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  • DDT kills bugs dead (and me)

    After giving PB/DLL a whole day of testing, i've come to some conclusions:

    1) PB/DLL is pretty much bug free.
    2) PB/DLL compiles fast and small.
    3) PB/DLL was a waste of money.

    I quickly realized it wouldn't be possible to port any of my more complex VB programs over to PB/DLL without a full re-write of code. After a few hours, and a few hours more of reading help files, I decided to port an EXTREMELY simple page-long VB program over. Unimaginable stress followed, and I ended up with an actual working copy -- just without a close program box. I'm sure it's possible as some of the samples are able to do it -- through extraordinarily complex lines of code. I must be cursed because even copying the cryptic code line-for-line from the examples rarely work for me. After today, I think I may have a basic understanding of PB/DLL -- it's fast, small, and bug free because it can't DO anything. I've finally given up since i've managed to get the source to compile without syntax errors, only to end up with a Destination file write error at the end of the compile. It'd probably be ok for CGI but i'm certainly not (even if I HAD the money) throwing down another $190 for PB/CC, and probably another $100 just to get database capabilities. I know, it CAN do PLENTY -- and it's a LITTLE bit easier than programming your own compiler. I was sold PB/DLL under the impression that it was Visual Basic minus the memory hogging and slow execution.. I feel like it would be more truthfully marketed as NOTEPAD.EXE that can compile ASM code.

  • #2
    WOW!

    so you've found out that you need a little patients to program...

    Come on now, you have given it ONE day and you expect to be able to port your code over. Okay, here's a little challenge for ya, maybe you should try and port you code over to VC++ in one day and see how far you get! No matter who you are and how good you are at programming there is no way you can JUST port a program over to another language in ONE day. Perhapse you should spend some time looking in the forums and the example code. Im sure after a good nights sleep and a fresh look at the examples you'll probably see things a little clearer. As for your "Destination file write error at the end of the compile" that is a very simple problem, one that I have encountered many times because "I" forgot to write the proper exit code. Just because your dialog/window is gone doesn't mean your program is dead. It is very likely that if you press "CTRL+ALT+DELETE" to bring up the task manager you will see that your program is still running... hence, compiler can't overwrite file in use!

    Just wondering... The first time you bombed with a girl did you give up on them all together?

    ps: please take this with a grain of sugar, because this is all supposed to be FUN!

    ------------------
    Cheers

    Comment


    • #3
      Warren, I'm sorry to hear you had a tough day. We've certainly all had days like that. However, you can't expect to pick up a new dialect and compiler and learn it in one day. I suspect what you're finding tough is that you have to code a bit closer to the Windows API than VB makes you. There are lots of us here that were also stunned a bit about how little we knew about Windows programming once we started the move away from VB.

      I can tell you that it does get easier. You will be rewarded for the effort you put into learning more about how Windows programming works. Contrary to how you feel right now, PB is capable of doing far more than VB can do, and can do it without the external runtimes and object libraries. People in these very forums have coded NT Services, ISAPI extensions, Control Panel applets, database-access programs, web servers, web clients, time clients, email clients, shell extensions, help-file addon dlls, CGI applications, and lots more, not to mention "regular" Windows apps. One of the few things PB cannot do, however is create Windows device drivers. I too was dumbfounded by the samples at first, but committed to learning more about how Windows works. There are some excellent books on the subject; check the Frequently Asked Questions forum for some suggestions.

      I also beleive that you may be confusing the BASIC language with VB's easy access to OLE features and its many wrapper-routines that are disguised (sometimes very thinly) as part of the "language". With time, you'll build your own library of wrapper-routines with PB that will simplify complex tasks. Using VB-style object.property and object.method is not part of BASIC per se. However, if that's the sort of thing you want to do, there is at least one third-party add-on to enable you to do it if you choose not to learn API-level COM programming, just as there is an excellent ODBC library and in these very forums, lots and lots of sample code and people willing to help and answer questions.

