Porting Visual Basic apps to Linux


Article from Issue 64/2006

Realbasic provides an easy solution for converting Visual Basic programs to Linux.

Visual Basic owes its popularity in the world of Windows to its reputation as an easy-to-learn and easily readable programming language. But users moving to Linux typically have to re-write their Visual Basic programs in a different language. Free Basic variants such as Gambas [1], HBasic [2], or WXBasic [3] are just too far removed from VB to support no-worries porting. KBasic [4] promises complete syntactical compatibility to Visual Basic, but it is still at a fairly unstable beta stage despite several years of development. Real Software recently launched Realbasic [5], a commercial tool designed to pick up Visual Basic projects and give users the ability to run them on Linux and Mac OS X. The Realbasic licensing model is slightly unusual. In addition to the right to use the program, customers additionally purchase the right to free bug fixes huand enhancements for a fixed period of time. After this time, the customer retains the license but does not get the bugfixes. Real Software promises to release a new version every 90 days, so licensed users can look forward to new features at regular intervals.

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