Re: VisualBasic Compiler for Linux

"Scott Nicol" <>
12 May 2003 01:40:41 -0400

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From: "Scott Nicol" <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 12 May 2003 01:40:41 -0400
Organization: APK Net
References: 03-05-025
Keywords: Basic
Posted-Date: 12 May 2003 01:40:41 EDT

"(R)JA.GAR. SOFT" <> wrote in message
> I'd like to make a VB Compiler for Linux based on GNU/GLP.
> I have read on archives that it is almost impossible :-(

It's not impossible, I've done it.

> Does it worth the work?

Depends on why you are doing this. In our case, it was worth it, because
the companies that were the target market for our product had lots of COBOL
programmers recently (this was the mid '90s) retrained as VB programmers.
Having a VB-like language on servers (unix) to tie things together seemed
like a good idea at the time. The product worked, but didn't make it to
market for various non-technical reasons.

> Will MS claim its copyright? Is anybody working on
> the same? Some hint? Some help?

I can only speak for version 6 and older. The main problem is that there is
no definition for the language other than what VB will compile/run - the
manual is incorrect and incomplete (amazing, given its weight!). It was a
lot more complex than you would expect for a "beginners" language - for
instance, there is an extra calling convention that was completely
undocumented and not understood by the vast majority of VB programmers
(would only affect you if you made recursive calls with certain types of
arguments). Parenthesis had more meaning than was documented. And a bunch
of other things I have thankfully forgotten!

VB.NET, as I understand it, is a complete rewrite, and it got rid of some of
the funky stuff (much to the dismay of some VB programmers!). There is also
a language spec
vbSpecStart.asp. I have no idea how close this grammar is to reality.

Scott Nicol

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