Bugs, Notes, & unresolved Issues

QOMBI (and possibly other programs and utilities)

You may get a Qlib error like Line xxx FDEL: incomplete in SMSQ/E V3.35. Early releases of SMSQ/E V3.35 had a bug where FDEL always returns -1 instead of a zero or a genuine error code. I dont know if it will help to download SMSQ/E V3.35 again or whether you have to wait til the next release. In the meantime just load the "Compatability toolkit" that came with QOMBI until the issue has been resolved:

LRESPR '..qmb_bin_COMP334_bin'

where "..qmb_" is the path to your QOMBI directory. Alternatively, get the FDEL command only here and use that instead.

Medium Names

This note is relevant to various programs: HDRen, a utility for naming or renaming QLWA-type hard disks or virtual hard disks; QLWARZ, a utility to resize/refresh QLWA-type virtual hard disks, and QWIRC, my QLWA-type virtual hard disk management program.

The medium name is what you see when you do a DIR or STAT of the medium. In the earliest version of the Device Drivers for the QL (aka DDL1) the convention for naming the medium itself was to enter up to ten name characters at a given location in the root sector of the device and, if fewer, padding the remainder with spaces.

This applied to floppy disks at least, and AFAIK also to microdrives. As of DDL2 a new format of the root sector was introduced for the use of QLWA-type hard disks. Among other things, this allowed for the medium name to become a proper qstring, ie a word length count, followed by that number of characters. Room for the medium name characters was increased to 20. However, in practice, this was never implemented. The old convention was used throughout most of the system, and many important utilities, such as QPAC2 Files, etc, stuck to the unheaded ten character convention. Until recently.

In SMSQmulator V2.28 I noticed that all my medium names were trunctated to four characters. It turns out that Wolfgang had decided to implement the new DDL2+ convention at last. In QPC2 when you format a WIN drive, SMSQ/E automatically gives it the name of the WIN slot in which it was formatted. Ie if you format win2_200, the medium name becomes WIN2. I would then use my HDRen proglet to alter the name to something that made sense to me, like System, or Programs. However, although the rest of QPC2's variant of SMSQ/E would follow the old convention, it also, faithfully, inserted a length count, as per the new. When SMSQmulator's variant of SMSQ/E decided to entirely follow the new convention, well, although technically correct, that messed things up for me: Apart from the name lengths, the conventions (word count - or padding) are mutually exclusive.

I decided to go with the new. After all, thats aparently what had been intended all along. I started to change all my affected programs to follow the DDL2+ convention, starting with QLWARZ, assured that this would now become the standard from SMSQ/E V3.36 on across the board.

It turns out it wasnt that straightforward after all! As Marcel quickly pointed out, it wasnt just a question of how name name bytes would fit in the root sector; changing the length and convention would also affect the "drive definition block" in memory, which only has space for 10 + 2 characters!

Having recently updated QLWARZ, announcing the new 20 char limit (and almost finished my update of QWIRC to do the same) Im in a bit of a quandry as to what to do next. I have no reason to believe that my programs will do any harm, whether your system uses the old or the new convention, although the names may not appear as expected. The current version of HDRen is probably the best bet until a solution is found. It sticks with the ten character limit, but also uses the length word.

Once Mt Olympus is at peace with itself again, I will make the necessary changes and we can all go back to sleep!

The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.
- Oscar Wilde