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Apple IIGS BASIC Recommendations?


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Which BASIC is best for the Apple IIGS in the modern era based on the following wants list: 


1. I wish to use a modern editor, not the Apple IIGS.

2. I would like to be able to compile the code but this is not a deal killer.

3. I'd like to test using an emulator since I travel without my GS often.

4. A modern-ish BASIC with labels and no line numbers is a requirement.


I've been reading up on GSOFT BASIC which looks like as modern of a BASIC as any available for the GS.


Anyone here know if there's a GSOFT BASIC compiler?

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Do you want to avail yourself of the IIGS abilities(toolbox)?  GSOFT will do that, but cannot be compiled.  It is runtime only.


MD-BASIC is a pre-processor for the IIGS that gives you labels, etc. and spits out regular Applesoft.


I'm not familiar with Call Box or TML Basic, but using a modern editor might be an issue with any of these options.


Check out What is the Apple IIGS programming section.


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You will likely want AC/BASIC, by Absoft. It is fully compatible with the APW/GS Toolbox. 


MD-BASIC has an optimiser, but that isn't quite the same as a compiler.


Ideally, I suggest looking at the APW (Apple Programmers Workshop) tools. IMO, if you want to produce fast, efficient, compiled binary software that runs on GS/OS, that is your ticket, and I would also advise looking at Pascal languages for the //gs.


Keep in mind that the selling point of BASIC is that it is an interpreted language. There exist compilers for AppleSoft BASIC such as Einstein, and tools such as Beagle BASIC, but these will not give you access to the GS/OS Toolkit, and will produce 8-bit *B software, not GS/OS programmes. 


As for writing the software on a modern machine, an then somehow moving it to the GS, the only efficient way to do that is to run an OS with a filesystem extension that can read ProDOS volumes, an run an emulator. You can in theory use conversion tools to move code back an forth between a modern code text editor and a file that the virtual GS can read, then compile it, but that entire solution sounds terribly messy, impractical, an unreliable, compared to writing it purely in an emulator running GS/OS 6.0.4, or on a real machine.


Keep in mind too, that without testing on a real //gs, you do not know if your software runs properly, has speed/performance issues, or has special memory requirements that prevent a variety of users from running it. You can also use GS/OS 4.x or 5.x if you want to widen compatibility, but you need to carefully select APW software for your target. 


GS/OS 6.0.4 is the current release, but fewer people will have this than will have 6.0.1, the last official Apple release. 

Edited by GameGeezer
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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...
On 7/14/2020 at 12:49 AM, robdaemon said:

Micol Advanced Basic GS will probably do everything you want. It's text mode though.



For some reason the link on this page to the GS version of MAB doesn't work any more. Here is a link to the latest version of MAB along with the documentation: https://www.whatisthe2gs.apple2.org.za/micol-advanced-basic.html

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