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Microsoft QuickBASIC also QB is an Integrated Development Environment or IDE and compiler for the BASIC programming language that was developed by Microsoft QuickBASIC runs mainly on DOS, though there was a short-lived version for the classic Mac OS It is loosely based on GW-BASIC but adds user-defined types, improved programming structures, better graphics and disk support and a compiler in addition to the interpreter Microsoft marketed QuickBASIC as the introductory level for their BASIC Professional Development System1 Microsoft marketed two other similar IDEs for C and Pascal, viz QuickC and QuickPascal


  • 1 History
  • 2 Syntax example
  • 3 Current uses
  • 4 Successors
  • 5 See also
  • 6 External links
  • 7 References


Microsoft released the first version of QuickBASIC on August 18, 1985 on a single 525" 360kB floppy disk QuickBASIC version 20 and later contained an Integrated Development Environment IDE, allowing users to edit directly in its on-screen text editor

Although still supported in QuickBASIC, line numbers became optional Program jumps also worked with named labels Later versions also added control structures, such as multiline conditional statements and loop blocks

Microsoft's "PC BASIC Compiler" was included for compiling programs into DOS executables Beginning with version 40, the editor included an interpreter that allowed the programmer to run the program without leaving the editor The interpreter was used to debug a program before creating an executable file Unfortunately, there were some subtle differences between the interpreter and the compiler, which meant that large programs that ran correctly in the interpreter might fail after compilation, or not compile at all because of differences in the memory management routines2

The last version of QuickBASIC was version 45 1988, although development of the Microsoft BASIC Professional Development System PDS continued until its last release of version 71 in October 19903 At the same time, the QuickBASIC packaging was silently changed so that the disks used the same compression used for BASIC PDS 714 The Basic PDS 7x version of the IDE was called QuickBASIC Extended QBX, and it only ran on DOS, unlike the rest of Basic PDS 7x, which also ran on OS/2 The successor to QuickBASIC and Basic PDS was Visual Basic for MS-DOS 10, shipped in Standard and Professional versions Later versions of Visual Basic did not include DOS versions, as Microsoft concentrated on Windows applications

A subset of QuickBASIC 45, named QBasic, was included with MS-DOS 5 and later versions, replacing the GW-BASIC included with previous versions of MS-DOS Compared to QuickBASIC, QBasic is limited to an interpreter only, lacks a few functions, can only handle programs of a limited size, and lacks support for separate program modules Since it lacks a compiler, it cannot be used to produce executable files, although its program source code can still be compiled by a QuickBASIC 45, PDS 7x or VBDOS 10 compiler, if available

QuickBASIC 100 for the Apple Macintosh operating system was launched in 1988 It was officially supported on machines running System 6 with at least 1 MB of RAM5 QuickBASIC could also be run on System 7, as long as 32-bit addressing was disabled; this was not possible on Motorola 68040-based Macintosh machines

Syntax exampleedit

Hello, World - Shortest version:

"Hello, World"

Hello, World - Extended version:

CLS PRINT "Hello, World" END

99 bottles of beer:

LET BOTTLES = 99: LET BOTTLES$ = "99": LET BOTTLE$ = " bottles" FOR A = 1 TO 99 PRINT BOTTLES$; BOTTLE$; " of beer on the wall, "; BOTTLES$; BOTTLE$; " of beer" LET BOTTLES = BOTTLES - 1 IF BOTTLES > 0 THEN LET BOTTLES$ = LTRIM$STR$BOTTLES: LET PRONOUN$ = "one" IF BOTTLES = 0 THEN LET BOTTLES$ = "no more": LET PRONOUN$ = "it" IF BOTTLES <> 1 THEN LET BOTTLE$ = " bottles" IF BOTTLES = 1 THEN LET BOTTLE$ = " bottle" PRINT "Take "; PRONOUN$; " down and pass it around, "; BOTTLES$; BOTTLE$; " of beer on the wall" PRINT: NEXT A PRINT "No more bottles of beer on the wall, no more bottles of beer" PRINT "Go to the store and buy some more, 99 bottles of beer on the wall"

Complex graphics example:

