Hari's Corner

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Visual Basic (almost) on Linux

Filed under: Software and Technology by Hari
Posted on Mon, Mar 10, 2008 at 22:33 IST (last updated: Thu, May 7, 2009 @ 21:12 IST)

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I've known about Gambas for a while now, but I neglected mentioning it on this blog. Recently this project made it back to the Debian repositories and I was really pleased to see how well it has matured into a full-fledged Visual Basic-like development environment for Linux.

Now, I know that a lot of developers scoff at Basic in general and Visual Basic in particular. But to be honest, it was my first real GUI programming experience on Windows and I was immediately hooked by its simplicity and power until I got into Visual C++ and such. Similarly Linux programming needn't be all about complex shell scripting and C programming. There are *plenty* of options for newbie programmers who just want to get an application developed as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Gambas is not a VB-clone but those who've used VB for any length of time will immediately feel at home with it. Though it has a long way to go, I was able to write a fairly decent GUI application within an hour (and that was slow by my standards). The best thing about it is that it has support for both QT (with or without KDE support) and GTK interfaces, so all you need to do is choose the library you want to use for your final executable and you're set. Besides it has a number of components which tap into the full power of libraries like libXML, ODBC, MySQL, PostgreSQL, OpenGL and so on.

So if you're looking for a simple RAD tool for Linux without having to learn a complex scripting or programming language, give Gambas a try.

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2 comment(s)

  1. I'll have to take a look at this, particularly as to how it compares to Mono. I currently do a lot of VB.NET and C# programming. We are 100% Windows internally but I do have the occasional need to deploy small programs to interact with our web services to our clients and vendors who may be running Linux.

    Comment by Frank C (visitor) on Mon, Mar 10, 2008 @ 23:04 IST #
  2. Gambas is a lot like traditional Visual Basic. I have no idea about how VB.net compares to that, but Gambas has several components which make it extremely simple to create powerful Linux applications.

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Tue, Mar 11, 2008 @ 09:02 IST #

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