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PowerBASIC versus MS Visual Basic: Size Matters?

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  • PowerBASIC versus MS Visual Basic: Size Matters?


    I have a DLL which converts COBOL datatypes to IEEE datatypes and along the way handles EBCDIC-ASCII conversion as well.

    I recently sent this kit to a user in the UK who wanted to convert some COBOL-created data using Microsoft Visual BASIC.

    As a 'thank you' he sent me a "MSVB version of the test/demo kit."

    Here are some interesting file size comparisons:

    PowerBASIC PB/CC demo kit. Creates plain console user interface,
    with perfectly serviceable file conversion.
    PB/CC "*.bas" source code for sample conversion:         8  Kb
     (Not including standard Windows Header files)
    #INCLUDE file with UDTs, equates                         8  Kb
    COB2IEEE.DLL  Conversion Libary                         34  Kb
    PB/CC Executable                                        26  Kb
    Total Size of files required for installation           76 Kb
    Microsoft Visual BASIC v 5.0 Demo kit. Adds GUI user interface consisting
    of exactly one button ("Command_1") which does an "open file" dialog
    and begins processing.
    "*.frm" file contaning forms definition,  UDTs, CONST    18 Kb
     and all processing code in the PB/CC sample 
    conversion program supplied converted to VB
    COB2IEEE.DLL  Conversion Library                         34 Kb
    VB executable                                            41 Kb
    Total Size of all files required for installation:    4,614 Kb.
    In fairness, the VB kit also includes a small set of installation and required run-time support files.

    (And does ZIP down to a tidy 2.9 Mb)


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

  • #2

    Wash DC Area
    mailto:[email protected][email protected]</A>


    • #3
      Have found that companies often don't really care about size, as
      long as it works - but speed is what is important. Fast PB software
      always saves them lots of money in the long run, compared to almost
      anything else.

      But of course it's always fun to impress people with KB utilities
      that excels of MB ones in each and every aspect..



      • #4
        Also, logic would dictate that the more lines of code (e.g. the bigger the install), the more complicated things will be and the greater chance of bugs.
        If you've got 4mb of run-time dependencies what is the likely good of there being a bug somewhere?
        what is the likely hood of finding the dll that has the bug?
        what is the likely hood of finding someone (probably at m$) to fix it?

        at least with PB, if (and that is a rare situation) you can find someone here to find a work-around. heck, you can even talk to the guy who wrote the compiler if need be.

        if i distribute a 100k pb app that contains only two people's code ...
        PB's and mine it makes life a little easier.

        of course all windows apps are dependent on the o/s dlls so there's always that to contend with.

        in the end the small app wins out.

        if you want power and don't mind bloat, i'd try delphi. delphi at least includes (with the pro version) it's own source code. A lot of the add-on's (vcl) do too.

        give me the source code and i can deal with the bugs and oddities.

        give me a bunch of someone else's dlls with no source and their bugs can put me in a very awkward situation. i trust me with my lively hood (software development) not anyone else.


        Don Dickinson
        Don Dickinson


        • #5
          When he sent that file to me, I was wondering what on earth a 4 Mb (MIME size) attachment could be. The whole original kit with 900 Kb of demo data, HTML documentation, two separate conversion programs (one ascii, one EBCDIC)(source and executables) and of course a "readme" was all of 168 Kb zipped.

          Looking through the ZIP he sent me, there are OCX and DLL and VBP and CAB files (22 files in all). There are also copies of COMDLG32.OCX, OLEAUT32.DLL, OLEPRO32.DLL and MSVBVM60.DLL - which I'll bet.. had I installed them... would have overwritten what I have installed now. (Software ran fine when I extracted only the EXE and ran it).

          Simply amazing. That VB "installation builder" must truly be a "lowest common denominator" thing.


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


          • #6
            The VB installation builder is a bit insane about including any
            possible file your application might maybe need. It's smart enough
            not to overwrite your system DLLs if they're newer than the ones it
            has, though. FWIW.

            Tom Hanlin
            PowerBASIC Staff


            • #7
              Standard "New EXE" in VB is extremely bloated, but much of it can be removed.
              But VB developers often forget to remove those unnecessary OCX's, and so the
              installations usually become a bit bigger than needed. Not unusual with Hello
              wold -like samples that includes +10 OCX's..

              Hate VB installations. VB3 was OK, but then came OCX hell, with regsistry
              issues and version isuues, and whatever issues. Love PB installations. One
              stand-alone exe, a text and possibly a help file, and off you go..