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  • Comparison

    C/C++                                BASIC
    free (gcc/lccwin)                    >$100
    industry standard                    outdated, and hardly used
    easily portable to EVERY OS          Microsoft OS's
    can be used for DOS, GUI             >$450
    AND Console mode!   
    support and manuals widely           forums:  1
    available across the internet        manuals: $97
    and bookstores
    powerful                             easy to learn

    [This message has been edited by John Fergusson (edited June 23, 2003).]

  • #2
    [list=1][*]There are free BASICS, I choose PowerBASIC because I like it...just like someone will go out and buy VC++ from Microsoft.[*]Outdated? How so...please elaborate. Also, how can an outdated compiler save my company millions of dollars per year?[*]80% of computer platforms use a WinOS, If I only need to do WinOS stuff why do I care about the rest?[*]OK, got us on that one, but there is some mixing between PBCC/PBWIN, but in the long run this impacts me how?[*]PowerBASIC is so simple it requires only one forum but there are others as well (look a little harder)[*]Electronic help comes free with PowerBASIC when you buy it (either via mail or over the internet) I never have to leave home to get it. Plus the compiler AND the help fit on a floppy. BTW, the same help in book form is optional, [*]PowerBASIC is powerful AND easy to learn[/list=a]

    Honestly and with no kidding intended, did you think your posting would have some
    kind of magical effect that would swoon all the BASIC programmers over to C/C++?

    All the forum members know about C/C++, but we STILL choose BASIC...
    Maybe you should ask yourself why that is.

    I'm a certified (as well as adept) C/C++ programmer yet still choose BASIC...Why do you think that is?

    Every day I try to learn one thing new,
    but new things to learn are increasing exponentially.
    At this rate I’m becoming an idiot faster and faster !!!
    George W. Bleck
    Lead Computer Systems Engineer
    KeySpan Corporation
    My Email

    [This message has been edited by George Bleck (edited June 23, 2003).]
    <b>George W. Bleck</b>
    <img src=''>


    • #3
      I say to each his own.... I drive a Ford, maybe you like Chevy.

      If C/C+ works for you.... use it! In my case and most of the cases in these forums, PowerBasic works for us...therefore We Use It!

      Gary Stout
      [email protected]
      Gary Stout
      gary at sce4u dot com


      • #4
        Please, don't start a flame. The best way to treat trolls is to ignore them. I guess this is the same that visit us from time to time.



        • #5
          Heh. Troll alert! Well, let's have some fun, until this degenerates
          into a complete mass of babble.

          GCC, "free". What, they couldn't find anyone willing to pay for it?

          "Industry standard". Which industry is that, pray tell? Will you be
          urging us to switch to COBOL next? Or were you bragging that your
          language was designed by a committee? It's such a shame that PowerBASIC
          is "outdated and hardly used", and selling for ">$100", while the
          "industry standard" has to be given away to anyone who can be persuaded
          to take it. Much like Microsoft's .NET strategy, come to think of it!
          ("Outdated": an interesting comment from a proponent of one of the
          hoariest old languages that still staggers on by.)

          "Easily portable to EVERY OS". Well, I can tell you've never actually
          tried that before. A look at the different sets of source code and
          masses of custom #if/#endif blocks in any "portable" C program might
          give you other ideas. Although, I suppose it's a shame to keep the
          benefits of PowerBASIC away from both of the remaining Amiga

          "Can be used for DOS, GUI AND Console mode!" ...much like PowerBASIC
          products. We're so glad to hear you're keeping up!

          "Support and manuals widely available..." because no single point has
          been particularly successful, I gather. BTW, manuals are $39, and
          the online help contains the same information at no additional charge.

          "Powerful"... How nice! I understand C even supports pointers and unions,
          like PowerBASIC. But, at least C isn't "easy to learn". You must be so

          Young padowan, I have programmed in C for over 20 years, myself, and
          I know its limitations as well as its strengths. Take a few days to
          play with PowerBASIC string and file handling, and you will never
          again use C without tearing your hair and gnashing your teeth. On the
          the other hand, maybe that's where Albert Einstein got his famous
          hairdo-- a classic hacker's look-- what the heck, go for it!

          Tom Hanlin
          PowerBASIC Staff


          • #6
            C/C++                 BASIC
            -------------------   ----------------------------------     
            Boat anchor           Has put roof over head, clothes on back
                                  and food on table for 10+ years.
            Michael Mattias
            Tal Systems (retired)
            Port Washington WI USA
            [email protected]


            • #7
              When C/C++ can at least do this, come back and we'll discuss it over a drink:
              DIM dwAddr AS DWORD
              dwAddr = CODEPTR(MyLabel)   '<--
              END FUNCTION
              Note: Address of a label (ie. addr of next code instruction). Until it can do that (with just as much ease), your language is absolutely useless to me.

