GBIC >> BASIC Dialects

BASIC Dialects
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.

Recommendations
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 competing dialects.

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.

Commercial Free Games - Commercial Scripting
  REALBasic
PureBasic
PowerBASIC
NSBasic
Liberty BASIC
BBC BASIC
Phrogram
VPBasicPro
HTBasic
Ubercode
Run BASIC
HotBasic
1,260,000
883,000
324,000
121,000
103,000
44,500
28,600
20,500
13,100
6,520
5,090
4,430
  thinBasic
FreeBASIC
GFA-Basic
KBasic
FBSL
Emergence BASIC
Gambas
XBLite
Just BASIC
D-LIB
FNXBasic
Creative BASIC
604,000
207,000
32,700
25,300
22,000
21,500
15,000
10,500
7,710
6,380
542
95
  DarkBASIC
Blitz BASIC
Play Basic
glBasic
Brutus2D

  Games - Free
sdlBasic
basic4gl
XST Basic

931,000
872,000
168,000
25,600
7,610

 
608,000
512,000
99

  Autoit
ScriptBasic
SmallBASIC
RapidBATCH

        Kids
Euphoria
BASIC-256
1,710,000
19,900
18,400
6,750

 
59,500
15,400

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.