What do you use FreeBASIC for?

For other topics related to the FreeBASIC project or its community.
marcov
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Re: What do you use FreeBASIC for?

Postby marcov » Apr 18, 2020 17:46

Munair wrote:
TJF wrote:Most of the FB users are not interested in professional tools, they're just playing around.
That is very much reflected here on this forum and by the fact that FB is practically at the same position in the programming world as it was about 10 years ago.

There are much more powerful languages these days and the philosophy of programming, as it is being adopted by new generations, has changed significantly since the days of BASIC and Pascal. As a result, compilers based on and maintaining compatibility with these traditional languages, will eventually enjoy a very small margin (if at all) in the world of programming.


The question however if a hurried copycatting of now popular languages into a new language will even match that marginal level. At least the old languages have their fans, and most choices for new languages are tied to the platforms of a dominant corporate player.

Maybe the era of homebrewn general purpose languages is simply over. With new languages (not proposed by a multinational) it is all about the problem to solve. IOW specialise in the direction of a specific problem group, that is only way to make a real distinction. Playing syntax games won't do that.
Dinosaur
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Re: What do you use FreeBASIC for?

Postby Dinosaur » Apr 18, 2020 22:00

Hi All

In many ways I agree with marcov, even though I am one of those "islands" heading in my own direction.

However for FB to gain direction, it has to have a goal. That goal requires agreement that some particular
features of FB need to be unified into one effort.(Deja Vu , have preached that before)

And that is the difficulty with FB, as we are a collection of "islands" with a few notable exceptions.
But those "islands" often create code and solutions to problems that are not available in the main stream.

Convincing them to join into the effort and contributing requires a salesman and rules.
ie:Officially sponsoring a GUI (with credits to contributors, but an FB-GUI)
Ditto with others, like Graphics , Editors etc.
ie: Don't adopt compiler changes that don't suit those targets.

We are always going to have users that don't fall into the average category and they will continue to develop applications.
But, once a trend becomes visible (as to the wider appeal) then ego's have to be set aside and a new common goal set.

The development of Linux is a good example of that, but they had one hell of a salesman.

Regards
BasicCoder2
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Re: What do you use FreeBASIC for?

Postby BasicCoder2 » Apr 18, 2020 22:40

TJF wrote: Most of the FB users are not interested in professional tools, they're just playing around.


With the hope of coming up with something great :-)
MrSwiss
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Re: What do you use FreeBASIC for?

Postby MrSwiss » Apr 18, 2020 23:58

BasicCoder2 wrote:With the hope of coming up with something great :-)

HOPE, is not a coding concept, I'm familiar with.

There are two distinctly different types of people here:
    Those that just talk ... and never DO anything.
    Those that DO ... and don't talk (a lot) about it.
Just to give a example: SevenSegment (static library) that never even got a single response ...
BasicCoder2
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Re: What do you use FreeBASIC for?

Postby BasicCoder2 » Apr 19, 2020 0:38

@MrSwiss
Hope is a motivator for most of us no matter what the task is. Clearly you posted the SevenSegment code in the hope that others might also be interested in, and perhaps use, the code? Do you use it in any of your other code projects?

Yes many (most?) get pleasure out of talking about what they hope to do without any real reason for anyone else to believe they will ever succeed. Millions of people gamble for that reason. They get joy out of day dreaming what they will do with their winnings. When they lose there is always the joy of dreaming what they will do with the winnings of their next big gamble.

Yes I agree that most of those who have written and posted successful and useful code on this forum do rather than talk about what they hope to do. I have great respect and admiration of them. They have made my FreeBASIC programming that much more enjoyable and I wish I had the ability to contribute as well but honestly they tower above me in knowledge and ability. For the rest of us dreams are all that there is. You are actually one of them and I have always appreciated your help on some of my "dream" projects.
Last edited by BasicCoder2 on Apr 19, 2020 0:46, edited 1 time in total.
MrSwiss
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Re: What do you use FreeBASIC for?

Postby MrSwiss » Apr 19, 2020 0:45

BasicCoder2 wrote:Do you use it in any of your other code projects?

Well, at least one published, that is btw., linked in the thread
(7-Segment LED Clock) in 'Tips & Tricks'.
Last edited by MrSwiss on Apr 19, 2020 0:48, edited 1 time in total.
Arachnophilia
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Re: What do you use FreeBASIC for?

Postby Arachnophilia » Apr 19, 2020 9:19

Hello everyone

It's an interesting discussion. But some aspects remain outside the discussion so far. For example, the question why this is so.

For me, the statement regarding "eternal yesterday" is only a provocation.

When it comes to training computer scientists, universities are being overrun by the market power of large manufacturers of programming environments.
It is therefore not surprising to me that professional computer scientists want or need to work on precisely these platforms. No matter whether C, C++, dotnet, Java, PHP etc. I know because two of my sons are professional computer scientists.
During their time at the university, both of them were provided with the software of large manufacturers free of charge. In the lectures only these platforms were covered and the knowledge was imparted.
I think that for this reason other platforms simply have a hard time being used by companies with developers. (What I already know I use.) If you look at the job advertisements for computer scientists, you will not read FreeBasic, Powerbasic or other "basic" dialects etc.
Also the non "commercial" programmers be attracted and bound by free versions of well-known manufacturers.

