Friday, January 25, 2008

Run BASIC Tour Video Posted

One big challenge we face in explaining Run BASIC to people is that people have a preconceived notion of what an easy programming system is. Ruby on Rails is supposed to be easy, right? Easy compared to what? Java server pages? Apache and Perl? For a certain class of problems we need the kind of easy that BASIC (and I don't mean Visual Basic) has always provided.

So, today I created a 20 minute video that walks through installation, startup, and gives a tour of the features of the Run BASIC programming software and several examples. This includes creation and hosting of a simple app. Visit the Run BASIC site and check out the video and I'm sure you'll agree that you've never seen anything easier.

Web Debugging

The topic of web debugging in Run BASIC came up today in the forums, and the topic started with some ambitious ideas from Bill W. who always has something interesting to say (here for example).

Run BASIC does need a debugging facility. I realize that most web programmers probably write to logs, and you can do that in RB without adding anything but we can make it a lot easier. Just for starters I was thinking of adding a logging object of some kind. A debug button would be added to the toolbar, and then you could specify either logging of all variable changes, or specify watches so that only certain variables would get logged, and a LOG statement could also be added that would only log if the program is executed in debug mode (instead of merely run).

Also, it would be no hard matter to include an inspector object which could be rendered into the page whereever it is convenient for the programmer. You could examine and change the value of variables, and perhaps even execute code dynamically on a running program in the web browser.

I'm eager for feedback on this!