Liberty BASIC

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Liberty BASIC (LB) is a commercial computer programming language and integrated development environment (IDE). It has an interpreter developed in Smalltalk, which recognizes its own dialect of the BASIC programming language. It runs on 16- and 32-bit Windows and OS/2.

Contents

Background

Liberty BASIC was written by Carl Gundel and published in its first release by his company, Shoptalk Systems, in 1992. It has progressed steadily since then. The last published update to the software was in 2006. The current version is v4.03, but a beta (4.04) has been released in stage 3. Liberty BASIC has been used in examples of code for various guides and references about programming in Windows, including "Beginning Programming For Dummies", by Wallace Wang.

Though Liberty BASIC has its share of limitations in its design for advanced programming, it makes a credible and very usable introductory integrated development environment, IDE, for moderate to advanced users of Windows and OS/2. DLLs are available with functions allowing users to overcome most of the limitations in Liberty BASIC. The OS/2 version is very old, but free. A new version that will run on Windows, Macintosh and Linux is in active development.

The Liberty BASIC dialect, and IDE, have developed a market niche for introductory and intermediate programmers who are learning the skills of programming, though it has been less widely adopted as a commercial publishing product. This does not mean that Liberty Basic is educational software only. It is still a commercial product, and can be used to create proprietary software.

In its current version, it runs only on Microsoft Windows, but version 5 is in active development and runs on Mac OS X and Linux systems as well.

As of now, Liberty Basic is not considered to be a true compiler. Liberty Basic translates the code written in the IDE to a encrypted (not 'tokenized') file with the extension: "tkn". This file is then interpreted by an executable file that carries the same file name. Although, this may change with the release of version 5.

Features

  • A visual development tool called FreeForm, written in Liberty BASIC and greatly extended by the Liberty BASIC community over the years
  • Source level debugger
  • calling of DLLs and APIs
  • Color graphics capability
  • Can create games with sprite animation, sound, music, and joystick control
  • An add-on package called Assist with many new features, such as a code formatter, source code versioning, a performance profiler, an easy-to-use code difference browser, and an improved package and deployment system

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