Disassemblies 3000

By | April 11, 2012

Flashing KA few weeks ago, SkoolKit 3.0 was released, bringing with it a new image library that could create PNGs somewhat faster and smaller than SkoolKit 2.x ever did. Now it’s the turn of SkoolKit 3.0.1 (available from the download page, of course), which brings with it the ability to create GIFs as well. “Why would I want to use SkoolKit to create GIFs when it can already create PNGs?” I imagine you asking. Well, in addition to plain old GIF files, SkoolKit 3.0.1 can create animated GIFs too, which are handy for capturing Spectrum screenshots that contain flashing cells. That said, if you’d prefer to create animated PNGs in APNG format (which are natively supported only by Firefox and Opera, as far as I know), SkoolKit can do that too.

To mark this inaugural animation-capable release of SkoolKit, I’ve also ported the Skool Daze, Back to Skool and Contact Sam Cruise disassemblies to SkoolKit 3 (and released those ports). In the process of porting, I replaced their boring, static loader/saver screenshots with animated GIFs that show a flashing cursor. (Exciting, eh?) In addition, I made some performance tweaks that the interested reader can now test for himself. Here are the disassembly build time stats (again, on my old but trusty development machine) for SkoolKit 3.0.1 versus SkoolKit 2.x:

Disassembly 3.0.1 2.x (PIL) 2.x (gd)
Skool Daze 4.4s 5.9s 8.0s
Back to Skool 5.1s 8.2s 12.1s
Contact Sam Cruise 12.3s 33.5s 51.5s

As you can imagine, the quality of my life has improved considerably now that I can build the CSC disassembly in only 12 seconds instead of 51, and with animated loader/saver screenshots to boot.

One more thing: SkoolKit 3.0.1 includes example control and ref files for Jet Set Willy, which now sit alongside the example control and ref files for Manic Miner (Bug Byte version). So if you want to build an unannotated disassembly of JSW in HTML or ASM format, I suggest you download 3.0.1 today.