Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Carl released a minor update to Liberty Basic: 4.02.

New features (pulled right from the release notes):
  1. Added a new Create Application feature to the Run menu. This is only enabled for GOLD license users.
  2. Added support for the MOD operator. For example: print 15 mod 4
  3. Added support for scientific notation in code. For example: print 1.2345e-4
  4. Updated the toolbar icons in the editor and debugger for a fresh looking UI.
  5. Improved the parser making it tolerant of spaces between identifiers and a ( characters. For example, some other BASIC's allow the following: print mid$ ("hey!", 4). Now Liberty BASIC also allows this kind of formatting. We did this to make it easier for people coming from other dialects of BASIC.
  6. Reworked the External Programs dialog to make it easier to use.
  7. When run or debug is invoked and there is a selection in the editor a popup notice now asks if you really want to run only the selected code. Answering no runs the entire program.
  8. Added a popup menu to the debugger's variable view so that you can turn on the display of unrounded floats. This annotation only appears when the unrounded value and the rounded value differ.
There are also 23 bugs fixes. Check the Revision Notes of 4.02 for the details.

Monday, April 11, 2005

REAL Software, the maker of REALbasic, is offering Visual Basic developers a free license for their Standard Edition. If you are interested, you had better hurry because the offer expires on April 15, 2005. Click here to sign up.

The latest release is version 5.5.5.

Microsoft ended support for Visual Basic 6 on March 31st.

Monday, March 14, 2005

My wanderings today took me back to the beginning of the personal computer revolution: the MITS Altair kit computer.

Click here for a look at Altair Basic. This was Bill and Paul's first BASIC language product at a time when Microsoft Corporation was called Micro-Soft.

Check out the scans of the original manual as well as Bill Gate's complaint about hobbyist piracy in a 1976 issue of Radio Electronics. Some things change and some things remain the same.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

I know, I know. This blog has been dormant a long time. Life happens -- new wife, baby on the way. Life is good.

Liberty Basic continues to evolve slowly -- version 4.01 is the current release. Carl is busy at work on a new more interactive Basic. I don't think it will be backwards compatible with Liberty Basic, but my forum research is incomplete and Carl does not seem to be telling. This new Basic may also be cross-platform.

He believes strongly in a small core language that remains close to the roots of the language. In a .NET world, this is a refreshing direction but it is not without its consequences. Namely, lack of readily available power.

I continue to use Liberty Basic for small projects, but the language presents roadblocks to COM, database and Internet technologies. Thanks to LB's DLL access, intrepid programmers have been working around these limitations and publishing their work in the monthly online newsletter. The problem is that it's much easier to use another language than to work with LB at such a low level. More on this in future posts.

Oh, I almost forgot. Carl has his own blog now.