Porting Guide

Here is a guide for porting Prog8 to other compilation targets. Answers to the questions below are used to configure the new target and supporting libraries.


  1. 6502 or 65C02? (or strictly compatible with one of these)

  2. can the 64tass cross assembler create programs for the system? (if not, bad luck atm)

Memory Map

Zero page

  1. Absolute requirement: Provide three times 2 consecutive bytes (i.e. three 16-bit pointers) in the Zero page that are free to use at all times.

  2. Provide list of any additional free Zero page locations for a normal running system (basic + kernal enabled)

  3. Provide list of any additional free Zero page locations when basic is off, but floating point routines should still work

  4. Provide list of any additional free Zero page locations when only the kernal remains enabled

Only the three 16-bit pointers are absolutely required to be able to use prog8 on the system. But more known available Zero page locations mean smaller and faster programs.


  1. what part(s) of the address space is RAM? What parts of the RAM can be used by user programs?

  2. what is the usual starting memory address of programs?

  3. what is the best place to put 2 pages (512 bytes total) of scratch area data in RAM?

  4. what part(s) of the address space is ROM?

  5. what part(s) of the address space is memory mapped I/O registers?

  6. is there a banking system? How does it work (how do you select Ram/Rom banks)? How is the default bank configuration set?

Character encodings

  1. if not Petscii or CBM screencodes: provide the primary character encoding table that the system uses (i.e. how is text represented in memory)

  2. provide alternate character encodings (if any)

  3. what are the system’s standard character screen dimensions?

  4. is there a screen character matrix directly accessible in Ram? What’s it address? Same for color attributes if any.

ROM routines

  1. provide a list of the core ROM routines on the system, with names, addresses, and call signatures.

Ideally there are at least some routines to manipulate the screen and get some user input(clear, print text, print numbers, input strings from the keyboard) Routines to initialize the system to a sane state and to do a warm reset are useful too. The more the merrier.

Floating point

Prog8 supports floating point math if the target system has floating point math routines in ROM. If the machine has this:

  1. what is the binary representation format of the floating point numbers? (how many bytes, how the bits are set up)

  2. what are the valid minimum negative and maximum positive floating point values?

  3. provide a list of the floating point math routines in ROM: name, address, call signature.

Support libraries

The most important libraries are syslib and textio. syslib has to provide several system level functions such as how to initialize the machine to a sane state, and how to warm reset it, etc. textio contains the text output and input routines, it’s very welcome if they are implemented also for the new target system.

There are several other support libraries that you may want to port (diskio, graphics to name a few).

Also ofcourse if there are unique things available on the new target system, don’t hesitate to provide extensions to the syslib or perhaps a new special custom library altogether.