TweetFollow Us on Twitter

ZBasic 5.0
Volume Number:5
Issue Number:2
Column Tag:Basic School

Zedcor Compiler 5.0

By Dave Kelly, Editorial Board

Note: Source code files accompanying article are located on MacTech CD-ROM or source code disks.

It seems that a month doesn’t go by that we don’t see an update to BASIC. This month we will talk about what’s new with ZBasic Compiler version 5.0. After a couple of years with ZBasic in our midst, Zedcor now has a solid product and it‘s still the fastest Basic available for the Macintosh.

New Price

The worst news is that Zedcor has raised the price to $199.95. The interesting thing about the increase in price is that both Microsoft and True Basic, Inc. have adjusted their prices to be competitive with Zedcor’s ZBasic. What do you get for the price? You get the ZBasic compiler with built in editor (which now works without crashing), a new Macintosh only manual, ZConvert.BAS program for converting MSBASIC to ZBasic, “The Program Generator” used for creating program shells, ZMover Toolbox editor which is used to add or delete toolbox routines or USR routines, and dozens of usable examples and utility routines. The Program Generator program is a new rewritten product, not the old program generator which has been sold separately by Zedcor.

The Compiler

The ZBasic Compiler version 5.0 now appears to be a very solid product. It’s refreshing to be debugging my own programming errors instead of those of ZBasic. Of course, it is not possible to check every single command and toolbox call to report to you if a bomb occurred, but with those that I have tried I have had 100% success!

Zedcor’s built in editor now works, although it is not as fancy as Microsoft’s “pretty-printing” editor. The important thing is to be able to edit a program without going through the load-edit-save-compile-debug...etc. cycle. For search and replace you will have to rely on other text editors; ZBasic only has a Find command.

The Hypertext Help system is excellent if you want to look up something while using ZBasic. Clicking on keywords moves you through the Help system to find just what you are looking for. It’s like having the manual on line all the time.

The configuration options have changed only slightly from previous versions. You may now set the bundle bit of your application as it is compiled. In “Expert Programmer Mode” you can turn off the “Are you sure?” dialog boxes (Are you sure you want to turn this off?). One missing feature is the ability to automatically include a resource file in the compiled application or use the resource file when running under the ZBasic environment. Instead, Zedcor includes a copy of ResEdit (not the latest version) which you can use to move your resources to your new application.

NOTE: be sure to save any tokenized ZBasic files from previous versions as text files before throwing out the old version when you upgrade. The tokenization is different in 5.0, I’ll explain why in a few more paragraphs.

Improved Toolbox Support

The toolbox support in ZBasic is better than any Basic has ever provided before. Inside Macintosh will still be needed at your side to make sense of things. The new routines presented in Inside Macintosh vol. V are now supported. The best part of this is the examples which Bob Andrus submitted to Zedcor to demonstrate the use of Color Palette Animation, and Hierarchical and Pop up menus. Thanks Bob!

The manual which includes the toolbox calls in Appendix D, is organized much the same way as in the last version with families of toolbox commands and functions grouped together. The new toolbox commands provided in volume V of IM are grouped together on three pages in a category named ‘Color Quickdraw for Mac II and Beyond’. This list could have been sorted by functional groups to be easier to use. Also, this is the only group that does not include a brief description of what each routine does. Since you need Inside Macintosh anyway, the description is not that critical.

ZMover Toolbox Editor

ZMover is a toolbox statement editor written by Chris Stasny which will let you move statements in and out of ZBasic. The statements are manipulated in much the same way as Font/DA Mover manipulates DAs and Fonts. Any modification of ZBasic will prevent tokenized files from being properly loaded. I recommend that you always save your source code files as text, NEVER as tokenized, just in case the next version of ZBasic won’t have the same tokenization. The next version probably won’t be the same, especially if new toolbox commands are added.

The best part of ZMover is the ability to create new toolbox functions and commands and add them to your compiler. The manual gives full documentation on the code resource which stores the toolbox statements. (Andrew Gariepy promised to release this information over a year ago). The manual implies that the editor could be used to change the toolbox statements (for example change “FRAMERECT” to “MTBOX”.) I don’t recommend that anyone ever change the names of statements or functions which are documented in Inside Macintosh.

