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Author Topic: PowerBASIC source code was acquired by Drake Software  (Read 1685 times)

Eddy Van Esch

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PowerBASIC source code was acquired by Drake Software
« on: February 01, 2017, 04:45:43 AM »

Hi,

Finally, and unexpected (for me anyway), some good news about and for PowerBASIC:
Quote
Drake Software has utilized PowerBasic for many years and we are big fans. We are pleased to announce first to this group that we have acquired the PowerBasic source code from PowerBasic, Inc. We have developed software for over 40 years, and we intend to continue updating and improving the functionality for this excellent product into the future. We also recognize the unique community that has grown over the years through this forum, and the contribution many of you have made to the success of the product. We are looking forward to continuing that community.
https://forum.powerbasic.com/forum/announcements-articles-and-support-faqs/product-announcements/757277-powerbasic-has-a-new-home

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Eddy

Knuth Konrad

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Re: PowerBASIC source code was acquired by Drake Software
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2017, 05:24:37 AM »

I've got suspicious that something similar happened due to the long(er) forum maintenance. Let's see how this turns out. According to David Roberts, who seems to have doen a quick lookup, Drake Software isn't a 'one-man-shop': "Drake Software: Established 1977; Employees – 325+", so this is a promising foundation for an actual continuation.

Not sure how much money changed hands, but I do also suspect that it's a bit of a relief for Vivian. I could very well imagine that she felt the obligation to continue the operations of PB Inc. somehow, honoring Bob's legacy. And at the same time it may have been a heavy burden, considering the continues demands from the PB community, which she (most likely) wasn't able to fullfill.

But that's just pure speculation on my part. Anyhow - best of luck to Adam!
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Paul Squires

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Re: PowerBASIC source code was acquired by Drake Software
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2017, 04:49:35 PM »

Very happy to hear this. Hopefully the company can salvage the product and help reverse the downward spiral and get PowerBASIC back into the limelight. I'll be watching with hope.

I just hope that they once and for all get rid of that gawd awful no-vaporware policy and detail a roadmap of their plans.


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Paul Squires
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ChrisC

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Re: PowerBASIC source code was acquired by Drake Software
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2017, 05:33:48 PM »

i lost hope in drake, it took them 7 weeks to reply to me despite having sent them numerous emails and that some emails were even sent to the drake software itself. can't imagine if they are capable of reviving pb or anything for that matter???
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Barry Gordon

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Re: PowerBASIC source code was acquired by Drake Software
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2017, 08:08:09 PM »

I too have read this with interest and I'm sure the purchaser will do the right thing by Powerbasic - and I genuinely hope it works out.

But I keep having one niggling thought:-

If I owned a company that had a huge investment in software to run my very lucrative business - and the supplier of a key compiler that produced some of this software went out of business - then what would I do?   Answer: [assuming I could afford it] I would buy that company.   But it doesn't follow that I would necessarily continue to produce a saleable compiler product for others - as that is not my core business and its a big commitment. 

Barry
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James Klutho

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Re: PowerBASIC source code was acquired by Drake Software
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2017, 09:21:21 PM »

I agree Barry.  More than likely an updated release would sell in the hundreds not thousands at this point in time.  So if an update is priced at $100US, you would have to expect a payout of less than $100,000US. Finding a good assembly programmer and paying that person would likely eat up any revenue.  The risk is too high for a straight up business man, which from Drake videos on YouTube, is what I come away with.  Updating someone else's code is very tough, even tougher if its in assembler - a lost art.  Drake bought the code to protect their investment and will learn enough to tweak the 32 bit code if a later release of Windows gives PB a problem.  Sorry - time to move on.
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Paul Squires

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Re: PowerBASIC source code was acquired by Drake Software
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2017, 09:55:28 PM »

I am happy enough with FreeBasic. The lack of a dynamic unicode string has mostly been solved by Jose's CWSTR class and the lack of deep COM support does not affect me too badly. Jose has done work with FB COM but I remember him saying that it is nowhere near (or even close) to the PB10 support. But, then again, not many people utilized COM in PB so the lack of FB strength in that area is not a game changer for me. Granted, most everything on newer Windows is COM so maybe it needs more attention.

For me, the FB compiler is good enough but the tools around it need more work. Hence the development of WinFBE and a subsequent visual designer and dot syntax type of framework.
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Paul Squires
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James Fuller

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Re: PowerBASIC source code was acquired by Drake Software
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2017, 12:15:40 PM »

First no disrespect to Paul, José, or FreeBasic.
I have written a lot of FreeBasic code over the years but I was not very enthused with the 64bit port.
I was on the bandwagon when José started his CWindow/Afx port until he started having to work around issues after issues.
I was then thankful he gave me permission to Port his CWindow/Afx Framework to c++ via bc9Basic.

For hobby coding I would still recommend FreeBasic but many of the PowerBASIC users support commercial applications (The Drake's included), and like them I would not trust FreeBasic for that kind of work. FreeBasic's main interest group is Linux oriented in my opinion and it drags down the "what-could-be" of the windows port. Also there is no active development at present that I am aware of.

To be honest if I was still doing commercial work I would not trust a 64bit Drake Basic either.
I want an industry standard behind my coding and that to me is C++. With Fred Harris's TCLib; Patrice, Fred and I have created some really tiny c++ 64bit Unicode app's and dll's. Much smaller than PowerBASIC counterparts.

