Is QB Express already dead?

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technoweasel
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Postby technoweasel » Jul 26, 2009 22:10

Thanks Imortis. Please give me his address when you find it.


What fuels the community, anyway? It seems to me that Basic is for beginners and once a kid uses it for like a year he moves on to C, etc., so members should leave (although old masters might eventually return). Since Basic is so basic and limiting, how can we expect people to not look around for systems that better suit their growing needs?

Also, I don't want to think that everyone is like me, but I think the majority of members don't really do much. This forum has 4000 members, but only maybe a few dozen do a lot of posting, coding, and other activities.

I myself am guilty of this: when I first discovered a compiler system that actually worked and was simple enough for a beginner, I was very enthusiastic and probably quite obsessive. I would just sit at my computer and read the FB manual. I then went for C++, and learned a bit about the Win API and Open GL. But now, it's like "What the hell. What's the point? Even if I spent weeks making a game or whatever, it really wouldn't matter! It has all been done before, and probably better, too. " I don't know why, but I have almost lost all interest in computers. Have any of you also experienced this sudden loss of passion?

Maybe Pete just grew up, got a "real life," and stopped caring about the weird technical things us geeks love.

I suspect that many people either go on to college and more powerful languages or just stop coding because it isn't fun anymore.

So, let's make it fun. We need some reason for people to program in Basic, or *program at all.* We need some contests or something.

[PS: to see how many people actually care, we could do some sort of Stalin-style purge: first send out warning emails to members that haven't posted in more than a month. If they don't twitch, we can assume they are dead and suspend their account and send another message. If they don't bother to reactivate the account after a month they will be deleted. I bet that the member count would be halved, or worse.
*Just a suggestion, but I would love to see this implemented.* ]
Qlink
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Postby Qlink » Jul 27, 2009 2:35

Well, I have to admit that I'm one of the lurkers here for the most part. I started on QB, and I still like it. I moved to FB and sometimes write that, but I know a few other languages now. For example, I really like Python. If I had to write something to work with strings or manipulate data, I'd write it in python. I'd write GUI apps in something with a RAD GUI environment. I write web apps in PHP and JavaScript.

But FreeBasic is still the compiled language I feel the most comfortable with. It might be clunkier to use sometimes, but I know almost all the keywords and how almost everything works, to some extent. I couldn't possibly learn PHP this way. Also, I find the built-in graphics library in FB much easier to use than anything I've seen for making simple games and things. Pygame is nice, but still it feels clunky to use compared to FB graphics library.

I hold to the belief that BASIC is still not inherently useless. After all, VB.NET works pretty well. FB is probably a lot faster, and if it lacks some functionality of the bigger langauges, it's only because it has a very small number of developers. I'm amazed that FB is as good as it is.
bfuller
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Location: Sydney, Australia

Postby bfuller » Jul 27, 2009 4:25

Heh guys, cheer up. I am a relatively recent arrival on the FB scene, but I am not a "kid" by any stretch of the imagination (I remember the moon landings well).

Anyway, just a few points worth mentioning.................

One.
Pete anounced a short while back that he was going on an extended world trip------he seems to be back, but give him a break. Even when the magazine was regularly being released, it always seemed to be hard to get submissions etc.

Two.
I think some of the competent FB programmers could help us out by posting some step by step guides occasionally---for instance how about describing "includes", and "dll's" and "dot a" and "dot bi" files, how they are used etc. And some examples on the windows API. I know this is all well known, but some regular help and guidance would be welcome I am sure. And if we go over old ground, so what!

Three.
The suggestion for some competition is a good one-----but make them simple so the beginners can actively contribute.

Four.
It is only natural that the longer serving enthusiasts will burn out after a while. To keep the community vibrant we need to continually encourage the newcomers in the hope that a few will stay.

Five.
The fact that FB is "Basic", and "Compiled" and "Free" is a very compelling argument to support it. I for one simply do not have the skills to work on the compiler, and I really do take my hat off to those who do. Keep up the good work-----we "lurkers" are still lurking you know.