              Hmm, not a single reference to John Fergusson in POFFS. *cough* troll *cough*

              PS. C/C++ books still make great paperweights

              The PowerBASIC Crypto Archives - My Email - What's mine is yours...

              [This message has been edited by Wayne Diamond (edited June 26, 2003).]


              • #8
                Ok, here's the fundamental problem:

                I did a search on for C++ which returned over 99
                pages of jobs ranging from $70,000-$150,000 a year (I just looked
                at the first few pages).

                I then did a search for power basic, which returned 12 jobs.
                After looking at the jobs, it usually matched a string such
                as "Power Builder, .... Visual Basic." I further refined the
                search by inclosing power basic in quotes and it resulted in
                zero jobs.

                I understand that if you have a small business writing custom
                software for pizza restaurants or some equivalent business, then
                you might do well.....the point was that you just can't get that
                many jobs, for that much money.



                • #9
                  Um, sir, your original "comparison" did not specify a brand name BASIC, it specified BASIC.

                  I hope none of those jobs you were looking for specified "communications skills."


                  Michael Mattias
                  Tal Systems (retired)
                  Port Washington WI USA
                  [email protected]


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by John Fergusson:
                    Ok, here's the fundamental problem:

                    I did a search on for C++ which returned over 99
                    pages of jobs ranging from $70,000-$150,000 a year (I just looked
                    at the first few pages).
                    That is a very valid concern, especially for someone first learning programming,
                    how-ever what you might be missing is that most PB users already know how
                    to program in many languages, and they use PB to make that code smaller, faster &
                    more efficient...

                    and for new-comers to programming, PB is a very easy road to take
                    for learning windows programming, and, with the support of this forum, it's far
                    easier road, than any other IMO.

                    and then with a solid foundation established, learning any or all the others become
                    much, much easier...

                    Wash DC Area

                    [This message has been edited by Brad D Byrne (edited June 27, 2003).]


                    • #11
                      Michael, haha, good catch! Although, that doesn't really
                      change anything, now does it?

                      From the The Jargon File (

                      BASIC /bay'-sic/ n.

                      A programming language, originally designed for Dartmouth's experimental timesharing system in the early 1960s, which has since become the leading cause of brain damage in proto-hackers. Edsger W. Dijkstra observed in "Selected Writings on Computing: A Personal Perspective" that "It is practically impossible to teach good programming style to students that have had prior exposure to BASIC: as potential programmers they are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration." This is another case (like Pascal) of the cascading lossage that happens when a language deliberately designed as an educational toy gets taken too seriously. A novice can write short BASIC programs (on the order of 10-20 lines) very easily; writing anything longer (a) is very painful, and (b) encourages bad habits that will make it harder to use more powerful languages well. This wouldn't be so bad if historical accidents hadn't made BASIC so common on low-end micros. As it is, it ruins thousands of potential wizards a year.



                      • #12
                        You know Frank, if you can't make any money with PB, they why are you here? What possible result are you looking for? Shall we all say, "WOW! I never knew that! I guess I'll toss all my PB stuff in the can right now and go get a C compiler before my family starves!"

                        You know, I can find 10x the number of jobs for nurses and medical professionals than I can for programmers. Shall we all quit what we do for a living and go get medical training?

                        Do you have a passion for a specific political party? How about a religion? Lets talk about one of those!

                        Really, a little bit of common sense can take you a long way.

                        Joe Byrne
                        mailto:[email protected]
                        PBS[email protected]
                        Software makes Hardware Happen


                        • #13
                          Search "BASIC"
                          results:"Jobs 1 to 50 of more than 5000"

                          Call me naive, but I'd say that makes a difference.

                          Michael Mattias
                          Tal Systems (retired)
                          Port Washington WI USA
                          [email protected]


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by John Fergusson:
                            From the The Jargon File (

                            BASIC /bay'-sic/ n.

                            A programming language, originally designed for Dartmouth's experimental timesharing system in the early 1960s [...]
                            Then, may I point you to this ?

