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Programming Software IT Linux Technology

REALbasic To Add Linux support 71

__past__ writes "REAL software just announced that the next version of their REALbasic IDE will add support for building native Linux applications, in addition to the Windows, Mac OS classic and OS X targets. Given that it will include a converter for existing Visual Basic projects, this could be a usefull tool for migrating existing apps written in everybody's favourite language to free platforms, something that other projects like Gambas or KBasic don't address."
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REALbasic To Add Linux support

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  • by MattCohn.com ( 555899 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @07:41PM (#6506295)
    Why is it 'Everyone's favorate language' once it's on Linux, but a steaming pile of shit that's infested the computing platform when it's on Windows?
    • Re:Why is it... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Tom7 ( 102298 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @07:55PM (#6506420) Homepage Journal
      I think that's meant to be sarcastic, though I've seen figures that indicate it is the most popular language in the world.

      Anyway, Visual Basic is essentially the Windows "Perl," so I wish linux kids wouldn't act so high-and-mighty about it.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        I think that's meant to be sarcastic, though I've seen figures that indicate it is the most popular language in the world.

        I thought that was Chinese.
        • Well no, its actualy more of a contest between English and Spanish.

          Chinese has the most speakers total, all packed into one country, but it is not "the most popular language in the world" by any reasonable standard.
      • Sorry, no can do. I find Visual Basic to be aesthetically offensive enough to be nightmare-inducing.

        Then again, I feel the same way about Perl, too.
    • Re:Why is it... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by __past__ ( 542467 )
      Frankly, I guess the language is still rather shitty. Problem is, it is there, and lots of apps use it, especially custom in-house stuff. Somebody in Munich will probably perform a Schuhplattler out of joy when he hears about that.
  • Ver' interesting (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 0x0d0a ( 568518 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @07:42PM (#6506304) Journal
    This is a good thing for Linux folks, and perhaps somewhat for Mac folks.

    RealBASIC has been a popular RAD tool on the Mac for a while. I doubt many folks using Linux are going to want to run out and switch to BASIC, but existing RealBASIC programs should now be easy to port to Linux.
  • "...existing apps written in everybody's favourite language..."

    That can be taken two ways. It either means everyone's favorite language in that it's a very popular language to write programs for, or it's prefered over other languages as it's "the best" or people "like it better."

    I sure hope it's the first because I do not like VB at all...

  • by thecampbeln ( 457432 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @07:46PM (#6506339) Homepage
    (Pausing for the boos and hisses...) ...that is very interested in Linux on the desktop and beyond, this kind of development tool would be excellent! I looked a number of months ago when I realized that there were other *Basic providers but was unable to find anything that would compile to Linux (or even translate VB into a "real" language for later compilation).

    Even though I despise VB (I program ASP/VB for work and PHP for my own stuff, wishing I knew another app-dev language replace VB), it's what I know best and what pays the bills, so ANYTHING that will allow me to use those skills on *nix is a welcome one!!

    • by Electrum ( 94638 ) <david@acz.org> on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @08:00PM (#6506466) Homepage
      wishing I knew another app-dev language replace VB

      Check out Delphi [borland.com].
      • What exactly is an "app-dev language"? Isn't "app-dev" merely a cheesy abbreviation for "application development"? Why do people assume that you need a RAD tool for application development? Delphi is cool (any OO Pascal has to be cool), but what about C/C++, Ruby, Java, etc?
        • by thecampbeln ( 457432 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @09:00PM (#6507050) Homepage
          App-Dev - Applications Development environment, preferably an IDE (Integrated Development Environment, generally a GUI (Graphical...))

          But seriously, VB is (one of the) most widely used programming environments for applications development because of the many features it possesses, namely the IDE/GUI and programming features (memory management, string manip., etc). Give me that on Linux and I'll migrate over to it ever quicker!

          • But seriously, VB is (one of the) most widely used programming environments for applications development because of the many features it possesses, namely the IDE/GUI and programming features (memory management, string manip., etc). Give me that on Linux and I'll migrate over to it ever quicker!

            Delphi is very similar to VB. It has the entire RAD environment along with a clean language and very fast compiler. It is also available for Linux as Kylix [borland.com].
          • That's what I thought it meant. So explain to me again why C/C++, Ruby, Java, etc, are not considered "app-dev" languages?

            Give me that on Linux and I'll migrate over to it ever quicker!

            What the heck are you waiting for! I'm not a Java developer, but everything you want is already available. I'm a C++ person, so I prefer KDevelop, Qt and Designer, which gives me what you say you want. C++ may not have garbage collection, but it does have memory management, made even easier with Boost. Or what about Kylix
          • You want Python with GTK.

            Then, you want to snarf emacs (for writing code) and Glade (for designing guis). Python has the kind of easy syntax and clear documentation that lets you write code really fast, and it also has lots of nice features.

