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Parrot

DarkBASIC

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A friend of mine who works in the education field got a copy of DarkBASIC for free. Apparently if you work in education all you need to do is submit a copy of your letterhead and you're approved, no questions asked. I've seen the program mentioned in a few places, so I was curious. He let me look over it, I wanted to share my first impressions. The download link they provided did not give the most updated version. There was this tremendously annoying bug, perhaps an incompatibility with the graphics card or something, that caused any program run to blink incessently. This was fixed by downloading the latest version patch... but I have to wonder why they couldn't be bothered to update their main download executable. The last update was from 2002 if I remember correctly. The IDE leaves much to be desired. It has to operate in full screen mode, 640x480 just so that you can program in it. It doesn't keep track of your indentation (and, in fact, none of the code examples provided are ever indented at all!), and apparently it only allows you to have 2 files open at one time. You do not get to open up separate windows in this IDE. It works instead in modes, so if you want to view the help files the whole window will switch over to view those help files. That's the reason you can only have 2 files open at the same time, it only has 2 editor modes. I didn't even know what they were at first, just the numbers 1 and 2 at the top of my screen. I clicked on #2 when I was in tutorial mode... it highlighted #2 but did nothing else. I don't know why it allowed me to click on it when I wasn't in editor mode at the time. The tutorials have the feeling of being hastily thrown together. Concepts aren't really fully explained in one tutorial before the next one starts. For some very strange reason there's no way of copying and pasting the code that is listed in the tutorials... or anywhere through the help system from what I can tell. This caused me to have to scribble down the tutorial exercises on paper, switch over to editor mode, and type them out again. Very inconvenient. The help section does not respond to mouse wheel scrolling, and the actual scroll bar is this weird thing with spirals around it, I guess that's their attempt at being fancy. There also doesn't seem to be any way to search the help files from the IDE. The closest thing they have is that you can highlight a programming term in the editor window and click F1 and it will show you a information page on that term. That's a fairly useful function, but a nice search option would have been more useful. If you're in the editor window, you can press F11 at any time to go back to the last help file you were viewing - so when I'm going through the tutorials I can get back to the page I was on that way. Of course, this means that I can't use the highlight/F1 ability I mentioned earlier, or else F11 will be reset to take me back to the term information page I was looking at rather than the tutorial. I'm glad my friend got this for free, from what I've seen so far it's not worth the $50 USD that they're charging. Maybe it's good at what it does though... I'll let you know my thoughts when I've used it a little more. From my first impressions though I don't think I'd recommend this language to beginners. Anybody else here have experience with DarkBASIC?

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I've used Dark Basic i think back in 1999 - or 2000 ? anyway can't recall. I remember I didn't like the fullscreen IDE, it was a pain to work with. I don't personally use Dark Basic but you could try the professional version, which might be better:
Dark Basic Pro

I would recommend Blitz Basic
over Dark Basic. I bought Blitz a long time ago and was very satisfied. Also another Basic language you might want to look into is PureBasic . PureBasic is a much different Basic language and is cross platform, now being tested on Macs. I also bought Pure Basic a while ago and would recomend it, but not for games, unless you have a 2d game in mind.

IMHO I think Dark and Blitz undermine their languages by having childish looking IDE's, maybe cool looking but not very professional.

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Man, that website has dozens of stuff that they're trying to sell you, don't they? A supposedly improved DarkBasic, a number of other game programming/authoring tools, 3D graphic utilities, music utilities...

Seems like they'ere really trying to hook you with one product then pushing all sorts of related products on you. "If you want to take FULL advantage of that product you bought from us you should also buy this, that, and the other thing!".

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Hah, a friend and I were once making a project in darkBASIC, back when it first came out. Seems like forever has passed since then.

Anyway, the IDE was pants, yes, but there were third-party ones in development, although I have no idea what happened to them. As for the help, well I had the boxed version, which came with manuals so it was never really any use to me, anyway.

All in all, I would not use DarkBASIC classic today if you paid me. My friend has gone on to make projects in DarkBASIC Pro, and apparently that version is far superior. I wouldn't know myself, though; I quite like my 'real' languages these days!

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Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
What about FreeBasic?


I think DarkBasic and FreeBasic are two quite different animals.

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