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Started by Kent Sarikaya, July 27, 2007, 02:57:40 AM

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José Roca

First, I wasn't writting any code.  And that's what I like to do.  I was spending all my time connecting dots...

I know. I started to learn VB.NET and left it after some months. Ask a .NET programmer to write code without using the IntelliSense feature of the editor...

Theo Gottwald

> Even the government recognizes that there may be value, taxable value at that, in virtual space.  I wouldn't mind paying my taxes in virtual dollars, but I don't think it will ever go that far.

A good word, Donald. I really hope that one good day people realize that a gouverment that working significantly different from a successful company, is not the best choice.

>I became aware that the mind cannot readily distinguish between what is real and what isn't, and the residue mental effect from a real or virtual experience can be pretty much the same.

Thats an essence of modern brain science. People beeing afraid from snakes can be really get mad wether there are real snakes or not, its enough to show them pictures or just tell them "there is a snake".
While i also liked to play SWAT4 some time ago, I think the gaming industrie has gone the way of the least resistence and did not make games which can really help young people to increase their human power.

Games with real results (technological or oeconomical) seem to be something unthinkable these days.
Maybe the future will bring out games where young people can construct new cities, and infrastructure and lead markets ... the technology would be there, the phantasie from the developers is still far from that.

Norbert Doerre

Dear suffering programmers,

I have been a enthusiastic programmer since I got first time the opportunity to access a computer at the German University of Aachen in 1971, where I needed it for large geometric calculations. I got to know some interesting programming languages, trying out the one best suiting to my intentions. First I only needed simply a programmable calculator, later this was not enough to display and print geometrical structures. So I started using Fortran on SCO Unix 5 successfully. But upcoming with PCs and their visual interacting user interface, I had to make the decision to become more involved in building user interfaces than in the mathematical materia I was engaged with. Still nowadays, user interfaces need about 70% of programming time.
These premisses are important to show the relevance of the PB compiler and it's spartaneous "IDE" editor to the needs of a user friendly graphical interface.
The PB compiler is very fine and - with some ship arounds - usable for nearly all problems I have to solve. One of the most important things is - PB makes programmers quite independent from bloatware programming systems of monopolistic companies.
PB could be much more successful if it's developers could see that they hang to much on one single OS system and thus make their customers indirectly dependent, too. So, I guess that a great success could be obtained supporting other OSs. Now, it's still early enough to start investments into this direction. The situation at least in Germany is very hopeful, because all big companies say that they are not willing to run their expensive software on a "restrictive play console". I'm honest and tell You that this is my true opinion, too.

PB is called "Power Basic", and I consent, it is really a splended work.
But developers who have to write complicated math programs or complicated Interfaces do not only need a splended compiler but also a splended real IDE. In fact the PB IDE is only a simple editor has none of the qualities of the PB compiler. It is unusable to handle the programming problems of nowadays. It calls itself an IDE, but is not much more than an updated notepad, and in fact, It reminds me on the days of 1985, even using Windows.
The inconveniences start with the inability to handle indents/outdents correctly. (As soon as the step width changes, the chaos is perfect.) Did You ever try to find any expression in a program consisting of more than one file? If You don't know anything better, it seems to be a wonder to be able to change from one open ore closed window to the other to search in each of them separately, an at the end try to find back to the window which contains the last edited code position. My programs normally consist of at least a dozen of files. I got to now from some authistic programmers beeing able to hold in mind what the "PB IDE" should be able to do for everybody.
It ends with the absence of a code database making it possible to find and administer code definitions in any part of code. A programmer working on different projects or updates in different projects at the same time is completely left allone with this tool. A software should make life easyer, but the "PB IDE" is a gordian knot. It also makes no sense using a different editor offered from some other developers. They all handle at least indenting correctly and offer some small advantages, but they all cannot be real IDEs, only simple editors. The integration of the PB compiler into a synergetic dynamical database interface is not possible as long as there is no appropriate interface given by the compiler.
If PB would continue this self chosen way into neverland, it will loose attractivity to all programmers who have to handle big and complicated programs in the growing world just in time developments.
There bay be some few lonely developers knowing nothing better than the PB IDE, but successful commercial programming needs the appropriate tools.

So, my recit is that PB could have a great future. But this future is not dependent from the compiler itself, but from it's administrators.
They should NOW start to open the closed WINDOWS and have a look to brightly shining stars in the night.
They should NOW create a true POWER IDE for POWER BASIC, because a Power Basic needs a Power IDE.

What do You all think about this matter?


