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GBIC >> PowerBASIC >> IDE

PowerBASIC IDEs
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 IDE.

Programmers' Editors
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.

Text Editors
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 available editors.