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Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Recently I have discovered the world of non-Microsoft BASIC languages. In fact, a visitor suggested ScriptBasic (read the post) as an interesting scripting language and effectively I plan to support it, at least at a basic level (no pun intended). Then another visitor suggested other BASIC interpreters and compilers, opening new landscapes that I completely ignored.
Among the suggestions, the most interesting that I've found is FreeBasic, because free and open source. This version includes a lot of useful built-in libraries, interesting features, such as an IDE, and supports a lot of platforms. FreeBasic can only compile BASIC programs, so it is not useful for my particular needs (I need an interpreter), but it is worth a try.
As the authors say: "The FreeBASIC project is a set of cross-platform development tools consisting of a compiler, GNU-based assembler, linker and archiver, and supporting runtime libraries, including a software-based graphics library. The compiler, fbc, currently supports building for i386-based architectures on the DOS, Linux, Windows and Xbox platforms. The project also contains thin bindings (header files) to some popular 3rd party libraries such as the C runtime library, Allegro, SDL, OpenGL, Gtk, the Windows API and many others, as well as example programs for many of these libraries.
FreeBASIC is a high-level programming language supporting procedural, object-oriented and meta-programming paradigms, with a syntax compatible to Microsoft QuickBASIC. In fact, the FreeBASIC project originally began as an attempt to create a code-compatible, free alternative to Microsoft QuickBASIC, but it has since grown into a powerful development tool. FreeBASIC can be seen to extend the capabilities of Microsoft QuickBASIC in a number of ways, supporting more data types, language constructs, programming styles, and modern platforms and APIs.

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