Bob Zale had a motto, which he carried on until the day he died: "smaller, faster, smaller, faster". He actually commented that he posted this motto around the offices of PowerBASIC to encourage all of his employees to feel the same way. In each new release, Bob pushed his team to make the compiler faster and better, so it could produce smaller and faster programs.
Interestingly, Bob Zale (and his team) all wrote code in assembler. It's an uncommon approach but the speed of his compilers and the speed of the resulting programs showed the benefits. Bob appreciated assembler so much that he made sure his BASIC compilers supported inline assembler.
PC Magazine's recognition of Bob's contributions simply makes it official how all of us thought about Bob and his products:
Some Pictures ... Bob and wife Vivian
Bob Zale was one of the pioneers of modern computing.
- Les Bothwell
Bob Zale was something of a hero to me, and I expect to others too, because he, at least at first, singlehandedly created the compilers we use to do our work. And creating compilers is no small feat.
- Fred Harris
I am truly shocked and at a loss for words as I read this topic today. Bob has touched all of our lives and his contributions will be remembered forever. His products have inspired creativity in me and a sense of personal achievement and growth. I have learned a lot about myself and who I am as a person because of Bob and PowerBASIC.
- Paul Squires
I'm shocked. Never believed that legendary man, can left this world so quickly. He brought light into the world Basic, changed the way of thinking for large Basic community. Big loss...
- Aslan Babakhanov
Bob was not only my boss, but he was more like a member of the family. He was always there to give you a ride if your car was having trouble. Give advice on a legal contract. Whatever the problem was you could go to Bob and he listen and try to help. He could be hard to deal with sometimes. But he was so much more. Bob was friendly, kind, and helpful and never boring. He was also one of the smartest people I have ever met. I will miss him greatly.
- Steve Rossell
I am saddened, but also very feel happy and lucky to have had his life affect mine. How that is, because of his commitment to create worthy tools that helped to make my life easier and also in that he had an eye on what was being said here on the forums. I would see his post made in the wee hours of the morning and it might had been to just to help somebody. I noticed that.
- Paul Purvis
Every time I start a new application in PB I am always pleasantly surprised by the thought and technical expertise that went into the development of the compiler. I know that Bob's legacy will live on in his family, co-workers and products for a long time to come.
- Dave Chisholm
Bob and I had our ups and downs. He was a very stubborn man, and so am I. We fought on occasion. But, he was also like a father to me, a kind soul, and I respect the hard core of what he was. He was unwavering in the search for purity in what he did, which was BASIC compilers, and God help you if you got in the way of that. He was a builder, an engineer, and that's all he did. Every day, all of his life. It's what he wanted to do, and it's what he did.
- Tom Hanlin