W_CRUNCH ( #channel, colour )


Windows (DIY Toolkit - Vol W)

This toolkit is designed (like the SuperWindow Toolkit) to provide you with facilities for storing parts of the QL’s screen in memory so that you can recall them at a later date, thus providing the QL with non-destructible windows inside programs.

Whilst the Pointer Environment provides programs with non- destructible windows, this only ensures that when a program ends, the area of the screen which was occupied by that program is restored so that it looks the same as when the program started. Also, when you switch to another program, the whole of that program’s display area appears on screen, overwriting anything else (see OUTLN) - the display covered by the newly activated program is then stored in memory to be recalled at a later date. However, unless you use specific functions (for example those supplied as part of the Qptr Toolkit, or supplied with this toolkit), if a program OPENs one window over the top of another window owned by that program, when that second window is CLOSEd, the area underneath is not restored (see the example below).

This function allows you to store the area under a specified window channel in memory in a compressed form. Ideally the window should be a number of pixels wide which is divisible by eight and also have its left boundary (after taking any BORDER into account) on a pixel which is divisible by eight (if not then this function will store a slightly larger area of the screen than that covered by the window). This function compresses the screen by reference to the colour parameter - this should either be 4 to store the green pixels or 2 to store the red pixels.

The function is therefore only really of use in MODE 4 since other MODEs may use a lot more colours. Other pixels are ignored and will therefore not be copied back onto the screen with W_SHOW. Since most screens have text in one colour on top of another background, this function is ideal for those circumstances. This function is also very useful for storing Icons and other symbols, since the image, once stored with this function, can be copied back to the screen with W_SHOW again and again. The value returned by W_CRUNCH is the address of the area in memory where the copy of the screen is stored - you will need to keep this address for use by the other functions in the toolkit.


Try the short program which follows and note how when you press <ENTER> to close the temporary window, the display does not alter:

100 OPEN #2,con_448x200a32x16: PAPER #2,0: CLS #2: INK #2,2
110 FOR i=1 TO 15
120   PRINT #2, 'This is window #2 - Line number '; i
130 END FOR i
160 OPEN #3,con_230x40a80x100: PAPER #3,2: CLS #3
170 INK #3,7: PRINT #3, 'This is a temporary window'
180 INPUT #3, 'Press <ENTER> to close this window ';a$
190 CLOSE #3

Instead, you can use W_CRUNCH to store #2 and then restore it once #3 has been closed - add the following lines:

155 base=W_CRUNCH(#2,2)
200 CLS #2
210 W_SHOW #2,base

Note how only the characters which were printed in Red Ink were stored. You could have just stored the area under the temporary window by taking the original example and adding the lines:

160 OPEN #3,con_230x40a80x100: PAPER #3,2
165 base = W_CRUNCH(#3,2): CLS #3
185 PAPER #3,0: CLS #3
187 W_SHOW #3,base

Note the need to store the contents of the window with W_CRUNCH before it is cleared with CLS !!.


This function will only work on screen resolutions of 512x256 pixels.


The memory used by the function will be reclaimed by CLCHP, or LOAD, LRUN or NEW. You can also use DISCARD address or RECHP address+4 to remove it specifically (although note the different address requirement for RECHP).


See SCR_REFRESH and SCR_STORE. See also W_STORE, W_SHOW. W_SWAP, SET_RED and SET_GREEN allow you to recolour windows.