No, I haven’t become impatient (or lost the ability to count) and skipped straight from version 8.0 to version 10.0. Today is SkoolKit’s 10th birthday! Or, to put it another way, SkoolKit 1.0 was released ten years ago today.
Not surprisingly, SkoolKit has improved a bit since version 1.0 (if I do say so
myself). Back then, the documentation was a single HTML
page, and contained very little info on how to use ref files. A control file
was a plain list of block-level directives and addresses only - block titles,
comments, register values etc. were not supported.
skool2html.py was designed
primarily to build the disassemblies of Skool Daze and Back to Skool, with the
ability to process an arbitrary skool file tacked on as an afterthought.
sna2skool.py was quite buggy - it disassembled several instructions
incorrectly. Of the 40 available skool macros, no fewer than 14 were specific
to (i.e. useful only in) the Skool games. And if you wanted to work in
hexadecimal, you were out of luck.
Since we’re in a nostalgic mood (well I am, anyway), let’s sit back and enjoy some snippets of SkoolKit history that you may not have been aware of.
The initially buggy
sna2skool.pywas something of a rush job, added to the SkoolKit source code repository on 2010-01-25, three days before 1.0 was released. Before it was developed, I used a modified version of D52’s Z80 disassembler to create skool files. D52 was also the source of inspiration for SkoolKit’s control files.
skool2html.pyfirst appeared in the repository on 2008-07-26, as a consolidation of several scripts previously used to build specific parts of the HTML versions of the Skool Daze and Back to Skool disassemblies. It gained the ability to work with a skool file other than sd.skool or bts.skool on 2010-01-26, two days before 1.0 was released.
skool2asm.pyfirst appeared in the repository on 2009-07-03, almost a year after
skool2html.py. I developed it mainly because someone showed interest in modifying the source code for Skool Daze, and (understandably) found it awkward to work with the skool file as opposed to a conventional assembler source file.
Of the skool macros that are still around today, the first one to be implemented was
#R. It was used for the first time on 2008-07-16 in the Skool Daze disassembly. Before that, the first macro to be implemented was
$TAPS(which later became
#TAPS), on 2008-07-08.
The name ‘SkoolKit’ first appeared in the documentation on 2010-01-20, eight days before 1.0 was released.
So, let’s raise a glass to SkoolKit’s 10th birthday, and wish it well for the next 10 years of Spectrum game disassembly!