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Future of powerbasic

Started by Sutthisak Phongthanapanic, September 01, 2013, 12:10:38 PM

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Patrice Terrier

So call me "negative" again, because it will take at least a couple years for him to recover...
Patrice Terrier
GDImage (advanced graphic addon)

Jim Dunn

A couple of years?!  I don't know what's worse, that no one will tell us what happened... or that there's ONLY ONE PERSON RUNNING POWERBASIC AT A TIME?!  : (

Brice Manuel

Quote from: Jim Dunn on September 26, 2013, 04:51:07 PM
A couple of years?!  I don't know what's worse, that no one will tell us what happened... or that there's ONLY ONE PERSON RUNNING POWERBASIC AT A TIME?!  : (

Within one year, the owner has died and his replacement is supposedly side-lined for a serious amount of time (no reason to doubt Patrice).  The staff that are left STILL haven't figured out how to mail James his CDs (just how low are the hiring standards there?).  Nothing really reassuring about PB at this point with the silence going on.

Quote from: Tom Perkins on September 26, 2013, 06:15:12 PM
As long as the status quo of a company is unclear, I wouldn't buy anything. Setting up a development environment is always a long-term investment. Under these circumstances you should consider well how you want to work in the future.

Very wise words.  I feel sorry for those who solely depend on PB.  One should never solely depend on a single programming language.

Gary Beene

You'll recall, folks that the POFFS database hasn't been updated in years and that PowerBASIC Inc. seemed unwilling to allow any future database updates.

Hopefully y'all have been keeping your local thread files up to date with gbThreads?  I generally update my local thread database about once a week.

Brice Manuel

Edwin Knoppert

I can assure you *after* they moved to the new board the board topics had little to offer!
If you need ideas and good code use poffs, unf. the code maybe somewhat old but the ideas where certainly better.
Just translate that code to new code and you'll be fine for years..

Btw.., i still have the chm edition  of poffs.. (html helpfile)

Gary Beene

That's a very narrow view of the forums - one that I can't let go uncontested.

I can assure you that the new board has much to offer! Especially for folks who want to work with PBWin9 and PBWin10, there's a ton of software/information for folks.

If you're dedicated to the exclusive use of SDK, then Edwin's comment might have a measure of validity. SDK has not seen that much light of day in the last few years.  As the SDK folks lament, DDT has gotten the greater focus on the forums.

Gary Beene

gbThreads is a utility that I released in the PowerBASIC source code forum. 

The distribution file has a utility called gbThreadDownloader that downloads threads from the PowerBASIC forums and stores them on your local PC. It also parses the thread files to create a searchable database of the thread files.

gbThreads itself is provides the ability to view the local thread files and to search the thread database.

The online Help page for gbThreads is at http://www.garybeene.com/sw/gbthreads.htm.

José Roca

> As the SDK folks lament, DDT has gotten the greater focus on the forums.

This is why I opened this forum, but unfortunately it was too late to "recover" all these talented programmers that had left the PB forum.

I once warned Bob that the addition of DDT only features such the graphic control was going to split the community. Now, it is irreversible. I think that the DDT victory has been a pyrrhic victory.

When in search for ideas, I go to the Code Project forum.

Brice Manuel

DDT had its place and was crucial to the future of PB had vaporware like the Linux version actually been released.  One set of GUI commands that will work on all supported platforms is crucial for a multi-platform language. 

However, DDT never should have been the only option promoted and supported for Windows.  DDT is severely limited and does not support controls that have been standard in Windows for years.  PB Forms does not even properly support DDT and all it has to offer, which only cripples DDT for the people using PB Forms.

Quote from: Gary Beene on September 28, 2013, 09:44:35 PM
gbThreads is a utility that I released in the PowerBASIC source code forum.

You are the PB equivalent of The Shell Answer Man.  ;D

Patrice Terrier

QuoteDDT has gotten the greater focus on the forums

Yes, for the novice or formal VB users.

Things were much sharper in the old days, and we could realy learn from each other (this is why i spoke of Fundamentals about Poffs).

And to say the truth, there is nothing SDK coders could learn from DDT.

