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Author Topic: Are you guys sticking with PowerBASIC?  (Read 16770 times)

Paul Squires

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Are you guys sticking with PowerBASIC?
« on: August 17, 2015, 10:23:19 PM »

Hi everyone,

We've been together for a long haven't we  :)   As most of you know, PowerBASIC is now a dead company with a dead end product. It is going on 3 years since Bob Zale died and the the company is in worse shape than ever.

My question: Are you guys still sticking with PowerBASIC? Personally, I have totally moved on to FreeBASIC. Every day I am building more and more tools to make myself more productive in FB. I hope that by the end of the summer that I will have enough code to ensure that I can create just about whatever I need in 32 bit and 64 bit.

Other than FireFly itself, I have no legacy PB based programs that I need to maintain for the future. Hopefully eventually even FireFly itself will be re-written in FreeBASIC and its source code released to everyone.

I have been debating what to do with the PB version of FireFly. Should it go freeware? I know that you guys have paid a lot of money for this software so how do you feel about it being freeware? I know that I do not want to actively maintain and grow the PB version any further than it is now (I know you don't want to hear that!).

I plan to keep this support forum going and possibly opening it up to the general public should FireFly go freeware.

I would be interested in hearing your thoughts about what FireFly for PowerBASIC should become.




« Last Edit: August 17, 2015, 10:26:19 PM by TechSupport »
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Paul Squires
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David Kenny

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Re: Are you guys sticking with PowerBASIC?
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2015, 05:09:08 AM »

Well, I have bought every version of FF you have released, but I have been hoping you would release the source code instead of letting it die. 

As for PB being dead... I agree it doesn't look good for future updates, but I can still do what I need to do with it for the time being.  It would be nice to be able to produce 64 bit programs, but I have yet to have a real need.  I am not selling programs, so that makes it easier to not worry too much about the future.  I am more interested in being able to quickly create things I need with something I am used to.

I hope it doesn't cost you too much to keep the forum up.  Thanks for creating a great product in FF. 


David

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Paul Squires

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Re: Are you guys sticking with PowerBASIC?
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2015, 08:16:06 AM »

Thanks David!  The forum doesn't cost me much each month. I have a hosting package that allows me to have unlimited domains so I am paying a flat fee each month regardless of the amount of content I host. I also see your point that if you are only producing programs for your personal use then maybe learning a new product would not be of much benefit. Personally, I know that I will be programming for at least another 10 or 15 years so sticking with PowerBASIC is not an option.
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Paul Squires
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Petrus Vorster

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Re: Are you guys sticking with PowerBASIC?
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2015, 08:40:23 AM »

I know i am not one of the big boys in the forum, but it serves no purpose to stick with PB anymore.
I will follow you Paul in the Fb quest.
Soon i think we will have all the nice little buttons (Like the xp one) and gadgets and so forth for FB which have kept me on PB until now.
I'm in.
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James Fuller

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Re: Are you guys sticking with PowerBASIC?
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2015, 08:57:22 AM »

Paul,
  I am not coding for $ presently but still have that mindset as opposed to a strickly hobby endeavour. I still feel PowerBASIC would be my goto language in the event of a contract job.
  FreeBasic has come a long way in  dkl's hands, but I find the direction it took to 64bit a bit of a head scratcher. I know he probably had little choice but...

  Translate all your needed headers from c/c++ to FreeBasic.
  FreeBasic translates your basic source to c/c++
  FreeBasic tanslates your Freebasic headers back to c/c++.
  compile with g++.


I know I am prejudice but I'll stick with my bc9Basic, UbxWx, and a new cross platform fork in the works with fewer prerequisites than UbxWx.
On Windows I get my choice of a number of c/c++ compilers Visual C++,TDM-GCC, PellesC all in 32/64.

In the contract work I did the source was the clients not mine. They embraced PowerBASIC so that was no problem but in todays market I think c/c++ would be prefered to FreeBasic.

James


 
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Klaas Holland

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Re: Are you guys sticking with PowerBASIC?
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2015, 06:09:45 PM »


I agree with Petrus Vorster,
So I did switch a Powerbasic Program to FreeBasic (with the help of Paul of course, much appreciated).
It took me a couple of days for this first program which is using a MySql Database.
The program runs just like the PB version, with the same speed.

The nice thing is the FF_Functions are the same.
You just have to change the headers a little bit.
When you are used to SDK programming then the rest is piece of cake.
There are some differences, but you get used to it very soon.
Some things are even nicer with pure SDK programming.

Sooner or later we have to leave PowerBasic for what it is.
For me that moment is now I think.
FF for FreeBasic is the easiest way to move on.

So Paul, what you want to do with FF for PowerBasic is your business.
Do you think you get more interest when you make it open source?

My opinion is you will get more curiosity from the Powerbasic side when you charge a little price for FF for FreeBasic.

Klaas 
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Paul Squires

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Re: Are you guys sticking with PowerBASIC?
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2015, 10:54:30 PM »

Thanks for you feedback guys. I do not plan to make the current PowerBasic FireFly source code open source. The PowerBasic version would be freeware at best. I am thinking that I may not do that. It would generate a flurry of new users from the PB forums and I really do not want to be supporting new users. I would rather spend my time learning FreeBASIC and helping other PB'ers move to that language as well.

