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The Gambas Project: It's Like Visual Basic On Linux
can't say really who was the first to hit the scene, but gambas and lazarus are both from 1999.
It is just that gambas never had the popularity it deserves.
Neither did Lazarus and FPC, unfortunately. Although it's really a breeze to develop cross platform applications with it. Especially GUI. In most cases it "just works".
At least it picked up some of the momentum when Delphi (Borland/CodeGear/Embarcadero/whoever) decided to f*ck 64bit and cross platform for most of their time until it was nearly too late.
When you write about Gambas, you could as well write about FreePascal and Lazarus (and maybe CodeTyphoon as an even easier distribution of both of them).
Just sayin' :-)
So Larabel has finally wrote about it. I know that I myself have sent him information about it in the past, such as when they reached the Gambas 3 release, and he never acted on it then.
At any rate, the amount of trolling in this thread is ridiculous. mark45 in particular should be ashamed of the garbage he has posted here; first off, you have no right to tell people what to work on, and secondly you should have paid some attention to how long this project has been going on, as it just goes to show how valuable it seems to have become for those who develop it and use it.
A lot of people use it for the same reason they use VB - which still has a lot of use, believe it or not. I know more than a few people who relied upon an old VB program in their small business and then later used Gambas to write a replacement when they switched their systems to Linux. Further, Gambas actually has one of the nicest IDEs available from the free software community, and I have even heard non-BASIC users bemoaning the fact that they do not have one as nice for their own language. And as kokoko3k said, for RAD purposes Gambas excels.
But by far the worst post here is the one by doom_Oo7. BASIC is a legitimate language in its own right, and it is very useful in getting people started. Gambas itself I would even say is about equivalent to Python, with its only real disadvantage being it is still not properly cross-platform. VB had some faults, but it also had huge strengths that attracted many people to it. Gambas has for the most part stripped out the cruft that plagued VB, kept the best parts, and added some of the strengths of languages such as Java and C++ in order to further advance the BASIC concept.
If you read the website, you would actually have learned some of this yourselves.
Great stuff, in my eyes. VB6 IDE is IMO today still the best GUI builder out there. Despite being outdated, unsupported by all modern OS, closed source, based on a less-than-desirable programming language, and created by MS. Yet...unmatched, which is an utter disgrace! It is almost 2014!
I've experimented with many OSS/Linux GUI builders (disclaimer: I have yet to try QtDesigner), but most of them are next to useless due to unacceptable stability and usability bugs (Glade, wxFormBuilder) and ironically, bad user interface design. Instead I wrote some scripts to convert VB6 UIs to C++ GTK/WX code, in order to build my GUIs. Yeah, I run VB6 in Wine to do this! Which without saying sucks ass, yet is sadly most workable workflow I managed to find for C/C++ GUI RAD on Linux.
Also, far to many people fail to distinguish VB6 (the language) from VB6 (the IDE + toolchain) and disregard it wholesale. VB6 IDE was very good, far better than the VC++6 equivalent. Gambas seems to replicate the VB6 IDE UI closely, which is great start. I don't personally care about the language, but hopefully Gambas IDE will inspire someone to write a much needed equivalent for the C/C++ language, because so far the OSS community has been failing to do so for decades.
I personally also believe this is one of the conditions for Linux to become ready for the desktop; it should be easier to create GUIs. There's plenty of fine CLI software for Linux, but anyone who attempts to create GUI front-ends will give up pretty quick: there are simply no usable GUI builders for Linux.
So, bring on this Gambas thing, we'll have our much needed GUIs and turn Linux into an OS that doesn't require the user to be a programmer.
To the haters: show your worth, and fork it. Replace the language you despise so much with C/C++. I mean it. I'll be cheering you on.
What problem is this solving? Did someone sit down and go, "Wow I wish I could code in visual basic on linux"?
Well, sure, that's pretty much exactly what happened (along with "...and I also wish VB sucked a lot less and was free software")... 14 years ago, when this project started. It predates VB.NET, predates Lazarus, predates Kylix (remember Kylix?), predates Mono by something like 5 years... in fact, when it was first released, your only then-currently-maintained options for GUI programming with a form designer under Linux were Glade, which just generated XML files that had to be integrated into a C project manually, and Tcl/Tk. There was no "just press F5" option. As far as I know, there still isn't, in the free-software realm, other than Gambas.
Gambas helped replace in-house VB and Access software during three Linux desktop migrations I was involved with years ago. Its syntax is BASIC-like, but it's very unixy, easy to integrate with whatever random library you want either at runtime or by writing components, and handles things like IPC more gracefully than my beloved perl. I ended up contributing code (bad code, that the project creator has since fixed) to it in the course of all that. I haven't used it in years because I generally only work on web and mobile stuff now -- Gambas has a web component, but I've been a perl guy since well before I found Gambas -- but the fact that the trolls feel threatened by it just makes it more attractive to me. Wish I still had a use for it.
For what it's worth, I would agree that the original, line-numbered, GOTO-laden form of BASIC does cause bad coding techniques, much as COBOL and RPG of similar vintage did. Gambas isn't that. It's not VB6, either. It's a development tool for desktop apps that makes rapid iteration easy. That's it in a nutshell. Some developers have no use for that, but others, especially in the IT world, very much do.
Re: mark45. You don't get to decide what programs are important or not. It's not a matter of, oh, there's one programming language so Linux doesn't need more; they already have an editor, so no more are needed. Well, there really aren't that many RAD (rapid application development) environments for Linux.
As for using VB to teach programming in school... well, BASIC does actually teach some rather poor programming practices.. but *shrug*, if too many students would otherwise get bored or frustrated and not learn to program at all, it's a fine enough start. I would guess the best equivalent otherwise would be python (in terms of being able to just pick it up and get a result), but you won't get a GUI app running quite as quickly with it.