Fully supporting PowerBasic.
As a third party developer (of PowerBasic addons) I would just like to confirm to my customers and all PowerBasic users that I plan on supporting PowerBasic for a long time.
Few may appreciate the true power of the PowerBasic compilers, likely because they may not be as experienced with the Windows API as others may be. The current Windows compiler (version 10) has so many features in it, it is likely good for the next decade when it comes to developing WIN32 applications. For the near future, there are too many 32 bit systems around for 32 bit to become obsolete. Even in the new generation of Windows tablet, some of the CPUs are only 32 bit (some Atom CPU’s are only 32 bit). While it is true that most desktops today are 64 bit, there is a huge number of PC’s still being used today running Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 which are still 32 bit. Look at how long Windows XP has continued to be used.
The PowerBasic compiler is amazingly powerful. Why do I say that ?
If you look at my own software, EZGUI 5.0, the feature set in it is very advanced and powerful. But do you realize that the only reason I ported EZGUI to the PowerBasic 9.x compiler, was because I tapped out the PowerBasic 6.1 compiler I was previously using. The old compiler just couldn’t handle the amount of source code I needed to compile. If it weren’t for that, I could have compiled EZGUI 5.0 with PowerBasic 6.1, which is 4 generations back before the current compiler (10).
PowerBasic 10, with its support for unicode and static libraries and ability to access the Windows API has tremendous power. This compiler alone is likely good for the new few years alone, but PowerBasic does have a new compiler in development with more coming.
As a beta tester, as well as a third party developer, I plan on supporting PowerBasic for some time and personally I don’t think you have seen anything yet.
As far as EZGUI goes, it has the ability to push PowerBasic programmers far beyond what the compiler alone can do. It is the only GUI framework created specifically for use with PowerBasic. Yes, EZGUI is not some kind of library, but it is a GUI engine, a GUI framework if you will. The average EZGUI user has only barely tapped into the power of the GUI engine. EZGUI significantly adds to the power of the compiler alone.
Consider just two examples:
(1) 2D Sprite engine and Canvas graphics
EZGUI 5.0 pushes the limits of its Canvas control. I have added more DIB support, image rotation, 22 image filters for drawing bitmaps and more. There is a new effects engine based on the sprite engine, which allows you to draw first on to a hidden effects canvas and then have the effects canvas drawn on the actual Canvas using alphablending and anti-aliasing. There is also the 2D Sprite engine, which does not require any special hardware and yet as very decent animation speeds (frame rates). EZGUI’s graphic capabilities provides programmers with huge array of features.
(2) 3D OpenGL
If you have followed the PowerBasic forums, OpenGL coding can be quite tedious. EZGUI makes it easy and it is real OpenGL. EZGUI has its own 3D scripting language which makes it easy and no OpenGL API coding required. This is all built into a real custom control, so you can easily have multiple OpenGL graphic windows. EZGUI’s glCanvas control is also a hybrid control, built using EZGUI’s own superclassing engine. It combines all the features of a Canvas control with an OpenGL engine on top. The Canvas cna be used to draw a background (even with sprites) and you can add real 3D objects in front of it.
These two features alone, allow PowerBasic programmers to push the limits of their software, but there is more.
EZGUI 5.0 supports multi-monitors, theme drawing of control elements for ownerdraw, built in autosize engine and lots more. EZGUI is both low level and high level, so you can build all sorts of things, even if EZGUI does not have high level support for it. A good example is what I did with the Visual Designer. It has the new Visual Bookmark feature, with a drop down combobox with actual miniature copies of the form in different states (per each bookmark). EZGUI has to copy the current form to a bitmap, shrink it down and store it in a huge buffer capable of 200 images and then draw each image into each item of an ownerdraw combobox control. You would be surprised how little code it takes to impliment this unique control and all using built in EZGUI commands and not a single API call was required in the designer. The point is, if EZGUI doesn’t have something you need, you can use its low level engined to create it.
EZGUI 5.0, combined with PowerBasic provides programmers with a huge array of tools to accomplish all sorts of things.
A guess what ?
EZGUI 5.0 was written using PowerBasic 9.0. Not C. Not C++. Not dot.net. But in pure PowerBasic (and the WIN32 API’s). I look at what I have been able to build using PowerBasic and it just makes me appreciate how much PowerBasic can do.
So if you haven’t tried PowerBasic yet, why not give it a try.
If you have Powerbasic and wish you could do more with it, then seriously consider EZGUI 5.0.
Date: December 9, 2012