      Don't get discouraged so easily. PB can be sometimes a fairly verbose dialect of BASIC, and once you get the hang of DDT and/or SDK-style programming, you'll still have some long and/or complex-seeming lines of code, but you'll know what they mean. Most of the tougher lines of code, though, are because of the API calls being made rather than something native to PB.

      If you want something to ease the transition, there are several third-party graphical IDEs that resemble VB in many ways. There are apps to convert VB forms, Windows resource files, and those with custom runtime DLLs. As to the close-window button on the app's title bar, all your code is missing is a window style on your dialog: you'll need to add the %WS_SYSMENU style. If you'd like to post the code to your VB app on a web or ftp site somewhere, and then post a note here, I'm sure someone would be happy to help convert it to PB for you to give you something to reference as you learn.

      Don't give up too quickly. It took me a few months to begin to "get it", but I am now a better programmer for it. I think that if you stick it out, you will be glad you did. Pick up a copy of "Programming Windows" by Charles Petzold, and start reading. Compare examples in the book with PB sample code and it will start to make sense. In fact, all the samples in that book have already been converted to PB, and are downloadable from PowerBasic's web/ftp site.

      Good luck, and if there's something specific any of us can help with, please post a question and I think you'll be surprised at all the help you get. Everyone here remembers starting out on a new dialect/language/compiler/environment (PB included<grin&gt and the difficulties that come with it. VB is not the world, and I think the effort you put into mastering Windows programming with PB will pay off.


      ------------------
      Troy King
      [email protected]
      Troy King
      katravax at yahoo dot com

      Comment


      • #4
        After spending half of my programming life porting stuff from one platform to another, I have come to the conclusion that usually it is better to re-write the stuff from the ground up instead of spending time porting it.

        Siamack

        ------------------


        [This message has been edited by Siamack Yousofi (edited June 08, 2000).]

        Comment


        • #5
          Did it take one day to learn how to master VB, the first time you
          loaded it up? Heck, it took me almost one day just to install and
          setup Borland C++ properly once upon a time..

          PB takes a bit of learning to master, yes, but once you get over
          the treshold, the reward is well worth it. If you take it bit by
          bit, it eventually becomes quite easy. Play around with sample code
          provided in the source code forum, plus the samples provided by PB.
          Read the helpfile.

          Start out by porting small samples from VB to PB and then slowly
          work your way up to bigger projects. In just a couple of weeks
          time, you will start to understand how to get things done in PB
          and thereby also appreciate it more, I can guarantee you that..


          ------------------

          Comment


          • #6
            Here is another perspective...

            Yes, Visual Basic sure does make it easy to create a slick-looking user interface. You practically draw it, and everything hooks itself up. But then you try to put some code "under the hood", to create an application that actually does something useful, and you have to work very, very hard to squeeze acceptable performance out of it. I'm not talking about your average utility program that shows the results of a query or something like that, I'm talking about serious business and consumer apps. Go to a major computer store and look at the software on the shelves, and guess how many were written in VB. Virtually none. And the same is increasingly true in vertical markets, at least in my experience. Of the six or eight major apps in my industry, none of them are written in VB. At least not any more... the last one folded a couple of months ago because they just couldn't deliver the performance that people needed.

            (As a side note, I wonder how many never-finished VB apps there are out there? It's so easy to write a cool "front end" that looks great, but making it do something "significant" is often a different story. I'm not saying that it can't be done, just that it's hard. IMO writing the interface first and then making the app "do something" is almost always the wrong approach. How many times have you significantly redesigned a screen after the core code was written? But that's a topic for another thread.)

            PB/DLL, on the other hand, makes it very easy to write high-performance "guts" code, but you have to put more effort into creating the interface. Believe me, the more you learn about PowerBASIC the more you'll realize that it blows the doors off VB, as far as unrestricted access to the API, true multi-threading capability, fast, small executables with no multi-megabyte runtimes, and on and on.