I am not a commercial computer scientist I voluntarily had two semesters of computer science in my training as a technical engineer. First GWBasic. Some of you may still know it. In the course of time it became QBasic; TurboBasic; Powerbasic and now Freebasic. I never developed a commercial product. I don't have the necessary deeper knowledge and due to my actual job I simply don't have the time. But I make small programs, which I partly use in our company.

Of course also there is computer scientists or developers like Paul Squires (WinFBE) and Jose Roca (WinFBX) who are willing to look beyond their own nose. Who are able and willing to port their knowledge to other languages. Of course the makers of Freebasic and their further development are part of this. Also all others who spend their time to make it easier to use. Or all those who share their code. Through their works the interest in Freebasic is awakened.

The big disadvantage of the available help is that you don't have to deal with your source code anymore. ... and learn less.

I can say for myself, that without the developments of Paul Squires and the Windows Framework of Jose Roca, I would not more have been ready to get involved with FreeBasic.

The big companies use consistently their market dominance. It is actually not possible for the "small" providers to compete against it.

I share the opinion that this imbalance can be changed by a common goal, a common development in the same direction.

I think the potential is there. Even a pack of "old geezers" can make a difference.

Single ingredients do not make a menu and quarrels do not bring to the goal.

That is my word on Sunday.
Last edited by Arachnophilia on Apr 19, 2020 14:50, edited 3 times in total.
Munair
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Re: What do you use FreeBASIC for?

Postby Munair » Apr 19, 2020 11:28

marcov wrote:The question however if a hurried copycatting of now popular languages into a new language will even match that marginal level. At least the old languages have their fans, and most choices for new languages are tied to the platforms of a dominant corporate player.

Maybe the era of homebrewn general purpose languages is simply over. With new languages (not proposed by a multinational) it is all about the problem to solve. IOW specialise in the direction of a specific problem group, that is only way to make a real distinction. Playing syntax games won't do that.
Several (scripting) languages started out as "home-brewn" projects, which are now used on a wide scale as part of OS's and such. Even if it took several to many years for such languages to be recognized, they stand out in some way or another. But what they have in common is that they are unique languages not bound by compatibility issues with some predecessor. That is a big difference. And such language did not necessarily fill the gap of some "problem group". Being practical or easy to use are valid points that often suffice.

Regarding traditional BASIC and Pascal, I think it is safe to say that their fate as widely used languages was sealed during the 90s. Both Microsoft and Borland took a different turn in the early 2000s. Now, even Microsoft seems to drop VB in favor of C#. I believe this has a lot to do with syntax issues that both BASIC and Pascal suffer from in different ways. This is much more than just a "syntax game" and this never became more clear to me than last year when I tried Go. I cannot say that I like the language that much, but I understand why the developers made specific choices related to syntax, which is closer to the C family.
marcov
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Re: What do you use FreeBASIC for?

Postby marcov » Apr 19, 2020 13:37

Munair wrote:Several (scripting) languages started out as "home-brewn" projects, which are now used on a wide scale as part of OS's and such.


Do you have any recent examples? E.g. Python is from 1990, Ruby from 1995, PHP too 1995, Perl from 1987, REXX from 1979 even, just like the Bourne shell.

Hmm, maybe and Rexx and shellscript don't count as there were conceptualized at a major corporation, and not homebrewn.

Even if it took several to many years for such languages to be recognized, they stand out in some way or another. But what they have in common is that they are unique languages not bound by compatibility issues with some predecessor. That is a big difference. And such language did not necessarily fill the gap of some "problem group". Being practical or easy to use are valid points that often suffice.


PHP: web Perl: textprocessing Ruby: Rails Rexx and Python: system scripting, but arguably the most general purpose one of the lot.
And yes, back then there was some demand for a scripting level above shellscript. But that position has been filled now.

But the compatibility argument is nonsense. They are significantly older than their heyday, and thus just the compatibility argument with self is enough.

Regarding traditional BASIC and Pascal, I think it is safe to say that their fate as widely used languages was sealed during the 90s.


Most of the languages that I assume you mean are also from that era.

Both Microsoft and Borland took a different turn in the early 2000s. Now, even Microsoft seems to drop VB in favor of C#. I believe this has a lot to do with syntax issues that both BASIC and Pascal suffer from in different ways. This is much more than just a "syntax game" and this never became more clear to me than last year when I tried Go. I cannot say that I like the language that much, but I understand why the developers made specific choices related to syntax, which is closer to the C family.


Both (Visual)Basic and Pascal had a label of "old". C syntax for some reason didn't have that, so specially in the US where there was not much Pascal/Delphi to begin with they went with the C syntax for marketing reasons. And no technical ones.
Munair
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Re: What do you use FreeBASIC for?

Postby Munair » Apr 19, 2020 14:42

@marcov,

Not counting REXX (indeed), BASIC and PASCAL predate the languages you mentioned by almost 20 years. And there lies the problem with today's implementations of these two languages. Sure, C has its roots in the 70s, but it was designed differently (probably they looked at previous language design attempts and learned a few things).

