Difference between revisions of "QB64 FAQ"
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Revision as of 08:38, 24 February 2021
As with everything else, this list will be updated to correspond to new progress of QB64 so make sure that you are using the latest version of QB64. Please note that it may take a short time to update this list.
Q: What is QB64?
A: QB64 is a BASIC compatible Editor and C++ emitter that creates working Executable files from QBasic BAS files that can be run on 32 or 64 bit PC's using Windows (XP to 10), Linux or macOS. The goal is to be 100% compatible with QuickBASIC 4.5 plus add hundreds of new abilities such as program icons and custom sized windows and a great retro Editor with builtin help.
The new keywords add some new features such as playing music or sound files and instant access to 32 bit graphics file images. Also TCP/IP internet communication is available to download files, email messages over the web or play internet games. DLL Libraries can add more programming options and QB64 can access all of the new USB gaming controllers and printers.
QB is an abbreviation for QBasic or QuickBASIC which is an easy to learn language that grew very popular in the 90's. It uses simple syntax but holds great potential as there are methods to achieve nearly anything. QBasic is more alive than ever with QB64!
Q: Does it have modern features? Do they HAVE to be used?
A: QB64 has plenty of modern features, but they do not have to be used. You may just want to run some of your old favorites.
You could code using the original QuickBASIC syntax all the way through and it should work as you expect it to or even better. QB64 is often faster and has none of the memory limitations that plagued QBasic in the past.
QB64 is not meant to run PDS (7.1) QBX code. Most GW Basic code will run with minor changes.
The modern statements are designed to go along with the BASIC philosophy and expand QBasic into the future!
1) Full graphic functions for images up to 32 bit color. Alpha transparency supported. 2) Instant loading of image files including BMP, PNG, JPEG, GIF and more... 3) Supports stereo sound files like WAV, OGG, MP3, speaker and volume control and more... 4) Animation is easy to do using _DISPLAY instead of page flipping, to achieve flicker-free graphics. 5) Clipboard reading and writing support. 6) Networking over TCP/IP and Email. 7) True type font and Unicode support for many Languages. 8) Integrated mouse and game controller input including scroll wheel support. 9) Support for C++, OpenGL, Windows API and other custom Dynamic Link Libraries.
Q: How do I install QB64 on Windows, Linux, macOS?
A: QB64 supports the following Operating Systems:
- 1) Download the appropriate package according to your system from QB64.org
- 2) Unpack the contents to any location on your computer. Avoid unpacking to Program Files or other system folders that may require administrative privileges. QB64 needs to have full write permissions to its own folder.
- Executable programs are portable between like systems by copying the stand-alone executable file.
- 1) Download the appropriate package according to your system from QB64.org
- 2) After extracting the downloaded package, run the installation batch/script called ./setup_lnx.sh in the main qb64 folder to setup QB64.
- 3) Most dependencies should be automatically downloaded by the setup script, but these are the ones you should look for if compilation fails: OpenGL developement libraries, ALSA development libraries, GNU C++ Compiler (g++)
- 1) You must install Apple's Xcode command line tools for C++ compilation from their website. The simplest way to do so is opening a terminal window and typing the following command: xcode-select --install (more info here: Xcode download)
- (you won't be using the Xcode interface, QB64 just needs to have access to the C++ compiler and libraries it installs)
- 3) Download the appropriate package according to your system from QB64.org
- Extract the downloaded package and run ./setup_osx.command, found within the QB64 folder to install the QB64 compiler.
- Executable programs are portable between macOS systems by copying the executable file.
- To help launch executables without a console, a file called programname_start.command is created along with the program.
Q: Why won't QB64 work on my computer?
QB64 currently supports Windows versions from XP to the latest version. Most Linux and macOS versions are also supported.
- Don't move QB64 executable out of the QB64 folder. The various sub-folders hold the C++ compiler files and libraries.
- QB64 does not change any settings on your machine. All required files are in the QB64 folder.
Q: Are there any known incompatibilities?
A: There are some things that QB64 cannot do, like direct hardware access, which makes older more advanced programs that make use of ABSOLUTE, INTERRUPT, PEEK, POKE and OUT not work properly. Although some older functionality is emulated, if your program doesn't use such statements you probably won't notice any difference between QB 4.5 and QB64 (and if you do, report it as a bug in the forums). You can expect the most common addresses for interrupts, etc. to be functioning.
You should be careful with CPU usage. QB64 is a lot faster than QBasic was and it does not have many of the size limitations that confined QBasic programming abilities. Having said that, care must be taken to assure that programs do not hog resources. To do that, use speed limits when possible to keep the resources used to a minimum. Also, Monitor Task Manager when your programs are running, as it can tell you how much or system resources are being used in different parts of a program. The following keywords can lower the impact of your programs on those resources by releasing them to other programs:
- _LIMIT: Limits the loops per second in any loop and thus lowers the overall CPU usage.
