Thursday, September 27, 2007

Parsing XML in Run BASIC

One of the important feature that a Web 2.0 language needs is an XML parser. Run BASIC now has one built in. The XMLPARSER statement parses an XML string and returns an XML accessor object with a bunch of handy built-in methods for making your way through an XML document.
Here is a simple example of what that sort of code looks like:

a$ = "<program name=""myprog"" author=""Carl Gundel""/>"
xmlparser #parser, a$
print #parser key$()
for x = 1 to #parser attribCount()
key$ = #parser attribKey$(x)
print key$; ", ";
print #parser attribValue$(x)
next x

This short program produces:

name, myprog
author, Carl Gundel

And here is a short program which will display the tag names and contents of an artibrarily nested XML document:

xmlparser #doc, s$
print #doc key$()
call displayElements #doc

sub displayElements #xmlDoc
count = #xmlDoc elementCount()
for x = 1 to count
#elem = #xmlDoc #element(x)
print "Key: "; #elem key$();
value$ = #elem value$()
if value$ <> "" then
print " Value: "; value$
end if
call displayElements #elem
next x
end sub

Monday, September 24, 2007

Do-it-yourself programming

A friend of mine pointed me at this article "Do-It-Yourself Software" in the Wall Street Journal.

Run BASIC and Liberty BASIC are both aimed at this market, and in fact this is the traditional niche of BASIC language products.

More on modularity

Run BASIC gives you the ability to create web pages that are component based. You define your own components and the ease at which you can plug these things together comes essentially for free. Here is a really simple example that I posted in our beta testing forum:

html "Program manager"
link #wiki, "Wiki", [runTheWiki]
print " ";
link #multi, "Multicounter", [runTheMulticounter]
if launchFlag then render #subProg

run "runWiki", #subProg
launchFlag = 1
goto [masterPage]

run "multicounter", #subProg
launchFlag = 1
goto [masterPage]

Here is a version that doesn't use any GOTOs:

global launchFlag
call displayMasterPage

sub displayMasterPage
html "Program manager"
link #wiki, "Wiki", runSubprogram
#wiki setkey("runWiki")
print " ";
link #multi, "Multicounter", runSubprogram
#multi setkey("multicounter")
if launchFlag then render #subProg
end sub

sub runSubprogram linkKey$
run linkKey$, #subProg
launchFlag = 1
call displayMasterPage
end sub

So what does this do? It creates a simple web page with a title and two links. Click on the wiki link and the wiki program becomes part of the web page. Click on the multicounter link and the multicounter replaces the wiki part of the page. You can switch back and forth between the wiki and the multicounter at will with just the click of a mouse. What's even more interesting is that the multicounter is already a modular program, so you get three levels of modularity but you aren't limited to that.

So for programmers who like to put all their code in one file, there's nothing to prevent that. But people who like modules can have a field day.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Run BASIC enters beta testing

Well, it's been quiet here for a couple of months but now that the summer activities are over things have begun to pick up steam. In particular we started beta testing Run BASIC Personal Server a few weeks ago. We are still looking for a few more people to help test.

Run BASIC Personal Server is an all in one web app server, BASIC scripting language, database engine and more. It offers an extremely easy way to get into web application development. When I say extremely easy I am not exaggerating. We are talking "a child could do it" easy web programming.

When I asked my testers how they would describe Run BASIC, here is what some of them said:

" - - Run BASIC provides a complete alternative to the complex development languages that have evolved to script web content. Run BASIC wrests control back to you, allowing BASIC language scripting of web content. Create web pages in an easy to use project development environment and publish on the web at the click of a mouse."

" - - If you've ever used one of the classic BASIC interpreters, then you already know most of what you need to build dynamic websites using Run Basic."

" - - Run BASIC moves desktop programming out onto the internet. The screen displays, forms, interactions, graphics, and data-handling processes you create with clear, understandable BASIC programs suddenly become web applications, usable by anyone, on any platform -- Windows, Mac, Linux -- on any computer with browser access to the internet. With Run BASIC, you can write your program from anywhere, on any computer, and run it everywhere, on every computer."

If you are interested in Run BASIC and feel you have enough time to spend at least a few hours testing it out, please send an email to me at and explain why you would like to be a beta tester.

We will accept only a certain number of applicants and I'll post a note here when we have enough.


-Carl Gundel