Ing.-Buero Doerre (IBD)
Dipl-Ing. TH Norbert Doerre
Elpenbachstr. 63 - 65
46119 Oberhausen,  Germany
Technical Hard- and Software
Computer Forensic

Frederick J. Harris

I guess I agree with most of what you say Norbert.  It seems to me PowerBASIC is a rather speciality product, perhaps not really for the masses.  If PowerBASIC wanted to sell to the masses (and I expect they do, anyone selling something wants to sell as much of whatever they make as they can) , I expect they would have to do what you said.  I personally don't have any idea at all what PowerBASIC's resources are.  Sometimes I wonder about it.  However, I think it might be hard trying to go up against Microsoft, when Microsoft is giving away for free a lot of their development tools.

I imagine all of us who use PowerBASIC as our predominent programming language have our own unique reasons for using it.  My own inclinations in programming is to master to as high a degree as I am capable a particular programming paradigm that has both power and extensibility.  I prefer this to hopping on the band wagon of the latest and greatest thing to come out of Microsoft, when every couple years something entirely new comes out, and everything else is 'depricated' and thrown out.  My time on this Earth is limited, and I can't afford to struggle to acquire large amounts of knowledge, and then have it thrown out in so cavilier a manner.

I'm fairly happy with things just as they are with PowerBASIC, frankly.  I've found the Lynx Project Explorer to be an absolutely essential add on for use with any of the editors.  I havn't used it with PBEdit, as I always use it with Paul Squires JellyFish or Jose's et. el., SED Editor. 

If I were not using PowerBASIC, I'm not sure what I'd do.  Not sure if I'd look for another version of BASIC, or just use C/C++.  Probably the latter.  Just my two cents.

Theo Gottwald

Did you ever look around what else is there - often enough for free, or commercial alternatives?

While I agree with you, I can say that I do not use the PB IDE for long time, and I think most people in here also do not use it.

We use (besides the commercial Editors)
- SED - the famous Editor from Jose
- PrePBEd8 the Add on from Semen
and others more.

You find Links to all these things in the "Third Party" Forum. And to those who know other interesting Editors I currently may not use/know, please post a link and a description there.

Frederick J. Harris

Just in case you aren't familiar with it or using it, here is the link to Lynx Project Explorer.  This is a "must have"


It attaches to PBEdit, SED, JellyFishPro, etc.  I believe, many of the PowerBASIC add ons have Project Explorer functionality.  This Lynx though, it gives you the same functionality as Visual Studio 6, etc.  Click on a function, and you jump right to it.  Same with declares, Types, equates, etc., in Win32Api.inc and other headers.  Like I said, "must have".

Donald Darden

I concur that the PowerBasic IDE is hardly the best choice if you want to work at managing any program development involving multiple files, what we would typically consider to be a Project.  But it is adequate for people who are accustomed to working with a single source file, or possibly just starting out.  It's main advantages is that it comes as part of the package, and it supports the built-in debugger.

The IDE gets relatively little attention from PowerBasic.  I've argued that it is the most intimate part of PowerBasic, and without a face lift, it is that much harder for anyone to appreciate when they see it.  I have noted that with each new update to the PowerBasic product, that the Help section has improved, and that has been a real benefit.

There are a few areas that I think have been sort of ignored.  One is the matter of templates.  It turns out that it is pretty easy to create customized templates for your source files that can serve to cause your new source files to come with all sorts of predefined settings in them.  Another is the limited coverage on resource files - if you know what resources are and how to use them, then fine, but PowerBasic isn't going to make their use and benefit obvious.  A third, the idea that beginners could benefit from a guided tour that teaches them the basics, is seriously absent.  A fourth involves PBForms and DDT, which I am not too thrilled with.  DDTs dumb down dialogs to the point where you might want to begin that way, but leave you no way to get into the customizing that is available under Windows.  PBForms is a tack-on product that doesn't really integrate in what I would consider an acceptable manner.  But that may be just me.

The main thing about BASIC is that it is not the optimum programming language for all applications, but it addresses elements related to many different uses more extensively than many competing languages do.  And the base of operators and data types provided with PowerBasic are sufficient to justify its claim as being one powerful version of BASIC.  And it is very rare to write code that is syntatically sound and not have it compile and work as expected, which means the compiler is rock solid.

What I am not thrilled about is that PowerBasic today is very much tied to either DOS or Windows.  The DOS version can be made to run under Linux in a DOS emulation, but it lacks the power of the more modern versions of PB/Win and PB/CC.  There have been hints that a PB/Linux version might someday appear, that would be essentially PB/CC, but adapted to Linux.  But that rumour has been circulating for several years now.  No sign yet if it might be true, or when it will happen.

