The cpmdist.zip file is a binary distribution intended to demonstrate Cowgol on Z80 CP/M systems. It needs a platform with a Z80 and at least 50kB of TPA. (Cowgol can be compiled for smaller. Email me.)

Installation

There’s nothing standard about CP/M, so I’m not even going to try to make turnkey instructions.

The zipfile contains two directories, a and b. These are intended to go on floppies A: and B: respectively, with B: containing the Cowgol binaries and source and A: being a work disk. Copy the contents onto the disks of your choice using your favourite CP/M disk copying tool: sorry, I can’t advise on this.

Once done, boot your system. Now do SUBMIT COMPILE and, hopefully, the compiler will run, compiling the TESTPROG.COW source file, and leave you a runnable binary called COW.COM.

Known issues

There are many, of which this is a non-exhaustive list.

  • it’s dead slow. There are several reasons, but the biggest of which is that Cowgol is a whole-program compiler and every time you invoke it it has to recompile the standard libraries. It’s possible to partially precompile these, which will help, but this isn’t implemented yet for CP/M.

  • standard libraries — there aren’t really many for CP/M. You get console printing and file access, and that’s really it. Anything else you’ll have to bind yourself. Sorry.

  • the compiler script — CP/M 2.2 can’t detect errors (Cowgol does try to set the exit status properly, though). So it’ll just barrel on if something goes wrong. Any suggestions? Email me.

  • code generation bugs. Haven’t run into one for a while, doesn’t mean they’re not still out there somewhere…

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