PowerBASIC for Windows comes with a built-in IDE (Integrated Development Environment).
The IDE is essentially a source code (text) editor with special features for
PowerBASIC programmers (such as syntax highlighting). The IDE can also compile
the source code into an EXE or DLL.
The company offers a second product, PowerBASIC Forms, which provides the ability
to create a user interface via a VB6-like drag and drop method. The source code
created within PowerBASIC Forms can be opened within PowerBASIC for Windows and
manually modified as needed.
Many programmers find the built-in IDE adequate and some even enjoy the hands-on
approach to creating the user interface. Others (especially those
coming from VB6 backgrounds), enjoy the convenience of the Forms product which
simplifies the creation of a graphical interface.
While adequate, the IDE and Forms products are somewhat less sophisticated
than the IDEs which users of Microsoft languages have come to expect and have
opened the door for third parties to offer alternatives.
Other options available to PowerBASIC programmers include third party IDEs written
specifically for PowerBASIC, programmer's editors, and text editors. Several
of the editors (programmer and text) provide syntax highlighting and other
features specifically for programmers - often for multiple languages and usually with
the option to add coverage of new languages.
There's Only One Compiler!
Regardless of the IDE/editor option a programmer uses, only PowerBASIC provides
the compiler needed to compile PowerBASIC source code into an EXE/DLL. Many
programmers find that third party software offers features which make it worthwhile
to edit with one tool while compiling with another. More, however, find that a
single editing/compiling tool is more productive.
Third Party IDEs for PowerBASIC
IDEs typically provide graphical environments for editing code, but also
including capabilities for code generation, error detection, custom formatting,
API access, debugging, script testing, and much more.
Here are several popular freeware and commercial alternatives to the PowerBASIC
Many programmers, especially those who program in several languages, enjoy using
a common tool for writing code. Programmer's editors fit the bill perfectly -
providing generic source code editing capabilities while allowing customization
of features to meet the specific needs of many languages.
Here are some of the more popular Programmers Editors available today.
There is an especially thorough
list of programmers editors at Wikipedia.
With simple text editors, programmers forego extra features in order to get the simplest
possible editing environment. PowerBASIC, with its emphasis on code simplicity,
is especially suited to the use of such editors. While I may use the PowerBASIC IDE for
creating a program from scratch, I often use Windows Notepad for minor code editing.
Here are some other readily available freeware text editors.
Comprehensive Editor List
In addition to the recommendations above there are literally hundreds of
other editors available. If you want to see more options, take a look
at my comprehensive list of