            Want the best of both worlds? Draw your user interface in VB and use PB/DLL to add the guts. But I'll bet if you do that, and get familiar with PB/DLL in the process, you'll end up re-writing a few parts of the interface in PB/DLL, and then more and more...

            Take a look around this BBS and you will see very few messages like yours, and it's not because they get deleted! You're more likely to see things like "Help! Nobody is taking my app seriously because the EXE is too small".

            Honestly, if you're looking for "just like VB, only better" you've probably picked the wrong language. Sorry. But if you want the power, flexibility, and performance of a C compiler, but with BASIC syntax, welcome to the club!

            -- Eric


            ------------------
            Perfect Sync: Perfect Sync Development Tools
            Email: mailto:[email protected][email protected]</A>

            "Not my circus, not my monkeys."

            Comment


            • #7
              PBDLL 6.0 isn't Visual Basic at all! They don't advertise the ability to completly rewrite your Visual Basic codes but what they do advertise is the ability to incorporate PBDLL 6.0 into your Visual Basic apps. I've used PBDLL 6.0 for about 6 months now and I still don't know everything about it but these are the things of what I like A LOT:

              - 1 EXE file (I am a networking engineer and I do a lot of utilities that are loaded during the login script)

              - Ability to create solid DLL files

              - DDT

              - Ability to use a Dialog Editor (Resource Scripts)

              - Fast Performance

              I have written things in PB/DLL that I could NEVER dream of doing in visual basic. I would strongly recommend you get a solid windows programming manual and download ALL the samples you can get your hands on and try them because making an assumption like you just did.

              Oh your error "Can't write to file" that is caused because your program hasn't released yet, just press alt-control del and end the task.

              Hope that helps

              ------------------
              -Greg
              -Greg
              [email protected]
              MCP,MCSA,MCSE,MCSD

              Comment


              • #8
                Warren;

                Your feelings are quite understandable, coming from a VB background myself.

                The truth is PB is more like programming in C, rather than VB. C programmers will have little trouble writing Windows apps in PowerBasic, since both require understanding the API.

                Now, VB programmers will "initially" be overwhelmed by PB, because of they overlook a very important thing about VB.

                VB is NOT a Basic Compiler !

                VB is a GUI Engine (aka Runtime)

                VB is so slow because, it is a GUI Engine between your Basic code and the Windows API. Native Windows apps don't use things like properties and methods. Native Windows apps are built on Messages and Callback procedures.

                I doubt you will get very far in one day. It took me months to become proficient with PB DLL 5.0 (before DDT in 6.0) while learning the API.

                But NOW that I understand API programming, I can build apps and libraries that Rival stuff written in C .

                You won't see programs like Macromedia Director, Adobe Photoshop or even DirectX, written in Visual Basic. They are all likely written in C.

                But you can build such apps with PowerBasic and they likely will be smaller and faster than their C counterpart !

                Yes, VB is Easy, but VB lacks Power !
                Yes, VB is Easy, but VB lacks speed !
                Yes, VB will never compare to C, but PowerBasic can !

                I "switched" from VB to PB and it wasn't easy, but it was worth it !

                My DLLs created with PB even impressed a crackerjack C programmer who wrote a competive product to Macromedia Director (called MediaForge 3.0) because of the size and speed of my DLL.

                Now, I can write stuff that before was only written by C programmers (I don't know C and don't want to).


                ------------------
                Chris Boss
                Computer Workshop
                Developer of "EZGUI"
                http://cwsof.com
                http://twitter.com/EZGUIProGuy

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi Warren,
                  I first purchased PB/DLL 1.0 to do things with VB that were impossible
                  with VB alone; such as talking to propriatary hardware or speeding up slow functions
                  in VB. I found the differences in the two dialects of BASIC exasperating at times until
                  I remembered the first dll I ever wrote was in Visual C.

                  I had to spend about a month of my "spare??" time just to learn
                  enough C to build the function wrappers for the inline assembly code to talk
                  to the hardware. It was such a pleasurable experience that I have all but deleted
                  it from my memory.

