Retrochallenge 2019/10 Final Update

As sometimes happens Retrochallenge efforts take turns and twists.   The progress made on the GUI version on the Superstar Baseball game was sufficient proof of concept for me to know that Visual MUMPS was capable.  While working on the game I kept having ideas to improve Visual MUMPS.  So this final post for the challenge will document those improvements. These improvements include providing GUI versions of existing system routines, and the beginning of Visual BASIC type IDE for creating Visual MUMPS applications.

A number of options were added to the MUMPS menu, that provide GUI versions of MUMPS system routines. Specifically (^%io – IO status, ^%gd – Global Directory, ^%g – global display, and ^%vd (or w  ) for variable display. Also Clear Console (w #) was added.


IO status used to provide a text listing on the console of the status of each IO unit number (used to read and write files) now it shows them in a listbox, which later enhancement may allow closing units from listbox.


Next the Global Directory shows all the global (arrays stored to disk) that are in the database, in a listbox.  Then the global can be displayed by selecting the list item and clicking the display button.


The global can also be displayed by selected Global Display, which provides a dialog asking the user to type in the global name.


Whether the user selections the global ^icecream from the global directory screen and clicks the display button, or uses the Display Global option above the output is a text listing of the global.



The IDE is still undergoing development  but let’s review progress to date.  The IDE is invoked from the IDE menu, or open apple I.  When selected a dialog for specifying the parameters for a window is presented. The parameter are set with a combination of line edit, popup menus and checkbox.  These parameters match those needed in the $zwindow() function call.

Clicking the “Try” button displays the window according to the parameters set :

Result of clicking Try Button

Clicking the “Close” button or the Close box on the Trial window closes the window.  Save will eventually produce the Visual MUMPS code associated with this window, (including controls which are created by clicking the “Ctrl” button)

Adding Controls to the window with the “Ctl” Button is done through a two window activity.  The first window allows the selection of the control type, adding a new control or the selection of an existing control and editing it. A “Try” button will also be provided.

Well that wraps up this Retrochallenge, I forged on with my projects despite there not being much from organizers of this round of the Retrochallenge, with that the spirit of the Retrochallenge is to do retro-computing, and a few of us carried on in light of minimal or no formality of the Retrochallenge.



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