Future use for B4PPC as 'B4Windows'?

SarahWard

Banned
Erel, with the slow demise of Windows Mobile I wondered if you could convert B4PPC program for desktop programming use?

I recognise that it can be used for Windows desktop as it currently stands. Only minor changes would need to be made to make it a desktop programming language (i.e. for Windows XP/Vista/W7 programs).

The main difficulty I have noticed in using B4PPC to write for desktop is the form use not being standardised. The three buttons in the top-right of the desktop form don't work as a normal Windows program would work. The Maximise button maximises to the chosen screen size rather than to the full size of the screen. Making these work in a standard way as a program default would be needed.

Once WinMobile is a thing of the past, B4PPC will also be unused. If you re-invented B4PPC as B4Windows it would be an excellent alternative to the very expensive and more complex Microsoft Visual Basic. I have used both for desktop programming and I prefer B4PPC as it is so easy to use and for writing quick programs.

It is just an idea.
 

agraham

Expert
Licensed User
Looks like you haven't discovered my desktop oriented libraries which can produce properly behaved powerful desktop programs, including MDI Forms. Look in Additional Libraries for FormExDesktop, HelpDesktop, RichTextDesktop and ControlsExDesktop. Of course most of the other libraries can still be used as well.
 

SarahWard

Banned
Looks like you haven't discovered my desktop oriented libraries which can produce properly behaved powerful desktop programs, including MDI Forms. Look in Additional Libraries for FormExDesktop, HelpDesktop, RichTextDesktop and ControlsExDesktop. Of course most of the other libraries can still be used as well.
I did use your excellent libraries but I haven't found how to use them to their best, obviously. :)

I was not complaining. I honestly think B4PPC should have a future beyond Windows Mobile.
 

Erel

Administrator
Staff member
Licensed User
This idea has crossed my mind several years ago. The main problem is that there are many good IDEs for Windows development. Including Visual Studio express edition which is free.
Basic4ppc is indeed simple and fun to use however the market in this case is already too crowded.
 

SarahWard

Banned
A B4PPC user wrote to this to me regarding my suggestion to make B4PPC into a dedicated desktop language:

I'm glad I saw your question/suggestion on the forum; as it is exactly how I feel too. In the past, I've tried to get into programming for Windows applications - I managed to get a copy of Visual Studio 2005 but unless you have a pretty good idea of what to do, you literally don't know where to start.

I am doing a lot of programs with Basic4PPC that I un-ashamedly write for the desktop only - but the very easy use of Basic4PPC lends itself to it. I'm just very worried that support will start to dwindle now as more of the forum users are leaning towards Android.

As I type this I'm downloading the Visual Studio Express 2010 that Erel suggested and will compare a few programs. I fear that libraries that we take for granted from Andrew Graham and Erel will not have any direct equivalents and we'll have to build our own code to do that. I'm thinking of specifics to me, such as Serial ports or TCP/IP network connections.

I just think Erel and Andew are underestimating the extremely simple process for a beginner to get something working; yet it may evolve into a powerfull application.

We may have to say good-bye to B4PPC, but hopefully it has given us the knowledge to at least ask some structured questions in the Visual Express circles...



I answered...

I agree that Erel and Andrew may be underestimating the needs of many who don't find programming so easy to get to grips with. Yes, there is a free version of Visual Studio but I have used Visual Basic intensively in the past and although it is more powerful than B4PPC it is also much more complicated to learn to do what we can do fairly easily with B4PPC.

I believer there are desktop programmers who would be happy to pay for a more dedicated desktop version of B4PPC rather than start all over again with the Express version of Visual Studio. Familiarity with a programming package like B4PPC creates confidence to approach programming projects and that is worth something.

I guess Erel is looking at the commercial side of this situation. Most B4PPC and now B4Android users are probably focussed on device based programs, not programming for desktop only use. His customer base is probably not in the desktop area. Work on a new version of B4PPC ('BASIC4Desktop') would have to be commercially viable and I expect his time is greatly taken up with the new device environments.

When I was using Visual Basic it was VB 6.0 and used activeX controls in place of our 'Libraries'. But they are essentially the same as they both call the Windows API to do things the standard 'Libraries' could not do. You could also buy a third-party control (Library) to do a specific thing if VB didn't have it as one of the many built-in controls. Or you could buy a book on calling the API from your code - I found it very complicated to get API calls to work without problems. (It would be more sensible to use Visual C part of Visual Studio if you wanted to write new Libraries.)

But yes, I agree, maybe Erel is losing sight of the value of programming with a familiar, easy to use product, and I am sure there are lots of programmers who would buy such a user friendly and familiar environment for desktop programming, rather than start all over again with Microsoft Visual Basic part of Visual Studio and a whole library of books you'd inevitably end up purchasing.