                  My worst experiences with PB/DLL were better than the good times with C.

                  My biggest mistakes with PB/DLL were:

                  1) I refused to use some of the PB/DLL language features that VB did not support so
                  my code would be more portable.

                  2) I assumed that Instructions such as FORMAT$ were the same in both dialects
                  -- they aren't.

                  These caused some interesting moments, to say nothing of the extra code I wrote
                  to supply the MISSING functionality PB/DLL already had.

                  I have since purchased every version of PB/DLL and also PBCC 2.0.
                  IMO PowerBasic supplies more "bang for the buck" than any other compiler
                  vendor in the world.

                  Another thing to consider is support. When was the last time you you fired
                  off a topic to Redmond Washington and had a response within 24 hours?

                  If you posted some of the code you were struggling with, or asked
                  a question that had a solution, I will bet you would have gotten real
                  help real fast!


                  ------------------
                  The most exasperating part of the "rat race" is how often the rats are in the lead!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    After giving PB/DLL a whole day of testing, i've come to some conclusions:
                    Wow what kind of programming wizard are you to see what a programming language can do in one day !?!?

                    I know what you mean. The first day I recieved PB/DLL was a hell of a day...
                    I also come from the vb world with a "basic" knowledge of C and when I started the PB IDE my first thoughts where :

                    Is this it ??
                    Where do I start ??
                    etc etc

                    Then I decided to give it a try and ported a simple vb program.
                    The first one was a hell of a job, the code was far from clean and had a lot of errors. But after a while it compiled....

                    Playing a little with PB I switched back to vb to continue some program I was working on. And then it happened, I was subclassing in vb and accidentally hit the stop button when the subclassing was in progress. "Crash" and ofcourse forgot to save the last changes...

                    I changed back to pb and tried the same thing I wanted to do with the vb program. Hey ! I can use callback functions with my controls in pb, wow thats powerfull. The IDE doesn't close when an exception failure occurs. I can use pointers with this language. PB has default signed and unsigned variables, asciiz strings. And I found a lot more of things I was missing in vb.

                    But one of the most important things about pb is the support... Ok maybe the ide isn't as nice as the vb or c, debugging and watching variables isn't as easy as like in vb or c. But what if some real problem occurs and there's lack of support ?? Where do you go then.. This had happened a lot when I was working with vb. Browsing through the msdn, where the search of some simple vb keyword gave me a lot of information about webdesign, sql and a lot of other nonsense that didn't had to do anything with the thing I was looking for...
                    Just give it a try on this messageboard or an email to support. I'm very sure that you will always get an usefull answer, even if you're question sounds easy. Even the developers of pb are helping a lot. Can you name any programming language with the same kind of support ???

                    I've learned a lot from pb. My programming style is much cleaner now and I already ported a lot of c and vb programs to pb. I've learned alot about the way windows works. And currently I'm writing a program that works with a vxd driver file. Something I couldn't do that easy with vb.

                    Just give pb a real change and you will see what the real power is... The forms design isn't as easy as vb, but look in the third party forum and you will find a lot of tools that will solve that problem, like vb form to pb form code converters etc

                    Greetz
                    Erwin

                    ------------------

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      warren;

                      before you give up on pb, check out this addon listed in the third party forum:

                      http://www.powerbasic.com/support/pb...ad.php?t=28015

                      if you can't handle api programming (as vb programmer), then the addon above will get you much closer to the visual design capabilities you are use to. future versions will also have even more vb support.


                      ------------------
                      Chris Boss
                      Computer Workshop
                      Developer of "EZGUI"
                      http://cwsof.com
                      http://twitter.com/EZGUIProGuy

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi Pal,

                        I do agree with Warren............

