Future of powerbasic

Started by Sutthisak Phongthanapanic, September 01, 2013, 12:10:38 PM

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Mike Stefanik

Quote... his own personal jihad of self-promotion ...

I've been steering clear of that particular thread, but yeah, things have definitely gone sideways there. The irony is that I think the poll could actually provide some useful information. We've discussed this before, but there's things that the folks at PowerBasic could do that would be a worthwhile upgrade (e.g.: a new visual designer) that doesn't involve the core compiler itself. But I would agree, that poll really should have originated from PowerBasic themselves, not a third-party vendor.

Edit: It looks like he just deleted the entire thread that includes the poll.

Brice Manuel

Quote from: Mike Stefanik on October 26, 2013, 03:04:36 AM
The irony is that I think the poll could actually provide some useful information. We've discussed this before, but there's things that the folks at PowerBasic could do that would be a worthwhile upgrade (e.g.: a new visual designer) that doesn't involve the core compiler itself.
It would have been interesting to see the poll run its course and no comments made from anybody.  The poll itself was beneficial for many of us.

Brice Manuel

Quote from: Tom Perkins on October 26, 2013, 05:05:31 AM
Is it not curious that an initiative like that never came from PB Inc. itself?
I would never expect it from PB.  I should be clear that my interest in the poll was not PB related.

Patrice Terrier

QuoteIs it not curious that an initiative like that never came from PB Inc. itself?

(sic Anonimous)
Ce sont les ultimes soubresauts d'un poisson échoué sur le sable, attendant désespérément que la marée revienne.
Patrice Terrier
GDImage (advanced graphic addon)

Theo Gottwald

At this time, i know only one person who still believes that PB can recover. And he's not more a member of this forum.
But i also know that he believes in the "Return of Mr. J in a cloud" which he is also a witness from.
Seeing from this perspective he is a person who likes to have very ambitioned hopes and so i do not wonder about it.
Do i hope PB can recover? YES.
Do i belive it will happen? Possibly Mr. J. will appear sooner.  :D

Gary Beene

Add me to this list.
Quote...  believes that PB can recover ...
If I'm only the 2nd person you know who believes it, then you've not been reading the same threads I have.  I've found lots of folks who, despite the obvious/serious concerns, think PowerBASIC has a reasonable chance of recovery.

It's really hard to know for sure, but posts in this thread seem to written mostly by folks who already had a bone to pick with PowerBASIC. or who already thought that PowerBASIC had not pursued developments that are essential for future growth. So especially now, with the troubles of the last year, one would not expect the posters in this thread to provide optimistic projections on the future of PowerBASIC.

One thing for sure, is that things appear grim at PowerBASIC.  I can't say that I've ever been around a company who needed their user community more, but who seems to communicate with their users less.

Steve Hutchesson

Tom, I can understand your frustration if you have been inconvenienced with the outages and other problems with PowerBASIC as a company but equally you don't have to be a genius to grasp the scale of the problems that they face with the passing of Bob Zale. For anyone who is familiar with their compilers, they already know they are damned good tools and for their target market there is little that compete with it.

If there has ever been a time when PowerBASIC need some friends, it is now when Bob's wife has had to deal with the loss of her husband, all sorts of legal matter in relation to an estate, then there are the technical issues of continuing development of their product range, keeping staff going, paying all of the normal outgoing bills, ensuring the peer forum remains up and going, maintaining support etc etc ....

Much of the strength of PowerBASIC has been its peer group of users who in turn support the PowerBASIC peer forum as well as Josés forum and it is that support that is needed now as the company faces difficulties from the above mentioned problems. The compilers are in no great need for revision at the moment and the current versions are highly extendable and this would do the job right up to the dead end of Win32.

I am much of the view that the friends of PowerBASIC can help the company keep going where repeatedly trying to kick them in the guts while they are down only helps to make life more difficult for them in their efforts to recover. While I personally work mainly in MASM, I will continue to support PowerBASIC as best I can as I like their product and regularly use it, for people who want to try and tear the company down, I am much of the view that they can go blow their nose and get off their behind and learn another product if they can raise the bucks to buy it.

Brice Manuel

QuoteDo i hope PB can recover? YES.
I hope they can recover, too.  I had great hopes that they would, and was very positive about it until Jim had his accident.  Then it was clear that PB Inc. had not learned a lesson from the death of Bob, and the entire company was still solely resting on the shoulders of one man, so much so, that even products that are ordered can't be stuck in an envelope and mailed out, without Jim there. 

It is NOT hard to put CDs in an envelope, address the envelope, put stamps on it and hand it to the mailman when he next delivers mail to the office.  Filling an order is a fundamental part of a business, and the most important part if you intend to stay in business.  To see PB struggling with such a basic thing is not reassuring.  Orders need to be moved out of house, since PB Inc. can no longer handle them.  There are several legitimate online services that will process orders for software, and even handle sending out a CD if a customer orders a CD.  There are also online services that can handle the printed manual and send those out when a customer orders them.  This would free up PB staff from these mundane tasks and let PB Inc. solely concentrate on working on the compilers.  There is no shame in saying you can't do it anymore and need help. 