New Manual

The new ZBasic manual is exclusively for the Macintosh (no more MSDOS!!). The reference section of the manual now includes all the Mac commands; you don’t have to go to the appendix for anything except real toolbox statements.

The version 5.0 manual is organized in much the same way as the previous version with the addition of new toolbox calls and documentation for the Toolbox statement mover and ZConvert Utility. There is also documentation for Ztree, for fast operation of large data files in ZBasic. Ztree is a complete tree indexing subroutine which can be used to index up to 65,535 records (or it can be modified using long integers to index up to 2,147,483,647 records). This is an excellent utility which some ZBasic users have been asking for.

Toolbox documentation is good when used with Inside Macintosh. However, the documentation for Appletalk commands needs more examples or explanation. The structure of the AppleTalk commands deviates from Inside Macintosh. Since there are two versions of AppleTalk released (the preferred and the original AppleTalk) more clarification is needed.

The Program Generator

This program written by Chris Stasny is included on the ZBasic master disk. It will let you create a simple shell, or skeleton, of your program in just a few minutes. It can take a lot of tedious work to line up windows, buttons, edit fields and other controls in order to make a window ‘look good.’ The program generator will let you use draw type tools to place objects on your window. In addition, you may add up to 48 subroutines to your program. A few subroutines are included such as screen size, alerts, frame button, and reading the clipboard. You may add your own favorites as needed. This is a nice touch, but you could always append your own routines to the end via traditional cut/paste methods with about the same effort.

The documentation explains the generator’s use and limitations. A program like this is not meant to do all the work for you, only simplify the work so you can spend your time doing programming instead of illustrating your windows. The generator could be a big help to you depending on what kind of program you are writing. Any program that will need to have windows formatted can be off to a good start with the generator.

There are a few limitations which can be easily overcome with some programming, but at least it’s a start. The four basic types of Edit Fields are supported, but you will have to add the code to retrieve the contents of the fields. Buttons are fully supported in the event loop. A menu editor is provided in the generator which will let you set up simple non-heirarchical menus. Font, Style, and Size menus will be automatically created by simply typing in the menu title. Using and setting up menus is usually not too difficult anyway, so there isn’t too much savings here. Window types are selected from a dialog which displays the window types available. Only one window can be edited at a time. In order to do more windows, you must save the program source code (i.e. generate the new program) and open the source code for append (an option in the File menu). This is somewhat tedious, but still better than illustrating windows by brute force. You will need to plan out what you want the window to be like since the generator doesn’t let you resize anything. If you make a mistake, you have to delete the object and start over. Be sure to give your text enough width or it will wrap to the next line when you don’t want it to. It would be nice to have the text edit fields and buttons as part of the palette since they are just objects like everything else.

There are mixed thoughts about the usefulness of a program generator. For quick and dirty programs it is ideal to have the event loop already in place and an easy way to create windows, etc. It would be ideal in some cases to have the generator automatically create resource files for menus and windows created. You may just want to use ResEdit or Prototyper™ to create the resource files. I highly recommend Prototyper™ especially if you do any Pascal or C programming too. You will have to decide how useful the generator is for your own uses. I ask, is it worth the extra price of ZBasic? Probably not. The dozens of example programs included with ZBasic are worth much more than the program generator.

Z Best Basic?

At the moment, there are three major Basic products on the market which each have their own niche. True Basic has the most structured, strongest scientific language. QuickBASIC comes from the largest company which has supported MSBasic for many years and a nice programming environment. ZBasic is the fastest compiler and generates the smallest application code. It includes the most examples and utilities with the compiler. The price is a killer, but Zedcor has shown that they intend to continue supporting ZBasic for years to come. I’ll have to say that each time a new version of Basic is released, the newest released has been the best product at the time for various reasons. That being the case, ZBasic is best until one of the competition comes out with their next new version.

