QB64 vs. FreeBasic - My Dilemma

12th April 2022


Ok, here's a good way to start this blog thingy off

I like computers - I like other things too, but computers are my primary interest - that and politics and music. Often, like a lot of computer hobbyists, I need (or like) to write programs, and my favourite language with which to do that tends to be BASIC, sometimes C.

The thing is, in 2022 there are many dialects of BASIC, usually they've all evolved from those of the 1980s and 1990s - the one I use now is QB64, a modern version of the popular QuickBASIC and QBASIC languages created by Microsoft in the late 1980s and early 1990s

But I have a problem - I'm currently working on an electronic mail system for hobbyists/individuals, a way to send email over the Internet for free (or almost nothing), like a 21st Century FidoNet; I also want to enable public discussion and possibly distribution of files(?)

To write a program of this nature, the implementation language needs to be scaleable (as does the final product), able to easily and properly handle high level networking technologies, and, in my case, be easy for programming newbies to read.

QB64 satisfies one and a half of those requirements (in my experience): it is easy for programming newbies to read (80% of the time), and can sort of handle networking but not really at the level I will need it to easily.

FreeBasic also evolved from QuickBasic/QBasic, but it has advanced swiftly into being a semi-object oriented langauge, which is actually quite helpful! But it does tend to confuse the newbies, however it is much more scaleable and mature than QB64, it also can be ported to many platforms, allowing me in turn to port my BASIC code to those other platforms - QB64 doesn't have that luxury. FreeBasic can almost certainly handle networking at quite high complexity levels and integrate with C code even better than QB64 can, but it takes more effort to get a program working quickly with FreeBasic

So here's my dilemma - which language do I pick? The hobbyist, small, nostalgic language and IDE; or the more professional, larger, more modern language? I'm leaning towards the latter, but I might be wrong on this one...

I'll update you all further down the live

Joe

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