The position for a system programming language was also filled in the early 80s (by Pascal), yet it lost its position to C. Your argument that there was not much Pascal in the US is incorrect. Apple and Borland used and promoted it.
marcov
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Re: What do you use FreeBASIC for?

Postby marcov » Apr 19, 2020 15:18

Munair wrote:Not counting REXX (indeed), BASIC and PASCAL predate the languages you mentioned by almost 20 years. And there lies the problem with today's implementations of these two languages. Sure, C has its roots in the 70s, but it was designed differently (probably they looked at previous language design attempts and learned a few things).


Total arbitrary distinction. C is mostly a subset of Pascal. And the only reason why C crept into system programming was the Unix wave of the eighties.

The position for a system programming language was also filled in the early 80s (by Pascal), yet it lost its position to C.

Eighties Pascal was used on micros and 16-bit Dos, Unix on beefier machines. Beefier machines and entrenchment on US universities and military won out, and the major vendors went for C++.

Even if Borland had wanted to counter that, it was a tools only company and magnitudes smaller than the other companies (Apple,Microsoft,IBM,Sun, all of which had an own Unix btw) that defined their OS APis in their own tools, and promptly start selling them aggressively.

No magical "design difference" needed, you fall for the common trap that all is just language design. It usually isn't.

Your argument that there was not much Pascal in the US is incorrect. Apple and Borland used and promoted it.


I was reacting to your syntax choice for C# which was much later (and created by the core Delphi architect even). Borland sales figures in the nineties and early 2000s showed 3:1 BCB:Delphi in US and the other way around in Europe.
caseih
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Re: What do you use FreeBASIC for?

Postby caseih » Apr 19, 2020 18:49

Arachnophilia wrote:When it comes to training computer scientists, universities are being overrun by the market power of large manufacturers of programming environments.
It is therefore not surprising to me that professional computer scientists want or need to work on precisely these platforms. No matter whether C, C++, dotnet, Java, PHP etc. I know because two of my sons are professional computer scientists.
During their time at the university, both of them were provided with the software of large manufacturers free of charge. In the lectures only these platforms were covered and the knowledge was imparted.

Yes there is some truth to this. But it's not the full story by any means, and it's not that simple. Most successful, popular languages, are community-driven in nature these days. Some came out of Academia, and others came out of large companies who are trying to solve unique problems that traditional languages are not well suited to. The successful ones have communities and tools independent of any marketing department. Even MS knows this, which is why they've open sourced Dot Net Core, and have released an open source IDE for multiple platforms, VS.code. Other examples include Google's Go language, which is now independent.

The people I know that use C# and Dot Net don't do it because of MS marketing. they do it because it's a powerful toolkit that allows rapid development.

Java, well... yeah one proves your point, although I'm not sure why it got so popular when Sun was sooo bad at marketing.

Usually these sort of discussions devolve into existential questions of, what is the future of FreeBASIC? What would make it useful to you? Why would you pick FreeBASIC over other languages? The answers are different for each person.
marcov
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Re: What do you use FreeBASIC for?

Postby marcov » Apr 19, 2020 20:10

Caseih: you are confusing community driven with an corporation open sources the source, sets up some collaboration. Unless the corporation hands over control, it is not community driven.

To guess how such "open" communities that are totally dominated by the originator evolve, just watch Java politics.
caseih
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Re: What do you use FreeBASIC for?

Postby caseih » Apr 19, 2020 20:58

No I don't believe I am. Besides if it's open source, there's a freedom to fork it if someone had the will to do so. I'm sure the creators of all languages dominate for a while since they are the ones doing the work initially. And politics can happen in any language community. Sad that Julia's getting bogged down by politics and control fights. But if Julia fails, another language will fill that niche just as well eventually.

As for corporate-developed languages, not every one is under the thumb of the originating company. Google certainly doesn't dictate to the Go community. In fact recently there were some, including a few at Google, that wanted to add exception handling to Go. However the community at large reacted strongly to the proposal and it died. No company dictates Python's direction either. In fact the original BDFL and creator of Python stepped down entirely last year.

Really, the communities surrounding many computer languages (including commercially-originating ones), some popular and some esoteric, has never been more vibrant now than at any point in the last 30 years. There so many cool languages out these days. If anything it's too many. But that will take care of itself.
BasicCoder2
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Re: What do you use FreeBASIC for?

Postby BasicCoder2 » Apr 19, 2020 21:03

Surely it comes down to a tool for the job commensurate with the users ability?
There was a reason why I chose FreeBASIC over 10 years ago. It enabled me to easily do things other languages at the time did not.
The job I want to do now is have speech to text in a program.
Text = LISTEN()
So how do I choose a suitable language? Clearly one where there is an easy explanation as to how to do something using that language. All the time it seems to come back to a Python program. It is the support Python gets for just about everything a hobby programmer would like to implement that makes it a computer language of choice although I would rather be able to do everything in FreeBASIC. FreeBASIC only has a few people like D.J.Peters who has the know how, ability and motivation to expand FreeBASIC's power using libraries.

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