Users and applications
Formal description
Use in data structures
Architectural roots
Making pointers safer
Simulation using an array index
Project partners & contact details
FreeBASIC is a multiplatform, free/open source (GPL) BASIC compiler for Microsoft Windows, protected-mode MS-DOS (DOS extender), Linux, FreeBSD and Xbox. The Xbox version is no longer maintained.
According to its official Web site, FreeBASIC provides syntax compatibility with programs originally written in Microsoft QuickBASIC (QB). Unlike QuickBASIC, however, FreeBASIC is a command line only compiler, unless users manually install an external integrated development environment (IDE) of their choice. IDEs specifically made for FreeBASIC include FBide and FbEdit.
On its back end, FreeBASIC makes use of GNU Binutils in order to produce console and graphical user interface applications. FreeBASIC supports the linking and creation of C static and dynamic libraries and has limited support for C++ libraries. As a result, code compiled in FreeBASIC can be reused in most native development environments.
C style preprocessing, including multiline macros, conditional compiling and file inclusion, is supported. The preprocessor also has access to symbol information and compiler settings, such as the language dialect.
Initially, FreeBASIC emulated Microsoft QuickBASIC syntax as closely as possible. Beyond that, the language has continued its evolution. As a result, FreeBASIC combines several language dialects for maximum level of compatibility with QuickBASIC and full access to modern features. New features include support for concepts such as objects, operator overloading, function overloading, namespaces and others.
FreeBASIC provides built-in, QuickBASIC compatible graphics support through FBgfx, which is automatically included into programs that make a call to the SCREEN command. Its backend defaults to OpenGL on Linux and DirectX on Microsoft Windows. This abstraction makes FBgfx graphics code cross-platform compatible. However, FBgfx is not hardware accelerated.
Users familiar with external graphics utilities such as OpenGL or the Windows API can use them without interfering with the built-in graphics library.