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Updated November 20, 2004

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PureBasic Maker Speaks Out
(9/3/2002) Toonski interviews head PureBasic coder Frédéric Laboureur about programming Basic in a Windows environment, Basic beyond game-development, and more. A must read.

The PureBasic coding environment, as it would run under Windows. PureBasic is also available for the AmigaOS.

Earlier in this article, V Planet graphics designer Toonski wrote a very thorough and critical review about the state of the Basic language in a 32-bit environment, and how a new 32-bit compatible Basic must step up to the plate for the Basic language to survive during the Windows XP generation of machines. One of the people fighting for Basic to survive is Frédéric Laboureur, the main coder of PureBasic. PureBasic is a form of Basic built for easy portability between Windows and Linux, making it one of the ideal choices when it comes to finding a Basic compatible with the 32-bit environment.

Thanks to Toonski and the folks at, Toonski was able to secure an interview with Frédéric. The interview starts below:
Toonski: Ok, let's get started :)

Frédéric: :)

Toonski: Why don't you tell me a little something about yourself and your programming background?

Frédéric: Ok, I'm 24 years old and started to code on AmigaOS. I started with BlitzBasic (Amiga version) and then learned assembly (680x0). BlitzBasic development is over and I've decided to create a new Basic langage for the current and new AmigaOS (680x0 and PowerPC (PPC) processors). All of it was written in assembly.

Toonski: So what made you decide to program a Basic compiler?

Frédéric: A lack of such compiler designed for the new Amiga (PowerPC).

Toonski: What advantages does your compiler have over other BASIC compilers such as Blitzbasic?

Frédéric: Ok, PureBasic is multiplatform and lets you to create any kind of program, not only games. All is very very optimized, and produces small and very fast executables. Shall I tell more ? :)

Toonski: Ok. Libraries and add-ons are a big part of programming. How are libraries created in Purebasic? Libraries created in Purebasic?

Frédéric: You mean Purebasic libraries or libraries created by Purebasic (dll and .so)?

Toonski: I was thinking DLLs, and any kind of ASM or C library. So I guess yes :)

Frédéric: Yes :) Hum, you can create DLL in Purebasic as any normal programs. Just change the output type in compiler options. About PureBasic libraries, you can add your own libraries very easely. You have to code them in ASM or in C. Your choice :)

Toonski: Are they an equivalent to C's .h files or do they involve compiled code such as DLLs?

Frédéric: No, .h doesn't exist in PureBasic. I's still a Basic :) But 'Residents' can contains precompiled header if needed. For exemple, the Windows.res contains almost all Win32 API constants and structures precompilated, which mean than it's lighting fast to compile (unlike .h)

Toonski: Explain "residents"... are they like modules?

Frédéric: yes, precompiled code with only structure and constants, no real code.

Toonski: How is Purebasic is easier to pick up than say, C++ or other languages?

Frédéric: It contains more than 600 high level commands to handle multimedia and applications parts of a programs. C++ doesn't have such facilities in standard

Toonski: What sort of interfaces does Purebasic have with Directx and OpenGL? 

Frédéric: It offers high level interface to DirectX (DisplaySprite(sprite, x, y) for example). Very easy to understand but very fast, as always. For OpenGL, it supports all the standard Win32 API functions. Some users have already written full OpenGL programs without any problems. Directx is transparent for the user, he never use it directly.

Toonski: So tell me about the Purebasic IDE, does it work separetely from the compiler? And what features does it offer to make coding easier?

Frédéric: Yes, it's a different program, allowing to use the compiler with another editor (like UltraEdit, ...). About the features, it offer syntax highlighting, online help for every commands, etc.

Toonski: Great! So what future plans do you have for Purebasic?

Frédéric: More commands, 3D support and a MacOS version.

Toonski: Cool. Ok, lastly, where can our readers get Purebasic?


Toonski: OK, well, thanks for your time, you've been really helpful.

Frédéric: Thanks to you

For more details and a free demo of the PureBasic compiler, check out the official PureBasic website at

Interview by Toonski

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