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PowerBASIC is the brand of several commercial compilers by Venice, Florida-based PowerBASIC Inc. that compile a dialect of the BASIC programming language. The DOS versions have a syntax similar to that of QBasic and QuickBASIC, while the Windows versions utilize a standard BASIC syntax combined with calls to the API similar to other Windows programming languages. The first version was published as BASIC/Z; later it was distributed by Borland as Turbo Basic; and since 1989 it has been known as PowerBASIC.[1][2]



PowerBASIC is a native-code BASIC compiler whose reported merits are its simplicity of use and its speed compared to other languages.[3][4]


PRINT "Hello, World!"


[edit] History

The first version was published as BASIC/Z, the very first interactive compiler for CP/M and MDOS. Later it was extended to MS-DOS/PC-DOS, and in 1987 Borland published it as Turbo Basic. In 1990, it was reborn as PowerBASIC. [5]

[edit] Compilers

PowerBASIC's core command set follows the syntax of Microsoft compilers such as Quickbasic and PDS 7.1, making it easy for those familiar with such compilers to learn PowerBasic. In addition, PowerBASIC provides a command set called DDT (Dynamic Dialog Tools) which makes building a user interface easier than using the Windows API directly. The company also sells a Visual Designer which caters to DDT called PB Forms which can generate DDT code for you.

PowerBASIC programs are self-contained and do not require a runtime file to execute. In all versions of the compiler the applications are compiled with no external libraries. With the introduction of the #OPTIMIZE metastatement to the PBWIN and PBCC product lines, a compiled program can be optimized for either execution speed or smaller code size. PBWin and PBCC supports Object-Oriented Programming in the form of COM classes, which allows one to build a good portion of an application using OOP. However OOP is not normally used with the user interface coding in PBWin or PBCC, so most applications will be a combination of procedural coding and OOP.

[edit] PBDos

PowerBASIC for DOS includes an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and supports DOS 3.30 and all later versions.[6]

[edit] PBCC

PowerBASIC Console Compiler for Windows can create command line applications (including CGI scripts). It includes an IDE with a source code debugger, and access to independent DLLs if desired.

[edit] PBWin

PowerBASIC for Windows (PBWin) Version 9.0 is the current version. The PBWin's compiler is compatible with the Windows 9x series and the Windows NT series of operating systems, including Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.[7] The PowerBASIC for Windows compiler can create both GUI-based EXEs and DLLs. It includes an IDE with a source code debugger, and access to independent DLLs if desired.

[edit] Tools

[edit] PB Forms

PowerBASIC Forms, a visual user interface design tool, is available as an add-on for PowerBASIC for Windows.

[edit] COM Browser

The PowerBASIC COM Browser is an application that exposes the Interfaces, Methods, and Properties of COM Objects, as described by type-library files. The PowerBASIC COM Browser serves a dual purpose - to export an Interface Structure of a COM Object for early-binding purposes in your PowerBASIC code, and to provide syntax reference and context-help on the Interface members exposed by a COM Object. [8] The COM Browser currently ships with PBWin.

[edit] User Community

Powerbasic provides an online forum for users to share knowledge (and ask questions) about PowerBASIC programming. While the forum is a peer-to-peer (users) forum more than a tech support forum, the experience of the user base provides a signficant amount of knowledge about PB programming. There are a number of third party forums which also provide excellent and advanced information. Some of the PowerBASIC users who frequent these forums are very experienced. Some are experts in particular areas of expertese. Third party developers of such tools as WinLIFT, GDImage, Phoenix, etc. have expertese not often found among programmers. The beauty of the PowerBASIC community is that it recognizes that there isn't always just "one way" to do things. Often such users diverge in many ways on how to handle programming using PowerBASIC, but such divergence is more of a strength than a weakness. At times the discussion about different ways to handle a task becomes animated.

[edit] Reference

  1. ^ "PowerBASIC makes smooth move; Tech company finds region's affordability attractive.". Sarasota Herald Tribune (October , 2000). 2000-10-10. http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-28422911_ITM. Retrieved 2008-03-12. 
  2. ^ Michael H. Tooley (2005). PC Based Instrumentation and Control. Elsevier. pp. 214. ISBN 0750647167. 
  3. ^ New geometries for new materials, Eric A. Lord, Alan Lindsay Mackay, Srinivasa Ranganathan, Cambridge University Press, 2006, ISBN 0521861047 ("a very simple user interface ... speed and power of the underlying C++ ... runs extremely fast") Google Books
  4. ^ Chaos and Time-series Analysis, Julien C. Sprott, Oxford University Press, 2003, ISBN 0198508409 ("easy to learn, powerful, and as fast as any C compiler I have encountered") Google Books
  5. ^ http://www.powerbasic.com/aboutpb.asp
  6. ^ PowerBASIC 3.5 for DOS
  7. ^ PowerBASIC Compiler for Windows
  8. ^ http://www.powerbasic.com/support/help/pbcc/index.htm#the_powerbasic_com_browser.htm

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