How to convert OS libraries for use in Blitz

As mentioned previously, you can use OS shared libraries with Blitz by treating them like a 3rd party library. You will need two programs for converting OS libraries to be used with Blitz: FDConvert and makedeflibs. A number of different versions of these programs are available for download in our archives section.

You will also need the ".fd" file for the library you are trying to convert. This should be available in the developer archive for whatever library it is. If not, you should hassle the author into giving you one.

Run FDConvert and select the ".fd" file for the library you want to convert. You will be asked for an ID number for this new library. This must be between 0 and 255. Conventionally, the OS shared libraries are given numbers starting from 255 and working downwards. If you are using the newer versions of FDConvert, then it will suggest a free library number and will not let you select a number that is currently being used. A lot of the library numbers at the top of this range have already been used for the standard OS libraries - make sure you do not use one of these numbers.

You will then be asked to select the library file. Don't worry if you do not have it available as a file (such as libraries that are in rom) because it is only to give the Blitz library that is created the correct filename. You should be able to enter any name and it will be accepted, as long as the library can be opened with a call to the OS function OpenLibrary().

Once the Blitz library has been created, you will need to recompile your deflibs file. First of all, make sure you have a backup of your current deflibs file, and that you have all the required 3rd party libraries you want in the subdirectories of the Blitzlibs: assign. If you don't have the other 3rd party libraries there, you will not be able to use the commands after you make your new deflibs file. This is a simple procedure and should just involve running the makedeflibs program from the CLI. Just type the name makedeflibs and hit enter. If the makdeflibs program crashes, you might want to try the Blitz library manager program (also available in the archives section). This has a simple gui for managing your libraries and can also recompile the deflibs file.

If Blitz was running, quit it and restart it. You should now be able to use commands from the shared library by entering their name followed by an underscore, e.g. DisplayBeep_.

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Page last modified: 27th July 2001