                            "Then Dennis and Brian worked on a truly warped version of Pascal, called 'A'. When we found others were actually trying to create real programs with A, we quickly added additional cryptic features and evolved into B, BCPL and finally C. We stopped when we got a clean compile on the following syntax:

                            To think that modern programmers would try to use a language that allowed such a statement was beyond our comprehension! We actually thought of selling this to the Soviets to set their computer science progress back 20 or more years. Imagine our surprise when AT&T and other US corporations actually began trying to use Unix and C!"


                            Mark0 Home Page

                            [This message has been edited by Marco Pontello (edited June 28, 2003).]
                            -- The universe tends toward maximum irony. Don't push it.

                            File Extension Seeker - Metasearch engine for file extensions / file types
                            Online TrID file identifier | TrIDLib - Identify thousands of file formats


                            • #15
                              With some 112 carefully planned library modules and executables in
                              Power Basic spanning over 1,180,000 lines of source, I've actually
                              written a cross conversion source utility to research porting the
                              225 functions of PB I use to C++. At about 135 of them now done,
                              the preliminary research shows that my project would jump ..

                              to over 7,000,000 lines of source.

                              I'm lucky, in that my entire project is carefully coded in the same
                              general style and syntax, top down, with a minumum of GOTO's in it.
                              Otherwise, that number would, I think, loom larger.

                              I have the personal belief that most people in the programming world
                              proabably could never, as a single individual, contemplate a project
                              of over 7,000,000 lines of source. I guarantee you a million is bad
                              enough, but maybe this is just an indication of how insufficient I am
                              in relation to what I want to accomplish.

                              The largest hurdle I face is more interesting though. Attempting to
                              add mutiple dimension variable length string arrays, complete with
                              automatic memory allocation, deallocation, and automatic *GARBAGE
                              COLLECTION* such that they may be used and even passed in UDT's has
                              proved a *VERY* daunting task.

                              Have you ever tried to accomodate DIM X$(10, 20), let alone an evem
                              more interesting DIM X$(-RDIM% to +RDIM%) in C/C++, where X$ is, cough,
                              a variable length string? If you have that kind of class, with all
                              the ability to create it, use it in data sharing for the equivalents
                              of UDT's in Watcom C++, Visual Age for C++, and GCC ...

                              Would you *PLEASE* have the class to post it *HERE* in this forum so
                              that those of us who do face working between PowerBASIC and the C/C++
                              world can see how to do those two little source examples in C/C++?
                              Feel free to post it in ASSEMBLER, if you like, you know, like in-line
                              so we can use that as needed in PowerBASIC. It might be more practical
                              to create the cross-platform way of doing this in assembly language, no?

                              The issue of buffer overruns in C/C++, coupled with the above also is
                              another reason that it sure seems a long, long way from what I know
                              enjoy, and even survive by now, especially with the dialect of BASIC
                              I have come to at least begin, I think, to understand; PowerBASIC.

                              That done, perhaps you'll also have the capability to compare here in
                              this forum, how one implements our beloved ON ERROR GOTO and the return
                              from that scenario for C/C++ in the easy way we have of doing that in
                              PowerBASIC. Especially when we consider EXIT FAR and the use of it
                              in deeply nested CALL's and FUNCTIONS.

                              Debugging those buffer overrun and memory corruption issues off in
                              never-never land isn't all that easy, even with the wonder we have
                              here, basicly speaking.

                              The only reason I post this in reply is that the biggest saddness I
                              face with PowerBASIC is that it doesn't exist as a compiler in the
                              operating systems I really need. I would have never been able to have
                              gotten this far along in my goals without Bob Zale and the crew and the
                              advances they have given me.

                              If, with a horrible saddness in my heart, I have to leave this wonderful
                              homeland and language that I know fairly well, for your opined land of
                              wonder, because Bob faces the same hurdles of expanding his product line
                              to platforms that I and we all do, and you alone are left to guide us,

                              Then ..

                              Perhaps you'll share your tools which would let me do all this for less
                              than the $99 or so that Bob shared his with me, so long ago and far away.


                              I'm afraid your posting only amplifies my sadness..

                              End if

                              End (Rant)

                              Mike Luther
                              [email protected]
                              Mike Luther
                              [email protected]


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Michael Mattias:
                                Search "BASIC"
                                results:"Jobs 1 to 50 of more than 5000"

                                Call me naive, but I'd say that makes a difference.

                                Obviously, it would make a HUGE difference since the word "basic"
                                is commonly used throughout the English language. Such as, "Basic
                                computer skills are a must," or "basic filing skills," etc.