'Code By Nicholas Beltran 18/10/97 SCREEN 13 DIM a3976 AS INTEGER, b3976 AS INTEGER, c3976 AS INTEGER DIM d3976 AS INTEGER, e3976 AS INTEGER col% = 16: col1% = 16: col2% = 16: col3% = 16: col4% = 16 col5% = 16: col6% = 16: col7% = 16: flag = 1: flag1 = 1 flag2 = 1: flag3 = 1:flag4 = 1: flag5 = 1: flag6 = 1: flag7 = 1 DO GET 1, 38-318, 62, a PUT 2, 38, a, PSET LINE 1, 38-1, 62, col% IF flag = 1 THEN col% = col% + 1: IF col% = 32 THEN flag = 2 IF flag = 2 THEN col% = col% - 1: IF col% = 16 THEN flag = 1 GET 2, 63-319, 87, b PUT 1, 63, b, PSET LINE 319, 63-319, 87, col1% IF flag1 = 1 THEN col1% = col1% + 1: IF col1% = 32 THEN flag1 = 2 IF flag1 = 2 THEN col1% = col1% - 1: IF col1% = 16 THEN flag1 = 1 GET 1, 88-318, 112, c PUT 2, 88, c, PSET LINE 1, 88-1, 112, col2% IF flag2 = 1 THEN col2% = col2% + 1: IF col2% = 32 THEN flag2 = 2 IF flag2 = 2 THEN col2% = col2% - 1: IF col2% = 16 THEN flag2 = 1 GET 2, 113-319, 137, d PUT 1, 113, d, PSET LINE 319, 113-319, 137, col3% IF flag3 = 1 THEN col3% = col3% + 1: IF col3% = 32 THEN flag3 = 2 IF flag3 = 2 THEN col3% = col3% - 1: IF col3% = 16 THEN flag3 = 1 GET 1, 138-318, 162, e PUT 2, 138, e, PSET LINE 1, 138-1, 162, col4% IF flag4 = 1 THEN col4% = col4% + 1: IF col4% = 32 THEN flag4 = 2 IF flag4 = 2 THEN col4% = col4% - 1: IF col4% = 16 THEN flag4 = 1 LOOP UNTIL LENINKEY$

Current usesedit

QuickBASIC continues to be used in some schools, usually as part of an introduction to programmingcitation needed, though it is fast becoming replaced by more popular compilers It also has an unofficial community of hobby programmers who use the compiler to write video games, GUIs and utilities678 The community has dedicated several Web sites, message boards and online magazines to the language910

Today, programmers sometimes use DOS emulators, such as DOSBox, to run QuickBASIC on Linux and on modern personal computer hardware that no longer supports the compiler1112 One alternative to this is FreeBASIC, but it cannot yet run all QBasic/QuickBASIC programs13

Since 2008, a set of TCP/IP routines for QuickBASIC 4x and 71 has revitalized some interest in the software In particular, the vintage computer hobbyist community has been able to write software for old computers that run DOS, allowing these machines to access other computers through a LAN or the internet This has allowed systems even as old as an 8088 to serve new functions, such as acting as a Web server or using IRC14


Microsoft's Visual Basic was the successor of QuickBASIC Other compilers, like PowerBASIC and FreeBASIC, have varying degrees of compatibility QB64, a multiplatform QuickBASIC to C++ translator, retains close to 100% compatibility and compiles natively for Windows, Linux and macOS15

See alsoedit

  • Turbo Basic

External linksedit

  • Version History of Microsoft QuickBasic for MS-DOS


  1. ^ Early Microsoft documentation rendered the name exclusively as "QuickBASIC", although later references on Microsoft's Web site also use "QuickBasic"
  2. ^ Microsoft Knowledge Base 45850: Memory Management in QuickBasic & Basic Compiler
  3. ^ QuickBASIC 45 was delivered on a set of five 360 kB 525" DSDD floppy disks or three 720 kB 35" DSDD floppy disks The three-disk version could also be installed from 12 MB 525" or 144 MB 35" DSHD disks To save costs, the files were compressed and later versions were shipped on just four 525" disks or two 35" disks
  4. ^ Microsoft Knowledge Base article 65291
  5. ^ QuickBASIC for Macintosh system requirements
  6. ^ "QBASIC Games Directory" 2008-11-29 Archived from the original on 4 September 2014 Retrieved 2008-12-28 
  7. ^ "GUI Reviews" 2008-12-19 Retrieved 2008-12-28 
  8. ^ "The BASIC GUI Blog" 2011-02-06 Retrieved 2011-02-06 
  9. ^ "Qbasic/Quickbasic News" 2008-12-26 Retrieved 2008-12-28 
  10. ^ "QB Express" Pete's QBASIC/QuickBasic Site 2008 Retrieved 2008-12-28 
  11. ^ Pete Trbovich 2007-03-31 "HOWTO Play With Your Old QBasic Programs on Linux" Retrieved 2008-12-28 
  12. ^ Kiyote Wolf 2008-05-10 "Kiyote Wolf on a Variety of Subjects" QB Express Retrieved 2008-12-28 
  13. ^ For example, FreeBASIC does not yet support QBasic's "ON PLAY" callback for background music, or the use of PEEK and POKE to I/O ports
  14. ^ Mike Chambers 2008-07-12 "rubbermalletorg: Where QuickBASIC gets much more powerful" Retrieved 2008-12-28 
  15. ^ EKVirtanen 2008-05-26 "Interview With Galleon" Archived from the original on March 6, 2016 Retrieved 2008-07-14  CS1 maint: Unfit url link

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