BASIC was developed to introduce people to computer programming. Little background was needed, so novices could write useful programs in only hours or days. Writing a first program was as simple as:
PRINT "Hello World"
BASIC was interactive, so programs could be written, run, edited, and rerun easily. This quick positive feedback encouraged people to write more and more sophisticated programs. As BASIC programs grew larger, however, they became unwieldy. To cope, many programmers switched to structured languages like C and PASCAL. Others gave up programming, because these other languages require much more up-front study and the learning of many unfamiliar concepts.
QuickBasic and VisualBasic
In the 1980s Microsoft introduced an enhanced BASIC language product called QuickBASIC (QB), and improved it periodically to address some of the shortcomings of conventional BASIC. QuickBASIC packaged an editor, compiler, and debugger in a windowing environment to create an integrated program development environment. Subsequently, Visual Basic (VB) added GUI development ability.
These development environments made programs easier and more natural to create and maintain. QB and VB evolved into moderately well structured programming languages, so writing large programs became practical. The flood of programmers that started programming in QB/VB was phenomenal. Quickly they became the largest selling computer programming languages in history.
QB and VB are appropriate for simple application programming, including scientific, engineering, business, and personal. Unfortunately, their greatest virtue, the ease with which large programs could be written and debugged, led to their greatest difficulty - limited program and data size.
Because they were developed to run under DOS on IBM-PCs and other 80x86 architecture computers, QB and VB have significant memory limitations. Vestiges of 16-bit architecture is a huge impediment to the development of moderate to large programs, regardless of programming language. Even expanded/extended memory versions are seriously hampered by memory limitations. Furthermore, QuickBASIC and Visual Basic are slow because they're interpreted, and they cannot create standalone .EXE and .DLL files, meaning executable files and dynamic link libraries.
XBasic advances far beyond all previous BASICs in power, flexibility, readability, portability, and ease of use. Designed to run only on 32-bit and 64-bit virtual memory computers, XBasic avoids the serious difficulties and complexities that plague previous BASICs and adds important advanced features. XBasic is vastly more powerful and flexible and much easier to use, program, and understand.
The Windows implementation of XBasic runs on Windows95/98/NT. A compatible Linux implementation of XBasic is also available.