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Interactive tutorial for uCalc Language Builder now available

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  • Interactive tutorial for uCalc Language Builder now available

    An interactive tutorial for uCalc Language Builder is now available. It will walk you through various concepts and allow you to experiment as you go along. In addition to that, this beta now comes with a full help file for uCalc LB and one for the Interactive Interpreter.

    If you have downloaded previous betas of uCalc LB, and couldn't figure it out, then you should download this one. With the included help files and interactive tutorial, it should now be significantly easier to understand how to make use of uCalc LB.

    The fully functional download includes the following:
    * uCalc Language Builder component
    * Interactive interpreter (which can also run script files)
    * Interactive instructional tutorial
    * Interpreted versions of BASIC (w/ some PB flavor), Lisp, Forth, and more
    * Line-by-line explanation files to accompany source code files
    * Help files for uCalc LB and uCalc Interpreter

    The file to download is http://www.ucalc.com/beta/lbnov07b.zip .

    I look forward to hearing from the PB community. Your feedback is extremely important.

    So what exactly is uCalc Language Builder?

    uCalc LB is designed to let you easily create your own interpreted / scripting languages. It comes with sample languages such as BASIC, Lisp, Forth and more. These are defined in plain text files, which you can load right up into the generic uCalc interpreter, at which point it becomes an interpreter for the language you have just loaded. The interpreter can run code either from script files or interactively.

    In addition to constructing programming languages, you can use the interpreter for powerful text processing, or as a command line calculator / expression evaluator.
    Daniel Corbier
    uCalc Fast Math Parser
    uCalc Language Builder
    sigpic

  • #2
    Get paid to learn uCalc LB

    I've been unsuccessful in getting people to give uCalc Language Builder a try, although I believe that many programmers could make use of it, if they only knew what it could do for them.

    This is a new concept, and may involve a learning curve, and is not as clearly defined yet as it can be. Unlike learning a proven Microsoft product, learning the unknown uCalc LB involves a risk. On the one hand, if it catches on, you'll be happy to have been among the first to adopt this new idea. On the other hand, if it's a dead-end idea, the couple of hours you spent learning uCalc LB might represent wasted time. To offset this risk, I am willing to pay programmers to give it a try and supply feedback. If uCalc LB itself doesn't enhance your programming life, at least you will have been compensated for your time in checking it out.

    Please see the announcement in the Positions Wanted/Offered section for more details.
    Daniel Corbier
    uCalc Fast Math Parser
    uCalc Language Builder
    sigpic

    Comment


    • #3
      I think this sounds very interesting. I am assuming this DLL can work with other languages besides PowerBasic?

      I'll download the Beta and take a look at it.

      What will the final price be and what will the licensing restrictions be?

      Thanks!

      Comment


      • #4
        I am not entirely through the tutorial but I do think UCalc LB looks fantastic so far. I am interested in it but I am concerned about the licensing restrictions (how I can use and distribute a custom language, etc.) and what the final purchase cost will be.

        For example, what are the rules if: I wanted to use the language to add programmable extensibility to my application (ex. the way VBA is for Office); custom database creator (ex. like a mini-MS Access); custom game creator (ex. 2D\3D game maker)? For the last two, I would want someone who creates a database (ex. like in Access) or game (from the 2D\3D game maker) to be able to distribute their creations (but obviously, I would not want the user to be able to extend on or directly use your DLL.) Would this be possible? It's these types of uses that would greatly interest me.

        EDITED TO ADD: Okay, I saw that the price will be $950 here: http://www.ucalc.com/purchase.html
        Last edited by Steven Picard; 28 Nov 2007, 04:00 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          The more i look at it, the more value i find in it. Guys, you should try this.

          Comment


          • #6
            Nice work

            I've been playing around with this for a few days and it is very interesting. You can build entire scripting languages from a (relatively) simple text file. I played around with the Logo interpreter and BASIC interpreter and am impressed.

            Neat stuff.

