[CoMoDev] NS Basic

  • From: David Beers <david@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <comodev@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2004 13:13:32 -0600

I've heard good things about NS Basic, but from what I understand it's not 
really for cross-platform development.  That is, you can use it to target 
different devices with the same language but not with the same code base.  From 
their web site:
Why isn't NS Basic/CE just like NS Basic/Palm or Newton?

There isn't any practical way to do this on handheld computers.

These devices are all very resource bound. There isn't much memory, cpu speed 
or screen size. To make a product like this work efficiently, one has to make 
full use of what is available in the hardware and the ROM. The devices all have 
very different architectures. Cross OS compatibility has a real overhead cost, 
and there's not room for overhead on these devices.

Futhermore, each unit has a unique user interface. We wouldn't make people 
happy if the applications they created for Windows CE looked like Palm apps.

The BASIC language itself is pretty much the same.

What we can do is stick with our core objective: make a development tool that 
is easy and rewarding to use. Add good documentation and support, and the 
family resemblance of the products is complete.


On the other hand, those who like VB might find CASL to be an interesting 
platform for targetting both Palm and PPC from the same code base 
(www.caslsoft.com.  It's not exactly VB, but CASL (Compact Application Solution 
Language) will feel pretty familiar to VB developers.  I don't know how the 
speed compares to NS Basic.  It's basically an interpreted language, but with a 
wrinkle:  as with SuperWaba there is software that enables you to eliminate the 
runtime by compiling into a native executable.  Unfortunately that option is 
only available on the Palm OS side.

I'm not sure how CASL handles the issues of GUI and resource differences 
between Palm and PPC: whether it tries to emulate the GUI of the platform it's 
running on or whether you end up with a PocketPC program that looks more like a 
Palm program on your PPC.


On Sun, 13 Jun 2004 16:30:23 -0600, dick_grier Grier wrote:
> Hi David,
> For VB programmers, there is another possible alternative for multi-
> platform development.  NS BASIC from NS Basic Corporation offers
> support for Windows CE (Pocket PC, including Windows Mobile 2003),
> Palm (OS 5 and Cobalt), and Newton.  NS Basic is an eVB (eMbedded
> Visual Basic) look-alike, though it offers up to 25X the
> performance of eVB.  Demo versions are available for download.
> I'll contact them to see if they have anything interesting to say
> to us as a group.
> Dick
> Richard Grier  (Microsoft Visual Basic MVP)
> See www.hardandsoftware.net for contact information.
> Author of Visual Basic Programmer's Guide to Serial Communications,
> 3rd Edition ISBN 1-890422-27-4 (391 pages) published February 2002.

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