Languages Comparison

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The Amiga is fortunate to have a number of languages available to suit everyone. This can sometimes make it tricky to decide on a language to use for a particular task, especially if you have no prior experience with any of them.

The table below aims to compare the pros and cons of some of the different languages available to help you make your decision. Many properties have been assessed on a scale of 1-5, where 1 is the least desirable / largest / slowest / most difficult and 5 is the most desirable / smallest / fastest / least difficult. Of course personal opinions and prior programming experience will influence people's views regarding this table; it is meant purely as a general overview.

Executable Speed Executable Size Compiler Speed Speed of Development Learning Curve Suitability for Hardware-banging Games Suitability for System-friendly Applications IDE / Ease of Use Amiga API Access Debugging Tools Comments Examples
C 4 4 3 3 3 4 5 3 - Some IDEs available, compiler options & makefile knowledge may be required. Compilers are generally command line tools, choice of editors available. 5 3 - Many debugging tools available, generally not integrated Amiga API is designed with C usage in mind, most examples in developer documentation and online will be in C. Games: Payback, Monkey Island, Flashback

Apps: AWeb, Personal Paint, FinalWriter

Blitz Basic 2.1 3 2 4 4 4 4 4 5 - IDE included in distribution, fully integrated help, GUI for compiler options and debugger 3 5 - Advanced debugger integrated with IDE Original Blitz Basic 2.1 is well suited to development on low-end machines and for low-end targets. Games: Worms, Skidmarks, Foundation

Apps: Perfect Paint

AmiBlitz 3 3 2 4 4 4 4 4 5 - IDE included in distribution, fully integrated help, GUI for compiler options and debugger 4 5 - Advanced debugger integrated with IDE IDE requires FPU and more powerful machine than Blitz Basic 2.1. Executables often only suitable for FPU / 68020+ use. Games: Toadies

Apps: HD-Rec, SMBMounter, MapEdit

680x0 Assembly 5 5 5 1 1 4 4 4 - IDEs available, alternatively editor/command line tools 4 3 - Debugging tools similar to C Often used by game and demo coders to get the best performance possible Games: Sensible Soccer, Frontier, Lemmings

Apps: Core Amiga OS components, e.g. Exec.library

Amiga E / PortablE 4 4 3? 3 3 4 4 3 - Separate editor used, choice of editors 4 3 - Debugging tools similar to C Similar capabilities to C but with an Amiga-specific slant. Games: ?

Apps: Photogenics

AMOS 3 3 3 4 4 4 1 4 - Separate 4 3 - ? Limited support through plugins for system-friendly coding and the AGA chipset. Games: Hillsea Lido, Jet Strike, Dogfight

Apps: Paint Pot II, MiniOffice?

ARexx 1 (Interpreted) 2 (Text script files) N/A 4 3 1 3 3 - Separate editor required 3 3 - Limited debugging tools available Scripting language generally used for inter-application communication.
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