The following program is a variation of one printed in MacTutor vol. 4 No. 4 (April, 1988) in which you can see by comparison that the addition of just a few toolbox calls to ZBasic’s set of toolbox calls can simplify the programming effort considerably:

‘Color Picking with ZBasic 5.0
‘©MacTutor 1989
‘By Dave Kelly

WINDOW OFF
COORDINATE WINDOW
DIM Colorbox%(3),inColor%(3),outColor%(3),Point%(2),AlertText$(4)
DIM RGB1%(3),PaletteRect%(3)
red&=65535
green&=0
blue&=0

DEF MOUSE=-1
false%=0:true%=NOT(false)

GOSUB “GetColorMode”
IF ColorMode%>256 THEN ColorMode%=256 
LONG IF ColorMode%<16
AlertText$(1)=””
AlertText$(2)=”This Demo must be run on a”
AlertText$(3)=” Mac ][ in 16 or 256 colors”
AlertText$(4)=””
CALL PARAMTEXT(AlertText$(1), AlertText$(2), AlertText$(3), AlertText$(4))
AlertAns%=FN NOTEALERT(1,0)
GOTO “Quit”
END IF

MENU 1,0,1,”File”
MENU 1,1,1,”Select Color”
MENU 1,2,1,”Quit”
EDIT MENU 2

‘Find out screen size.
CALL GETWMGRPORT(WMgrPort&)
PortTop=PEEK WORD(WMgrPort&+8)
PortLeft=PEEK WORD(WMgrPort&+10)
PortBottom=PEEK WORD(WMgrPort&+12)
PortRight=PEEK WORD(WMgrPort&+14)

WINDOW 1,”Main Window”,(10,44)-(PortRight-4,PortBottom-4),5
GET WINDOW #1, WindowPtr&
TEXT ,,,0
BUTTON #6,1,”Quit”,(20,WINDOW(3)-50)-(85,WINDOW(3)-30),1
BUTTON #7,1,”Pick Color”,(120,WINDOW(3)-50)-(195,WINDOW(3)-30),1
CALL SETRECT(Colorbox%(0), 10,10,WINDOW(2)-10,
 WINDOW(3)-215)
PICTURE ON
LONG COLOR blue&,green&,red&
CALL PAINTRECT(Colorbox%(0))
COLOR=7
CALL FRAMERECT(Colorbox%(0))
CALL MOVETO(20,WINDOW(3)-100)
PRINT “Red:”;red&;” Green:”;green&;” Blue:”;blue&;SPACE$(10)
PICTURE OFF,Pic1&
PICTURE, Pic1&
WINDOW PICTURE #1,Pic1&

ON DIALOG GOSUB “Event”
ON MENU GOSUB “MenuEvent”
DIALOG ON:MENU ON
“Loop”
GOTO “Loop”
DIALOG STOP:MENU STOP

“MenuEvent”
Menunumber=MENU(0)
Menuitem=MENU(1)
MENU
IF Menunumber<>1 THEN RETURN
SELECT Menuitem
 CASE 1
 GOSUB “ColorPick”
 CASE 2
 GOSUB “Quit”
END SELECT
RETURN

“Quit”
WINDOW PICTURE #1,0
KILL PICTURE Pic1&
END

“ColorPick”:’A Color Selection routine
inColor%(0)=red&
inColor%(1)=green&
inColor%(2)=blue&
Result=FN GETCOLOR(Point%(0),”Choose the best
 color!”,inColor%(0),outColor%(0))
LONG IF Result<>0
 red&=outColor%(0)
 green&=outColor%(1)
 blue&=outColor%(2)
 IF red&<0 THEN red&=65536+red&
 IF green&<0 THEN green&=65536+green&
 IF blue&<0 THEN blue&=65536+blue&
 PICTURE ON
 LONG COLOR blue&,green&,red&
 CALL SETRECT(Colorbox%(0), 10,10,WINDOW(2)-10,
 WINDOW(3)-215)
 CALL PAINTRECT(Colorbox%(0))
 COLOR=7
 CALL FRAMERECT(Colorbox%(0))
 CALL MOVETO(20,WINDOW(3)-100)
 PRINT “Red:”;red&;” Green:”;green&;” Blue:”;blue&;SPACE$(10)
 PICTURE OFF,Pic1&
 PICTURE, Pic1&
 WINDOW PICTURE #1,Pic1&
END IF
RETURN

“Event”
 D=DIALOG(0)
SELECT D
 CASE 1
 GOSUB “ButtonEvent”
 CASE 4
 GOSUB “Quit”:’if close box selected
END SELECT
RETURN

“ButtonEvent”
Buttonpressed=DIALOG(1)
IF Buttonpressed=6 THEN “Quit”
IF Buttonpressed=7 THEN “ColorPick”
RETURN

