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VDS's future, crossplatform-compatibility and legal question
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bornsoft
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:13 am    Post subject: VDS's future, crossplatform-compatibility and legal question Reply with quote

This should be a theroretical discussion and I do not want it to turn into a discussion about personal preferences to any other programming-language then VDS.

At first: I'm not a professional programmer and I'm not a native english speaker. My english is good enough to understand everything written within this forum, but forgive me if I try to explain the things that I mean a bit more difficult than it could be done.

I love VDS and I don't wanna see it die, but that's what I'm seeing at the moment.
So I took a look around, went into myself and found out that the current owner of VDS has got a piece of antiquated Win32/DOS/Delphi code in his selling shelves.

Everything in the computer-world is changing at the moment. Windows driven desktop computers are not the only thing in the world anymore for the normal consumer. There are tablets running Android or IOS, Intel-chip-based-computers running Mac OSX and Linux, Apple computers running Windows ... What I wanna say: For the end-users is only important to get the things they want done, no matter wich device, system or platform. In this world there is no future for VDS in it's current state. Clearly said: From the commercial point I would not invest one more dollar if I'd be the owner of VDS.

Now over to the VDS language: I think it's a great language to rapidly develop applications. The problem is not VDS, it's Delphi. Everything VDS can do or can not do depends on Delphi. Delphi ist dead, so VDS will die, sooner or later (It's not my intention to hurt any Delphi-programmer, it's only my personal rating, {sorry Jules, I know you invented VDS and all my compliments to VDS are yours}).

On my search for alternatives I first stumbled about BCX and later REALbasic. When I came across those both I thought by myself "why can't VDS go the same way?".

Currently I smell into C and C++ (great possibilities, no question), but for simple GUI applications it is like fireing a cruise missile on a mosquito to me.

BCX produces plain C-code from BASIC that can be compiled with any C-Compiler, Realbasic has its own BASIC dialekt, but is completely platform-independent and can compile binaries for Win/OSX/Linux and even IOS (in one of the next versions, and they release their updates very fast).

And now really what I want to say and ask:

Would it not make sense to write a translator-program (in VDS of course Smile) that reads VDS-Code and translates it to C and/or C++ without any bindings to the WinAPI? I admit, the graphical things are complicated (but not really much more then any other GUI thing in C++). The normal things like loops, lists, mathematical functions etc. should be pretty easy (even I could do that with my very little beginners-C-knowledge). With some fantasy VDS could turn into an OOP language and could be freed from all of it's limitations.

I know there is an old thread here to a Javascript interpreter for VDS by Skit3000 (http://forum.vdsworld.com/viewtopic.php?t=3896). This is a good proof of concept for what I mean.

This would give VDS a future: The pairing of BCX's principe to translate a script to C/C++ and the platform-independend bindings of REALbasic.

And now the legal question that was asked similar in the Skit3000-thread above again:

Does Commercial Research truly own "the syntax of the VDS language" or do they own the Win32/Delphi implementation of a few @-signed-english words?

I wish that my thread mobilizes people loving VDS like me to think about the capabilities this language could have, if it wouldn't depend on ancient libraries and an uncurious owner. Not more, not less.

Good night.

bornSoft
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PGWARE
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Delphi isn't dead, theres a new version that just recently came out - another version will be out later that supports windows rt. It also supports mac os x and ios now.

The idea of owning syntax isn't realistic, oracle tried suing google over use of syntax of java in android and lost that case. If oracle didn't win against google, then ....

Making a compiler from vds to c or c++ seems feasible but not really realistic, the user base is too small for someone to put that much effort into it. Most of the people who loved VDS and could even attempt this have long left the community.

Its probably just better to look at other languages to move onto. I haven't used vds in years and dont have it installed; I still use Delphi for some older projects but almost all of my new projects use Visual Studio and c#.
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LiquidCode
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I currently still use VDS all the time and it is the only language I know. My full time job is as a programmer using VDS. I really don't have the time or the desire to learn another language (though I may have to later down the road if my FT job needs me to). As long as Windows still run VDS apps and the VDS IDE, I'll be using VDS.
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Garrett
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

VDS is so dead that I believe we're lucky to still have VDSWorld here. Most people running a site for a dead language would have closed up shop long ago. Seriously, there are like what, 5 users left here, and out of those maybe 3 who actually still use VDS. Sad

It is nice to dream though. I've had dreams of a new owner for VDS, dreams of new versions of VDS, dreams of a cross-platform VDS, but in the end they are all but dreams.

VDS is so obscure now that I can't picture anyone wanting to do anything with or for it. It would be like starting over from scratch now and having to build a new user base, to which most people would not be willing to do. You see, these days it's all about the money now. It's not like back in the day when it wasn't all about the money exactly, but about making a great and cool product that people enjoyed using. Those days are gone and with it VDS and many other software products.

