Chapter 1. Introduction

The LW tool chain provides utilities for building binaries for MC6809 and HD6309 CPUs. The tool chain includes a cross-assembler and a cross-linker which support several styles of output.

1.1. History

For a long time, I have had an interest in creating an operating system for the Coco3. I finally started working on that project around the beginning of 2006. I had a number of assemblers I could choose from. Eventually, I settled on one and started tinkering. After a while, I realized that assembler was not going to be sufficient due to lack of macros and issues with forward references. Then I tried another which handled forward references correctly but still did not support macros. I looked around at other assemblers and they all lacked one feature or another that I really wanted for creating my operating system.

The solution seemed clear at that point. I am a fair programmer so I figured I could write an assembler that would do everything I wanted an assembler to do. Thus the LWASM probject was born. After more than two years of on and off work, version 1.0 of LWASM was released in October of 2008.

As the aforementioned operating system project progressed further, it became clear that while assembling the whole project through a single file was doable, it was not practical. When I found myself playing some fancy games with macros in a bid to simulate sections, I realized I needed a means of assembling source files separately and linking them later. This spawned a major development effort to add an object file support to LWASM. It also spawned the LWLINK project to provide a means to actually link the files.