Even if there are not going to be any further improvements on the compilers, this would allow PB Inc. to still sell the products to those who want them and ensure that customers are getting what they paid for, and in turn they can shut down the office and just collect the payments from the online companies.  The forums could be moved to a professional forum hosting service and community members would continue to provide peer support, just as they do now.  If PB Inc. is ending, it does NOT have to end badly. 

I still hope they can dig themselves out of this hole, and I truly would like to see the products survive and live on and grow.  They just need to quit putting all of their eggs in one basket and quit depending solely on one person to carry the entire load.  When you do this, it only takes one snowbird in Florida to change the course of your company's direction, or even grind it to a halt.  Hopefully they have learned this lesson with what happened with Jim. 

QuoteI can't say that I've ever been around a company who needed their user community more, but who seems to communicate with their users less.
It is bewildering.  Now, more than ever is the time for honesty and transparency if they want to regain the trust that has been lost and the customers that have left.

QuoteThe company makes rather the impression that they operate their own sell-out. No new printed manuals, low price starter releases, zero communication, uncertain sporadic service, and a growing rumour mill, that's the present state. Is this really necessary?
They are definitely competing against themselves with the lower price versions.  It would be different if they were crippled products, but they are not, and are full-fledged old versions.  Usually a competitor is the person who tries to undercut you, you don't try to undercut yourself.  As to the manuals, if anybody actually has a PB 10 manual and does not need it and wants to sell it, please drop me a PM.

Marc Giao

Gary, take heart, there are at least three of us on this forum.

Steve, well said.


Steve Hutchesson


This is the bit I don't understand, what circumstance would drive you to such a destructive approach to PowerBASIC when it should be as obvious as titz on a bull why they have had so many problems with the passing of Bob Zale ? I have been using PowerBASIC for about 16 years and have floated around its peer forum for about the same length of time and you are not one of the names I have seen there, what is the problem you have with the company since Bob has passed away ?

If they were just hard to deal with you could simply go elsewhere and buy another product, there are still many on the market, Microsoft still sell reasonably high end C/C++ compilers, the give away a very good assembler, there are various dialects of basic on the market and last I knew Pascal was still chuffing along somewhere. Then you have a plethora of GPL development environments for both Windows and Linux, what is the problem if you cannot get what you were after with PowerBASIC ?

You don't have to be a genius to know that things are tough in the US at the moment and this certainly would effect a small company in difficulties, why is it that you have such unusual requirements of these people when the problems they are facing are so obvious ?

I have made this point before having floated around PowerBASIC as a customer for a long time, the current compilers are up and going and the general consensus among people who are experienced with using them that they are very good tools in the Win32 context. The compilers are reliable and they come with reasonably good CHM help files as well as a decent peer forum when its up and going, what is the problem ? Bob Zale never entered into what he called "Vapourware" (verbal gas powered bovine excrement[ BS] ), why would anyone expect it to be any different with Bob having passed away ?

Theo Gottwald

Hutch, you could save PowerBasic. From all people i got to know over the years, you are the Nr.1 ASM-Guru.
You would be the first choice to use Bobs code and transfer it into a 64 bit world.

I do not belive that Mr.X who just needs a Job can save PowerBasic.
Its likely that Mr. X who knows a bit ASM and urgently needs a Job will fail and ruin Bobs code.

Therefore think about it ... talk to them.

If you stand up and say "I'll do it ..." then from my Point of view PB could be saved.

It needs to be somebody who has real knowledge about ASM, Code Optimization ... like you.
Talk to them, and drop us a note "I am ON PB x64 ".
If this happens, at least I would believe PB has a future.

Steve Hutchesson


I am flattered but long ago I learnt enough about compiler design to make sure that I never tried to write one. It is an all consuming task that takes years to complete to the exclusion of most other things and I don't have the life and time to do that, even if it was on offer and you can be sure it is not.


I am surprised that you know so much about me in terms of my age and disposition but to reply to your idea, you have to be old and stubborn to get much assembler code written. Bob Zale had been writing compilers in assembler since the 1980s and while he probably qualified for your label of old and stubborn, he produced a massive amount of reliable code over the years that were successful compilers.

Now what I have not heard from you is why you are so hostile to PowerBASIC when the problems are so well known, if it was a performance issue you would be writing code in Microsoft VC or similar and as that does not appear to be the case, there must be some other reason.

Patrice Terrier


QuoteHutch, you could save PowerBasic.
???  ::)  :-[  :-\

C'est de l'acharnement thérapeutique...
Patrice Terrier
GDImage (advanced graphic addon)

Steve Hutchesson


You are improving my Google translation skills at the moment.  ;D


> This company is for good reasons in big trouble now!

Tell us something new here, we have all known this since Bob passed away last year. What does not make sense is why you continue this tirade against people when they are in trouble, the solution is simple, use something else.

Theo Gottwald

1 hostile post removed. I would like you to be a bit less emotional Tom. Or else you know the whole post will be deleted.

@Hutch, one of the problem of this world is that intelligent people think too much and see the difficulties while thumb people just go for it.