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Comparing varous BASICs variant

How do you compare VB.NET to other variant of BASIC like PowerBASIC, RealBASIC, PureBASIC ? On which case is each variant is the most appropriate to use?

FYI for my case I have a plan to do some personal projects from home (mainly simple engineering calculation or simulation, which is related to my profession), and I'm most familiar with BASIC, so I might only buy one single license for my use.

pierre neyton
Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Obviously, if you're not going to redistribute this software, and only use it on your 'puter, go for .Net if that's what you're most familiar with.

If you do intend to share this app, and since the .Net framework is not in widespread use yet, you might want to look at leaner alternatives. VB isn't bad; PB is awesome if you don't mind working with the Win32 API, and don't care about OO.

Haven't tried either PureBasic or RealBasic, but the former is like VB and requires a run-time, while the latter is a port from the Mac world (it usually shows; Check UserLand's Radio for an example :-)).

Frederic Faure
Wednesday, November 19, 2003

REAlbasic on windows uses all native controls on windows so thats not a problem.

Its a compiled language which creates standalone .exe files on windows, no runtime etc needed.

<g> as a side benefit it also compiles the same code for Linux, osx and class macos.

It is _very_ OO...rather nice in that respect.

The only problem is that from what Ive heard its windows ide is a little less than completely stable at this point (although the applications it produces are fine...its been compiling for windows for years so that side is pretty mature, RS has only just recently released the IDE for windows so its still a little flaky)...ive no idea if thats true so you should prolly download the demo and try it out yourself if you are interested.

hiding under a pseudonym
Wednesday, November 19, 2003


If you are in Canada where it seems like everyone and their Grandma is on a high speed connection don't worry about a one time 20 MB download. Especially since it is in Service packs, Windows Update and will be included in future versions of windows.

VB.NET will also help you if you want to switch to C# or even Cobol.NET.  :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Is your application computation-intensive? If so, then you should definitely use PowerBASIC.

If portability to Macintosh and (soon?) Linux is required, then use RealBASIC.

If bloat-like-Rosie-on-a-bad-day is your thing, then VB.NET is for you :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

PureBasic does not require a runtime.

It compiles to an executable with no dependancies.  None at all.

It is also significatnly cheaper then the competition :)

Ged Byrne
Thursday, November 20, 2003

I can't speak for non-MS basics, but you should be able to drag in some math-friendly numeric libraries for .NET by now (open source, core, or 3rd party). So VB.Net is probably your best bet. It's probably easier overall for working with your engineering things.

Li-fan Chen
Thursday, November 20, 2003

If you are open to experimentation (you don't have to bring your home work to work--so any language will do), Python is one of those open source languages most Visual Basic programmers have no problem learning (in fact some say it's very similar) . It comes with some pretty powerful support for numeric computation that engineers, statisticians and scientists use. "Numeric Python" is the keyword on google.

Li-fan Chen
Thursday, November 20, 2003 (for an S-Plus like language)

Li-fan Chen
Thursday, November 20, 2003

Ged Byrne >>PureBasic does not require a runtime. It compiles to an executable with no dependancies.  None at all. It is also significatnly cheaper then the competition :)

Sorry Ged. I confused PureB with LibertyBasic :-)

As for PureB, though, I'd be concerned to develop an application that is developed only by a two-person team (

PowerBasic, at least, even though it's a small, private company, does have more than just Bob Zale at the elm :-)

Ideally, a BASIC tool would have:
- small, tight EXEs with a small, embedded run-time for higher productivity (tired of keeping a copy of Petzold handy)
- OO, including support to use ActiveX controls and build some
- cross-platform to Mac and Linux
- good IDE

Frederic Faure
Thursday, November 20, 2003

Don't forget NS BASIC for the Palm OS platform.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

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