Six.
I don't think a purge of the forum user base would achieve anything---in fact it could do some harm by making the user base look really small, and upsetting some of the old hands.

Seven.
Can't think of a number seven yet..............Oh yes, how about an update of the examples included with the compiler as a suggestion. Modernise them so they work with the latest compiler version, and make each one a stand alone application so they work "out of the box". I know these old examples almost put me off in the beginning.

Eight.
Please, all of you..........keep looking on the bright side of things. Yes, we all know QB Express has dropped off a bit lately, but keep these forums lively and the show will go on.
Lachie Dazdarian
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Postby Lachie Dazdarian » Jul 27, 2009 17:33

I experienced almost the same thing as technoweasel. For some reason, game design became for me too much time and energy consuming activity, much more than it felt before. Maybe it's a subconscience fear of the higher probability that your end product will not be accepted and played as it might have been some 2 years ago. Simply, a motivating environment for an active and competitive game making community evaporated from this place and I don't see what can ignite it any time soon. And I need this community as a game designer, because outside it things became very competitive, in the very freeware/indie game making world. I feel lost there. This community was some sort of anchor. I don't know.

Another thing for me personally...maybe I just hit a wall as a game designer. It the right moment I forgot/ignored to learn the right things and improve myself, and with so many games behind me I can't return to that "learning from scratch" state of mind. I'm spent. I don't know. I might return. But God knows what kind of world I'll find on the Internet when I do.
Galeon
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Postby Galeon » Jul 29, 2009 0:44

Nice suggestions, bfuller.

I hate when I'm purged from sites :)

I think we should tell other developers who are well known for their programming talents in FB to have their own tutorials for QB Express.
Imortis
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Postby Imortis » Jul 29, 2009 0:50

Imortis wrote:I'll get back to you. I have his email in my addressbook.


Wow. I was so wrong. It is, in fact, pberg1@gmail.com. It should work just fine...
etko
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Postby etko » Jul 29, 2009 15:48

why not create full fledged CMS site for QB/FB Express, I believe it would become much more manageable.
Pete
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Postby Pete » Aug 04, 2009 20:19

I'm still alive!

But...this is the first time I've logged into this FreeBasic.net forum in months, and I haven't touched QB Express in months as well. I'll be honest, I've definitely lost interest in QB Express as time has passed... I spent 10 months in the last year backpacking through Asia and the U.S.A., and now I am living in Los Angeles again pursuing other interests -- I run an event planning business, I work as a producer on TV shows, I write and perform in comedy shows in Hollywood, and I have about 12 other websites I run as well. And unfortunately, QB Express comes behind all those things that I just listed...

I don't want QB Express to die, but running it on my own (or with Imortis' help) clearly isn't working.

So, here's the deal: QB Express' FIVE YEAR ANNIVERSARY is coming up in just three weeks on August 23, 2009. (I can't believe it's been that long...but anyway...) So I have Issue #30 to release, and all the content that people submitted all those months ago. I feel quite compelled to release this issue.

After that, I'm not sure what the fate of QBE will be. I'm happy to provide the hosting and a few hours a month to make things happen, but I'm not going to be able to put in the time to release QBE on any sort of regular schedule.

If someone else wants to volunteer to help out, I would love to have you on board. But only if you're SERIOUS! (I have had a lot of people volunteer to do work on QB Express, but they never follow through, or do a crappy job, or flake out in some other way.) No sense in taking on the responsibility if you won't get the work done.




Oh, and a few things--


etko wrote:why not create full fledged CMS site for QB/FB Express, I believe it would become much more manageable.


This has been tried several times, and it hasn't worked...I bet if there was a FB / QB news blog that was updated every few days it would work, but it has never worked out when we leave it up to the community to post stuff on a regular basis.

I tried it on Pete's QB Site back in 2004 before I launched QB Express:
http://www.petesqbsite.com/coranto/qbnews/qbnews.shtml

And Syn9 launched the Freebasic Report (another community-run news blog) that never took off:
http://report.freebasic.info/

That said, if someone were to create an FB blog and update it every few days, and recruit people to write articles for it, I bet it would work. The trick is keeping it constantly updated...