                        Why I spend that money for Power Basic? that is a long story.....
                        Way back to 1987, I bought a copy of Turbo Basic, cost at that
                        time was US$200, big money!(at least to me), this is my first time
                        to use my hard earn money to buy a copy right software, the rest
                        all from the hacker! I keep that copy for a long long time(till now!)
                        this copy was gone thru' 8088,286,386,486 and now P3.
                        Why I still keep this compiler? the reason is simple, just good!
                        Sorry, forget to tell you, the manual of the Turbo Basic printed
                        a big word "Borland". Lately in 1989, my company have a copy
                        of Power Basic, but this time from the company call Spectra, and
                        the manual have Bob photo on it,and claim that there are the
                        successor of Turbo Basic, but I didn't put much thought of it,
                        because I find Turbo can do the job well enough.

                        And I stop doing programming since DOS 3, but I still keep using
                        PC to do my daily job, until reasonly, I start up a small company on
                        my own, I have to do everything by myself (include programming)
                        but my customer do not want my system that control under DOS,
                        They want Windows! so end up I get a copy of PBdll6.

                        When the first time Power Basic 6 installed on my PC,
                        I quickly fire it up and take a look at one of the sample
                        program, the "Hellowin", after I scroll thru' the whole program
                        (not that long) I close it and never want to waste a day to
                        try it. the reason is simple, if I going to do all this I think I better
                        consider VC++ (a lot a of book you can fall back on)
                        so I start using VB, the poor little PB6 was sleep inside my
                        PC for at least four month!

                        Until one fine rainy afternoon, I think I need to produce one
                        small calculation program for my technician, so I fire up the
                        PB and use the HelloDDt as a template and I do it slowly.
                        then I find that it is not as difficult as the first look, so I
                        slowly move on, and I get a simple VB program and slowly
                        rewrite it to PB and I learn more and more!

                        But untill today I still can't do anything like class and subclass,
                        in fact don't know what they mean, I have to depend on DDT,
                        I consider lucky I didn't buy PB when they are in version 5,
                        if not, I will be end up like Warren, even worst,give up in the
                        first hour and never consider it when Version 6 come up.

                        The main reason I think is simple, till today, there don't even have a single
                        book that dedicated to Power Basic for Windows, and all the so call good
                        book, will assume you have some experience here and there and they
                        are all in C. The PB manual, if you compare it to the ten over years Turbo
                        Basic manual, they are bad, The TB give every command a simple example
                        on it. but the $29 PB manual is nothing better then the Help file you already
                        have it when you installed. and the API help file is just put most of the API
                        call alphabetically, But don't tell me when you want something you need to
                        scroll thru' A to Z to find it and most properly you can't get it! so the How to
                        book come in, for instant, you need to access the CD drive you can just flip
                        thru' the how to on the CD section then most properly you will get the API
                        call.
                        So I think Power Basic should get some Technical writer to do a good library
                        for the user. (I don't think any third party writer are willing to do this job, simple
                        reason I think is the market of PB is rather small, if want to make money write
                        something about VB, in fact 80% of the VB book are wasting paper.they only
                        have their commercial value!)

                        Meanwhile , if you are looking for a real basic Windows programming book,
                        I think you need to fall back to the second hand book shop and get those
                        book like "programming Windows 3.1" because during that time windows
                        are still new to everyone, so some book are really start up from very basic.
                        (Not in BASIC their are still in C) but at least you get to understand the
                        basic Windows work and SDK style.
                        Another hope is PB will do a great improved on their DDT and document
                        it more meaningful.
                        But for meanwhile why not try some third party add on, like EZGUI, they claim
                        that they can make PB more visual and friendly, Graphic Tool add on for draw
                        graphic more easily and if you need to do database you still can get SQL tools
                        add-on. if you still have the OCX from your ex-wife(VB) buy the JA30, you still
                        can have them in your PB.

                        All this add up still less then VB in term of $ and file size!
                        Doing PB not really need to follow 100% those SDK style, get help and
                        you will do it YOUR WAY.(flexible)

                        Only personal opinion, and excuse me for the poor English.



                        ------------------

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Well, I guess we all would like to know the university that you attended cause they MUST really know how to teach if YOU learned everything in one day!!!!!!!!!