REM * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * **
REM
“GetColorMode” ‘With thanks to Zedcor and Bob Andrus
REM
REM  SUBROUTINE TO GET THE B&W/COLOR MODE
REM
REM  ROM85=&H028E
REM
REM  RomTypeW& = -1    FOR 128K OR 512K
REM  RomTypeW& = 32767 FOR PLUS OR SE
REM  RomTypeW& = 16383 FOR ][
REM
 ROM85&=&H028E
 RomTypeW&=PEEK WORD(ROM85&)
REM
REM  TheGDevice=&H0CC8
REM
REM  gdMode& = 128 FOR   2 B&W OR COLORS
REM  gdMode& = 129 FOR   4 B&W OR COLORS
REM  gdMode& = 130 FOR  16 B&W OR COLORS
REM  gdMode& = 131 FOR 256 B&W OR COLORS
REM
 TheGDevice&=&H0CC8
 GDHandle&=PEEK LONG(TheGDevice&)
 GDPtr&=PEEK LONG(GDHandle&)
 gdMode&=PEEK LONG(GDPtr&+42)
REM
REM  GET THE B&W/COLOR MODE
REM
 IF RomTypeW&<>16383 THEN ColorMode%=2
 IF RomTypeW&<>16383 THEN RETURN
 IF gdMode&=128 THEN ColorMode%=2
 IF gdMode&=129 THEN ColorMode%=4
 IF gdMode&=130 THEN ColorMode%=16
 IF gdMode&=131 THEN ColorMode%=256
 RETURN

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

RapidWeaver 6.0.5 - Create template-base...
RapidWeaver is a next-generation Web design application to help you easily create professional-looking Web sites in minutes. No knowledge of complex code is required, RapidWeaver will take care of... Read more
Alfred 2.6 - Quick launcher for apps and...
Alfred is an award-winning productivity application for OS X. Alfred saves you time when you search for files online or on your Mac. Be more productive with hotkeys, keywords, and file actions at... Read more
1Password 5.1 - Powerful password manage...
1Password is a password manager that uniquely brings you both security and convenience. It is the only program that provides anti-phishing protection and goes beyond password management by adding Web... Read more
GarageSale 6.9.2 - Create outstanding eB...
GarageSale is a slick, full-featured client application for the eBay online auction system. Create and manage your auctions with ease. With GarageSale, you can create, edit, track, and manage... Read more
calibre 2.17 - Complete e-library manage...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital librarian... Read more
OmniGraffle Pro 6.1.2 - Create diagrams,...
OmniGraffle Pro helps you draw beautiful diagrams, family trees, flow charts, org charts, layouts, and (mathematically speaking) any other directed or non-directed graphs. We've had people use... Read more
OmniGraffle 6.1.2 - Create diagrams, flo...
OmniGraffle helps you draw beautiful diagrams, family trees, flow charts, org charts, layouts, and (mathematically speaking) any other directed or non-directed graphs. We've had people use Graffle to... Read more
RoboForm 2.0.2 - Password manager; syncs...
RoboForm is a password manager that offers one-click login, mobile syncing, easy form filling, and reliable security. Password Manager. RoboForm remembers your passwords so you don't have to! Just... Read more
Apple MainStage 3.1 - Live performance t...
Love the sound you got on your recording? MainStage 3 makes it easy to bring all the same instruments and effects to the stage. Everything from the Sound Library and Smart Controls you're familiar... Read more
Freeway Pro 7.0.2 - Drag-and-drop Web de...
Freeway Pro lets you build websites with speed and precision... without writing a line of code! With its user-oriented drag-and-drop interface, Freeway Pro helps you piece together the website of... Read more