Lachie Dazdarian wrote:Simply, a motivating environment for an active and competitive game making community evaporated from this place and I don't see what can ignite it any time soon. And I need this community as a game designer, because outside it things became very competitive, in the very freeware/indie game making world. I feel lost there. This community was some sort of anchor.


Galeon wrote:As the days go by, less and less are posting in this forum. Last month, the average of what I've seen is 25, 45 at most, this month, I haven't seen more than 10 when I login...
And there are more and more projects are dying out...


It's pretty clear that the amount of FB/QB community activity has really dwindled lately. It seems like hardly anything has happened here in the last few months, and the compiler development looks like it's hit a standstill. It's not looking good for the future of the community.

Here are some pretty sobering statistics:

Number of searches for "freebasic" worldwide over the past 5 years:
http://www.google.com/insights/search/o ... c&cmpt=geo


And even sadder, number of searches for "qbasic" worldwide over the past 5 years:
http://www.google.com/insights/search/o ... c&cmpt=geo

The interest in FB and QB is slowly dying off. We all already knew QB was on its way out, but it's sad to see that FB seems to have peaked, and is now going the way of the dodo.

I'm not sure if much can be done to stop it, unless FB compiler development starts up again, the forums start talking again, and the hobby / game programming community gets a jump start. But at the moment, it looks like the downward trend is going to continue...
technoweasel
Posts: 70
Joined: Aug 06, 2008 22:47

Postby technoweasel » Aug 04, 2009 20:31

PETE YOU"RE BACK!

I have been trying to email you for weeks. I think that maybe the problem wasn't with your address, but instead your Gmail was rejecting my attachments, which contained .exes.

I would like to help out somehow. If you show me what you would like me to do with html tags I would be glad to edit and format some articles. I will also try to write some. If Gmail doesn't like programs in attachments, I will try to upload my stuff someplace and give you the address.

I will be glad to help, although I am only able to get online about once a week. Please reply soon.
Mentat
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Postby Mentat » Aug 04, 2009 20:40

I'm not committing to much, but if anybody wants to use my site to host an FB article, I have no qualms. Just email me the article (no pics please). I'm not guaranteeing that anybody would be interested enough to go to a backwater site to read a programming article. But if there's an article you want out before whenever the QB express is due to come out, well, you know who to call (not the Ghost Busters).
technoweasel
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Joined: Aug 06, 2008 22:47

Postby technoweasel » Aug 04, 2009 20:42

Me again. My first article submission should be here www.file-pasta.com/file/submission.zip Please reply soon, Pete.
Imortis
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Postby Imortis » Aug 04, 2009 21:12

I would be glad to take over all the work. I didn't do all of it so far, because they were parts of the mag that were traditionally Pete's. If Pete wants to stop QB Express, I my start my own mag to try and fill the gap.
Galeon
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Postby Galeon » Aug 06, 2009 6:29

Can I submit an article?
I want to help for FreeBASIC Community, and I want to help for QBExpress.
Gods and Idols
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Postby Gods and Idols » Aug 06, 2009 22:30

Galeon wrote:Can I submit an article?
I want to help for FreeBASIC Community, and I want to help for QBExpress.
Yes, anyone can :)
E.K.Virtanen
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Postby E.K.Virtanen » Aug 07, 2009 4:26

Nice to see Pete is back and atleast one more issue is coming out. I guess i did contribute something, not sure since it has been a while when i did so, if i did :)

What comes for a decreasing interest of QB/FB, i agree. As a website, FB.net needs to be rebuild. Not ment to be a insult, but current layout is pretty boring and does not tell practically anything about the compiler. If this is "pro look-alike" then im happy to be a hobby programmer. Years ago i did ask to add link to the main website from the forums. Or even to add top-menu from main site at forums too. Nothing happened...

Now refresh the site, add something somewhere...let's not be so "pro".

p.s Release FB 1.0. Plans are useless, unless there is no power to make them come true.

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