[OpenBIOS] Even more findings to report about booting Mac OS 9

Programmingkid programmingkidx at gmail.com
Sun Apr 17 03:07:49 CEST 2016

On Apr 16, 2016, at 8:09 PM, Tarl Neustaedter wrote:

> On 2016-Apr-16 19:17 , Programmingkid wrote:
>> I added some code to the bootinfo_init_program() function in bootinfo_load.c file that changes all control characters to '\n'. This made Mac OS 9 boot. But when I changed the control characters to a single space, Mac OS 9 failed to boot. This seems strange to me. The space character is the ultimate whitespace character, so why would it fail when '\n' succeeds? My only guess right now is a bug with one of the words in Forth.
> Well, changing end-of-line to space will probably fail for the following
> standard words (doing a search through IEEE 1275 for EOL):
> \
> dev
> "
> parse
> load
> help
> setenv
> devalias
> boot
> set-default
> printenv
> The last seven are supposed to be interactive commands, so no surprise
> they need an EOL. "dev" is supposed to be as well, but it's too-widely
> used in code (they should be using '" /" find-device' instead of 'dev
> /', but poor programming isn't limited to C language). It's rare to see
> a quoted string ended by end-of-line, but I have run into it.
> I suspect that as Mark was suggesting, the CR vs LF is a red herring.

You think so? This looks like the solution Mark and I have been wanting. An explanation as to why EOL a.k.a. '\n' substitution works. I can finally tell him it is because the standard requires it.

Thank you very much for solving this problem.

> The issue is likely to be what happens to the return stack between
> commands - the forth interpreter might trash the return stack between
> commands - it could well be that in the process of parsing strings from
> the boot code, it's resetting the return stack, and that's where we're
> getting tripped up. Maybe some parsing code goes through a different
> path for CR vs LF, for example. Apple's Forth code is known to take
> advantage of Apple's interpreter's quirks, to the degree that plug-in
> card manufacturers had to produce different code for Sun, IBM and Apple
> systems.

I do have Apple's Forth implementation available to test. All I need is a test program that does something to the return stack.

After looking at the bootscript, I think return stack trashing is not a problem. There are three calls to >r and then three calls the r>. They balance each other out. To show that this is ok, just run this program:

: main
1 2 3   \ place these numbers on the stack
." doing something" cr
." You should see 3 2 1: " . . . cr
You will see at the end 3 2 1. 

> It could also be that the parsing code is getting tangled up with this
> code's use of "here", where it is allocating from the heap in the middle
> of parsing. Perhaps the Forth parser is using the heap itself and things
> are tripping over each other.
> On the other hand, I can't think of much bad that will happen by
> replacing all CR (0x0D) with LF (0x0A), other than some formatting
> problems if you have code which is trying to be fancy with a spinning
> wheel (sequence of  / - \ |). The main problem with that approach is
> that we know something is wrong and we may be just hiding the problem.

When all operating systems boot properly, we can say there is no problem. 

> One possible solution; take the boot-script code, and rather than
> interpret it directly, try compiling it. E.g., before starting the boot
> code, add:
> : boot-script-container
> <add boot code here>
> ;
> boot-script-container
> That way we could separate the parsing of the forth source from the
> execution of the forth. You'd have to watch out for the cases where
> there are colon definitions already in the boot code, because the
> openbios interpreter probably doesn't allow nested colon definitions. So
> you might end up with something like
> : boot-script-container1
> <code from "here" to "release-load-area">
> ;
> boot-script-container1
> : do-translate ...
>   through
> : release-virt ...
> : boot-script-container2
> <code from "1000 constant" to "go">
> ;
> boot-script-container2

I really like this idea.

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