Omnivore - the Atari 8-bit binary editor sponsored by the Player/Missile Podcast
While producing the Player/Missile podcast, I have had many ideas about hacking
code on the 8-bits like I used to as a kid. One of the tools I had was the
Omnimon system monitor board by CDY Consulting, an add-on board for the Atari
800 that provided a ROM-resident monitor similiar to what was available by
default on the Apple ][ series. In fact, I originally named this program
Omnimon but felt that would be too confusing as there are people in the 8-bit
community who still use the original Omnimon hardware. Using the prefix
"Omni-" is my tribute to all the fun I had with the Omnimon hardware.
Omnivore is a cross-platform app for modern hardware (running linux, OS X and
Windows) to work with executables or disk images of Atari 8-bit machines. (I
have long- term goals to support editing MAME ROMS and disk images of other
8-bit machines like the C64 and Apple ][.)
Omnivore is more than an Atari binary editor. It can also create and edit maps
using character-based graphic tiles. For instance: many games use the 5-color
ANTIC modes 4 or 5 to provide a complex scrolling background while using much
less memory than the multi-color bit-mapped modes.
In addition to supporting more platforms, I also intend to add support for
editing character sets and player-missile graphic shapes.
How To Run Omnivore
Note that this is still beta-level software, so caveat emptor.
Binaries are available for Windows 7 and later (64-bit
only) and Mac OS X 10.9 and later and at the `home page
<http://playermissile.com/omnivore/>`_ or directly through the `github
releases <https://github.com/robmcmullen/omnivore/releases>`_ page.
Binaries for linux are not currently available, although I would like to
provide packages for Ubuntu, Linux Mint and Gentoo at some point. To run
on linux, you'll have to install it from source. It's not that complicated;
apart from wxPython, everything can be installed from the `Python Package
Index <https://pypi.python.org/pypi>`_ using pip.
Installing From Source
If you're interested in hacking on the code or making bug fixes or
improvements, you can install and run the source distribution.
If you're running linux (like me!), I'd recommend you set up a python
virtual environment with all the dependencies you need in there, rather than
cluttering up your system's python.
On OS X, I have had difficulty with installing wxPython in a virtualenv, so
I had to resort to installing it using the `default DMG on the wxPython site
<http://wxpython.org/download.php#osxdefault>`_ and using the `framework
install of python 2.7 <https://www.python.org/downloads/mac-osx/>`_, not the
I do not develop on Windows at all, but for testing purposes I have a virtual
machine dedicated to Omnivore development and install everything in the system
python in that VM.
* python 2.7 (but not 3.x yet) capable of building C extensions
* wxPython 3.0.x
Your version of python must be able to build C extensions, which should be
automatic in most linux and on OS X. You may have to install the python
development packages on linux distributions like Ubuntu or Linux Mint.
Windows doesn't come with a C compiler, but happily, Microsoft provides a
cut-down version of their Visual Studio compiler just for compiling Python
extensions! Download and install it from
Virtualenv Setup -- *Linux Only*
First: download the `wxPython 220.127.116.11 <http://downloads.sourceforge.net/wxpython/wxPython-src-18.104.22.168.tar.bz2>`_ source.
Next, setup the virtual environment::
The ``activate`` script needs to be modified in order for the dynamic libraries
to be discovered correctly. You can do this with a simple multi-line shell
cat <<EOF >> $VIRTUAL_ENV/bin/activate
Begin using the virtualenv with::
wxPython -- *Linux*
wxPython is the GUI toolkit, and unfortunately it is not able to be installed
using pip, so you have to compile it yourself::
tar xvf ~/Downloads/wxPython-src-22.214.171.124.tar.bz2
make -j 8
python setup.py install
wxPython -- *Other Plaftorms*
* OS X: `download the package installer <http://wxpython.org/download.php#osxdefault>`_
* Windows: `download and run the installer http://wxpython.org/download.php#msw>`_
Installing Omnivore -- *Unix-like Platforms*
Get the source from cloning it from github::
$ git clone https://github.com/robmcmullen/omnivore.git
$ cd omnivore
$ python setup.py build_ext --inplace
You'll need the git package on your system, which is available through
your package manager on linux, or from the `git homepage
<https://git-scm.com/downloads>`_ on other platforms.
My modified versions of the Enthought libraries must be checked out before
setup.py will work. Because I have used a unix shell script, this won't work
on windows. Until I get this fixed, you can check out a source distribution
from the `github releases <https://github.com/robmcmullen/omnivore/releases>`_
page which has bundled all of the Enthough source.
Running the Program -- *All Platforms*
Once the C modules are built (the Enthought library requires a C module and
Omnivore has those several Cython modules for graphic speedups), you can run
the program from the main source directory using::
$ python run.py
The Cython extension is used to speed up some of the time-critical code (like
repainting all the character graphics), but it is only required if you were
going to debug or recompile those specific .pyx files. Cython is not needed
for hacking on the python code.
Should you change a cython file (currently only
omnivore/utils/wx/bitviewscroller_speedups.pyx), use the command ``python
setup-cython.py`` to turn that into a C extension, then use ``python setup.py
build_ext --inplace`` to regenerate the dynamic libraries.
Omnivore is extended by plugins. Plugins are based on the `Enthought Framework`__
and are discovered using setuptools plugins.
The plugin architecture is documented by Enthought, but is not terribly easy to
understand. I intend to produce some sample plugins to provide some examples
in case others would like to provide more functionality to Omnivore.
Some Boring History
Omnivore provides an XEmacs-like multi-window/multi-tabbed user interface and
is written in and extensible through Python. It is built around the emacs
concept of major modes -- different views are presented to the user depending
on the type of data being edited.
It is a rewrite of peppy (my previous editor framework), but now it's based
on the Enthought Tasks framework instead of my old custom framework. (Note
that even though Enthought has moved mostly toward Qt as the supported GUI
toolkit, I have forked Enthought's code and extended it with better wxPython
support. Only wxPython is supported as a GUI backend for Omnivore. I have
attempted to submit patches back to Enthough but they have not been interested
in further wx support). The architectural goal is to provide a system with
low coupling in order to reduce the work required to extend the editor with
new major modes, minor modes, and sidebars.
Why a rewrite of the original peppy_ editor?
.. _peppy: http://peppy.flipturn.org
* **Simplify the code.**
Peppy had the ability to have any major mode in any window, but this needed
a lot of code to support minor modes switching in and out as tabs changed.
I got it to work and all, but the code was quite convoluted. Omnivore only
allows similar major modes in a window, and different major modes require
a new window. Not a huge inconvenience but saves a considerable amount of
coding, so I'm happy with this tradeoff. It allows me to use the Enthought
Tasks framework pretty much as-is.
* **Make it easier for others to contribute.**
Peppy was using my own framework which had a steep learning curve.
Hopefully by moving to Enthought's framework, it will have a broader appeal.
* **Leverage other people's code.**
I wrote a lot of custom code for stuff that I needed at the time, but now
there are similar packages that others support and maintain. For example,
I wrote a virtual file system implementation that worked, but was a whole
project in itself. In the intervening years, PyFilesystem_ was written,
removing the need for me to use my own code.
.. _PyFilesystem: http://packages.python.org/fs/index.html
Omnivore, the Atari 8-bit binary editor sponsored by the Player/Missile Podcast
Copyright (c) 2014-2016 Rob McMullen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation; either version 3 of the License, or
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but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the
GNU General Public License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along
with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc.,
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Copyright (c) 2006-2014, Enthought, Inc.
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