It is clear that ZALE's DDT has splitten the community in two, and as José said, many of the most talented programmers have left the PB forum, and some of them have moved here :)

Without all the time spent on DDT (that just covers a small percentage of the core API) we could have got a 64-bit version probably before the passing of Bob Zale.

But now it is too late.

Patrice Terrier
GDImage (advanced graphic addon)

Mike Stefanik

Patrice, I suspect you may have overestimated the capabilities there. With Bob being the only person who was (or could be) working on the core compiler, I suspect that its ability to emit 64-bit code was a lot further away than they hinted at. I wonder if they even have a minimally functional alpha for internal testing that the guys there can work with as a foundation.

Regardless, I agree that it would be tough for a developer to justify investing any significant resources into PowerBasic, particularly with the lack of information coming from the company. They have no apparent development or marketing strategy that I can discern, and there's been almost no interaction with their customer base recently. I think even a simple "state of the union" article posted to their forums would alleviate a lot of the concern and at give people an idea of where things are at and what's planned for the near-term.

Edit: I would say that Brice made a good point that DDT would have been essential if they had planned to branch out to supporting other platforms like Linux. To make those applications cross-platform, you'd have to break away from dependency on the Windows API and provide some kind of generalized interface to a wide range of platform-specific services, including graphics. It looks like they were making moves in that general direction, but the problem was they kind of went half-way and then stopped. And of course, the cross-platform support never materialized.

José Roca

I doubt that DDT was intended for cross-platform, since Bob always said that PB for Linux would be a console compiler.

Brice Manuel

Quote from: Patrice Terrier on September 28, 2013, 10:57:35 PM
Without all the time spent on DDT (that just covers a small percentage of the core API) we could have got a 64-bit version probably before the passing of Bob Zale.

Given that he was over a decade late in producing a true 32-bit compiler (PB 9), it is hard to imagine Bob producing a competitive 64-bit compiler had he lived another ten years (which would have brought him to the average male life-span in the USA). 

The 32-bit compiler we have now does not even properly take advantage of advanced 32-bit processors.  32-bit processors are now dead and have not been a standard in several years.  PB was far behind industry standards on 32-bit processor architecture when 32-bit processors died.  Heck, PB was always 10-15 years behind industry standards for everything. 

Bob intentionally kept PB from progressing.  Had Bob dropped the ridiculous idea that new versions of PB had to be compatible with archaic legacy versions of Windows, the compilers could have progressed and remained competitive with current industry standards. 

I do realize that there is a user base who needs to support these legacy systems, but PowerBASIC 8 does not magically stop working just because PB version 9 comes out.  PB 8 should have been marketed for use on pre-XP versions of Windows and PB 9 should have been marketed for XP and above, with PB 10 following the lead of PB 9.  PB 9 and 10 could have focused on current standards instead of trying to live in the past and support Windows '95 which came out in the fall of '94.  Those needing to support pre-XP systems could have chugged along with PB 8.

A programming language can't progress when each new version jumps back to the fall of '94.

It is true Bob was only one man.  I spent years watching what one man named Fred did with PureBasic and how it was always advancing, adapting and supporting current standards.  Eventually, Fred added Timo and PureBasic got even better.  I have watched PowerBASIC remain stagnant while PureBasic has grown by leaps and bounds in the same time frame and added support for Windows, Linux and OS X, along with 64-bit.  And for those needing to support legacy versions of Windows for some things, all of the old versions of PureBasic are accessible to registered users.  PureBasic is the most mature indie BASIC out there and Fred has done it all with one price for life and not nickel-and-diming the community over upgrades, visual designers, a console version, a 2d engine and a 3d engine.  One license covers it all.  No P. T. Barnum marketing schemes, false promises or vaporware.  Just a language that stays current and competitive, produced by an author who chooses not to live in the past.  So one man can do it, as it was just one man at PureBasic for many years.

Edwin Knoppert

I wasn't speaking about ddt vs sdk
There is only the coincidence  that when ddt came out also during that time a few programmers left and also that some idea's where no longer discussed (which may be more of a feeling than specifics)
Roughly said you can say that during the old forums there where more interesting topics than after.

I also find ddt a mis programmed part in PB but that's not really the issue for me regarding this matter.