- _DELAY: Pauses a procedure and releases unused resources for other programs.
- SLEEP: Stops or delays program procedures and shares resources.
QB64 can be fast when you need it to be, but take the time to consider the impact of your program on other programs as people seldom have only one program running and the OS has tasks it must do too.
Q: How do I update the information in QB64's help system?
A: The help provided in the QB64 IDE Help System fetches the pages from this wiki. Use the Update current page in the IDE Help menu selection to update a page. Use the Update all pages choice to update them all, but this may take longer.
Q: Can I use the same libraries with QB64 that I used with QB 4.5?
A: If the libraries are pure QB 4.5 code then yes, otherwise no. QLB files are not supported but you can easily copy your favorite SUBs or FUNCTIONs to a text BI file and $INCLUDE them at the end of any program. Include them after all SUB and FUNCTION code in the BAS file.
DECLARE LIBRARY allows users to reference C, Windows, OpenGL and other DLL libraries. If you find some functions that you like please share them with us at the forum! The following pages list working functions our members have found and tested:
Q: I can't get my QB 4.5 source code to work in QB64! Why?
A: QB64 is 99% compatible with QB4.5 programs. The commands that haven't been implemented are either obsolete or are too obscure and have been replaced by modern functionality.
Q: What files are required to run my QB64 compiled program in my Operating System?
A: Programs compiled by QB64 (version 1.000 and up) are stand-alone so no external files are required to be with your program's EXE file.
Q: Is there a way to use the compiler without running my program or using the IDE?
A: Yes! No other program files besides the BAS file are required. Use the following command to compile a program without running it:
- QB64 -c yourfile.BAS
- QB64 -x yourfile.BAS (compiles using the console only)
- QB64 -c yourfile.BAS -o destination_path\destination executable_name.exe (compiles the .BAS file and outputs the executable to a separate folder)
A: QB64 allows you to $INCLUDE code or BAS modules into one module when it is compiled. Text .BI files containing SUB or FUNCTION code or entire BAS modules can be included in one module that will be compiled.
After the EXE is compiled, you do not have to even use the added code anymore. The EXE will contain ALL of the program code as ONE stand-alone program. This also allows you to add SUB code to any program that you desire.
Q: Some screens look small. Can I enlarge them or make them fullscreen?
- You can use the _FULLSCREEN statement to make your programs run fullscreen.
- $RESIZE can be added to a program so you can track window resize events.
- You can also create custom sized screens with page flipping and up to 32 bit colors using _NEWIMAGE.
- Page flipping is available in most screens and the new _DISPLAY feature allows the images to be displayed when YOU desire.
- Picture or image files such as BMP, PNG, JPEG and GIF are EASY to load using _LOADIMAGE.
- Once images are loaded, all you have to do is use the image handle with any of the new statements and functions.
- _PUTIMAGE GETs and PUTs images fast in ONE call. It can even stretch or compress the image sizes.
A: Yes, they are emulated to use the soundcard.
There also are a bunch of new sound capabilities that allow the use of WAV, OGG, MP3 files and more.
- Multiple sound tracks
- Volume and speaker control
- Background music
Get started with music:
- _SNDCLOSE (statement), _SNDCOPY (function), _SNDGETPOS (function), _SNDLEN (function), _SNDLIMIT (statement)
- _SNDLOOP (statement), _SNDOPEN (function), _SNDPAUSE (statement), _SNDPAUSED (function), _SNDPLAY (statement)
Q: If QB64 creates Basic programs why is there no Immediate Window?
A: Because there is no QB64 interpreter. All C code has to be compiled before it can be run.
QB64 uses the Immediate window area to suggest syntax for keyword entries and give the compiler status when compiling.
Q: Does it work on Windows 98 or any OS older than Windows 2000?
A: No, it doesn't. QB64 is made to run on new systems (Windows XP and up, Linux and macOS).
Q: Does QB64 support CURRENCY values from PDS or VB programs?
A: Not directly, but _FLOAT currency values up to 4 decimal places can be multiplied by 10000(10 ^ 4) and converted to MKC$ string values using _MK$ with an _INTEGER64 value. _CV with an _INTEGER64 value divided by 10000 converts it back to _FLOAT values.
Q: Do you provide changelogs?
- For all recent changelogs, check QB64.org
Q: Where I can view the C++ code before it gets compiled?
Look in the QB64 internal\temp folder for main.txt to get the C code used to compile the latest program.