PROfile (Clares) Review | The Micro User - Everygamegoing

The Micro User

By Clares Micro Supplies
BBC B/B+/Master 128

Published in The Micro User 3.10

Proceeding systematically...

A procedure library system is a way of storing individual procedures from a program. It should give com prehensive information about proceduresit holds in store, and allow them to be appended to a program under development. To a certain extent, this can be done from the BBC keyboard - delete a program except for the relevant procedure, renumber as required, *SPOOL it on to disc and *EXEC it later when needed.

However, it's a time-consum ing operation if there are many saveable procedures in a pro gram. Ideally, a procedure library system should do all this quickly and simply.

Clares PROfile package claims to be able to do this. It's a disc-based system which auto-boots to a menu from which you can set up a library file for all your procedures.

They are isolated from programs and saved independently, and can subsequently be merged with a resident program.

Sounds ideal? In practice, the whole system has a rather awkward feel to it.

You are warned not to load large programs greater than 14k for further development as they may crash the machine - and they do.

Anyway, I loaded a program after setting up the data file and saved all the procedures to a blank disc. When I tried to merge them with another program I kept getting the message "Not a Basic program", but on exit it listed perfectly - excluding the attempted merges.

Another facility it claims to offer when saving a particular procedure is to give you an option to save any procedures called within that procedure.

This is handled competently, although trying it with an old data file there were problems which disappeared when I reformatted the data disc.

More serious are the occasional crashes when you are merging procedures. I even found problems with a program only 8k long. On the whole, Clares' PROfile does what it claims to be capable of, but I think that the partsave facility of some toolkit ROMs is equally useful, less fiddly and alleviates the need for the disc-swapping which PROfile revels in.

Additionally, I have found that my procedures are never portable between programs - anything low-level enough is usually on a par with standard Basic functions.

For those of you who differ, perhaps requiring a system for storing sound envelopes or assembler macros, then this package may well be for you.

Tim Craig