Visual Basic

One of the languages I abused during my RAD years, by arbitrarily mixing in raw Win32 API calls.

Come 2017, I decided to take a look at the state of the art in RADs for desktop development while looking for a way out of the web/Electron/JavaScript insanity that is taking over desktop applications, and found that:

  • RealBasic is now called Xojo, remains a niche thing, but is still the only alternative that tackles cross-platform decently (it even has a Raspberry Pi edition). It is also apparently free until you actually need to build an executable, which is interesting.
  • Delphi still exists, but is exorbitantly priced if you need cross-platform support (and mostly if you don’t, but that’s another matter).
  • Gambas finally seems useful (except on macOS, where it is a no-show). Might be useful for point-of-sale stuff and Raspberry Pi apps.
  • Anywhere Software has an intriguing thing called B4X, which has a free Java-based IDE for Windows.

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