                          Apparently your programming background and skills are severely lacking if you think PB is a straight out replacement of VB.
                          To begin with, VB is not even in the same league with PB, single "A" ball vs the major leagues if you will. PB is not an HTML editor either as I see from your background.

                          I'm afraid you'll not find any sympathy on this forum. Real programming can't be learned in one year much less one day.
                          Sorry you feel that way about PB. OBTW, try your hand at C,
                          Lisp, Delphi, or whatever and come back and tell us how BAD PB really is. We'd really like to know.

                          Very pleased PB user,
                          Cecil



                          ------------------

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Warren;

                            Just give PB a chance !


                            [This message has been edited by Chris Boss (edited June 09, 2000).]
                            Chris Boss
                            Computer Workshop
                            Developer of "EZGUI"
                            http://cwsof.com
                            http://twitter.com/EZGUIProGuy

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Wow, what a response. I'll answer a few questions.. The concensus seems to be that there is no way I'd be able to learn a language in one day and that I should give it more time, so let me clarify that for a second. I don't expect to be able to learn a programming language (or any other applicaition for that matter) in one day, but I would think that it would be nice to learn how to USE the program in one day. For example, when I first loaded up Visual Basic, I didn't have to ask myself: "Now what am I supposed to do to get an application going here?", It was self explanitory: Plop whatever you want on the dummy form and work with it. The layout encouraged experimentation in the right steps.

                              I have been programming in BASIC since 12 years old, (I'm only 18, if you thought 12 was before BASIC's time.), and it was really no trouble to figure out what I was supposed to do to design and program an application. In fact, since I had previous experience in QuickBasic, it really *WAS* a single day before I had a few simple apps built, and only a few weeks before I was able to more fully understand all that VB had to offer, and design more complex applications. I've tried Perl, TCL/Tk, C, but since programming is more of my passion than my job, I wanted a language that I could easily apply my experience in BASIC with. Visual Basic did a great job at that.

                              As everyone knows however, it's INSANELY bloated, and I have begun to outgrow it. PB/DLL seemed like the perfect solution. The descriptions of PB/DLL amazed me ------ "Dynamic Dialog Tools allow you to create a complete user interface with menus, buttons, listboxes, text boxes, labels, bitmaps, and much more. No cumbersome "dragging & dropping", with DDT you simply define your dialog forms in code." ------ Cumbersome dragging & dropping? By God, I'd much rather drag & drop than write out control's coordiantes on the form off the top of my head. Not to mention the "simple definitions" required to get the control to actually DO something. I'll admit that I'm demanding a lot out of PB/DLL, but when you pay almost $200, I think you should demand a lot. People have suggested Add-on's to make GUI design simpler, but how do I know if THAT product will be a disappointment or not? I don't know if I want to dig a deeper grave for myself.

                              As far as day #2 goes, I feel a little better about PB/DLL since I've managed to get it to do pretty much full CGI, but database support is a real down side. Grab a copy of the source at http://home.hawaii.rr.com/freeware/ if you want to take a look (and help me port the webdate function). I still feel the same about the GUI side of PB/DLL though, it seems much more complex than it has to be. Someone point me to a nice looking, robust, muti-form GUI that does some impressive things written in PB/DLL and you'll change my mind.

                              BTW: Thanks for all the suggestions.


                              [This message has been edited by Warren Daniel (edited June 09, 2000).]

                              Comment


                              • #16

                                >> Someone point me to a nice looking, robust, muti-form GUI that does some impressive things written in PB/DLL and you'll change my mind.


                                Warren,

                                If you want to try a commercial package written in pure PB/DLL give this a try:
                                http://www.zapsolution.com/setup.exe
                                (One month trial version, $50 for the lite version)
                                See also on the related web site what is the purpose of the software.


                                ------------------
                                Patrice Terrier
                                mailto[email protected][email protected]</A>
                                Patrice Terrier
                                www.zapsolution.com
                                www.objreader.com
                                Addons: GDImage.DLL 32/64-bit (Graphic library), WinLIFT.DLL 32/64-bit (Skin Engine).

