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The "New" SiMPLE vs. The "Old" SiMPLE,
What Are Some Of The Differences?

The biggest difference between the two SiMPLEs is the fact that the "new" version of SiMPLE can be used on either 32-bit computers or 64-bit computers, while the "old" version of SiMPLE can be used only on 32-bit computers.

In addition, the design of the new version of SiMPLE is more "streamlined". The old original version of SiMPLE was designed to be used only in the closed environment of Command-line mode. (The "Drag & Drop" mode of operation wasn't added until many years later.) Consequently the old SiMPLE's Command-line mode required dozens of commands (to support such capabilities as deleting source listings, renaming files, creating new project folders, etc.). The new version of SiMPLE integrates the SiMPLE environment with the Windows environment so that many of the old SiMPLE's Command-line commands are no longer necessary and have been eliminated.

Also, since the original version of SiMPLE was intended to be used only in Command-line mode, all of the user's Project folders were contained directly inside the SiMPLE folder itself. The new version of SiMPLE lets users create their own Project folders anywhere they choose, thereby providing greater flexibility. And since the Project folders are now independent of the "SiMPLE" folder, users can more easily update their copies of SiMPLE to newer releases without fear of losing all their work when they delete their existing "SiMPLE" folder. (Also, the Global "Library" folder is separate from the "SiMPLE" folder as well.)

The new version of SiMPLE allows you to work with bitmap images, jpeg images, and png images. (The old version of SiMPLE supported only bitmap images.)

In the old version of SiMPLE, integer numbers (type "Int") were stored as 16-bit values. In the new version of SiMPLE, all integer numbers are stored as 32-bit values. Consequently, it is generally no longer necessary to use "Int2" when declaring double precision integers. For example, consider the following listing:

          Display x

If you run this program with the old version of SiMPLE, you will see the number -1536 displayed (due to overflow caused by the 16-bit limitation). However if you run this program with the new version of SiMPLE, you will see the correct number (64000) displayed.

Another significant difference between the two versions of SiMPLE is the time that is required to compile and execute a source listing. The new version of SiMPLE is typically about two to three times faster than the old version! (In fact, if you were to run the previous 2-line example listing, you would find that it would take about only one fourth as long from the time that the listing was dropped onto the runner icon until the time that the executable's black window popped open!)

In the new version of SiMPLE, the old terms: "Ultra-SiMPLE" and "Pro-SiMPLE" have been replaced by the new terms: "Win-SiMPLE" and "Dos-SiMPLE" respectively. However, in an effort to provide as much backward compatibility as possible, both of those obsolete terms ("Ultra-SiMPLE" and "Pro-SiMPLE") are still accepted as being legitimate compiler directives. But if your program uses either of them, you will receive a notification message (informing you that "Ultra" was changed* to "Win" or that "Pro" was changed* to "Dos") when you run your source listing.

*The change is made in a "virtual" manner (i.e., to a temporary copy of your source listing). If you
later examine your original source listing, you will see that nothing in it has actually been changed.

To use the new version of SiMPLE in "Drag & Drop" mode, just drag and drop any SiMPLE source listing onto the "S i M P L E" (toy block) icon. (A separate "Drop SiMPLE Listing Here" icon is no longer needed.)

When you used the old SiMPLE to run a source listing, it would display the status messages:


in the black status window. But, because the new C++ compiler works somewhat differently, you will now see the words:

          Starting Win-SiMPLE...

displayed in the black status window. (But pretty much the same thing is still taking place as before.)

Aside from a few cosmetic and procedural differences (such as no longer requiring a separate "Drop SiMPLE Listing Here" icon, etc.), the structure of the new SiMPLE is (from a user's point of view) virtually identical to that of the old SiMPLE. All of the old SiMPLE's 23 keywords function exactly as they did before. And most of Win-SiMPLE's tasks/functions are identical as well (except for a few that we've had to modify, and a few new ones that we've added).

However, the Dos-SiMPLE system library is extremely limited compared to that of the old Pro-SiMPLE. Dos-SiMPLE does not support graphics, sound, or the mouse! (This was not our choice; it's due to limitations of the new C++ compiler that we're now using.)

In the old version of SiMPLE, the "default universe" (i.e., the universe to be used if neither a "Pro" nor an "Ultra" directive was specified) was whatever the previously compiled program had used. But because the Dos mode in the new version of SiMPLE is so extremely limited, the default universe is now set to "Win" (since it's not likely that very many programs will be written for the Dos universe).

Another difference between the new SiMPLE and the old one is in how "Common" statements are handled. (See: Some Restrictions about Working with Keyword "Common")

In the old version of SiMPLE, it was possible to create two different task with the same name, as long as the types of their calling parameters and/or the number of calling parameters were different. In the new version of SiMPLE, such "overloading" is no longer allowed.

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