                                Anyway, contrary to popular belief, I wasn't trolling, I just
                                wanted to see why people still use basic. In fact, I actually
                                like basic, but I've essentially been laughed at by every
                                programmer I've ever talked to because no one (read: no company)
                                takes it seriously. Go take computer science classes and tell
                                people that you program in basic, and see what happens .
                                So, I mostly just wanted ammo for when those situations arise.




                                • #17
                                  I've essentially been laughed at by every programmer I've ever talked to because no one (read: no company) takes it seriously.
                                  Don't be that pessimist! At least here in Italy, Visual BASIC is by far the most required language by companies. Certainly more required than C whatever. And many of those companies don't know about PowerBASIC, otherwise it would be required even more.
                                  When some programmer (often a young wannabe) "laugh" at me because i program in BASIC, i just smile at him. He's not bad, simply he really needs something to laugh at . Heck, he programmed in C* all day...

                                  Davide Vecchi
                                  [email protected]

                                  [This message has been edited by Davide Vecchi (edited June 30, 2003).]


                                  • #18
                                    but I've essentially been laughed at by every programmer I've ever talked to because no one (read: no company) takes it [BASIC] seriously
                                    Why should you - or anyone - care if others take BASIC seriously?

                                    Better you should be concerned they take <U>you</U> seriously.

                                    Michael Mattias
                                    Tal Systems (retired)
                                    Port Washington WI USA
                                    [email protected]


                                    • #19
                                      When you are all through, sitting in the Shade
                                      with a glass of Lemonade, you can laugh at them
                                      still working.



                                      • #20
                                        Seems to me that language purity is the big purported reason why
                                        folks scoff at Basic. But when you consider the balance of what
                                        gets done in a program by native statements, vs. what is done
                                        in created functions, the balance would shift to Basic flavors
                                        being the more pure languages. C/C++ don't do an awefull lot for
                                        you. Most everything is done by function libraries, which are all
                                        over the map with respect to cleanliness and coherency. Basics
                                        aren't always too much better, but always offer a lot more native
                                        functionality, which often translates to cleaner & tighter code.

                                        And from a programming learning perspective, C's become daunting
                                        because sure, you learn C structure and syntax, but you still
                                        know nothing of how to actually get anything done on any target
                                        system. That all comes down to the most amazing array of external
                                        libraries and OS dependancies you could imagine. So it's not
                                        just learning C, it's also finding and learning the supporting
                                        libraries that actually put something on the screen and interact
                                        with the user. PowerBasic on the other hand is much closer to a
                                        one-stop-shop. After learning PB, I am much closer to actually
                                        getting something done. I may still incorporate further tool sets,
                                        but at least the basics are covered.

                                        C flavors offer in many respects a tighter, more symmetrical system
                                        of structure, but with so little in-built functionality, many
                                        problems bloom into complexities outside of the language itself.
                                        Basic often solves these issues in-house, and I think that makes
                                        for better code. Depending on the problem, of course.

                                        I found the perspectives of the creators of Perl to be most illuminating.
                                        The approach was to let the programmer decide how to tackle the
                                        job, and offer him/her as many varried tools and styles as possible.
                                        A 'non-totalitarian' language if you will. C on the other hand tends
                                        to be rigid with respect to how we must program. Basic seems more
                                        like Perl. In any case I think that a structured mind creates
                                        structured code, and the language just needs to be broad enough
                                        to accommodate. PowerBasic certainly fits the bill excellently.

                                        To any doubters, I think you should just go ahead and pick up DJGPP
                                        for the DOS environment. It's absolutely amazing. I was going to
                                        use it for my survey work, and it would have been fantastic. It
                                        handles all the stuff with grace that PBDos leaves wanting, starting
                                        with flat memory. BUT... I would still be trying to teach myself how
                                        how to actually do anything like collect some serial data, or plot
                                        it on the screen, as well as deal with the bazillion little unknowns
                                        in such a complex public domain tool with its complex public domain
                                        libraries. Instead, I got immediately to work, and have re-written,
                                        usually in a few hours, every program we use. No more crashes,
                                        no more questions, and not a single add-on library yet. I will soon
                                        persuade my survey boss to spend the $500-ish (for us Canucks) on
                                        PB Win. I see no other way that I can actually expect to get programming
                                        and actually get something done, as history pushes us away from our DOS

                                        Thanks to all the good folks at PowerBasic.

                                        What can go wrong will go wrong.
                                        Anything can go wrong.
                                        What hasn't?!?!
                                        What can go wrong will go wrong.
                                        Anything can go wrong.
                                        What hasn't?!?!