FireFly for FreeBASIC is what I want to concentrate on. Eventually I would like to re-write the designer using nothing but FreeBASIC and other open source libraries. I would like FireFly for FB to be free and open source. It would take a lot of work to get to that point but it will be worth it to the community.

I have little or no interest in trying to make money from selling programmer tools anymore. If I ever do sell programs again then they will not be programmer tools.  :)

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Paul Squires
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Gary Stout

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Re: Are you guys sticking with PowerBASIC?
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2015, 08:27:40 AM »

I have little or no interest in trying to make money from selling programmer tools anymore.

Paul,
I appreciate all you have done for the PB community and what you are now doing for the FB community. If you have no desire to make money off of your tools, how about a "Donate" button on your website so we can at least make a contribution to support your efforts? I am sure most here would be willing to support the cause  ;)

Thanks again Paul!

Gary
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Petrus Vorster

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Re: Are you guys sticking with PowerBASIC?
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2015, 08:40:23 AM »

Why not? Wikipedia has been asking donations the whole month now!!!
Then why not this forum?
Really smart idea there Gary.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2015, 08:42:49 AM by Petrus Vorster »
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Knuth Konrad

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Re: Are you guys sticking with PowerBASIC?
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2015, 12:17:18 PM »

I have been debating what to do with the PB version of FireFly. Should it go freeware? I know that you guys have paid a lot of money for this software so how do you feel about it being freeware? I know that I do not want to actively maintain and grow the PB version any further than it is now (I know you don't want to hear that!).

I plan to keep this support forum going and possibly opening it up to the general public should FireFly go freeware.

I would be interested in hearing your thoughts about what FireFly for PowerBASIC should become.

I personally have no problems with FF/PB going freeware somewhen in the future, as I bought my copy long ago and have gotten my money's worth back meanwhile.

As for "sticking to PB" ... sort of ... PB was never my main development tool, that was VB6. I use(d) to PB/Win to enhance VB with DLLs. I use(d) PB/CC for IT staff tools. I'll keep it that way for the time being = maintaining what is there.

I've considered my typical programming tasks, which include a wild mix of end user desktop applications, IT staff (command line) utilities, automation software (unattended "get-stuff-from-A-do-B-move-result-to-C-report-to-D") and occasionally a "web application" (simple forms which results most of the time in sending out an email).

I then had a look at various programming languages, including but not limited to Delphi, Python.

The one that stuck out of the heap, enabling me to (continue to) do the jobs listed above without the need to switch to a different language for a certain field, was the .NET family. And while C# is what the "cool guys" do, I'll stick to my BASIC roots and pick VB.NET.
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David Kenny

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Re: Are you guys sticking with PowerBASIC?
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2015, 03:28:34 PM »

Paul,

I fully support that the code you write is yours to do with as you please. And if you choose to keep it private, so be it.  But could you at least explain your reasons or thought process behind your decision to release FFFB as open source, but not FFPB?  I have written some quick and dirty code in my time that was for my personal use.  Lbater I added to it instead of rewriting it.  And ended up with code that I wouldn't let anybody else see just because it was ugly.

I'm not suggesting that this is your reason, but it's the only one I could come up with from my perspective and history.

David
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Chris Maher

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Re: Are you guys sticking with PowerBASIC?
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2015, 03:55:53 PM »

Hi Paul,

Not sure of all the implications, but I would be very interested in buying a personal licence to the FF/PB source with no support and appropriate restrictions.

A price of US$50 would not cover its real value, but it could be a small gesture for all your determined efforts with this wider community, especially if others felt the same..

Regards,

Chris.
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Paul Squires

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Re: Are you guys sticking with PowerBASIC?
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2015, 05:13:34 PM »

I have written some quick and dirty code in my time that was for my personal use.  Lbater I added to it instead of rewriting it.  And ended up with code that I wouldn't let anybody else see just because it was ugly.
That summarizes it pretty well. The code base has morphed over the years and is not up to any standard to be released for general consumption :)

As you can imagine, 12 years ago when FireFly was being written, I was not nearly as competent a coder as I am now. Looking at the code makes me proud in some cases and in other cases leaves me shaking my head thinking 'what in the world was I thinking when I wrote this!'   hahahaha

Over the years portions of the code has been refactored but overall it is still only average at best. Also, my penchant for code commenting was severely lacking in the early days.
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Paul Squires
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David Kenny

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Re: Are you guys sticking with PowerBASIC?
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2015, 08:00:06 PM »

Well, I can empathize with that.  It still makes me sad, but I understand.  Most of us here know FF's story in that it was written and maintained by one person.  I have always been in awe of that fact, and am sure that others are too.  It is something you should be proud of.
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Paul Squires

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Re: Are you guys sticking with PowerBASIC?
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2015, 08:23:04 PM »

Thanks David, that is very awesome of you to say. You put a big smile on my face tonight  :)
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Paul Squires
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