FreeBASIC Discussion December 2017

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FreeBASIC Discussion December 2017

Postby coderJeff » Dec 06, 2017 2:07

Here is an opportunity to discuss the FreeBASIC Compiler & Community; it's strengths and weaknesses, and future actions.

This topic is a structured discussion and to participate, you must follow my rules.

There are 3 parts to this discussion.

Part 1: FreeBASIC (Compiler and/or Community) strengths; what works well.
a) 1 post per user
b) write a short thoughful post about FreeBASIC strength(s)
c) no quoting (use your own words)
d) no critism (this is not the time for that)
e) Part 1 will end after 30 posts (incl. this one), or Dec 16.

Part 2: FreeBASIC weaknesses; what needs to be improved
a) 1 post per user
b) write a short thoughful post about FreeBASIC weakness(es)
c) offer a suggestion on how to reduce or remove the weakness
d) no quoting (use your own word)
e) no critism of users (only FreeBASIC)
f) Part 2 will end after 30 topic replies, or 2 weeks.

Part 3: FreeBASIC Action; what will be done.
a) do not continue discussion in this topic
b) start a new topic about a FreeBASIC improvement you want to discuss more
c) in this topic, quote the improvement, and add a link to the new topic you have just created.

Failure to follow the rules will result in the deletion of your post and you are invited to make a new post.

If you like this idea, please participate.
If you don't like this idea, please do nothing.

It is somewhat of a long-ish process, so please be patient. I think we can get constructive results out of this discussion.

START OF PART 1 - Strengths

I like FreeBASIC. It's comfortable and familiar to me. From high level objects and data types to low level pointers and ASM, it offers the features I want to use. It's free and open source. I have the freedom to both use it and to change it. I can see it's inner workings and I can trust it. The documentation is extensive. When I forget things, the manual has the information I need. I enjoy reading the community posts, seeing that people are using FreeBASIC to create and invent and share. It gives me a good feeling.
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Re: FreeBASIC Discussion December 2017

Postby JohnK » Dec 06, 2017 3:13

>> strengths; what works well
GCC and GAS backend. What an incredible accomplishment IMHO.
Now I can re-use my super old BASIC code (and public code) and recompile with FB and have it run fast.
Some call that "lazy" I call it "efficent."
Pointers, OOP, access to powerful C libraries.
A lot of effort went into FB, I am super grateful for that. I have very important programs that are reliant on my old code, which can now be used on a modern platform with minor corrections.
-JohnK out
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Re: FreeBASIC Discussion December 2017

Postby Munair » Dec 06, 2017 8:25

FreeBASIC is alive because the concepts of the programming language are probably more appealing than those of any other language. The dialect was invented back in the 60s and is still alive today. Even the very beginners who start out to write their first line of code on a computer can already read BASIC and understand to a certain degree what a particular piece of code is doing.

FreeBASIC is the logical continuation of the highly popular ROM-BASIC and later QBasic which was installed by default on every personal computer. But FreeBASIC allowed the language to become much more for those who want to do more advanced things. In this respect the language has become as powerful as C and more.

If development and maintenance of the compiler continues, FreeBASIC could become a leading programming language on UNIX-like operating systems. I will certainly try to contribute to that idea.
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Re: FreeBASIC Discussion December 2017

Postby jj2007 » Dec 06, 2017 9:43

BASIC is the Best Approach to Simple and Intelligent Coding, and FreeBasic is probably the best among the "serious" BASIC dialects that are alive and kickin'. It is fast, easy to learn, flexible and straightforward, and gives access to popular libraries.
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Re: FreeBASIC Discussion December 2017

Postby grindstone » Dec 06, 2017 11:22

FreeBasic covers the whole margin of needs from an absolute beginner to an advanced expert. It is open source and free, and the capability of accessing C - libraries makes it -at least in principle- appropriate for every purpose. The great amount of provided header files makes it capable to interact with most of the popular 3rd party programs such like VLClib, curl, cairo, LUA and many others. FB is available for several platforms, what makes it even more versatile.

As a descendant of QBASIC it is easy to learn and makes it possible to continue using one's old QB - programs (probably with some slight adaptions) but, in difference, as a true compiler it produces real, fast runnig executables.
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Re: FreeBASIC Discussion December 2017

Postby Imortis » Dec 06, 2017 14:00

FreeBASIC has grown with me as I have grown as a programmer. I have been able to use it at all stages of my learning. What a wonderful tool.
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Re: FreeBASIC Discussion December 2017

Postby speedfixer » Dec 06, 2017 15:02


Simple, natural language interface, simple syntax: the core of the idea of BASIC.
FB: access to modern language concepts and programming techniques.
Community: typically strong and gentle help for newbies: every answer ISN'T RTM, even when that might be appropriate. Generally, a continued perception that there is room for improvement in the manual. (If a newbie didn't understand, then it needs to be improved.)
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Re: FreeBASIC Discussion December 2017

