MERGE device_filename or
MERGE [device_]filename (Toolkit II)
QL ROM, Toolkit II
This command is similar to LOAD except that it does not clear the current program and variables out of memory prior to loading the given program file. Neither is the screen cleared, which enables loading pictures to be shown on screen whilst the main program loads.
This means that any line numbers which appear in the program currently in memory and which are repeated in the program file will be overwritten by the lines in the program file, whereas any new lines will be inserted into the program in memory.
Again, any lines without line numbers are automatically executed as they are loaded into memory. This could therefore be used within a program to execute a ‘command file’ stored on a directory device (however, see below).
A short program - when typed in, save this using the command:
10 REMark Test1 20 PRINT 'The Sinclair QL'
Now, type NEW and enter the following short program:
5 REMark Test 20 PRINT 'An old program line' 30 PRINT 'SuperComputer'
Now, enter the command:
and the following will now form the program in memory:
5 REMark Test 10 REMark Test1 20 PRINT 'The Sinclair QL' 30 PRINT 'SuperComputer'
Unfortunately, if you MERGE a file of direct commands (ie. a program file without line numbers), only the first line will be read and the file will be left open, making it impossible to change the disk/microdrive cartridge. Some compilers provide commands to ensure that the file is closed and all of the commands executed.
Minerva and Toolkit II close the file, but still only the first command is executed, unless the MERGE command is used from within a program (in which case, the whole of the command file is executed). SMS ensures that MERGE works in both of these circumstances.
When writing command files, ensure that the lines are all checked thoroughly before saving them without the line numbers, since a ‘bad line’ error on such a file may crash the QL. However, if Toolkit II is present, this makes a safe recovery, reporting ‘bad line’.
MERGE can become confused if used from within a PROCedure or FuNction. Minerva and Toolkit II both report ‘Not Implemented’.
On Minerva v1.86, MERGE could become a little confused when used within a program.
When used within a program MERGE and MRUN are the same.
Since Toolkit II v2.22 (and on the Minerva version), MERGE has refused to try and load a file which does not have a file type of 0 - see FTYP.
MERGE follows the same rules for finding a program name as the LOAD command.