[Coco] Rainbow IDE coming soon

Roger Taylor webmaster at coco3.com
Sun Apr 9 17:17:35 EDT 2006

I wanted to make an announcement concerning my Portal-9 IDE and the new 
Rainbow IDE that derived from Portal-9.  Currently, Rainbow appears similar 
to Portal-9 but has lots more in the left side panel and some other panel 
features on the right.  That's not even the beginning, though.

Rainbow, a multi-target platform IDE, also integrates with M.E.S.S. to 
allow all supported emulators to be automatically or manually launched with 
or without your software mounted.  You choose your system from a drop-down 
list, and an image of that computer appears letting you get the feel that 
you're working with that machine.

Also added is the ability to use drop-in assemblers.  There are close to 10 
assemblers already being tested which are recognized and added during the 
startup process.  Among these are:

OS-9 Level II RMA/RLINK and OS-9 6809/6309 ASM (thanks to Boisy and Gault).
CCASM 6809/6309 assembler
CASM 6809/6309 assembler by Chet Simpson (EDTASM and CCASM compatible)
TASM multi CPU assembler (nice little booger)
and more...  (C/Pascal/Fortran compilers coming soon?)

TASM is the one you want to use to develop for any machine and hopefully 
M.E.S.S. will support that CPU somehow and let you see your code run like 
you can with the CoCo, etc.

Also added was two other floppy disk imaging tools since imgtool.exe in 
M.E.S.S. (the former default imager for Portal-9) is becoming flakey 
lately.  Boisy's 'decb' and 'os9' commands both are good virtual floppy 
disk managers that I'm already using now, so they seem to work great and 
the IDE can use them just like imgtool is used and all you do is just 
choose which imager you want from a drop-down list.  It's pretty 
simple.  The floppy disks are created and populated "automatically" because 
I've taught the program how to adapt to each imager.

So, to sum Rainbow up as of tonight:  you can develop Disk BASIC or OS-9 
software from Windows and have it built onto virtual floppy disks, AND 
emulated on-the-fly if you have the M.E.S.S. emulator installed.  How 
seamless is all of this?  VERY.  I've left very little for you to have to 
configure and you might not even have to do that.

By the way, I think the 'decb' floppy disk imager from Boisy handles 
tokenizing ASCII BASIC programs into binary BASIC programs.  Manny, are you 
reading this?  This solves a little "problem" people have asked about in 
the past.

I spent part of last night on an IDE project that writes out an OS-9 floppy 
disk, starts up M.E.S.S., mounts NitrOS-9 in drive 0 and my disk in drive 
1, and from there you can imagine how easy it is to see your program in 
real action without ever touching a real CoCo.  Ofcourse, the idea is to 
develop on the PC and definately move your software over to a real CoCo by 
writing a real floppy disk.  OmniFlop to the rescue!  I'm adding this to 
the IDE very soon, but you can always use the program separately on the side.

Roger Taylor

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