            Thanks,
            Flick

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Steven Picard View Post
              ...Okay, I saw that the price will be $950 here: http://www.ucalc.com/purchase.html
              $ 950.00 Value, i see the price is $ 600.00.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Elias Montoya View Post
                $ 950.00 Value, i see the price is $ 600.00.
                That's for uCalc FMP, not the Language Builder. Here it what it says if you purchase uCalc FMP right now:
                "Free license for uCalc Language Builder when that becomes available (a $950 value)."

                Comment


                • #9
                  uCalc LB can be used alongside popular compilers like PB, VB (classic and .NET), VC++, BC++ Builder, and Delphi. Or it can be used independently from a compiler (see for instance the uCalc.Exe Interactive Interpreter).

                  I cannot say for sure what the final price or licensing will be like. I need feedback on this just as much as I need feedback on the technical issues. I am open to ideas. I want as many people as possible to be able to use uCalc LB. I don't want pricing/licensing to cause anyone to miss out on all the fun. I do also want to make some money. I'm looking for the right balance. I'll probably steer away from royalties, and have a one-time fee. The official non-beta of uCalc LB has not been released yet. So the $950 fee is not set in stone.

                  I'm thinking of having a part that is "free" to everyone, like VBScript. But maybe another part of it could require a paid license. I've spent more time working out the technical details than licensing issues. I tried to double check just now, and couldn't find a solid source to back this up, but I was under the impression that a VBA license costs an arm and a leg (to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars; or large ongoing royalties). A one time $950 fee for an advanced edition of uCalc LB would be a bargain in comparison.

                  "Free" might be good. But in June, I renamed uCalc Fast Math Parser to uCalc Free Math Parser, with the emphasis on Free. But I haven't received the volume of feedback from free users that I hoped this would generate. Companies who can pay, pay up (though not in volume the way I'd like either). However, many people download FMP, and leave me no idea whether they are benefiting from the free license or not. If I end up with the wrong kind of pricing/licensing for LB or FMP, it might be because people don't speak up to say what kind of licensing they'd really prefer.

                  By the way, only a couple of users have responded to the Positions Wanted/Offered post. I can use a couple more. (Actually, although my limited resources can cover only a few more paid testers, anyone with any kind of programming background is welcome to download the beta, and supply whatever kind of feedback you can).

                  ---
                  Daniel Corbier
                  www.ucalc.com
                  Daniel Corbier
                  uCalc Fast Math Parser
                  uCalc Language Builder
                  sigpic

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well, one can always use VBScript and JavaScript using the MS scripting runtime that is free (plus there are other scripting plugins for it.) Where UCalc Language Builder will shine is the ability to create your own languages easily.

                    I am curious as to the speed comparisons between VBScript and the Language Builder.

                    Also, is it capable of creating 4GL style languages like SQL or HyperCard\Runtime Revolution (http://www.runrev.com)? I am guessing it could create C style or Javascript style languages.

                    As for pricing, that is a tough one. For $950 I would never purchase but that doesn't mean others wouldn't. Totally free would be wrong. Pricing must be part Art form part Science and is probably one of the most difficult things to deal with in the software industry (esp. shareware). I think the pricing should be based on how liberal the license agreement is.

                    Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm glad you asked about speed. I did at test that showed uCalc Fast Math Parser 2.0 to be literally 50 times faster than VBScript.

                      This was years ago. I don't remember the details of the test I did, and I haven't kept up to date with the latest VBScript. So I'd urge you or someone else to test it independently before coming to a conclusion on this. The advantage was in calculation speed. Parsing (ironically) in version 2.0 of uCalc FMP was actually relatively slow, because it was designed for single line math expressions instead of multiple lines of code. This year, with the underlying Language Builder, and emphasis on scripting, parsing speed was greatly improved. However, due to the fact that things were re-designed entirely from scratch, although parsing is faster than before, calculation speed took a hit. So in June of this year, I have removed Fast from the product name and renamed it uCalc Free Math Parser, and then later I renamed it uCalc FMP. The good news is that I have recently completed optimizations so that the calculations in the upcoming version will be faster than ever, and I'll be able to reclaim the product name uCalc Fast Math Parser.