            A lot of the Red Hat are written using this combination, as well as yum (a bit like apt), Straw (rss aggregator) etc - it's the VB for Linux, except good.

        • >> Why do people assume that you need a RAD tool for application development...

          Because it's faster than coding everything from scratch and because someone might actually have an affinity for the language.
    • If you're interested in developing in a VB-like RAD tool on Linux you should definately check out XBasic. As I understand it, the next version (who knows WHEN that will come out) is going to include a VB converter too.
  • X86 GNU/Linux only (Score:3, Insightful)

    by norwoodites ( 226775 ) <[pinskia] [at] [gmail.com]> on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @07:54PM (#6506416) Journal
    Is this only going to be ia32 GNU/linux only, or also sh4, ppc, ppc64, ia64, arm, s390, s390x, m68k, sparc, alpha, etc. GNU/LINUX?
  • by torpor ( 458 ) <ibisum@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @08:15PM (#6506641) Homepage Journal
    I mean, really. Kylix doesn't run under OSX yet? Pffttt.

    With this move to supporting Linux, RealBasic is now what Delphi should have been ... oh, say, 2 years ago.

    I for one look forward to the *thousands* of simple, easy to use, well-written RealBasic apps that can now be relatively easily ported to Linux.

    I think that having a RAD tool like RealBasic around is going to be very positive for Linux - even in the light of other RAD tools, such as Kylix, the Gnome stuff (whatsitcalled?), &etc. RealBasic has been responsible for a lot of good, simple, easy apps under MacOS and Windows, from checkbook balancing programs to automatic downloaders, to email programs, etc.

    Having all of these new apps for Linux may well give a lot of companies the incentive to re-consider Linux on the desktop - well, in fact, having the ability to port RealBasic apps from Windows or OSX -> Linux will do a *lot* for Linux on the desktop, in my opinion.

    In my days as a consultant focusing exclusively on implementing Linux solutions for customers, there were plenty of examples of when a small to medium sized business would've run Linux if only there were (perceived to be) an easier "VB" style app development environment for Linux. This was supposed to happen with Kylix, but somehow that fell sort of flat (didn't it?).

    I hope RealBasic kicks some serious ass in this arena, and we start to see really interesting new apps being developed for Linux which don't just do the same old thing ...
    • I have tried kylix, and its no good..
      it crashes, does not support new kernels, buggy.. sorry to say this. I am a great borland fan, i have used delphi and C Builder for as long as i can remeber, when kylix came out i was jumping around in joy... but i was really disappointed.
    • >> Having all of these new apps for Linux may well give a lot of companies the incentive to re-consider Linux

      I doubt it. First, I've used all 3 platforms -- MAc, Windows, Linux -- and never noticed "thousands" of RealBasic apps floating around. Perhaps several dozen Mac-style shareware things. Nothing, certainly, that would sway a purchase decision. ("Oooh, someone wrote a downloader in RealBasic that we can port to Linux. Great! Let's replace all of our Microsoft infrastructure and our tech sta
      • You've probably used more RealBasic apps on your Windows and Mac platforms than you realize.

        And you're not getting my point (or trying to divert from it, troll!) which is that *Enterprises*, given a simple easy to use RAD environment for developing their own easy to use, simple, standard good-quality *custom* apps for their own uses internally, will be more easily swung over to the Linux camp now that RealBasic - a development system targetting Win, Mac and Linux in one fell swoop - is available.

        The compu
  • Ulch! (Score:2, Troll)

    by andfarm ( 534655 )
    Though this may sound to many like a Good Thing -- having an easy development environment for beginning Linux programmers -- to me, at least, Re--B---c is the name of evil. One need only look to PerversionTracker [perversiontracker.com] -- a parody of the popular VersionTracker [versiontracker.com] web site -- to see some of the obscenities that R---B---c has spawned on OS X. I can only imagine what horrible interfaces we'll start seeing on some new Linux apps.

    If candy rots the teeth, BASIC rots the brain. And R---B---c has BASIC as its roots...

    • Come on, whatever you can think of RealBasic and all that kind of fast developpement tools, this guy is right when is says it is usually for beginners and that it frequently gives us awfull program!
      I have seen too much programs for Mac that could have be done in 50 lines of C with an executable of just a few Kb, and instead are at least 1Mb (minimum size for RealBasic program, as far I have seen).

      Look at this example: FreeSpaceFile X [versiontracker.com]
      That's 1.2 Mb for something that could have been done in one line of
    • I can only imagine what horrible interfaces we'll start seeing on some new Linux apps.

      And that would be different how?

  • Who cares? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by reynaert ( 264437 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @09:07PM (#6507101)

    Kylix has been available for years now, yet I have never seen a Windows application migrated to Linux. (Just checked freshmeat, it knows of 30 Delphi programs that run on Linux. Some of those might use GNU Pascal or Free Pascal instead of Kylix).

