If you had not taken the decision to use EasyCode, you would have written your assembly program with some sort of text editor and then compiled it into an object file with goAsm. In addition, this program of yours might also have used a special icon or bitmaps or dialogs. These are called resources and they have to be gathered together using a resource compiler. In our case, that would be goRC. The compiled resources and our object files are then linked together using goLink to make our executable. A project, then, is all of that – the code and the resources all considered as one entity. As an entity, a project has its own properties, as we are about to see.
In the visual design window, you will see the way the main window of your project is going to look. Moreover, since it is currently selected (shown by the little empty boxes at the four corners and the centres of each side), its characteristics or properties are shown in the property window at the bottom right of the screen. This is where you can change an object’s appearance and, to some extent, its behaviour. The name given to this window is the default one – “Window1”. Double-click in the properties window where it says “Window1”. You will get the text cursor. Change the name to “winMain” and press the enter key. You should now see its name change in the project structure window above it.
Now we want to change the name of the project itself. “Project1” just doesn’t do it for me. Right-click the word “Project1” at the top of the project structure window to bring up the popup menu (or select “Project | Project properties …” from the menubar), at the bottom of which is the option “Project properties …”. Select this option and you will call up, not surprisingly, the project properties dialog, as shown here. I’d like to change the project name to something more appropriate. It’s a convention (not to say, cliché) in programming, to make your first program in a new language a “Hello, World!” application. This harks back to the early days of C programming, when the authors of that language did just that. So, let’s call our project “helloWorld”.
Since you can have many windows in a program, you normally have to select which one starts up first. Since we only have one, it is already selected. Note in the “Debug” group the fact that “Add symbolic information” is ticked. Leave it like that. I’ll mention it again shortly. As for the “Header”, change this to “My First Program in Assembly”.
But what about this “Hello, World!” thing? It just means that your first program should greet its birth by displaying that message to the universe. We don’t know too much about programming in assembly yet, so the simplest thing is to set the caption of our window to that greeting. Make sure our “winMain” window is still selected in the visual designer (if it isn’t, click it). Scroll down the properties window until you see the property “Text”. It should still be set to “Window1”. Double-click this value and change the text to “Hello, World!”. We’re good to go.
Before we can compile our program, we need to save it. Do that by selecting the “File” menu and choosing “Save project as …”. You’ll be offered the normal Windows “Save File” dialog. Navigate to the directory where you want to save your program and note that you have to save two things – the window design and the project itself.