Postby Mihail_B » Dec 06, 2017 17:28

Part 1 - Strengths (and/or achievements)

  1. inline assembly and/or as/gcc back-end
  2. portability: dos, windows, linux, (~ macos)
  3. 32bit or 64bit, multi-threading support
  4. clean syntax - we use words instead of symbols
  5. easy integration with other existing resources/libraries/projects/etc
  6. you can easily start a small project (useful in engineering research and/or analysis)
  7. easy code migration from C++/Pascal/Asm (well anyway for me it is)
  8. object oriented programming support
  9. fbc is easy to install, update, upgrade, compile
  10. easy to compile your own programs (mostly "fbc PROGRAM.BAS" it will do just fine)
  11. it's like qbasic with inline assembly and object oriented programming support.
  12. even better: is like vb6.0 with assembly support and portability
  13. the generated code is stable - i mean i never encountered a problem that wasn't my own fault (except - recently - one single bug, only in fbc x64, related to (TYPE ... FIELD ...) - and that's since 2007/2008).
  14. FbEdit is fast, smart (auto-complete) and works even on older and slower machines
  15. comprehensive help
  16. lots of libraries, helpers and resources shared by most and some of you :)
  17. nice gaming contests - thx L.D.
  18. and least but not last: a peaceful, joyful, helpful, lovely, growing FreeBASIC ... community :) - yey - love you guys - lol

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Re: FreeBASIC Discussion December 2017

Postby sancho3 » Dec 07, 2017 3:50

I got hooked on FB when I needed only a couple of simple lines to create a graphic screen.
I really like the OOP capabilites.
Its great that file access is easy.
Its great that there are pointers which have taught me quite a bit.
Its been a joy to work with (and fight with).
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Joined: Nov 21, 2009 8:42

Re: FreeBASIC Discussion December 2017

Postby DamageX » Dec 07, 2017 9:20

-maintaining QBASIC compatibility while simultaneously allowing access to modern hardware/OS
-minimal system requirements/dependencies
-inline assembly
-very good documentation
-free license
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Re: FreeBASIC Discussion December 2017

Postby counting_pine » Dec 07, 2017 13:12

FreeBASIC (considered just as a language) is as powerful as C in most respects, but almost unilaterally better, with well-implemented support for arrays and strings, along with some support for OO/classes.
It means you can implement many things in fewer lines, and more safely, while much of it is still low-level enough that you could rewrite it in C.

It has support for basic console input/output, file-handling, and graphics, all out of the box, without a single line of boilerplate.

It also allows for better cross-platform support, with built-in defines to distinguish between different platforms and architectures, and a consistent datatype name available for each common integer size (8-bit: byte, 16-bit: short, 32-bit: long, 64-bit: longint)

The language itself is very easy to pick it up if you come from QBASIC, or to an extent VB6, and you also enjoy a lot of extra speed and more power.
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Re: FreeBASIC Discussion December 2017

Postby bihai » Dec 08, 2017 6:54

I have been using FreeBASIC for years.
FreeBASIC is one of the best BASIC compilers ever.
Compatible, portable, open source and free.
Fast compiling and smooth running.
Easy to learn and fits for every age.
Abilities to use old libraries and / or source codes.
Easy to translate from/to other languages.
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Re: FreeBASIC Discussion December 2017

Postby lizard » Dec 08, 2017 11:14

FreeBasic is fast and extensible with the whole wide world of C. It's range goes from the highest high-level language like gtk to the lowest like assembler. You can put all in one source file and make everything quite clear. Thats why it's the best language for me.
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Re: FreeBASIC Discussion December 2017

Postby nimdays » Dec 09, 2017 2:22


So many features, and I like that.
Eq : My 1st post for this forum about toy operating system made in FB.

Jakarta, Dec 9 2017

To be continued.
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Re: FreeBASIC Discussion December 2017

Postby Lost Zergling » Dec 09, 2017 11:33

Well known, easy to use and free : up to me the 3 mandatory reasons :
1- Coming from Lotus Notes/Domino world, FB seems to me close to LotusScript (structured basic), and before from family computers. You know the old ones you could program (c64 Ti99.., nowadays you would use a Raspi). Basic is the language I'm using from young age, this the first reason.
2- Works well & usable with ease (compilator, editor, documentation), "despite" advanced features
3- Free Licence (+multiplatform:for that time I do use Window system but I understand how a important point it is not to be single system dependant)

Then comes the "so important" features, I mean features that are making the difference :
4- OOP syntax
5- Access to pointers
I didn't mentionned access to external library & effective stability because in my opinion these should be standard features (as well as min. doc.).
OOP syntax & pointers access same time really is a "killer feature" that can compensate many lacking compared to professionnal environment.

In a category apart, I really appreciate FB not a dead language : forum, community, code sharing, news and so on.

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