20th Anniversary

It’s already the end of 2017 and no post has appeared this year on the blog. Syed Ibrahim (@TI-994A) brings up the idea and the post to fill the gap ! Have a nice reading and see you in 2018, the 20th year of PureBasic existance (I can’t really believe it) !

1998 to 2018

The coming new year is a very special one for PureBasic, as it marks twenty years since the language first appeared, in 1998. So, it seems fitting that the last blog entry of 2017 be dedicated to this glorious history, and its advancements to date.

PureBasic was first commercially available in 1998, for the Commodore Amiga, and shortly after that, in 2000, for the PC. It uses a predominantly BASIC-like syntax, with some similarities to C and other mainstream languages. Built upon of an assembly language compiler, it has the unique ability to include inline assembly code right alongside its own PureBasic code. Needless to say, this also results in very small compiled binaries, and blazing-fast execution of the compiled executables.

From Amiga, to Windows, to Linux, to MacOS, and Beyond

In 2001, a Linux version was added to the line, and a few years after that, in 2005, a version for Apple’s PowerPC. The PureBasic Suite, as it stands today, was completed in 2008, when another version for Apple’s x86 operating system was added, making it the only non-RAD independent programming language in the world to support all the major desktop platforms.

The language has no real parallel as it is not a rapid application development tool (RAD). It is a true platform-native compiler that produces independent, standalone applications that do not require any additional supporting libraries, frameworks, or virtual machines. The compiled binaries remain very small and tight as no such dependencies are bundled within the final packages either. PureBasic compiled programs would run on the intended platforms right out of the box. Simply copy the compiled executable and drop it into any Windows, MacOS, or Linux PC, and it will run, and run fast.

A true, native, multi-platform compiler

Besides old-school powerhouses like Assembly and C, all other popular programming languages today fall victim to burdensome dependencies. Java applications will not run on machines that do not have their corresponding JVMs (Java virtual machines) pre-installed, and .NET programs require compatible versions of the framework in order for their applications to work. Ruby and Python are interpreted scripting languages, and Swift and Objective-C are purpose-built for the MacOS. RAD tools like Xamarin and Xojo have no place in this arena as they tend to bundle massive libraries within the final binaries, resulting in bloated and sometimes slow executables.

This leaves PureBasic as the sole forerunner in its class, as a truly multi-platform compiler, that produces native executable binaries which are small and fast, without requiring any additional resources whatsoever.
Over the years, the language has undergone many modifications, as the developers attempt to keep it updated and relevant with the latest trends and technologies. It has introduced a plethora of tools and libraries to aid the programmer in simplifying development tasks, without sacrificing performance. While some upgrades have come at the price of legacy-compatibility, the end-product leaves nothing to be desired. PureBasic gets better with every new iteration, and the diligence and dedication of the development team to bug-fixes and feature implementations are highly commendable.

PureBasic also conforms to the industry’s strictest policies, with its dual-release model. The compilers are released in beta and stable LTS (long-term support) versions, which allow for legacy developments to continue unabated. Furthermore, every version of PureBasic, from publication year 2000, is still available for download from the site’s unique “museum” page. That’s pure dedication.

The team has recently started development on a web-platform tool, known as SpiderBasic, which is syntax-compatible with PureBasic, and also as easy to use. That will definitely hold many new promises for the future as well.

Platforms, Syntax, Toolkits, Designers, and true 64-bit

– simple, readable, terse syntax
– purely procedural paradigm with true multithreading
– supports both 32-bit and true 64-bit environments
– true cross-platform compilation of unmodified code on Windows, MacOS, Linux
– includes comprehensive libraries usable on all platforms
– includes 2D & 3D game and multimedia engines for all platforms
– implements native UI of each OS without any external libraries
– includes visual form designer that automatically generates UI code
– OS API functions, constants, structures accessible without import
– able to import and utilise external third-party libraries
– able to utilise inline assembly for speed-critical code
– compiles to very small, very fast binary executables
– executables require absolutely no dependencies, frameworks, or VMs
– executables can be run out of the box without any installation
– lifetime license on single purchase that includes all three platforms

A Lifetime of Power Performance

Last, but not least, is the unbelievable cherry on this cake. The entire PureBasic Suite, which includes the compilers for Windows, MacOS, and Linux, costs just €79.00, and comes with LIFETIME upgrades! That’s right. Even the first licensee of the very first PureBasic version in 1998 is still eligible for upgrades to the latest current versions today, absolutely free-of-charge.

Now, that’s one feature that no other commercially licensed language has ever offered.

Thank you, TEAM PureBasic, and specifically its commander-in-chief, Mr Frédéric Laboureur, for your diligence and generosity through the years.

Vive PureBasic!