from commercial sale or ownership for others. To me it is a
very idealistic and unrealistic idea. Honestly, it doesn't matter to me if
a source is GPL, public domain, freeware, or some other liscence. The
point is that if we have the source, we can fix bugs, upgrade to support
new AES features. Without it, and proper support from authors writing the
software, we are doomed. Therefore, I urge all authors who have written
software and no longer support it to release the source so that those of
us remaining in the Atari community can benefit from the programs already
written, instead of re-inventing the wheel. If you aren't willing or don't
have the time, resources (or a place) to put up and manage the sources
yourself, send them to me, I will make them available on my server. I hope
that authors still developing and supporting their projects will also
consider making the development process more open and allowing people to
download the sources. If you think about it, there isn't much to lose from
this. It is unlikely that someone else will steal the sources and "take
over" your project, and even if they do, it obvioulsy means they have more
time to bring the project to a usable level. On the other hand, you may
get a nice surprise of someone patching the source to work on some
computer or video card, or operating system you were unable to test.
Making sources unavailable doesn't have to mean giving up ownership to
your program, it just means sharing it more with the people I assume you
wrote it for. Most of us software authors who write software for the Atari
do it in our spare time, on our machine, with limited resources, and don't
have time to test the program in every possible configuration and fix it
ourselves. By allowing others access to the source, you allow updating
where it's needed the most. Please consider it.


I will be immediately starting the process of cataloging, organizing, and
preparing all source-code to all projects I have personally written, and
queing that code for placement on my web page and FTP sites, at:


I expect said sources to be available and online by Monday, January 29th,

About the sources:
Most of my sources are written in Borland pascal and are not Atari
specific. They can be compiled in Pure Pascal on Atari TOS and run in
MagiC or MiNT, in Free Pascal in Linux or Amiga, in Virtual Pascal for
OS/2, or in Turbo Pascal for PC-DOS. Many of the programs can also be
compiled in Borland Delphi for win32 (soon to be released for Linux as
well). Some of the programs are currently Atari, unix, windows, or
compiler specific. Some have been complete, and working for years. Others
have stalled in development or are in the early stages of development.
The Projects include, but are not limited to:

   * Various utility pascal libraries
   * Borland Delphi compatability libraries (for easier porting)
   * X-INF Embedded icon and information Specification and sample code.
   * CID/ATS - Caller ID and other Advanced Telephony Services
   * Unix style Shell tools for MagiC/TOS/PC-DOS.
   * Wacom ArtZPad II Graphics tablet decoder and driver
   * Word4Word german to english word lookup dictionary.
   * Tranz, and Tranz II, german to english binary translation software.
   * Matchup computer Dating system.
   * HiraGIF Japanese encoding to GIF web page converter (usefull for
     viewing japanese web pages in CAB).
   * MagiC Multiuser extensions. (not complete)
   * Various STiK/STinG test applications.
   * STiK/STinG pascal library.
   * Various pascal compiler test and demo programs.
   * Cipher - File encryption libraries, viewers.
   * AOL instant Messenger Client - To chat with other AIM or AOL users
   * GEM-Spool - GEM Printer Spooler (Note: GEM-Spool was not written by
     me, nor do I own the copyright, it will be released under the
     author's terms, not mine).

Unfortunatly, some source has been lost over the years due to accidents
and mishaps, and libraries may have been updated since programs, etc. It
is my hope to have as much as possible from the above, and other programs
made available on my web page as soon as possible, so that other people
may examine the source for ideas, have it available for modifications, and
hopefully contribute to it.

I have not determined the details to my licence yet, but all code is and
will remain Copyrighted by me, Noah Silva. It will also, however, be open
for any use except sale without permission. I will remain the "keeper" of
the source, and request that any changes be sent to me for inclusion. This
creates a centralized place to keep the code and prevents duplication of
effort. A new section on my web/FTP server will be opened to accomodate


I hope people will see the problems of the current state of our platform
from my article above, and I hope that I will set an example for others to
follow by releasing my source.

Alive 2