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This project aims at making a graphical development environment based on a Basic interpreter, so that we have a language like Visual Basic™ under Linux.


The package wizard in Gambas running under Gnome.

Developer: Benoît Minisini
License: GPLv2


Gambas is a full-featured object language and development environment built on a BASIC interpreter. It is released under the GNU General Public Licence.

Its architecture is largely inspired by Java. So Gambas is made up of:

  • A compiler.
  • An interpreter.
  • An archiver.
  • A scripter.
  • A development environment.
  • Many extension components.

The compiler is a fast little executable written in C:

  • It compiles about 128000 non-void lines in a second on my own Athlon 2000. This speed allows a quick code/compile/test incremental development process.
  • It does almost no optimization at all at the moment, relying on the interpreter to perform this task at runtime.
  • It manages and compiles string translations by using the GNU gettext tools.

The interpreter is a small executable also written in C that is less than 180 Kb:

  • It provides all of the native features of the language, by giving indirect access to almost all the POSIX glibc features.
  • It loads classes on demand, optimizing the bytecode the first time it is run.
  • Linking between classes is done entirely at runtime. This is done as late as possible. So even large executables start quickly.

Finally, the archiver is a program that creates a Gambas executable from a Gambas project directory.

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