Hex mania

By | February 14, 2015

0xB00B.htmlSkoolKit 4.3, as I write this, has just been released. Copies are available from the usual places, such as the download page, the Python Package Index, and the Ubuntu PPA.

If you’re a long-time SkoolKit user (which you probably aren’t), you might remember the release of SkoolKit 2.1, which brought with it support for hexadecimal disassemblies for the first time ever. No longer did you have to tolerate reading (or writing) ‘43981’ when what you really wanted to read (or write) was ‘$ABCD’. However, there was a small gap in this so-called ‘support for hexadecimal disassemblies’: disassembly page filenames and address anchors were still obstinately decimal. If you noticed this omission, you might have been left feeling disappointed, perhaps even sick to your stomach. For that, I belatedly apologise.

Enter SkoolKit 4.3, and the CodeFiles and AddressAnchor parameters (in the [Paths] and [Game] sections respectively). By cunningly crafting the values of these parameters, you can produce HTML disassemblies with hexadecimal filenames and address anchors (with or without a ‘0x’ prefix). Or, if you’re in the mood, you can have filenames and address anchors in binary format. The choice is, as the saying goes, yours.

Another long overdue feature in 4.3 is support for block start comments. It is now possible to place a comment above the first instruction in a routine, after the register section (if there is one). Until now I’ve always appended such introductory comments to the routine description, which ends up looking a little odd if there’s a register section blocking the line of sight to the first instruction (as it were). Now I look at it, this is a feature that really should have been in SkoolKit 1.0. Better late than never, I suppose.

Elsewhere, the #FONT, #SCR and #UDG macros have picked up the ability to create frames for an animated image (an ability previously restricted to the #UDGARRAY macro). And sna2skool.py can now write skool files narrower or wider than 79 characters by using the new --line-width option – something you youngsters with your wide screens and your high-resolution displays will appreciate, no doubt.

Finally, a couple of (deprecation) warnings. Starting with SkoolKit 4.3, the preferred way of writing an ASM directive (e.g. @start) in a skool file is without the ‘; ‘ prefix. In addition, the preferred way of writing an ASM directive in a control file is by using the new ‘@’ directive. The old ways of writing an ASM directive in a skool or control file will be supported for the remainder of the 4.x series, but are deprecated. Support will be removed in 5.0, whenever that arrives.

To sum up, then, grab a copy of SkoolKit 4.3 and get your hex on.

2 thoughts on “Hex mania

  1. Philip M. Anderson

    I’ve just updated my Through the Trap Door disassembly using SkoolKit 4.3 on the very same day the latter was released. How’s that for a quick reaction? 🙂

  2. SkoolKid Post author

    That’s pretty quick indeed. I haven’t even rebuilt my own disassemblies with 4.3 yet!

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