Powerbasic is a powerfull professional development tool. It comes in two versions: the console compiler and the GUI compiler. The language offers all the elements to design and create professional products. It creates stand alone EXEs or DLLs. EXEs are among the smallest (starting from 7,5Kb): source code is compiled into native machine code. PowerBasic may gain access to the entire Windows API. The programmer may build software starting from console utilities without user interface, to complete GUIs or server to client CGIs. DLLs can be used by programs written in any other language that supports 32-bit Windows DLLs. The language has hundreds of functions and statements, and 29 controls. Beyond all standard programming functions, PowerBasic supports: COM automation, built-in 32-bit inline assembly with 80486 and Pentium opcodes, true 32-bit code pointers, client/Server Network Communications and multi-thread application support, 80-bit extended-precision math, up to 2 Gb of memory may be allocated for arrays and dynamic strings. PowerBasic offers a well thinked IDE with a source-level integrated debugger. Unfortunately the GUI editor is sold separately. Coding in PowerBasic is quite simple. Using the language for simple tasks may remember old fashion easy and amusing QuickBasic programming as the syntax and most of the functions and statements rensemble QB. On the other hand if you start a more advance project at the beginning this could be a little misleading, but actually the learning curve is quite smooth. The Help is well done and complete. One of the major advantages of Powerbasic is that's a mature language and has a great number of developers which created a large community where you can find every kind of help and source code. I had the opportunity to speak with the technical support a few times and it has always be efficient and polite. Very good.
September 2008. A new version of Firefly (an excellent - quite expensive - third-party visual editor) is out.
End of 2013. It has been reported that PowerBasic team does not reply to customers since a while.
Rated 4.7/5 upon 185 votes