                      (If I use uCalc FMP and LB interchangeably here, it's because it's really the same underlying DLLs, but with a different interface).

                      I can't say for sure that uCalc LB will let you create languages like SQL and C, since I haven't tried those yet. But the whole idea is that it should let you do things like that. Hopefully some brave souls will take this on as a project.

                      As for pricing, I'd probably want a majority of programmers to be able to make at least some free use of uCalc. $950 might be reserved for more hardcore usage. Or maybe I could make it free, and sell only specialized add-ons. I just don't know yet.
                      ---
                      Daniel Corbier
                      www.ucalc.com
                      Daniel Corbier
                      uCalc Fast Math Parser
                      uCalc Language Builder
                      sigpic

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I am interested in playing with it more but the help files didn't show for me.

                        I am definately interested in Hard Core usage. I have made great use of integrating VBScript in past projects of mine so a product like this is definately up my alley.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hmm. That's strange. Another person also reported a problem with the help file. It worked on his one computer but not on the other. When you say the help file doesn't show, what do you see (or what happens) when you try to open it?
                          ---
                          Daniel Corbier
                          www.ucalc.com
                          Daniel Corbier
                          uCalc Fast Math Parser
                          uCalc Language Builder
                          sigpic

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I got a Page Not Found error at home. I just downloaded it today here at work and they're displaying fine.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I did some checking around, and found this Microsoft KB article at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/902225/ , which suggests that if a certain security update is installed, it may prevent HTML help files from working properly. Were you opening the file across a network? Were you able to open other CHM help files on that computer? Or is it just the uCalc help files that don't work?
                              --
                              Daniel Corbier
                              www.ucalc.com
                              Daniel Corbier
                              uCalc Fast Math Parser
                              uCalc Language Builder
                              sigpic

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                uCalc LB now on Facebook

                                uCalc Language Builder now has a product page on Facebook. If you are on Facebook, and support the uCalc LB concept, please sign up as a product fan. Once on the page, signing up as a fan is just one click. Feel free to post comments on the wall. The link for uCalc LB on Facebook is:

                                http://www.facebook.com/pages/uCalc-...der/9800619594

                                (you can still see the page even if you are not on Facebook)

                                If uCalc FMP is what you're interested in, then see:
                                http://www.powerbasic.com/support/pb...highlight=fast
                                Daniel Corbier
                                uCalc Fast Math Parser
                                uCalc Language Builder
                                sigpic

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Count me in.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Using Facebook to spread the word is a nice idea!
                                    Count me too as a thank you!

                                    Bye!
                                    -- 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

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Daniel Corbier View Post
                                      I did some checking around, and found this Microsoft KB article at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/902225/ , which suggests that if a certain security update is installed, it may prevent HTML help files from working properly. Were you opening the file across a network? Were you able to open other CHM help files on that computer? Or is it just the uCalc help files that don't work?
                                      --
                                      Daniel Corbier
                                      www.ucalc.com
                                      Hi Daniel,

                                      Tonight I downloaded the zip file and extracted it. None of the chm files appear to have any content. Other than my DSL, my computer is not networked. I haven't investigated the MS KB to see if that is what may be happening on my computer. I just thought I would mention it FYI. [Edited] As per the MS KB, unblocking the chm files solved the problem.

                                      I ran the tutorial batch file and followed its content. Wow! It is an amazing product. I hope you sell a million copies!
                                      Last edited by Scott Hauser; 29 Jan 2008, 02:10 AM.
                                      The most exasperating part of the "rat race" is how often the rats are in the lead!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Join the other thread regarding Facebook marketing

                                        Thanks guys for the words of encouragement or for signing up as uCalc LB fans. By the way, I started a new thread in the Cafe PowerBASIC forum for discussing the advantages and disadvantages of marketing 3rd party PB tools on Facebook.
                                        Daniel Corbier
                                        uCalc Fast Math Parser
                                        uCalc Language Builder
                                        sigpic

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