The Editors and Readers of COMPUTE!
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions you would like to see addressed in this column, write to "Readers' Feedback," COMPUTE!, P.O. Box 5406, Greensboro, NC 27403. Due to the volume of mail we receive, we regret that we cannot provide personal answers to technical questions.
What are the differences between SpeedScript 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, and so on?
Here's the genealogy of SpeedScript for the Commodore 64: The original 64 SpeedScript (now called version 1.0) appeared in the January 1984 issue of COMPUTE!'s GAZETTE. A slightly modified version (1.1) appeared in COMPUTE!'s Second Book of Commodore 64. The next major update, SpeedScript 2.0, appeared only on the premier GAZETTE DISK in May 1984. Like the original, its title screen did not include a version number; however, it can be distinguished from other versions by its custom character set and help screen.
Version 3.0 made its debut in the March 1985 issue of COMPUTE! and on the special COMPUTE! DISK for that month. It can easily be distinguished from its predecessors because the command line says SpeedScript 3.0. Corrections for several minor bugs were published in the May 1985 "CAPLITE!" column. With these enhancements, the title on the screen indicates version 3.1. It was this version which appeared in the book SpeedScript: The Word Processor for the Commodore 64 and VIC-20, and on the companion disk for that book. Further corrections-most notably a fix for an underlining bug-appeared in the article "SpeedScript 3.0 Revisited" in the December 1985 issue of COMPUTE!; these enhancements changed the version number on the screen to 3.2. Version 3.2 also appeared on the January 1986 COMPUTE! DISK. The corrections in the December article included the changes from version 3.1, so it is possible to upgrade directly from 3.0 to 3.2.
As in many other areas of personal computing, there isn't any official rule that dictates how program versions are to be numbered. For SpeedScript we've followed what seems to be the most common convention. In general, a whole number difference (such as 2.0 versus 3.0) signals a major enhancement, while a fractional change (3.0 versus 3.2) indicates minor enhancements. Unless otherwise indicated, a reference to one member of a group is also applicable to the others. We usually use SpeedScript 3.0 to refer to all members of the version 3 family: 3.0, 3.1, and 3.2. For example, the 3.0 version of the POKES given in the January "Readers' Feedback" to make SpeedScript default to disk or tape also works for 3.2, even though this was not stated explicitly.
For a description of how SpeedScript 3.0 differs from previous versions in terms of features, see the article in the March 1985 issue of COMPUTE!.
The VIC-20 version of SpeedScript 3.0 appeared in the April 1985 issue of COMPUTE!. The Atari and Apple versions of SpeedScript start with version 3.0 and made their debut in the May 1985 and June 1985 issues of COMPUTE!, respectively.