So I do believe there would be a market for a more simple BASIC compiler for general use and it would be ideal for new hobby programmers to start off with to get to grips with programming.




Some further thoughts on BASIC as an ab initio programming language...

A simple, easy to understand programming envronment is what is missing from PC Programming. Microsoft Visual Studio Express is a limited version of a very complex, multi-language programming system and I personaly don't think it is suitable for hobby programmers who want quick results without having to read tomes of gibble-gobble to even get started. It is for students who are taking a course or a degree in Computer Science. I learned it because I had to do so for work reasons when I was a computer engineer in the 1990s.

Basic4PPC is Visual Basic as it was intended (when VB was a DOS-based compiler called Quick-BASIC, back in the 1980s). Visual Basic stopped being a B.A.S.I.C. language when it became object-oriented under Windows. It became a nightmare as a Beginner's language because it was taken up across the workplace as a commercial programming language for many non-technical arenas where the C language was not required. This is how we lost our Beginners' programming language. The first letter of the acronym BASIC is "beginner's". The fact that Microsoft calls it: Visual 'Basic' rather than the correct: Visual 'BASIC' shows that they no longer consider it the beginner language it was created for. They have dumped the acronym 'BASIC' and replaced it with the real name 'Basic'. And quite right too, as it is no longer a beginner programming language but a complex high-level language for business use, these days.

BASIC4Windows COULD easily be that missing ideal beginner's language, Erel.
 
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RandomCoder

Well-Known Member
Licensed User
I have to say that I agree with SarahWard, as I am at the moment writting yet another serial data capturing application using B4PPC but destined to run on the desktop. Thanks again go to Andrew for his fantastic libraries that have expanded B4PPC even further for those that what that little extra ;)

Thanks,
RandomCoder
 

Caravelle

Active Member
Licensed User
Hear hear. I use B4PPC on my desktop (and laptop) for the same reasons as Sarah. It's so easy to knock out a quick program to do obscure things with my various sqlite databases that are way beyond the capabilities of the usual database managers.

Clearly Android fever is taking hold, and sooner or later sales of B4PPC will dwindle to nothing, as will official support. When that happens, I hope Erel will consider releasing the code for development as Open Source Software. If there is no profit in maintaining it, give it to those for whom profit is not a motive. I do not believe that the market for a windows programming IDE which provides an entry point for people to learn programming is crowded. I too remember the days of BASIC in various guises - and then struggling to make any sense out of Visual Basic, so turning to Delphi.

Caravelle
 

timsteeman

Member
Licensed User
totally agree!

I've made several (little) windows programs with B4PPC. Visual Studio is too complicated. I can get the pro edition for free, but i prefer to pay for B4PPC.

Just an example; I'm not very smart, but i understood the B4PPC approach for SQL within 1 evening.
In VS studio i can hardly get the "Hello World" to work!!!!

B4PPC is so much valuable, please don't let it bleed to death.

Tim
 

berndgoedecke

Active Member
Licensed User
Another totally agreement

Hello Together,
since Microsoft declares the Mobile 6.. development for death, i began to write my Sqlite database application only for Desktop.
Especially AGrahams FormexDesktop and ControlsExDesktop are good approachs to write nice looking Desktop applications.
But I think there is some more capacity for optimization.
Another wish is, to have more eventargs in Door or DoorEx Library.

Best Regards

berndgoedecke
 

nfordbscndrd

Well-Known Member
Licensed User
I'm in agreement with the rest of you. I'm a B4Android user, but when I finish a couple of big projects there, I want to see about converting them to B4PPC.

I've been using Visual Basic since 1985. When MS changed gears after VB6, I didn't follow. I had no interest in learning a new language (in effect) for 10x the cost of the original VB1. I know there are a lot of other ex-VB6 users of B4A who are in the same boat. I doubt that many of them even realize that ppc can be used to make apps for Windows. I didn't until today.
 

Kamac

Active Member
Licensed User
I think that Anywhere Software is special because it is making simple tools for mobile development.
I think there wouldn't be any sales if they'd turn to Windows development, since there are lots great easy and effective programming languages for it already.
 

devjet

Member
Licensed User
I think that Anywhere Software is special because it is making simple tools for mobile development.
I think there wouldn't be any sales if they'd turn to Windows development, since there are lots great easy and effective programming languages for it already.
Can you name a few of those so called easy programming tools?
 

Kamac

Active Member
Licensed User
Yes, B4A and B4PPC :)


What i've meant by easy is Visual Basic in Anywhere's Software programs, compare it with Java.
 
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