RAD Basic – the Visual Basic 7 that never was – releases third alpha
Spend your weekend wallowing in the good old days
RAD Basic has edged a little closer to bringing Visual Basic 6 back to your PC with the release of 0.5.0 Alpha 3.
We last looked at RAD Basic a year ago and soaked in a warm bath of nostalgia for a time when Windows applications could be knocked out with the same skills needed to persuade Sinclair or Commodore hardware to display naughty words in a 1980s computer shop.
While Microsoft ditched Visual Basic 6 in favor of .NET and C# many years ago, there remain plenty of IT professionals who owe their career to the language and an abundance of lashed-up solutions still underpinning substantial chunks of the corporate world.
With the growing buzz around "low" and "no code" solutions, it might not be a simple case of misplaced nostalgia that leaves IT professionals thinking fondly of the halcyon days of Visual Basic 6.
The brainchild of Carles Royan, RAD Basic – sometimes described as the Visual Basic 7 that never was – is now into its third public release (albeit only to Patreon subscribers following an unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign).
The latest has focused on the IDE, although its alpha nature is underscored by "New" features in the release notes such as "Added support for creating new projects" and "Added support for adding, moving and removing controls in Form Designer."
- Happy birthday Windows 3.1, aka 'the one that Visual Basic kept crashing on'
- Microsoft Visual Studio: Cluttering up developer disks for 25 years
- 20 years of .NET: Reflecting on Microsoft's not-Java
- Visual Basic 6 returns: You've been a good developer all year. You have social distanced, you have helped your mom. Here's your reward
So, it has a bit of a way to go and, like its illustrious inspiration, is very much closed source.
RAD Basic is not the only game in town. Alternatives in varying stages of development include twinBASIC, which also aims to be backwards compatible with VB6 and VBA; and FreeBASIC, which implements much of what lurked in Microsoft QuickBASIC (and has a nifty IDE in the form of VisualFBEditor).
Alternatively, one can relive the days of the whole BASIC/Pascal rivalry with Delphi-compatible Lazarus.
As for RAD Basic, we're delighted to see that Royan has continued to put out releases, if not as rapidly as this writer was able to churn out apps built with VB6 back in the day. Then again, even in its alpha state, it's hard to imagine RAD Basic being any more unstable than those masterpieces of yesteryear.
On Error Resume Next anyone? ®