Selecting a Compiler

PowerBASIC offers three commercial compilers, each of which may fit your needs in a different way. It's not surprising that we often hear the question "Which compiler should I choose?" Well, the answer depends upon your personal goals, and the type of programs you need to create. Stay with us for a minute, and we'll work out your particular answer.



In this article, we'll concentrate on the differences in these compilers, so you can make an informed choice. We won't try to talk about every possible feature here. Of course, complete specifications are available in the PowerBASIC Product Catalog, so it would be good to visit there soon.


PowerBASIC for Windows

Create standard Windows GUI applications


This is the "Flagship" of PowerBASIC Compilers. Our Premier Compiler for the discerning programmer. Breathtaking performance, with an ease-of-use you'll find startling. Of course, you can't overlook DDT, the PowerBASIC exclusive "Dynamic Dialog Tools". With PowerBASIC and DDT, you'll create standard Windows GUI (Graphical User Interface) applications. Dialogs, Pull-Down Menus, ToolBars, Buttons, Status Bars, ListViews and TreeViews... all the great features for the essence of Windows.


Yes, it's a bit more work than ordinary text mode, but just look at the results. With PowerBASIC 10, you'll create programs that look as good as they perform. The screen-shot above shows a very good example of a GUI (Graphical User Interface).


DDT is a unique set of functions which allow you to create Dynamic Forms on the fly. With DDT, you'll easily add, change, or remove any control while your program is running. You'll resize, change colors, display hundreds of different "looks" any time you need them. All without megabytes of run-time code in external DLLs. Not only that, PowerBASIC executables are downright tiny! They can be 10 times, 20 times, even 100 times smaller than what you get from BloatWare Compilers. It's really not unusual to see a substantial GUI application that's under a megabyte in size.


PowerBASIC is compatible with all 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows, including Vista and Windows 10. It offers complete OOP support for both internal objects and COM. You'll get a complete macro facility, regular expressions, an inline assembler, and access to gigabytes of memory. You'll get Threads for multi-core programming, and TCP/UDP to communicate with other computers, mail servers, and even more. Plus, a great IDE/Debugger with Step, Trace, Animate, Profile, and Call Stacks.

Of course, you can team up PB/Win with PowerBASIC Forms, our Drag'n'Drop Visual Designer. It's the quickest GUI generation in town!


PowerBASIC Console Compiler

Create Text-Mode Programs


This is one interesting product. It's our premier text-mode counterpart to PowerBASIC 10 for Windows. It creates a simpler user interface, without all the GUI components. The screen-shot above shows a very good example. There's no fluff, no animated puppets, just good calculations and good information for whatever your needs.


The Console Compiler uses familiar functions like PRINT, LOCATE, COLOR, LINE INPUT, even LPRINT. In fact, that's the only real difference between our Text-Mode and our GUI compilers: the presentation on the screen. One does it with fancy windows, the other with easy to read text that looks a lot like a DOS program. If you don't need a fancy screen to dazzle your customers, just save some time, effort, and money! Do it in text mode with the Console Compiler.


The PowerBASIC Console Compiler 6 is particularly valuable for conversion of DOS programs. With the advent of 64-bit Vista and Win10, all support for DOS code has been removed. You simply can't run a DOS program in 64-bit Win10. That's where the Console Compiler shines! It's 95% compatible with most versions of DOS Basic, so conversion is a snap. There isn't another compiler on the market which is closer in syntax.


Of course, the Console Compiler is perfect for CGI code on your web server. Whatever the task, it can take data from a web form, process as needed, then deliver the results right to the browser of a distant end user.


Other than the screen and keyboard, the Console Compiler offers virtually all the great features of our GUI compiler. Threads for multi-core programming. Macros. Regular expressions. Register variables. TCP/UDP. Thread-Local Storage. Objects. COM. A great IDE and debugger. It's all in there.


So, what's the big difference?

Should I buy PowerBASIC For Windows? PowerBASIC Console Compiler? Both? Really, the decision boils down to one thing...




What the user sees and uses when he runs your program. The code which handles the screen, the keyboard, and the mouse. PB/Win uses all the GUI components of Windows to offer a "snazzy" appearance. PB/Console uses the Windows Console to display your data and calculations directly; No fluff. PB/Win means some extra work from you, the programmer, to manage your resources. PB/Console can offer straightforward conversion of your existing programs for DOS.


Each concept offers real advantages. Sometimes you want the best-of-the-best appearance. Sometimes you just want instant results. Sometimes you need to dazzle your audience. Sometimes you just want to convert DOS code.


If you have both compilers, all your bases are covered. When you consider the low prices of PowerBASIC, it makes sense to consider the option. Isn't it a small price to save many hours of programming time?