Sadly, this will only be for Windows; there are no specific IDEs that I know of for either linux or DOS, and besides most linux/DOS users will be smart enough to solve their own problems. Thus, the IDEs listed below are Windows IDEs.
Installing an IDE
An IDE is a text editor for programming with many useful features like syntax highlighting, project management, context-sensitive help, and program organization tools. QBasic came with a built-in IDE; FreeBASIC does not. Instead, there are three IDEs, and you may choose the one you want to use (you may also download all three and try each one out and decide on your own which one you want).
What follows is a brief guide to each of the three IDEs on downloading, setting up, and installing the IDE. Hopefully this will help some people.
Note: Before installing an IDE you should have the latest release of FreeBASIC. The tutorial assumes you use the default install, at C:\Program Files\FreeBASIC\, though naturally if you use another one you can change any instructions in the tutorial to match your installation. To get the latest release of FreeBASIC, go to the page http://www.freebasic.net/forum/viewforum.php?f=1 and look for the entry "Version 0.xx.xb Released" which is nearest to the top. Click it, then scroll down to the section which says "Downloads" and click the link that is under "Windows". This will give you an EXE file which you should run. It will install FreeBASIC for you. Always use the latest version of FreeBASIC, as it has the most features and is used most. This way, if you need any help you can get it easily since most users use the most recent release also.
JFish Pro is based on an editor that has a version for FreeBASIC and another version for PowerBASIC. As far as I can tell it isn't updated, but the IDE is at a pretty good point already and doesn't really need any more
development (although if they added the new keywords for syntax highlighting it would be much better).
- 1. Enter http://www.planetsquires.com/files/jpro_fb_172.zip in your browser URL box and press Enter. This will bring up a ZIP file for you to download. Save it anywhere, even on your desktop for example.
2. UnZIP the file jpro_fb_172.zip into your FreeBASIC directory (Usually this would be C:\Program Files\FreeBASIC\ in Windows, but you may have installed it somewhere else).
3. Run the executable, JFishPro.exe.
4. JFish Pro comes with a help file for FreeBASIC, but it's an older version. Download the newest version from http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=122342&package_id=159165&release_id=368628 - unZIP it into your FreeBASIC directory. You'll need to rename it to FB.chm for JFish Pro to use it (replace the old FB.chm that comes with JFish Pro). Now when you press F1 before a keyword you'll get the help page.
5. You also need to setup the compiler path. Go to the Compile menu and choose "Set Compiler Defaults..." The first option is the path to the compiler. This would usually be C:\Program Files\FBC.exe, but you may have installed it elsewhere. Compiler options should be nothing for now, though if you want to compile things in QBasic compatibility mode you can type "-lang qb" here. The last entry is the path to the help file, this would be wherever you placed FB.chm in step 3 (for example C:\Program Files\FreeBASIC).
6. Setup anything else you want from the View menu, there are plenty of options there. You may wish to change the colour scheme for example, if you're like me and are bored to death with the default one.
FBIde is an older one that is no longer updated because the creators hard drive was wiped out. It's my favourite of the three IDEs, even though it is somewhat outdated. A new one is in the works, but I haven't heard much on that and it will be a long time before it's as it was in this release (and as it is, the last release is quite outdated, for example many new keywords are missing). Still a good IDE, however, and I would highly recommend it if you want a good strong IDE.
- 1. Enter http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/fbide/FBIde_0.4.6.zip?download in your browser URL box and press Enter. This will bring up a ZIP file for you to download. Save it anywhere, even on your desktop for example.
2. UnZIP the file FBIde_0.4.6.zip into your FreeBASIC directory (Usually this would be C:\Program Files\FreeBASIC\ in Windows, but you may have installed it somewhere else).
3. Run the executable, most likely FbIde.exe.
4. The paths for FBIde are setup via View->Settings under the tab FreeBASIC. Set the compiler path (this is usually C:\Program Files\FreeBASIC\FBC.exe but you may have installed it elsewhere) and the Help file path (you should download the latest CHM manual from http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=122342&package_id=159165&release_id=368628 and unZIP it into your FreeBASIC directory, then set the path in FBIde), which allows you to put the cursor in front of a keyword and press F1 to get instant help on that keyword.
5. Setup anything else you want from the Settings dialog, for example if you're like me you'll want to change the colour scheme from the Theme tab, and you may wish to mess with the indenting settings under General.
FbEdit is to my knowledge the only IDE that is currently updated with fair regularity. In fact, you should download it from the link given on the page http://www.freebasic.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6715 rather than a link I give you, since the link might change at any time if it's updated. After you download it:
- 1. UnZIP it somewhere. Since it has a lot of files (unlike the other two IDEs) you may wish to install it in its own directory, or else at least in a subdirectory of your FreeBASIC directory (such as C:\Program Files\FreeBASIC\FbEdit).
2. Run the executable, in this case FbEdit.exe.
3. The settings you need to edit are all under the Options menu. The paths are setup by Options->Path Options (set the compiler path to the path of your compiler, usually C:\Program Files\FreeBASIC unless you've installed it elsewhere). For the help file (if you haven't downloaded it yet, download it from http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=122342&package_id=159165&release_id=368628 and unZIP it to your FreeBASIC directory) go to Options->Help Menu and choose FreeBASIC from the list. In the box labeled "Command" click the button with the ellipses (three dots) and find your help file where you unZIPped it.
4. If you want to edit any other options at this point, you may - I generally like to change the color scheme. In FbEdit you would do this from Options->Code Editor.
Now you should have an IDE installed, so you can create a new program, type it in, save it somewhere, and press F5 (or some other key) to compile and run it. Or you might press CTRL-F5 (or something else, depending on your IDE settings) to merely compile without running the program. This is just like QBasic, except all three IDEs are more colorful and have much more options and features than the QBasic IDE. However, it works essentially the same. You'll also be able to select a keyword and press F1 to get the help page (as I've said about ten times or so by now :D). All this will be very helpful as you're programming.
If you aren't able to install an IDE, you can use Notepad or any other text editor (it will vary depending on your OS). The difference is you'll have to find things in the manual yourself, and to compile you'll need to open a command shell (in the FreeBASIC directory you'll find start_shell.exe which will do the job) and type fbc, then a space and drag the file you want to compile into the command shell and press enter. That's the manual way to compile, it's not terribly hard but it's much faster and easier to do it with an IDE.