Well, that is a question hard to answer. Isn't it the "Fuck Off" clown? Or some red haired lady singer? I don't care. On these pages (as on the newsgroup alt.religion.amos) the question should be:
AMOS is a Basic dialect for the Amiga computer that tries to capture, through its vocabulary, a lot of the functions one would need in making games or multimedia software.
An example: Suppose I want to make a picture viewer.
Repeat NAME$=Fsel$("","","Select a picture") If NAME$<>"" If Exist(NAME$) Load Iff NAME$ Else Print "This file does not exist" Endif Endif Until name$=""
(BTW: "Iff" is not some weird form of If, it is the Interchangeable File Format, which the Amiga uses to store most of if its dataformats in. So-called Datatypes will convert any foreign format (GIF, WAV, Postscript) to an IFF-format.)
Writing attack waves, rainbow effects, music, animations, whatever, nothing could be easier than doing it in AMOS.
However, because AMOS makes things so easy, it attracts a lot of people who otherwise would not have tried programming. To allow these people to educate themselves, a discussion list was formed, with both complete beginners as well as professionals present.
In the directory dev/amos on Aminet two things can be found that are needed if you want to subscribe to the list.
Programming a dead language on a dead computer: What's the fun in that? Well, if you're really wondering this, then why are you on these pages in the first place?
Nevertheless, it is true that support is minimal. Which doesn't mean we cannot do anything about it!.
One of the things AMOS users constantly have to do is reevaluate the reason why they are using AMOS. Is it the flexibility? Is the immediate accessability of most of the computer's resources? Is it the low learning curve, while always retaining high quality output?
And of course, users will constantly have to weigh these advantages to the advantages of other languages and even other computing platforms. To help make these decisions, I have made a Future of AMOS homepage. On this page I try to give the user information about how AMOS fits into the world of computing. I try and explore if there is a future for AMOS and what that future entails.
If a user decides to keep programming with AMOS, he or she may like to actively support AMOS. There a several ways of doing this.
I have got Kermit Woodall's article (TEXT, English, 13kB) about actively supporting the Amiga. I suggest AMOS users read it, because a lot of what's said in the article can also be applied to the AMOS 'situation'.
In times like these, a strong user community can help a lot. That is why I suggest that all AMOS users on the Internet either subscribe to the Amos Mailing List or read its archives on a regular basis.
Also, linking to each other's homepages may be an intelligent move.
I am not much of a programmer. I start hacking an idea, then get fed up with it and leave it alone for the rest of my life. That is why the only 'finished' programs I have ever made were made on someone else's request.
Nevertheless, I feel that to actively contribute to the community I should at least give people the opportunity to look at what I have done. This probably means that you'll only learn how not to do things. Keep this in mind.
I made a prototype of a text conversion program in AMOS. Details and the source can be found at bottom of my Amiga page.
Someone on the AMOS Discussion List suggested that instead of writing an AMOS to C compiler a la MARP, it would be wiser to write an AMOS to E compiler. Oddly enough, this just happens to be something I started on some time ago. Unfortunately, I never got far.
The only note-worthy by-product of my plans is a small test program. This is not the conversion program itself! You can look at it here if you like. You'll notice the program concerns itself only with text and simple file-i/o. The reason for this is that originally I started planning an AMOS 2 E converter because I got fed up with "Hello World"s the size of the planet concerning.