Sentinel 4: Dark Star Adds New Campaign...
Sentinel 4: Dark Star Adds New Campaign and More Posted by Ellis Spice on January 27th, 2015 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Wheel & Deal Review
Wheel & Deal Review By Tre Lawrence on January 27th, 2015 Our Rating: :: SIMPLE FUNUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad A simple arcade shooter that has a retro feel.   | Read more »
This Week at 148Apps: January 19-23, 201...
Warm Your Winter With New Apps!   How do you know what apps are worth your time and money? Just look to the review team at 148Apps. We sort through the chaos and find the apps you’re looking for. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice, standing out... | Read more »
Eggmaster Review
Eggmaster Review By Jennifer Allen on January 26th, 2015 Our Rating: :: BRIEFLY COMPELLINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Tap like crazy to gain eggs, so that you can buy upgrades to gain more eggs, and so on. It... | Read more »
Cloudy Or Dry – Funny Or Die Release a W...
Cloudy Or Dry – Funny Or Die Release a Weather App Posted by Ellis Spice on January 26th, 2015 [ permalink ] iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad | Read more »
Mediocre, the Team Behind Smash Hit, is...
Mediocre, the Team Behind Smash Hit, is Teasing Their Latest Unnamed Project Posted by Jessica Fisher on January 26th, 2015 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Heroes of Gaia Review
Heroes of Gaia Review By Campbell Bird on January 26th, 2015 Our Rating: :: TIMERS OF MIGHT AND MAGICUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad This free-to-play rpg looks a lot like Heroes of Might and Magic, but it’s poor... | Read more »
Choice Provisions is Set to Launch Destr...
Choice Provisions is Set to Launch Destructamundo on iOS This Month Posted by Tre Lawrence on January 23rd, 2015 [ permalink ] Choice Provisions – home stable to | Read more »
King of Thieves – An Interview With Zept...
Ahead of the release of ZeptoLab’s King of Thieves, we were able to ask ZeptoLab’s co-founder, Semyon Voinov, a few questions about the inspiration behind the game and what that means for the Cut the Rope franchise. | Read more »
Handle Review
Handle Review By Jennifer Allen on January 23rd, 2015 Our Rating: :: SPEEDY ORGANIZINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Handle is a very convenient way of juggling your emails, To Do list, and Calendar all through one... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Save up to $340 on iMacs with Apple Certified...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished iMacs available for up to $340 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. These are the best prices on... Read more
AppleCare Protection Plans on sale for up to...
B&H Photo has 3-Year AppleCare Warranties on sale for up to $105 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - Mac Laptops 15″ and Above: $244 $105 off MSRP - Mac Laptops 13″ and... Read more
Apple refurbished Time Capsules available sta...
The Apple Store has certified refurbished Time Capsules available for up to $60 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each Time Capsule, and shipping is free: - 2TB Time Capsule: $255... Read more
3TB AirPort Time Capsule on sale for $349, $5...
B&H Photo has 3TB AirPort Time Capsules on sale for $349 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $50 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model (except... Read more
16GB iPad Air 2 on sale for $446, save $53
Walmart has 16GB WiFi iPad Air 2s on sale for $53 off MSRP on their online store. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices available for online orders only, in-... Read more
Save up to $300 on a new Mac, $30 on an iPad,...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad at The Apple Store for Education and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free,... Read more
MasterCard Brings Contactless Payment, Apple...
MasterCard, the official card of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and the PGA TOUR are bringing the latest payment technology to the spectator experience with the introduction of contactless... Read more
Petitioning Dropbox For Mac OS X 10.4 and 10....
Last week Dropbox announced to its users that app support for Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5 will end May 18 — disappointing news for those of us who are still getting useful service out of older PPC Macs... Read more
Stop Street Harassment, Bullying, and Assault...
The STOP-ATTACK (http://www.stop-attack.com) app will leverage smartphone technology to make the world a safer place. Whether it’s bullying, street harassment or something even more sinister, the app... Read more
Stir Kinetic Desk M1 Standing Or Sitting Desk...
The age of the standing desk is upon us, and according to medical research, it’s arriving none too soon. The World Health Organization (WHO), reports that 60 to 85 percent of people worldwide lead... Read more

Jobs Board

Detailer *Apple* Ford Body Shop / Collision...
Apple Automotive is one of the fastest growing dealer…and it shows. Consider making the switch to the Apple Automotive Group today! At Apple Automotive , Read more
*Apple* Acura/Subaru Service Technicians - A...
Apple Automotive is one of the fastest growing dealer…and it shows. Consider making the switch to the Apple Automotive Group today! At Apple Automotive , Read more
Business Development Manager - *Apple* Pay...
**Job Summary** Apple Pay is seeking an experienced business development manager to support the identification, recruitment, negotiation and ongoing management of Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC)- Retail S...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
**Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Consultant (ASC) you are the link between our customers and our products. Your role is to drive the Apple business in a retail Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.