As VDS dwindled I lost interest in programming. I haven't programmed in years now as VDS was my motivating factor. I liken my visits here daily to visiting the grave of a dead relative. I leave flowers, say a few words, shake hands with a few old friends and then back into the world I go.

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cnodnarb
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It isn't practical or logical to use VDS for anything. I'm not making this post in Latin...

I still do use VDS though.

It's not that I don't know how to use other things, WebWrite Pro 4 was VB6, and I recently made a SnapCode editor in VB.Net and a program called Psi for Paradigm Linux in C# Monodevelop with a Visual Studio 10 ported version. Made a HTML5 CSS3 Javascript calculator etc.

Preferably speaking though, I still love VDS. It's an irrational choice for me. I don't know why I choose VDS for things like Start Charming... WebWrite Lite 2011...

But I do. It's a shame that it has passed away...

[edit]
I did (strongly) play with the ideal of reinventing the syntax in C#, but to be honest, it isn't practical or useful.
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bornsoft
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@PGWARE:

Sorry, I didn't know about what you are saying about Delphi . The last thing I heared was that the Linux-port Kylix was a financial desaster for Borland. I should have done more research on that before.

What you are saying about Oracle vs. Google makes me a little bit optimistic.
Of course you're right that there are not many people around, which are able to effectively work on a C-Translator, but it could be a learnig (C) by doing (VDS) process.

@cnodnarb:
Quote:
I did (strongly) play with the ideal of reinventing the syntax in C#, but to be honest, it isn't practical or useful.

I agree. If you code in C# you do not need VDS. But how about coding an app running on Win, Linux, OSX, IOS ... in one script using VDS syntax? Wouldn't that be worthwhile?

@All:

Imagine, just for the beginning: You write a simple console application in VDS language and one-click-translate it to C-code that can be compiled for every platform.

This could be the starting point for an attractive community-project and to me that seems not to be that much difficult to realize. Things not solved at the moment, could be (temporarely?) bypassed by allowing to include C-code-blocks directly within VDS scripts (the way BCX does).

The most difficult thing would be the GUI stuff. The main advantage of VDS is (and it ever was) its easyness of creating (Windows)GUI-applications. (By the way, for me this was the reason to start programming at all.)

Now outside there are frameworks like wxWidgets - free and working natively on every platform - to build GUIs. To wrap the VDS "DIALOG ..." commands should be not an unresolveble problem. You wouldn't have megabyte-sized runtime libraries to ship and the user would not have to download a 100MB DotNetFramework to run your few-kB application.

I think that all the people that are still hanging on VDS would like such sort of progress and do their best to support it in the way they can do.

The only thing retarding me from initiating an open source community project is the legal question about it.

A dead body has the right to remain dead. Really? Wink (Sorry, I'm just kidding.)

Can the syntax of a programming language be the property of someone? Any lawers in the neighbourhood?

Greetings.bornSoft
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Rubes_sw
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I still use VDS from time to time... its still a pretty easy way to whip up something quick to parse a file or something... Im heavily into PHP now but still do use VDS.

It is a pitty that when PGWARE offered to buy out VDS it was not accepted, it could have really saved the language.... but thats life....

I still check here daily to see if anything is happening

I have several programs written in VDS that sell OKISH for me...

Pixy Color, Cusom PrintScreen and ClickRadio...

I don't think I will develop any big programs is VDS because the language does lack a bit.

Its a real shame, but through the years we have lost some great programmers and users who used to develop and contriubute heavily to the vds world....

regards

Nathan
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jrmarquart
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm surprised no one has mentioned PowerShell. The syntax is not exactly the same, but I'm porting all my code over from VDS without to much effort.

I still update VDS code for legacly systems like Windows XP where PowerShell code does not work, but going forward I use PowerShell for all new Windows OS code.

PowerShell does have a lot of shell like syntax which I don't like, but you don't have to use that syntax and can use instead just the general purpose scripting language that is built in to the shell.

I can see moving to C# or C++ if you are a full time developer, but if you are just trying to create simply script like programs I think PowerShell is a much better choice if you are going to stay in the Windows OS world.

Anyway I still like VDS a lot and will use it again if it ever gets updated....
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Garrett
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BTW, I would obviously love an updated VDS or a translator for another compiler, which would likely spark my programming desires again, but I just do not see it happening.
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cnodnarb
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been looking at AutoIt, and it seems this would be the easiest thing to build a script converter for.

It also most closely matches VDS compilation wise (lightweight, redistributable, RAD).

It also sort of matches VDS philosophy and skill required - wise.

The downside is, it's not cross platform. It's got a questionable future. It's got a bad reputation (botters use it). It uses the same Windows API stuff VDS uses which will eventually be obsolete.

Regardless, it has a large community and has had development work done on it this year. It also has a 64 bit compiler.

