Speaking of 6502s, was Re: 70's micros still available -

Holger Veit holger.veit at ais.fraunhofer.de
Sat Jan 7 10:29:22 CST 2006


der Mouse wrote:

>>These times are gone - assembler is irrelevant for larger projects,
>>    
>>
>
>I'm not sure, at least not unless you restrict which kinds of projects
>you're talking about.  I recently finished playing one of the Ratchet &
>Clank games for the PlayStation2, and watched the embedded making-of
>video.  According to that, their game engine is millions of lines of
>assembly.  (Unless I misunderstood, of course - I don't have it at
>ready hand to rewatch - but it seems unlikely.)
>  
>
Okay, to specify this claim a bit more: there are still applications 
where you use assembler, or rather, it is not complete applications but 
small subroutines which cannot be efficiently done with C code, for 
instance the low-level part of an interrupt dispatcher, or some 
initialization parts of a kernel that fiddle with special registers or 
enable paging or alike.

Also few parts of a standard library that deal with I/O ports are often 
written in assembler, provided the C compiler does not already know how 
to handle them.

Other than that, the current generation of so-called "programmers", 
according to my  observation, avoid anything that is not close to be 
clickable, or "object-oriented" (read: blown-up, slow, inefficient - not 
the classic OO style as it was intended - programming skills haven't 
really improved since COBOL days): assembler is 666, size or speed, or 
engineering quality no longer matters; get the junk out of the door 
before the enterprise is reorganized or the dept is closed.

Concerning that playstation game which I don't know, I'd rather 
interpret that as advertising bullshit. One could simply count the 
number of people involved in programming the core and estimate how many 
lines of assembly one would have needed to write. If the result were 
even in the 10**5..6 range or even higher, I'd consider this unrealistic 
unless one speaks of excessive code duplication. Some code like the OS/2 
kernel is about 2 thirds of assembly code, the rest is 16 bit or 32 bit 
C, but this is about 800K executable size - not really millions of LOC.

Holger




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