Monday, February 12, 2007

BASIC and Web 2.0

Run BASIC has been called a Web 2.0 BASIC by several people now. I have been pretty much avoiding that classification (lately) because I don't think it meets that description, yet.

One idea that is important for Run BASIC to be a Web 2.0 system is that it needs to be able to consume information from other internet sources. The ability for the user to write a program that downloads the contents of a web page and then process that as information, or the ability to read RSS feeds as data would get us partway there.

I'd be interested in the reader's thoughts about this (yes, you!).

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Run BASIC Two Weeks Report

Well, Run BASIC ( has been online now for slightly more than 2 weeks. We've had more than 1500 unique visitors.

There have been a handful of server crashes in that period and numerous bugfixes. A few of these fixes are related to stability of the server but most are new features or fixes in the compiler or runtime system. This is a very good thing since most of this stuff feeds directly into the Liberty BASIC v5.0 effort. In essence this is a kind of alpha testing for LB5.

The community has responded nicely by creating a Run BASIC section on the Liberty BASIC Conforums site and by putting up a wiki. People have been busy creating programs that run under Run BASIC. Thanks to all of you for that.

Where are we headed with this? We have just started work on a Run BASIC personal edition. This will be a special version of the software that you can install on your own computer. Windows, Mac and Linux will all be supported. The user interface for this will still be web based, but it will be more of an IDE style setup. Our idea is that you can use this system to host a web site and share programs that you write as links on a home page. We are thinking a license for this system will cost $20 to $30.

Once the personal system is launched, we plan to create an educational system for instructors. Each student can have an account, and they can work through their lessons in their browsers whether at home, at school, or wherever they can access the server by means of the internet. Access to student work will be managed for the instructor automatically. We'll develop these ideas more later on.