Some remarks on recreational programming using Oberon System V4 on Atari STE (ST-Oberon)
Disclaimer These pages reflect only very private and unprofessional views of someone who came in touch with programming in 1970 (Algol 60) and since then keeps to be addicted to the thrill of "soft-wiring" an algorithm or any kind of operation a computing device is able to execute. He has never needed to earn a living from this. Therefore he is free to ignore systems that have huge libraries, mysterious system library interfaces, unreadable or missing source code or documentation. What he needs is a tool for his "recreational programming". This is Oberon.
He urges all those who are able to suggest additions or corrections to these lines to inform him by e-mail. He takes this opportunity to express his gratitude to all the individuals who have supplied him with corrections and new information.- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Whereas Atari ST computers are some light-years behind of what seems to be today's technical state of the art in using desktop computers, Oberon System is not, due to its unique design of interaction between user and system, its easy extensibility and its strong link to the programming language Oberon.
The Textual Interface of Oberon System V4, which can be seen as user interface standing right in the middle between true command line interfaces and pure graphical interfaces (GUI), gives to such an oldish system as Atari power, speed and flexibility. The programming language Oberon, Oberon is both an Operating System and an Object Oriented Programming Language, allows to customize the user interface in an easy and safe manner by adding to the system new commands which can be issued, like every command in this textual interface, by mouse clicking from any place on the screen where the command name happens to be displayed or to be written to, including canonical menu bar pop-ups of course.
The "copy&paste" operation might give an example. With the Oberon System the caret, which is the mark indicating the current point of inserting, is positioned by the left mouse button to the destination place of operation, followed by selecting the text stretch to be copied by the mouse by holding down its right button and by an additional interclick of middle button (alternatively by pressing the control key), while the right button is still down. Now, if the caret has not been set or it turns out that it has been set at wrong position, which isn't unlikely to happen cause with other interfaces the cursor usually needs to be positioned after selecting, command CopyText may be used to copy text when the caret is positioned after selecting. Note: left-middle mouse button interclick has already most of CopyText's behaviour, - just recently learned by re-reading the documention.
A procedure CopyText already contained in Oberon's Programming Guide is reused and extended for to additionally place caret to end of copied text, scroll down to this end if required, select copied text if possible, i.e. if viewable completely within its frame ("window"); - in Oberon begin and end of selected areas have to be visible, large selections require two frames.
Niklaus Wirth (NW) and Jürg Gutknecht (JG) created Oberon from scratch in 1989.
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