From R. T. Russell:
This is an implementation of the BBC BASIC programming language for Windows PCs. It combines the simplicity of BASIC with the sophistication of a modern structured language, allowing you to write utilities and games, use sound and graphics, perform calculations and create complete Windows applications. The full version makes compact (typically less than 100K) stand-alone executables which can be freely distributed.
What's new in this version:
Version 5.95a has improved support for touch screens and 64-bit Windows.
It feels like old times again.BBC Basic was easy to learn and fun to use, and the integrated assembler made me a 6502 programmer. My interest in it was purely nostalgic. It's a nice, solid piece of software, and it probably has a niche in teaching the history of computing. That said, it might also be a good platform from which to experiment with x86 assembler, as the immediacy of an interpreter with inlined assembler makes for a flexible learning tool.
It's not something I'd use for serious development - I loved BBC Basic (I had a BBC Model B back when I was 21), but time has passed and there are much more powerful (and *free*) and/or user-friendly languages around today, such as Python, C++, C#, ooRexx, Haskell, et cetera.
Documentation is thorough, equaling more than 300 printed pages, with numerous program snippets, rich with hyperlinks for cross-referencing.
The integrated compiler (paid version only) creates small executables requiring no run-time libraries, thus a complete Windows program can be distributed in a single EXE file, if desired.
Low learning curve permits even a new programmer to be up and running quicker than any language I've seen.
Advanced features for programmers experienced in low-level languages, with plenty of help for those who aren't (but wish to take advantage of Windows API, for instance).
Help is available not only in the manual, but also within the program's context-sensitive help, which allows you to point to a keyword, of instance, to quickly get a full explanation of how the keyword is used (excellent for use with the tons of example programs included).
This product offers the opportunity to update older (but proven) applications to run in the Windows environment. I have converted a 19-year old BBC-Basic real-time industrial control system to run under Windows XP-Pro. This has saved many hours of development time, and we can be confident that the machine will give many more years of trouble-free running.
As far as the customer is concerned, he has a control system with all the networking, monitoring and archiving capabilities of a PC-based solution.
This "ancient" language in its modern guise is being used to produce power generators for the new A380 airbus, as well as many other aerospace components.
Some of the Windows API calls could be better documented, although I must stress that the documentation is generally of a high standard. Technical queries usually receive prompt responses from the BB4W Yahoo user group members.
The best BASIC there is I'd say. Effort and results are scaleable from simple basic code, use of windows API routines and GUI envornment, through to full assembly language programming. The ability to 'compile' an exe file means programs can be used by anyone running widows. The author R Russell is incredibly accessible and genuinely helpful to users, as is the community of programmers who freely share hints, code, and constructive criticism on a Yahoo forum.
As others have said, it take time to learn how to use any tool and how to use it to get the best possible results. Past experience makes me at home with the BBC BASIC programing environment and even the implementation of an assembler, but I'm only slowly discovering its power when coupled with access to the Windows routines.
BBC BASIC is an extremely versatile form of Basic based on the very successful BBC computer sponsored by the British Broadcasting Corporation in the early 80s, as an aid to learning. As such it has a very wide range of functions not to found in most other languages, without access to complex API calls. The new version also has the ability to access the popular Boxes, Buttons, and Menus available within Windows. I have been using this software for over a year, and have never experienced any problems of a virus, as stupidly claimed by another reviewer, who appears to have a grudge against this very professional package.
A liitle more awkward than some other Basics at accessing Windows Boxes, Buttons, and menus etc.
* BBC BASIC is a mature language which has been in use for at least 24 years.
* The demonstration version is exceptionally functional and useful compared with other commercial BASIC demos.
* Wide range of commented example programs demonstrating various aspects of programming with the language. New example programs are added on a regular basis. Comes with an expanding range of useful relevant code libraries.
* Excellent documentation, user support, a good community and regular free updates.
* Very easy to learn with a fast learning curve. BBC BASIC for Windows is an ideal first programming language to learn and is emminantly suitable for teaching programming to both children and adults. Most of the original BBC BASIC programming books are still relevant for learning the language.
* Compiled executables are small--usually under 80Kb--require no run-time libraries or additional files and are compatible with all versions of Windows from 95 to XP SP2. Despite being an interpreted language programs run exceptionally quickly.
* Resource editors to create windows and icons are provided with full source code.
* An excellent language for rapid program development and testing.
* Able to load, compile and run a large amount of software originally written in BBC BASIC for the Acorn Electron, BBC Series and RISC OS computers. This is not an emulator though, it is a fully featured programming language suited for beginners and professionals alike and has numerous extensions and enhancements.
* The source editor has a few minor idiosyncracies and the dialog editor is a little awkward to use when used to other modern editors.
* Some aspects of programming the Windows API with BBC BASIC for Windows have a steep learning curve.
* It is not possible to create console mode, CGI or DOS programs. However BBC BASIC x86 is available from the author which can.
* You need to resort to machine language on a few occasions to deal with some aspects of the Windows API - full commented example code of how to achieve this is provided.