Information for teachers

Are you looking for a Visual Basic alternative?

You've come to the right place.  Liberty BASIC is a solid choice if VB's size, price, and complexity have turned you off.

Microsoft's marketing has made Visual Basic tremendously popular, but VB misses the mark in many ways.  Thirty years ago Microsoft's entire business was in BASIC language interpreters and compilers.  Their early programming products were easy to use.  As time passed Microsoft abandoned users to sell to businesses so their products became large and complicated.

Why is Visual Basic is a bad fit for many people?

Visual Basic is too big

Microsoft's own site claims that Visual Basic requires 500MB of free space to install.  Why should any programming language be so huge?  Liberty BASIC requires just 8MB for a full install.  You can carry your development files around with you easily on a USB drive.

It isn't VB anymore

What do we mean by this?  When VB.Net came out and VB6 was discontinued there was a controversy in the camp.  Longtime Visual Basic users claimed that VB.Net changed so much that it was no longer VB at all, but rather a doctored up version of C# (a Java clone) to which Microsoft added some Visual Basic syntax.  Old code no longer worked, and more code was required to do the same as before.

Visual Basic is complicated

Many people find that Visual Basic is just too heavyweight and that there is way too much to learn.  Microsoft responded to the requests of big business by adding all kinds of unnecessary stuff to VB, so it lost the qualities that made it a great choice for users.  BASIC was originally a very simple language, and Microsoft's original BASICs were easy to use and learn so people created all kinds of great software with it.  Anyone could do it, and this is the niche that Liberty BASIC is designed to fit into.  Small, simple and easy.

And... It's too visual!

We often get email from people who've come to Liberty BASIC because they found Visual Basic too hard to operate because of its visual user interface.  With Visual Basic you create a program by drawing its windows and all the parts that you see, and then you add the code in little bits and pieces.  This can be hard to deal with because your program's code is scattered everywhere.  Liberty BASIC has a visual design tool that you can use if you choose to, but many people are pleased that Liberty BASIC's primary view is a tried and true text editor-style interface that's clean and simple and easy to learn.