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Author Topic: Python games on the NumWorks calculator  (Read 843 times)

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Offline Jean-Baptiste Boric

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Re: Python games on the NumWorks calculator
« on: March 14, 2019, 08:42:55 pm »
I'm aware of two native games on the NumWorks: my own Tic-Tac-Toe app (https://github.com/boricj/numworks-tic-tac-toe) that's actually an m,n,k-game with IA and zardam's NES emulator (https://zardam.github.io/post/nofrendo/).

There are only a couple of third-party apps on NumWorks. There are a couple of reasons for that:
  • No flash filesystem, so currently one has to flash a whole new firmware to put things in flash.
  • No syscalls/ABIs, so while there's good source code modularity at the end you end up with a monolithic firmware to flash.
  • Since you ship firmwares, you're tied with epsilon's source code and it's a quickly moving target ; third-party apps tend to bitrot with each new version.
  • Since you ship firmwares, end-users must flash them to use third-party apps, which limits their audience.
Basically it's a pain in the butt to maintain and making third-party apps available to non-technical end-users requires a lot of effort. zardam's NES emulator has a fairly nice dedicated flashing webapp (https://zardam.github.io/webnofrendo/), but it's nevertheless a kludge that doesn't scale.

That being said, the NumWorks platform itself is extremely programmer-friendly due to source code availability and unlocked hardware, but the original firmware is a bit too good at its math job. I'm actually thinking about writing my own firmware/shell with drastically different design choices to solve this issue, where adding native apps would be as easy as copying an ELF program with a file manager...


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