questions & answers

Q: What is XBasic?
A: XBasic is a comprehensive program development environment that integrates an editor, compiler, debugger, graphical user interface, and GuiDesigner into a seamless working environment that encompasses the whole process of creating fast, efficient, reliable programs.
Q: Sounds a little like Microsoft QuickBasic or VisualBasic.  What's the difference?
A: Quick Basic and Visual Basic are essentially toy languages, underpowered for serious projects.  On the other hand, XBasic is a professional programming tool, appropriate for all kinds of programming, including large, sophisticated programs.
Q: For instance, what could you write in XBasic, but not QuickBasic or VisualBasic?
A: For one thing, all of XBasic, and the whole program development environment, including GuiDesigner are written in XBasic, and the GUI is pure GuiDesigner.
Q: Amazing! I thought sophisticated programs like XBasic were always written in C or C++.
A: Almost all are - and for good reason. No program as sophisticated as XBasic has ever been written in any variety of BASIC before because until XBasic, it couldn't be done.
Q: Why not?
A: Because only XBasic has the power, flexibility, and efficiency necessary to implement sophisticated programs like this. Naturally you could write XBasic in C or C++.
Q: Then why should anyone consider XBasic?
A: Because it's alot easier to program in XBasic.  Not only because its development environment is spiffy, but because the language is much easier to understand and read.
Q: So all programmers should switch to XBasic?
A: I don't tell programmers what they should do.
Q: But should they?
A: I'd like to see that, of course, but it'll never happen.  And really, it shouldn't happen.  For those programmers who have really wired C or C++, it's not a clear call on whether they'd be better off switching to XBasic.  They've already learned C or C++, so the fact that XBasic is alot easier to learn doesn't help them much.   Still, since XBasic programs are alot easier for other programmers to read, or yourself after a time, it's still worth considering.
Q: To become powerful, did XBasic have to sacrifice simplicity and add pointers, malloc(), etc?
A: Absolutely not. X Basic is easier to learn and read than conventional BASIC.  First, all the garbage that accumulated over the generations was tossed out. What remained was streamlined, enhanced, and designed as a full-bore, no holds barred 32/64-bit language.
Q: XBasic is 32-bit?
A: That's right.  Go ahead, dimension million element arrays.  No problem.
Q: No more "out of memory" or "insufficient string space".
A: Not only that, it means you can stop wasting your time trying to work around the memory limitations of QuickBasic, VisualBasic, and all other languages with 16-bit architecture.
Q: So XBasic only runs on WindowsNT.
A: Not at all. It runs on Windows 3.1 too - and Windows95, Linux, and SCO UNIX.
Q: How's that possible?
A: Programs that run on the "Win32s" subset of WindowsNT will also run on Windows 3.1.  That's because Win32s, a DLL set provided by Microsoft, sits between WindowsNT programs and Windows 3.1 and translates API calls back and forth between 16-bits and 32-bits.
Q: So XBasic is for WindowsNT and Windows 3.1. That's great!
A: That's not all.  At this time XBasic also runs on Data General Aviion computers, which are based on Motorola 88100 CPUs, and...
Q: Wait!  That a UNIX system...
A: That's right.  XBasic will become available on a wide variety of platforms in the next 2 years.
Q: Including OS/2 ?
A: XBasic reportedly runs on OS/2 Warp.