SkoolKit 8.4 has been released. To get a copy, please head over to the download page, the Python Package Index, the Ubuntu PPA, or the Fedora copr repo.

Perhaps the most noteworthy change in this release is that the image writer component is now pluggable. So, for example, if you’re sick of the PNG files that SkoolKit currently creates and would rather produce ASCII art instead, or embed base64-encoded image data in your HTML documents, or perhaps even do something as perverse as revive the ability to write GIF files, then you now have that option. Go for it.

In the ref file department, there’s a completely new section on the scene - in fact, the first new section to be introduced since 4.0: [EntryGroups]. Here you can define groups of entries, surprisingly enough. To what end? Well, once a group has been defined, the entries belonging to it can be given custom titles and page headers in the HTML output - such as ‘Sprite buffer’ or ‘Character variables’ - instead of the boring stock ones (‘Data’, ‘Routines’ etc.).

Over in the snapshot analysis arena, has acquired the Peek and Word configuration parameters for controlling the format of each line of the output of the --peek and --word options. So, for example, if you wanted to produce a series of POKE commands for a range of addresses, you can now do something like this:

$ -p 30000-30010 -I 'Peek=POKE {address},{value}' game.z80

Shifting to the control file domain, instruction comments are now repeated when they appear in a loop (as defined by the L control directive). Full disclosure: this is not actually a new feature, but a bug fix. Instruction comments were repeated in control file loops back when loops were introduced in SkoolKit 4.2, but that stopped happening in 7.2, and I didn’t notice until quite recently. Oops.

With that damning admission out of the way, I will now point you to the changelog for details of all the other new stuff that I haven’t mentioned here (such as the ability to spread @expand directive values over multiple lines, and the ability to initialise the system variables in a snapshot when using Once you’re done there, please do grab a copy of 8.4 and perhaps start thinking about what obscure image format you’d like to add support for.