This information was prepared on 24 July 2008.
Despite Microsoft's move from VB6 to an all .NET strategy, there continue to be a variety of
BASIC programming languages which attract programmers. Here are several lists which break
out the various BASIC dialects, providing information to help you select the one that's
best for you.
These lists are limited to only those dialects which will generate Windows EXE files.
You may also find my section on comparison of language functions
helpful in selecting a language for your programming needs.
I'm not through with my review of all the dialects, but if you need an immediate
recommendation on a dialect, then consider the following Google search results. The
dialects shown in bold have a significantly greater Internet presence than other
In this list I've separated the commercial and free dialects. Also, the game and scripting
dialects are shown separately regardless of their free/commercial status.
||Games - Commercial
Games - Free
Notes on Google Search Results
As I've looked into general BASIC or scripting popularity on the web, I must say I'm
surprised at the size of the Google hits on some of the packages. However, as a point of
reference, a Google search on "Visual Basic" returns a hit of 64,000,000 - over 5 times
the total hits on all other BASIC dialects combined. I'll continue
looking to see if there are any factors which may change the results.
In some cases I had to adjust the search terms to avoid clearly incorrect results. Here
are the search terms used where the simple dialect name alone did not give good results:
VPBasic, Euphoria+programming+language, JustBASIC, D-LIB+BASIC+programming,
scripting+language+"D-LIB ", programming+language+"quite basic", BlitzBASIC, XSTBasic
More Google hits does not necessarily mean a better language, but would seem to
be a good first indicator of the popularity of the dialects. For example, the
PowerBASIC dialect is considered to provide the fastest performance, even though
it's hit count is only 1/3 of the REALBasic hit count. REALBasic on the other
hand, is considered to have one of the best user interfaces, hence it's popularity.
So be sure to look at dialects a few places up or down the list to make sure you get a good
understanding of what the competitive dialects have to offer.
Information Center BASIC Sections
In addition to these comprehensive lists, I have specific sections at this site which provide
additional information on several of the BASIC dialects, including:
I hope to add sections on other dialects over the next few months.