Meanwhile, Microsoft continues to try and bring developers into its fold, and to sell everyone on its vision of what computing in the future will be.  I would have to say that most of the people here have, for one reason or another, decided that either they do not buy into Microsoft's vision, or do not feel that they want to be part of that future.  To these people, using PowerBasic is more like the type of program development that they believe in or want to be a part of.
But sometimes we see someone, already steeped in the Microsoft way, want to see PowerBasic become more like to what they are accustomed to or expect.

PowerBasic is in part a tool for empowerment.  You decided to use PowerBasic, you can also decide what IDE, Project Management, database, and other tools that best serve your needs and interests.  I'd like to be able to kiss Microsoft goodby someday, so my hope is that PB/Linux will someday surface.  But if it doesn't there is still FreeBasic and PureBasic, and other options.

Meanwhile, I am trying to decide what more I really need out of the PowerBasic compiler and debugger.  I've already got choices for the IDE and database management.  There is so much exciting work going on here with the present PowerBasic products, that I am hard pressed to think of anything else I need.

Theo Gottwald

Just tried Lynx. Does it work with PrePBEd?
What F "L ... Code must I give in for PB 8 IDE?

The help file says that I have to keep single instance.
It says that it may get confused with multiple instances.
How serious is that problem?

Norbert Doerre

It is good to see that there are some other programmers with similiar thoughts.
The reason why I'm using PB  - I think since 1994 - for Windows compatible code is not because I wanted to achieve a comfortable life but because my intention was and is to be independent at least from MS programming bloatware. A serious programmer cannot afford beeing permanently engaged in sniffing behind the next kink MS people insert in their latest updates, probably without knowing themselves about it.
In so far PB developers are doing right not to behave too progressively with updates. Also, users who are using at work a program fulfilling all their special needs won't even deny a program with a DOS screen. Professionals don't see at first a styled 3D user interface. Latter is merely something for children. But the tendency of MS is just to gain children and upgrowing young people for their philosopy of total coordination.
The consequence: Monopolism leads to less inovation.

PB has the built in qualities to offer a real alternative. For many programmers with the handycap using a non english keyboard C++ is terrible, for me, too. Overviewing a written code - even if You wrote it Yourself a year ago - is with C++ not quickly possible without large comment, because You might leave out a one character command or prefix anywhere in the code and You feel like a fool.
This does commenly NOT happen with PB, which is written in plain ascii code.
For some 'specialists' it seems to be a competition finding out the deeply implanted rescources of MS OS. Just this is the best indicator for an OS with many hidden features, which could change without announcement of their buiders. It is NOT a reliable base for programming seriously.

Developers of PB should only look at what could be done with official C++ and should copy it as far as really usable. They should simply forget their self made  Microsoft dependencies and create a PB version which could be harmonized with any OS.
Professionals world wide using MS OS are the minority, because MS don't care their needs, they only care for their benefit selling a controlled play console for upgrowing dummies, which is in fact the mass business.
I think You are already aware of the publication concerning VISTA from Auckland University. If not, have a look at it:
Peter Gutmann, pgut001@cs.auckland.ac.nz
Last updated 28 December 2006

I cannot believe that this could be the future. It would be the end of any innovation.

The chance to become successful with PB world wide has never been as great as now. I hope developers will understand it.

Ing.-Buero Doerre (IBD)
Dipl-Ing. TH Norbert Doerre
Elpenbachstr. 63 - 65
46119 Oberhausen,  Germany
Technical Hard- and Software
Computer Forensic

Frederick J. Harris

It would be nice if multiple instances of Lynx worked OK, but like you, I noticed that warning too and always refrained from using it that way Theo.  So I guess that is one of the negatives.  However, in my mind, the positives so far outweigh the negatives that I find the use of Lynx to be a very compelling proposition. 

The way I work with it is to start a file or project using PBEdit, just enough to create a *.bas file and save it.  Maybe add your includes in, cuz you eventually get to the screen with Lynx where it reads in all your includes.  Then I create the Lynx project.

Lately I've been working on projects where I'm using a grid custom control I built.  When I was first working mostly on the grid in the dll I used a Lynx project for that, and had the host (which I wasn't doing much with other than loading the dll on test runs) in PBEdit.  After having done most of the dll grid code I switched to using Lynx with the main host app and the dll code in PBEdit. So what works for me is to have whatever code files I'm doing the most work with open in Lynx due to the Project Explorer functionalities it provides, and less often referenced code open in PBEdit, Notepad, whatever.

If you switch between projects a lot you'll end up with code windows open in whatever editor you are using that rightly belong with a previously opened project.  These you can close.  Possibly you could keep them open but I'm very suspicious of computers and software and usually don't like to push everything to its limits all the time.