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Warren;

                                  Your concerns about Visual Design (comparing VB) are quite valid. I have been programming likely for a lot longer than you (I can remember writing Fortran programs on punch cards for a mainframe) and I too had problems when I first started using PB DLL. I was so use to "drag and drop" that learning to write API code (before DDT) was a pain.

                                  First, let me say that aside from DDT, PB requires using a "Dialog Editor" to create resources and then the resources are used by your program. DDT doesn't have its own Dialog Editor yet, so DDT users should try out some of the freeware DDT code generators available which will convert either Resource Files (created with a Dialog Editor) or VB Forms to DDT.

                                  While I don't want to discuss deeply my product "EZGUI" outside the Third Party forum, I can say this much :

                                  It does address the need for Visual Design ! I has its own Visual Designer (which is an EZGUI app itself) and you can build apps without any knowledge (or even use of) the Windows API. The Visual Designer itself uses absolutely NO API calls. Its all EZGUI code. You can even build your own Visual Designer with EZGUI. EZGUI users can create programs within the first hour of using it (a fact, just ask them. We have an Online Forum just like PowerBasics so you can ask EZGUI users directly).

                                  http://ezgui.com

                                  Now, if you want some real "high tech" stuff, why not try Patrice Terriers "WinLift". While it doesn't have Visual Design features yet, it is an amazing library of GUI routines. It can create Windows that do amazing things (skins (custom borders), Regions (non-rectangular windows) and transparency).

                                  What WinLift does cannot even be done with Visual Basic !

                                  Companies like BG Software have great custom controls that can add features to your PB apps (without bulky OCXs).

                                  Up to this date, there are at least 4 or 5 Freeware DDT code generators.

                                  Yes, PB is a bit overwhelming for "newbies" but we all bought it for its "POWER", not its ease of use (like VB). Warren, by learning to use PB, you have entered the "Big Leagues". PB programmers can create things that are faster, smaller and even better than C programmers. When you show others your apps written in PB, they will assume it was written in C, since everybody knows "you can't write apps that small and fast in VB".

                                  Oh, by the way, I forgot to mention that both WinLift and EZGUI "are written in PB". Neither of these products could have ever been written in VB. EZGUI does things in a 122 KB DLL that would require megabytes of extra OCXs in VB. WinLift is very tiny for a tool that does what it does.

                                  Lastly, where else would you get tech support at the level of the PowerBasic forums. The forums bring you in contact with "advanced programmers from all over the world". Microsoft products don't offer you that. I can't tell you how many people on the forums helped me as I was learning and I feel obligated to give back now that I am a more experienced API programmer. Likely others do to.

                                  Give PB a few goods months first and also get a few good books on real Windows programming. A lot recommend Charles Petzoids books, but the one I use is very easy to understand:

                                  "Windows 98 Programming from the Ground Up"
                                  By Herbert Schildt
                                  Published by Osborne McGraw Hill

                                  Remember , the book is written for C programmers, but I have found the code examples very easy to convert to PB.




                                  [This message has been edited by Chris Boss (edited June 10, 2000).]
                                  Chris Boss
                                  Computer Workshop
                                  Developer of "EZGUI"
                                  http://cwsof.com
                                  http://twitter.com/EZGUIProGuy

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                                  • #18
                                    Warren,

                                    Let me talk about the shoes your now walking a mile in. I have been working with computers in one way or another since the age of 8... I'm now 32. I started the BASIC language on the TRS-80 COCO (model 1) and stayed with it up until the debut of Win95. I started VB and thought to myself at first, "What a horrible language" and "this is so hard to learn". To me the drag-drop and event driven nature of Windows and langauges written for it we a difficult concept to overcome, but I gave it some time. When the light finally turned-on over my head I thought, WOW VB is the greatest thing in the world. I could write programs in hours that would have taken days or was impossible. Then I purchased my first copy of PowerBasic (v3 for DOS). That was a bit to get used to again. No event driven nature, no drag-drop, but the old skills from the TRS-80 eventually resurfaced, just like riding a bike. I still liked VB with it's ability to do Windows programming, but I now had a new best friend in the DOS world, A world where I could write a prototype (or even full blown program) quickly with a small "footprint" in DOS. I had both worlds covered.

