The purpose of this page is to provide links to versions of COMAL for other computer systems than the IBM PC. For copyright reasons (and also shortage of space) we are largely unable to offer downloadable versions of these implementations on this site. As time goes on, the number of links will grow. If you know of any websites of interest in this area, please tell us about them!
|Links to lists of programming languages||Links to platforms||Processor Emulators|
There are many lists of program languages on the web. They might be useful, especially to high school students, when researching for programming-related projects. They don't seem to be aware of UniCOMAL, in general, although we keep on trying to do something about that! Here are some links to a few of them, selected at random:
- Programming Languages Table by Capers Jones. Assigns numerical levels to languages (COMAL = Level 4.0).
- Vladimir Ugolov's homepage. Lots of detail.
- Susan Stepney's list. Concise, but beautifully presented.
- Steinar Knutsen's homepage. Being Norwegian, Steinar knows about UniCOMAL and has a link back here. Thanks, Steinar!
- Kresch.com. A huge list of computer-related acronyms with their full names.
There are versions of the COMAL language for many different computer systems. Many of these implementations are for 8-bit machines like the Commodore 64; the Acorn Electron, BBC B, Master 128 and Master Compact; Z80-based machines with CP/M. There are also 'processor native' versions for the Commodore Amiga; the Apple Mac; and possibly Unix or Linux.
A wide range of processor emulators (link to Ira Goldklang's Emulator Page) is available to let you run one or other of these versions of COMAL on whatever platform is available to you. For example, the following combinations are all known to work:
This section describes our attempts to run COMAL-80 on a PC. We have stopped experimenting with this now that we know it can be done, and all the files we experimented with are now available on the download page. If anyone wants to take this further, so as to get a useful implementation, we'd be glad to hear about their results.
There are Z80 emulators available for the IBM PC which ought to permit the use of COMAL-80 on a PC platform. For example, we have found a very nice shareware emulation by Joan Riff, called "Z80MU Professional", which runs nicely in a DOS box in Windows 95. It's on the download page, click this link: Z80MU52b.zip, to download it (85.3K). Please remember to register it if you use it beyond your evaluation period!
There is another, rather less slick but equally effective CP/M emulator called "22Nice". This is again shareware, and there is a copy on the download page: 22nce142.zip, (51K).
There is a free demo version of COMAL-80, called "DEMCOMAL" in the OAK Software Repository. It doesn't SAVE files, but it seems to do pretty well everything else. It is in the form of a ".lbr" library file, containing the distribution files in crunched format. They have to be unpacked from the library and then uncrunched before use. We found this difficult, because there wasn't an uncruncher in the OAK repository, not that we could find at least. We eventually located one on the DEVINFO Software archive, used it to uncrunch the DEMCOMAL files, then attempted to run COMAL-80 on both the above emulators. Z80Professional crashed out with an illegal operation error, so we switched to 22Nice, which worked but gave the most horrible mess on the screen because the display emulation was wrong. Switching to the TVI teletype display emulation gave, at last, a working version of COMAL-80 running in a DOS box in Windows 95, and a feeling of successful archaelogical endeavour ...
Along with the interpreter, there is a collection of demonstration programs, including CALENDAR.SAV, HANOI.SAV and NIM.SAV. They date from 1984 or so, and are of fascinating historical interest....
If you want to try this for yourself, you'll find the COMAL-80 demo, together with a DOS uncrunching program, "UNCR233.EXE" and a group of CP/M library extractors, all bundled together in the file COMAL80.ZIP (144K) on the download page. So far as we are aware, all the material in that file is public domain software.
PCBBC is a first-class BBC Emulator for the PC, running very well in a DOS box under Windows 95. We have tested it with the Watford Electronics DFS ROM, and with Acorn COMAL, and it all works, except that we haven't managed to print any hard copy yet. We used a PC with 64M of RAM and a Cyrix P200+ processor with Windows 98 (beta version) and the emulation ran at about the same speed as a 'real' BBC B (so far as we can remember!), or perhaps a wee bittie slower. But remember, you'll need to find copies of the Acorn OS 1.2 ROM, the Acorn BASIC ROM, and a suitable BBC disk filing system ROM, none of which are included with the emulator for copyright reasons, before you can run even the demo version. PCBBC is shareware, and costs GBP 10.00 to register. There is a free but slightly dented demo version available, and you can find a copy of that on our downloads page. (It seems a strange thing to do, jumping through hoops to run Acorn COMAL on a PC when UniCOMAL is so much more powerful, but it takes all kinds!)
Updated 15-Sep-2002 (OpenCOMAL, Linux native)