    Enter REALbasic. It has more or less the same design goals as Delphi, but it doesn't actually run on Linux, you just can create Linux applications from the Windows and Mac version (quote:REALbasic 5.5 will add the ability to create Linux applications from Windows or Macintosh computers.). It will thus be pretty useless for Linux programmers. Most users on other platforms probably won't bother to generate Linux binaries, let alone test them. For people switching from Mac/Windows to Linux it isn't very useful either, because they would need to keep their old platform around to make any changes.

    • True, in the initial release, RB will only compile to Linux, not run on it.

      This was the case for Windows development too, for quite a while. But in 5.1, RB shipped the IDE for Windows too. This might be taken to imply that the IDE code is pretty portable already.
  • by vadim_t ( 324782 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @09:15PM (#6507159) Homepage
    Visual Basic is often described in VB books as the "system glue". This means that you usually don't write huge amounts of code in it, you use it to put components together. A database app would usually be made of standard controls, ADO objects, data bound controls, perhaps some third party spread/grid control and often Crystal Reports or something similar.

    Having a VB compiler won't help much, unless they also plan to make Linux versions of ADO libraries and other useful things that are used often. And then there are the tons of WinAPI calls many VB programs are full of, because VB's capabilities even in version 6 aren't very impressive.

    I'm currently considering how to move from VB to Linux, and my current best idea is to isolate the evil parts, like Crystal Reports by moving them to a separate program. This way I could use just one Windows computer to print reports, and rewrite most things in Linux more easily.
  • so where's the source code so I can compile this on NetBSD/sparc? and NetBSD/sgimips? Or maybe only NetBSD/i386? Not all the world is Linux/i386, and the latter is becoming more and more of a closed, commercial system.

    - Hubert
  • by BitGeek ( 19506 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2003 @01:45AM (#6508860) Homepage

    In my opinion, there isn't really a good cross platoform GUI library out there. (Ok, lets just say- using my arbitrary criteria).

    I'd consider using Java, as I like the language, and Swing is Ok-- but there are no visual UI tools for swing (again, none that I didn't rule out for one reason or another.)

    Interface builder combined with Cocoa is so freaking amazing that once you've used it you become a bit jaded... but when you want to write an app that you know the market is going to be heavily linux and windows weighted, you need to come up with something.

    I had been looking at Runtime Revolutions, but they recently changed their licensing structure, and they use the card metaphor, so they're not as appealing -- but they do support one click compilation for windows, linux, mac and a half dozen other unixes.

    Realbasic seems a reasonable comrpomise-- I can write my hard core code in Objective-C (easy to port anywhere there's GCC) and do the UI in Basic using RB...

    Looks like I'll have to remember how to program in Basic... its been years.

    But at least I won't have to use a compromise cross platform GUI toolkit that compromises the Look and Feel. For instance, Qt apps look terrible on the Mac. Real Basic apps look about right on Linux and Windows (And fine on the Mac).

    Oh, and after learning Objective-C, I'd rather write in BASIC than C++!

    Yes, Objective-C is that good, at least paired with good frameworks (and gnustep is a good framework.)
    • Have you looked into wxWindows [wxwindows.org]?

      • Only a little bit. They are C++ and so that worries me, but more importantly, their Mac OS X Screenshots look very un-mac like.

        I come from the old school where we'd write games to support multiple platforms and re-write the UI in native code for each platform. I'd rather do that than ship something that does not look right on the Mac (especially on the Mac where when you do a Windows L&F or a Linux L&F it sticks out really bad.)

        Otherwise, I'm happy to believe that vxWorks is a good project. If
  • sweetness (Score:2, Interesting)

    REALbasic is what got me into programming about 5 years ago back when it was still called CrossBasic (xBasic), and REALsoftware was FYIsoftware.

    Amazingly enough, it IS possible to write a decent application in RB, the only problem is that you get all these kids who are just learning how to program, don't understand exceptions, error checking, or GUI design, and think they can be hax0rs releasing simple apps that just stink of poor design.

    Also, earlier versions (I'm not sure about the current release, t

    • Under linux, most programming languages worth working with have ways of loading and calling the functions in DLLs, either natively or via simple wrappers. These are usually called FFIs (Foreign Function Interfaces).
  • It would be interesting to see TrueBasic [truebasic.com] (a Basic by the original creators of Dartmouth Basic), on Linux (right now they only do Classic MacOS and Windows). They are planning an OSX port [truebasic.com], so who knows, maybe it will make it to Linux one day. Now I have never used TrueBasic (yet), but from what I have heard its pretty capable (well, for Basic).

    BTW, info (and source code!) for the original Dartmouth Basic is available at here [dtss.org].

  • RealBasic may come out with a Linux development environment later. For a while, you had to develop on mac but could compile for windows. If many rb developers take advantage of rb linux then maybe they'll port the IDE as well.

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