James



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Paul Squires

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Re: PowerBASIC source code was acquired by Drake Software
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2017, 01:39:44 PM »

Hi James, your points are well taken and certainly no offence received. As you know, when I first left PowerBasic I started to use C++. Looking back, I think my mistake was trying to immediately use the language and tools in a cross platform way. I should have stuck with Windows and branched out from there later. I like C++ but I certainly don't love it. I have probably used C# more than C++ and I do like that language even if it is tied closely to .NET.

....I seem to have a hard time with any curly brace language.   :)

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Paul Squires
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José Roca

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Re: PowerBASIC source code was acquired by Drake Software
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2017, 05:16:41 PM »

If I were still doing commercial applications, I probably will be using .NET because for the kind of applications that I did I would need advanced data bound controls, but I'm using Free Basic for fun, so it doesn't matter.

Also, since the phyrric victory of the DDTer's, the PB forum has become a boring place to me, so I was looking for a more dynamic place in which to share ideas and code.

I have not problem doing COM programming at low-level. I was just trying to make it easier to those than can't, but I'm tired of doing a lot of work that nobody uses, so I will limit my efforts to what interests me.

Patrice Terrier

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Re: PowerBASIC source code was acquired by Drake Software
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2017, 10:40:42 AM »

Quote
I was looking for a more dynamic place in which to share ideas and code.
Then what about José's forum, it is still a good place to share things with other SDKers ;)

Because i am tired of exotics, i switched to C++ not because i like the language, but because i do not have anymore to care about translating first the headers.
And i am always able to use the latest SDK API.
Using GLSL to produce 3D applications needs also to use the C syntax in order to compile the code into the GPU, and there is no other alternative there.
C++ was a pragmatic choice to me, but i keep using it with a syntax very close to PB's
 
As James said, using direct call to the MSVCRT flat API, allows us to produce very small 64-bit code working in cirlcle around PB.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2017, 10:45:29 AM by Patrice Terrier »
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Paul Squires

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Re: PowerBASIC source code was acquired by Drake Software
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2017, 12:14:07 PM »

Thanks Patrice for your input and I totally understand the pragmatic nature of your decision. Certainly makes sense given the kind of programs that you write. These days I am not consumed by the whole smaller is better philosophy. I couldn't care less if my EXE is a 500K or 16K. Sure, from a geeky tech point of view, being able to create extremely small exe's is absolutely amazing but if I then have to bundle a grid dll, database dll, etc then the coolness of the small exe is quickly lost. Like Jose, the types of programs that I write are less performance intensive and more generalized business applications so .NET is a very tempting alternative for me.

After reading your post again it must be a joy not having to constantly deal with converting header files. That convenience alone along with a wealth of 3rd party support and tools certainly makes C++ tempting.

As much as I hate to admit it, I miss the old days of VB where I could wire up an application in hours instead of days. I love knowing the WinAPI and being able to leverage that experience with PB, FB, etc... has certainly helped grow my programming skills....... however, I do miss the simplicity of some of the Microsoft products. Firefly is an attempt to create a small standalone and simple ecosystem that could mirror the old VB's. It is a good product but the power of those old VB ActiveX visual interface controls certainly made application development faster. That's why .NET is so appealing to me. Rapid GUI development. Also, the C# language has matured greatly to the point where I am simply amazed at what you can do with it. Long gone are the days of it being a resource hog or slow and bloated. Only last night I was watching tutorial videos on LINQ and it is so cool what you can do with it. My only requirement is that I can't/don't want to use Visual Studio. Sharp Develop is close to a product that I could use but... if I had a Firefly for .NET then maybe I'd be happier.

I am starting to ramble so I'll clue up this post. :)

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Paul Squires
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Paul Squires

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Re: PowerBASIC source code was acquired by Drake Software
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2017, 10:53:32 PM »

...Sharp Develop is close to a product that I could use but... if I had a Firefly for .NET then maybe I'd be happier.

I had been using a portable version of SharpDevelop (4.6 or something). I found today that they actually release an "xcopyable" version for their latest 2016 version. Very simple to install. Simply unzip it and run. Cool.
https://sourceforge.net/projects/sharpdevelop/files/SharpDevelop%205.x/5.1/

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Paul Squires
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Patrice Terrier

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Re: PowerBASIC source code was acquired by Drake Software
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2017, 06:56:53 AM »

I made a try with C# ten years ago, and i posted several contributions on codeproject.com.
While it could be nice to create buisiness application, it couldn't be used to write true native DLL(s) or Driver(s).
And for those using direct call to the core SDK flat API (unsafe coding in the .NET jargon) it is a nightmare to deal with (because of marshalling).

I think that the best solution is to resort on several tools, rather than a single one, and select the one that is best for a specific task. I have written very complex applications in a couple of monthes with WinDev, that would have taken a magnitude ten, with PB or C++. However i would say, that being comfortable with low level programming is a big plus to work around the bugs found in higher languages, or when you need to speed up IL p-code with a native DLL.

Example of complex grid that i wouldn't venture to do in PB nor in C++


 
« Last Edit: March 16, 2017, 07:02:18 AM by Patrice Terrier »
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ChrisC

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Re: PowerBASIC source code was acquired by Drake Software
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2017, 07:03:38 PM »

hey Patrice
You mentioned about Windev , does it compile to native code?   C# looks nice but its IL are no native and according
to my programmer friends, C# codes are easily  stolen.
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