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Re: VB

Sean McElroy wrote:

> Will there ever be a front end developed for GCC to compile (Visual) Basic
> code? Such an addition would allow IDE's to spring up which would greatly
> increase the programming base of GNU/*nix systems.
> Just a thought,
> Sean

A friend of mine complained about the lack of a decent VB compiler a couple of
months ago, and we talked then about a pre-processor to 'C'.  I had not
thought about it in the context of GCC, and this suggestion intrigued me ...
for about five minutes.  My experience with VB is quite limited, but what I
saw, I liked.  I despise Basic, but VB is laid out *exactly* the way I wanted
a GUI generating IDE to be designed. (serously! I kicked the design concept
around for years before I first used VB).

Niggling little problems come up, though.  A VB compiler would be mostly
limited to Windows boxes for a long time and many of the GNU/LINUX crowd are
just a tad hostile to Microsoft.  I suspect that includes most of the
developers on this list.  I personally am way past a tad hostile, and I am not
a developer here.

VB directly uses all the little icons and glyphs that make MS Windows
95/98/2000/NT recognizable.  Every pixel of that graphics library, right down
to the font generators, is copyright to MS.  I am also pretty certain that
this is partly due to the tight interaction between Windows as an operating
system, and the implementation of VB.  Microsoft might at some point give
something away to somebody, but free copyright permissions for use in the GNU
environment will never happen.

The next problem that gets ugly is the GPL.  In order to make a VB compiler
work, it would have to include linkages to MS owned routines and libraries.
Those linkages would have to happen *before* any user could start execution.
That is a direct violation of the GPL.  Mr. Stallman and the FSF would hire
lawyers to enfore the restrictions, and they should..

Finally, if the "GVB" (Gnold Visual Basic) is not targeted solely at Windows,
then it will have to run in other windows environments.  Will it be all of
them? Gnome, KDE, XWindows ... Berlin, (which is still under construction?)
Those are all wildly different from each other and from MS Windows, from a GUI
programming point of view.  I think it would be easier just to write distinct

Wow. What a great idea, though.

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