[futurebasic] Platform independent devlopment environments

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From: John W Robbins <jrobbins@...>
Date: Sat, 06 Dec 1997 14:46:33 -0500
Well my FB friends, developing in FutureBasic has been fun. But given
that very little news is being shared regarding the specifics on the
appearance of FB-III (both in terms of time and in operation), I've come
to the last straw and a choice had to be made whether to stick it out or
move onto other development environments.

Coupled with my decision to abandon FB is also the continued erosion in
confidence for the Macintosh platform, it's operating system and
management decisions at Apple. Perhaps the game and graphics businesses
are able to survive on the mac platform, but many people in the science
community I aim to serve are already operating across multi-platforms.
Thus I will be taking my FB code and translating it to operate on
various operating systems using tcl/tk and C programming environments
(which offer easy transportability across platforms). For me, the days
of writing code in a development environment that only supports a single
(and outdated) processor (i.e., 680x0) are over.

Code heritage is a strong arguing point for sticking it out, but the
time has come for this scientific programmer to make a choice. And alas,
I am forced to move to something that supports faster and more modern
processors. I can't say that I blame the folks at Staz software; on the
contrary, their desire to reform FB into a major development resource is
commendable. For me, it just comes too little too late. Perhaps others
are more patient.

I know from previous experience in handling mega-software systems
(>1,000,000 lines of code on Crays, not Macs), that making a complete
overhaul takes lots of patience and time. The task of integrating PG
into FB directly will make FB-III the Macintosh powerhouse of Object
Oriented programming. That will be a real plus for Macintosh developers.

I've been an FB programmer since the days when Zedcor had the program
and although I wasn't a regular on the list, I've enjoyed climbing the
learning curve along with many on this news group. I will maintain a
subscription to the digest, and keep my legacy code around in FB format.
I suspect I will upgrade to FB-III when it finally comes out. But my use
of it will be limited to personal use as I now choose to develop on
primarily UNIX and LINUX operating systems, among others.

Like I said, I'm a very specialized user of FB and I suspect that what
I'm saying here doesn't really apply to many others, but there has been
a certain frustration level experienced by the users of FB-II as we all
wait for the new release. For me, a choice had to be made. But I part as
a friend of FB with many memories of 2 AM coding/debugging and gaining
considerable joy in seeing the final product come to life. I hope the
newsgroup will find my views and observations to be helpful. I feel like
I'm leaving an old friend behind and I'm not exactly thrilled about it
but it needed to be said.

John Robbins
Freelance Scientific Software Developer
Earth Science Software for Macintosh
    and for platforms running UNIX, UNICOS, Solaris, HP-UX or LINUX