                                    Then came PB/DLL and PB/CC (v5 and v1); A whole new breed to me. It has a learning curve of course, as does learning anything new. These new products merged my two worlds into one! Granted it doesn't have drag-drop programming included in it (powergen helped covering that base), but it allowed me to keep my old DOS roots and knowledge alive while still allowing me to program in the Windows world. The newest versions of these two programs have only upped the ante, both in features as well as challanges. Programming in these languages is NOT programming in VB. If it was, VB would be out of business already. I know I can speak for many on this forum that VB has it's place for certain applications, but on the other hand there is a definate place for PowerBasic programs as well. I would consider myself a SDK style programmer, a weak one at that, DDT just doesn't fit my programming tastes, and SDK style of programming is extremely challanging. But it betters me as a programmer, I know things now that I would only have learned if I learned C++.

                                    PB/DLL and PB/CC are exciting products, but they do require patience and some better understanding of the Windows core systems. Something VB shields you from, at the cost of slow, bloated programs. Nobody should expect to learn a new language, or even a new dialect of the same language in the amount of time you gave it. Give it some time, trust me, you'll find the time wisely invested. With the help of many forum members and PB staffers the light has once again popped-on above my head, even though it's still a bit dim , but it is lit!

                                    You'll get a feeling of euphoria when you write your first full PB/DLL/CC program in 50k that took VB 5mb to do.

                                    [This message has been edited by George Bleck (edited June 11, 2000).]
                                    <b>George W. Bleck</b>
                                    <img src='http://www.blecktech.com/myemail.gif'>

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                                    • #19

                                      Warren,

                                      When the C language first emerged it could do very little
                                      in terms of input/output. It was just very fast and efficient
                                      in use of resources. Third parties developed hundreds of
                                      libraries for it so that it could do almost anything and IMO,
                                      this is how C became the preferred tool for commercial
                                      programming.

                                      On the other hand, PB's Windows products have emerged much
                                      more self sufficient than C did. Provided you have the time
                                      and API knowledge base, you can build anything with them.

                                      Moreover, there are some excellent third party libraries
                                      that you can plug into to provide what you don't want to do
                                      yourself. Companies like EZGUI, JazzAge, and PerfectSync
                                      have excellent routines for a UI/GUI, SQL, COM and so forth.

                                      You can also "burn the candle from both ends" by using VB for
                                      your GUI and PB/DLL for the processing. This is what we are
                                      doing at present although we plan to transition to a PB based
                                      UI/GUI as things evolve. But in the interim, the VB/PB combo
                                      is working very well for us.

                                      Before you shelve your PB stuff, you might consider taking a
                                      second look.


                                      Andy Anderson
                                      [email protected]

                                      ------------------

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                                      • #20
                                        Warren,

                                        Add my voice to those saying, "Don't give up on PB yet!". I too had a hard time getting a good feel for PB; it does take some time to make the mental shift from the VB model to the PB model. Interestingly, I had a similar problem transitioning from MS PDS/QB/C/Fortran to VB 1.0 (man, when was that? 1991?), making the change from procedural to event-driven programming.

                                        I'm now developing about 80% VB6 and 20% PB6, with PB's ratio slowly increasing. The only thing holding me back in PB is the PB development/debugging environment, which everyone on this forum knows is a bit, um, well, primitive, at least compared to other platforms. But I have every faith that PB will address this problem in the next release - their level of customer support and understanding is second to none.

                                        Mark
                                        (another old goat programmer - punched paper tape anyone?)


                                        ------------------
                                        Mark Newman
                                        Mark Newman

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