Author Topic: Original SCI syntax  (Read 30138 times)

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Offline lance.ewing

Re: Original SCI syntax
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2011, 02:14:34 AM »
That's obviously AGI code. There goes that theory then I guess. I assume that he verified it really is a first printing. I might have to ask him.

Offline Eigen

Re: Original SCI syntax
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2011, 08:53:17 AM »
Found this on the Internet:

Quote
SCI was Sierra's own advanced object oriented programming language, quite similar to Java. Sierra's programmers wrote scripts for every objects and let objects communicate with each other, to create an interesting interactive gaming-world.

Source: http://colonelsbequest.net/extras/Credits

But Java is nothing like Smalltalk/Obj-C so that's probably a false statement.


Why not write a letter to Al Lowe and ask him, if he remembers what the syntax was like? I know he's still active with his website and will surely reply. Other former Sierra people are probably harder to contact.
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Offline gumby

Re: Original SCI syntax
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2011, 10:20:04 AM »
That's obviously AGI code. There goes that theory then I guess. I assume that he verified it really is a first printing. I might have to ask him.

Uh, the first scan supplied references KQ4 - was KQ4 part of the first printing?  I had some thought that KQ4 was introduced later...
In the Great Underground Empire (Zork port in development)
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Offline lance.ewing

Re: Original SCI syntax
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2011, 12:58:44 PM »
That's obviously AGI code. There goes that theory then I guess. I assume that he verified it really is a first printing. I might have to ask him.

Uh, the first scan supplied references KQ4 - was KQ4 part of the first printing?  I had some thought that KQ4 was introduced later...

KQ4 was the game that the first version of The Official Book of King's Quest coincided with the release of. All of the photos of the editors and the source code is from KQ4.

Offline lance.ewing

Re: Original SCI syntax
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2011, 01:04:58 PM »
Found this on the Internet:

Quote
SCI was Sierra's own advanced object oriented programming language, quite similar to Java. Sierra's programmers wrote scripts for every objects and let objects communicate with each other, to create an interesting interactive gaming-world.

Source: http://colonelsbequest.net/extras/Credits

But Java is nothing like Smalltalk/Obj-C so that's probably a false statement.


Why not write a letter to Al Lowe and ask him, if he remembers what the syntax was like? I know he's still active with his website and will surely reply. Other former Sierra people are probably harder to contact.

Interesting. I think the similarity to Java is in the area of the P-Machine. The Java VM is obviously also an OO P-Machine but SCI predates Java. What is probably more likely is that both Java and SCI are based in part on Smalltalk, which was one of the first (if not the first) languages to compile to an OO pseudo code machine.

Offline Collector

Re: Original SCI syntax
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2011, 02:29:54 PM »
Uh, the first scan supplied references KQ4 - was KQ4 part of the first printing?  I had some thought that KQ4 was introduced later...
KQ4 was the first SCI game, however for the customers with older machines that didn't meet the high hardware requirements for the new interpreter Sierra simultaneously developed the game in AGI. That is the reason that Brian has the screenshots from KQ4 to show the graphical differences between the two interpreters in the SCI Studio help file

http://sierrahelp.com/SCI/SCIStudio3Help/SCI-Overview.html
KQII Remake Pic

Offline lance.ewing

Re: Original SCI syntax
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2011, 08:01:39 AM »
Regarding the suggestion to talk to an ex-Sierra employee, we briefly discussed this on the previous thread:

http://sciprogramming.com/community/index.php/topic,363.msg2026.html#msg2026

I talked to a couple of ex employees that were very helpful but both admitted that their memory is a little rusty. It has been quite some time after all. When these guys were writing SCI code, I was still into GWBASIC and I admit now that I would not be able to write a BASIC app these days without reading the manual again. But they have confirmed the similarity to Smalltalk for message passing and the LISP-like syntax.

Offline lance.ewing

Re: Original SCI syntax
« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2011, 08:13:25 AM »
I guess my main driver for wanting to track down that snippet of SCI code that I believe was previously in the public domain is because of that fact, i.e. it was in the public domain. When I was talking to Brian a month or two ago about SCI Studio, he confirmed that the code syntax in SCI Studio is in part based on the snippet of real code that was around back in the late 90s. He thought it might have been on Dark Fiber's site but in talking to Stuart it seems like that is a dead end. He doesn't have it anymore. The code snippet must have been quite small though because the SCI Studio syntax has made a lot of guesses about things, so much so that one ex employee when shown the SCI Studio syntax said it was definitely not correct. The message passing is the main area that looked wrong.

Offline OmerMor

Re: Original SCI syntax
« Reply #23 on: July 26, 2011, 11:49:41 AM »
lance,
I found some stuff that might interested. I posted it as a reply in a thread in the Sierra Help Pages:
http://www.sierrahelp.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2102&start=30#p33222

It has the sci script sample from PQ: SWAT.

Offline lance.ewing

Re: Original SCI syntax
« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2011, 01:39:54 AM »
OMG! That is indeed the snippet of SCI code that I recall seeing over ten years ago. That you very much for that. I can't believe that code segment was on Wikipedia the whole time and I couldn't find it. I spent quite some time trying to come up with magic words to enter in Google in a vain attempt to locate that segment of SCI code. Thanks again. When I get time, I will of course continue this discussion. Now that it has been found, we can talk a lot about the syntax it shows.

I knew it was a Police Quest game. I even suspected it was SWAT. But I couldn't find anything when I was searching for that.

Offline OmerMor

Re: Original SCI syntax
« Reply #25 on: July 27, 2011, 03:09:44 PM »
Glad I could help!
FYI, the google search I used was:
   "police quest" sci code sample lisp

Offline lance.ewing

Re: Original SCI syntax
« Reply #26 on: July 28, 2011, 01:37:24 AM »
I noticed from the history of the Wikipedia page that you were the one that added the PQ SWAT code to the page back in August 2008. Is that correct? If so, do you remember where you got it from? Was it on someone's SCI related web site at that time?

Offline OmerMor

Re: Original SCI syntax
« Reply #27 on: July 28, 2011, 10:37:12 AM »
That's funny. Only now that you mention it I noticed that it was indeed me who added this snippet. Unfortunately I can't remember where I found it. I guess it was in on eof the SCI sites back in the days.
Maybe I'll give archive.org a visit with some links to old sci sites.

Offline lskovlun

Re: Original SCI syntax
« Reply #28 on: July 30, 2011, 04:37:10 AM »
This is part of script 325 in PQ SWAT (I have been searching in vain for this as well...) - 40 lines out of roughly 4kloc according to the embedded line number info in the script.
So a short piece of code indeed. It seems quite plausible that it is from some kind of paper publication, and scanned in by whoever posted it in the first place - there are typos in the code that look like the errors OCR software would make (setloop instead of setLoop, setcel instead of setCel, etc.)
There are also arguments against that, however: I can see that the code is unfinished in places (compared to the version of the game that I have), indicating that the
game may have been a work in progress at the time this was leaked. This would make it less likely to be an official publication, right?

Thanks Omer, for finding this!
(btw, I came up with a small piece of code to test that sq5 issue of yours - but you haven't been back to the ScummVM forum for a long time)

Offline OmerMor

Re: Original SCI syntax
« Reply #29 on: July 30, 2011, 06:27:21 AM »
Thanks for the analysis lskovlun!
re: sq5 - I hang around in the scummvm forums, and I also check regularly github commits to the sci engine of scumvmm. I haven't seen anything relevant - can you point me toward it?


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