Contents of the GRASP35.TXT file
GRASP 3.5 Readme File - February 12, 1990
This file contains three sections:
New features in Grasp 3.5
Updating applications from Grasp 3.1
Additions to the manual
There are two additional Readme files, for Inset and for the High-Level
Language examples. Inset's Readme is in the INSET directory. The HLL
Readme in is the HLL directory.
New features in Grasp 3.5
Grasp now sports 102 commands, greatly improved performance, and many new
features which give Grasp all the capabilities of other third-generation
languages like C and Pascal. Here are some of the highlights:
Grasp now supports most of the enhanced VGA modes, including 16-color
1024x768 and 256-color 800x600. As always, the modes available to you
depend on your video card. Page 6-4 in the Grasp manual lists all of
The utility GDFF creates differential animation files which Grasp can
play back. This technique saves the changes from one frame to another
in a sequence of images, resulting in much smaller and faster
animations. See page 2-13 for an introduction to the concept.
DOS commands, CDs, and other devices
Grasp now has full multimedia capability. The INT command calls
interrupts, which allows Grasp programs to control CD players and
other devices and to issue DOS commands such as Make Directory. See
the files DOSIO.TXT and CDCMD.TXT for examples.
Grasp now features conditional execution in If-Else-Endif constructs,
which can be built around value comparisons, user keystrokes, mouse
clicks, and other testable conditions. See pages 3-34 through 3-37.
Variables, operators, and functions
Grasp now allows variables and can perform string and math operations.
See pages 3-28 and 3-29 for an introduction to variables, and pages
6-18 through 6-20 for lists of operators and functions.
You can now pass parameters to subroutines, including variables.
See pages 3-37 through 3-41 for details.
The Text command now wraps text within windows automatically, and you
can choose left, center, or right alignment of text. Letter and word
spacing can also be controlled. See page 4-88.
Picture/clipping command use
All Grasp commands can now work with clippings or pictures. To use a
clipping with a command designed for pictures such as Pfade, preface
the buffer number with a C. To use a picture with a clipping command
such as Putup, preface the buffer number with a P.
The quick-key feature has been expanded to include more menu options
and to allow you to select all of the drawing tools. See section six
of the Pictor manual for a complete list. Also note that it's no
longer necessary to use the Alt key with a letter key to select menu
options or tools, unless you're using the Text tool.
VGA color cycling
In VGA modes you can cycle a range of colors on screen by pressing
Tab. All colors from the left to the right mouse button color will
begin shifting positions as they do in Grasp with the Cycle command.
Tab again to speed up shifting; use Shift-Tab to slow it down and stop
it. Press the Backspace key to reverse cycling direction.
VGA color range adjustment
The range of colors from the left to the right mouse button color can
be adjusted in hue, brightness, and contrast, using the Ctrl key with
the function keys. These are listed in section six of the Pictor
manual. Press the Asterisk key to restore the original palette, or
save the image to make the adjustments permanent. Note that until you
save the image and reload it, any adjustments you make with this
feature affect the underlying palette.
Edit menu and Change Colors dialog box
When the Change Colors dialog box is displayed, you can use the Edit
menu functions Cut, Copy, Paste, and Invert Colors. They will operate
on the selected range of colors (from left to right button color).
Copy and Paste make it easy to move ranges of colors in 256-color
mode. To use this feature, just click on Edit on the menu bar or
press the quick key for the function you want (C for Copy, for
Artools is now bundled with Grasp. If you're familiar with the
previous version of Artools, you'll notice two program changes:
TXTCLP (for converting text-mode images to graphics modes) has been
added, and TGAPIC/PICTGA are no longer included. The Artools program
has also been eliminated: each of the programs now has its own
Updating existing applications
Applications written in Grasp 3.1 will run under version 3.5 with four
exceptions. We're confident that Grasp's enhanced capabilities and
performance will make converting your applications worthwhile.
1 The TOUCH command has been eliminated. Touchscreen users should rely
on the software provided with their screens, which can be used to
simulate keystrokes in response to touches. Grasp programs can then
test for keystrokes instead.
2 The FLOAT command has been enhanced with ENDFLOAT. Float still leaves
a clipping displayed at its last location, but now it saves the
background under that clipping in a buffer. The next Float command
restores the background from that buffer before starting its Float.
This new feature allows you to put together a sequence of Floats to
create complex movement. However, the Endfloat command must now be
issued after the last Float in a series. Existing applications that
use Float may need Endfloats to work correctly.
3 The new math operators include the dash (subtraction and negation).
Unfortunately, this means that filenames in Grasp programs cannot use
dashes unless they're enclosed in quotes. For example, PLOAD T-12,1
will cause an error, but PLOAD "T-12",1 will work. If you've used
dashes in filenames, add quotes or rename the files.
4 Since text can now span multiple lines, it's imperative that all
quotes be balanced. This was not true in version 3.1: you could leave
off the closing quote from a Text command without causing an error.
In version 3.5 the interpreter will scan lines, treating them as text,
until it finds the next quote.