I'm going to play with this ideal and build a sample conversion framework.
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bornsoft
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@cnodnarb

Take a look at PureBasic .

Cross-platform Win/Linux/Mac, 64bit, RAD-IDE, very small and fast native executables, 3D-stuff, frequent updates, tons of builtin functions, big community and a very fair license model.

It seems that PureBasic will become my new love.

I don't want to bring anyone away from VDS, but we all need to look into the future.

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newuser
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What about Rapidbatch 6? The developer decided to go open source.

I'm not sure when the project will take off, since the developer pretty busy with his daily work. Question

Just a suggestion.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have two more to point out if you want to continue with a VDS style setup. They are either freeware or are very low in cost.


RapidBATCH

Which is a windows batch language which offers gui programming, gui interface and gui builder and compile. Is near as capable as VDS and the author has been rebuilding it from scratch for the last few years. When he's done it will be cross platform.

Homepage:
http://rb5.phorward-software.com/index.php?lang=1
Forums (English)
http://codecraft.proboards59.com/index.cgi?board=rap
Forums (German)
http://rb5.phorward-software.com/forum


Gui4Cli

Also similar to VDS in many many aspects and is still be supported and updated.

Homepage:
http://www.gui4cli.com/
Forums:
http://codecraft.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=gui4cli


AutoIT is pretty cool too, but something about it turns me away. You might also be interested in it AutoIT's derivative called AutoHotkey found here: http://www.autohotkey.com/

PureBasic freaking rocks but is way much more in terms of a programming language and system than VDS, but the costs is far less than VDS.

Then there is Jabaco, a basic that is compiled into java which makes your end result cross platform. Was free a few years ago when I checked it out, but not sure these days.
http://www.jabaco.org/

NS Basic, which is a VB clone but allows for output to Windows, Linux, Android and I believe IOS now. It costs a bit though
http://www.nsbasic.com

REBOL which has been working on a rebuild also for it's 3.0 release, eventually... Interesting system too.
http://www.rebol.com/

And we must not forget these timeless tools which are still supported and updated after all these years.

KiXtart and Regina Rexx.

KiXtart: http://www.kixtart.org/

Regina Rexx: http://regina-rexx.sourceforge.net/

Everything mentioned here are prime targets to move to from VDS if you need to. They are all easy to learn and all very capable systems. All of them are still supported and still being worked on.

I'm sure there are more out there, but these are the ones I have personally tried out and found that I was able to adapt too coming from VDS.

If you want to go hardcore and rock your world then I suggest Free Pascal over at http://www.freepascal.org/

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bornsoft
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I'm seeing is, that PGWARE in his first answer to my post unfortunately was right:

Quote:

Making a compiler from vds to c or c++ seems feasible but not really realistic, the user base is too small for someone to put that much effort into it. Most of the people who loved VDS and could even attempt this have long left the community.



It's very sad that it seems to be too late to save VDS.

I've been on tour the whole month, about 4 hours in a bus every day I studied lots of tutorials for other languages. I tried examples and made first steps, just to find out that there is no programming language on this planet like VDS.

A great star is gone. I am looking for a replacement and I know there are lots out there, but it's like your first love: This will be the greatest one forever.

Thank you all for your help.
For me this forum is like a foster family in programming.
The old posts are like wise guides of long gone ancestors and all the great solutions for the Win32API-stuff is the basic handcraft you need to go out into the world of "real programming languages".

@Garrett

Your ancient @SendMsg-Editor-Examle was an enlightenment to me and now I understand:

Quote:

I liken my visits here daily to visiting the grave of a dead relative. I leave flowers, say a few words, shake hands with a few old friends and then back into the world I go.



I'll keep visiting this forum too, but in the hope of resurrection.

good night.

bornSoft
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the VDS language has a lot of potential for people who want to roll into programming, but at the same time also being able to make any complex GUI based tool. There are a lot of shortcomings to the language and often you have to go around a problem instead of fixing it.

However, I agree with bornSoft that it may be viable to look into rebirthing the language. Working on my javascript emulator, I already was thinking about separating logic from gui, but since HTML is a wide used standard, I did not have to dive into this too deeply.

When VDS syntax would be used for logic, the DIALOG commands can still be of use as well. However, positioning elements may need to be done differently since every device should be able to display it and you do not want to keep track of all different screens, buttons, textboxes, etc.

Also support for external operations is something which may be hard to maintain when writing code that should work on every device and operating system. While currently most (if not, all) systems store files in folders one way or another, this is not something that may stay. Running external commands is another bottleneck. Windows may have a "netstat" command, on other operating systems it may be different or not even there at all. Same thing for API commands that you can call on one system but not on another.

Making VDS future proof means that all of this needs to be considered and it may even be possible that a lot of functions that are currently here should be discarded. Would just the syntax of VDS be enough to justify making VDS cross platform?

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