Konpass 1.3

Konpass 1.3

by konamiman on 22-01-2022, 21:49
Topic: Development

Yesteryear, somewhere in the nineties, the Dutch group Compjoetania released their MSX native assembly IDE called Compass. A few months ago Compass was declared free and published together with the full source code for version 1.2.09 as a GitHub repository.

Turns out that the no less well-known MSX user and developer Konamiman thought that it would be fun to take these sources and implement a few improvements to the original program. The result is Konpass, or "Konamiman's Phenomenal Assembler". The first published version of this "reborn" Compass is numbered as 1.3 and offers the following improvements:

  • The Compjoetania graphical boot logo has been removed, this reduces the size of the .COM file from 14K to 4K.
  • The display of the registered user name at boot has been removed. This reduces the startup time by several seconds.
  • Added a new configuration option to display square box corners (as opposed to the original round corners).
  • Added a new configuration option to set the default source code file type to Ascii (as opposed to the original "proprietary" Asm format).
  • Added a bunch of new keyboard shortcuts, including a new set for the Z80 registers editor (e.g. press H to edit the HL pair or Z to toggle the Z flag) and for direct selection of the file type in the disk menu (e.g. CTRL+I to set Ascii file type).
  • Configuration is now stored in a separate file, KONPASS.CFG, instead of directly in the KONPASS.COM file. This allows to keep the configuration after updating the program to a new version.
  • Better mapped memory management in DOS 2: memory isn't physically searched for (DOS 2 already provides available mappers table) and the mapper ports aren't directly accessed anymore. Also Konpass works with mapper support routines installed externally in DOS 1, e.g. with Konamiman's MSR.COM tool (that wasn't the case with Compass).
  • Running KONPASS.COM will resume Konpass if it's already loaded, instead of just displaying an "Already in memory" error.
  • The current path and file name in the disk menu will be remembered separately for each of the source buffers when the file type is Ascii (Compass did that only for Asm files).
  • Improved "Kill" command in the disk menu: it can be used to delete empty directories in DOS 2.
  • Improved "Format" command in the disk menu: it properly detects drives that can't be formatted and drives that have only one formatting option and thus don't provide a format choice string.
  • In the disk menu CTRL+S will now save the file in the current source buffer and close the disk menu. This means that when you are in the source editor you can quickly save your work by pressing CTRL+D,S. Similarly, CTRL+L loads and closes the disk menu.
  • From the disk menu you can now load and save sectors on any drive, not just on floppy disk drives. And if you run Nextor you'll be able to do so regardless of the filesystem contained in the drive.
  • More descriptive disk error messages in DOS 2. For example if you try to save a file giving the name of an existing directory you'll get "Directory exists" instead of a generic "Write error".
  • The directory separator character will always be displayed as a backlash in the disk menu, even on Japanese computers where it's normally displayed as the yen sign.

The release page in GitHub contains links to the pull requests for all the new features and fixes in Konpass 1.3, each having the full details for all the changes implemented.

Relevant link: Konpass 1.3

Media browser (2)

  • Konpass 1.3
  • Konpass 1.3

Comments (8)

By turbor

Hero (529)

turbor's picture

22-01-2022, 23:55

Congratulations to Konamiman for surprising us a while ago with his unexpected work on the sources.
I added a link to his fork/continuation of Compass in our github repository so that people looking for Compass will find his release and can benefit from this enhanced version.

By KdL

Paragon (1485)

KdL's picture

23-01-2022, 15:19

It is truly wonderful! LOL!

By theNestruo

Champion (430)

theNestruo's picture

23-01-2022, 15:09

Kongratulations on the release! Wink

By edmsxtrek

Supporter (10)

edmsxtrek's picture

23-01-2022, 19:05

Greetings and congratulations, in the end you mastered your favorite assembler.

By konamiman

Paragon (1211)

konamiman's picture

24-01-2022, 09:12

Nice logo, thanks! But it's v1.3, not v3.1 Big smile

By hamlet

Scribe (4106)

hamlet's picture

24-01-2022, 09:32

Thanks! You are right. I'd changed that. 3.1 is so 90's.

By ro

Scribe (5059)

ro's picture

24-01-2022, 09:58

By msd

Paragon (1532)

msd's picture

25-01-2022, 13:02

finally that memory thing fixed. Even back in the day I had a discussion with Remo Jongeneelen about selecting those ram pages per source buffer. You should never are which page is used, only if you can find a free one.

Great job konamiman.