Basic For Mac

DeveloperStaz Software, FBtoC team
Stable release

Disk Drill: The best data recovery software for Mac OS X. Recover deleted or lost data from any storage device, iOS and Android. Computer Skills (Mac) Training and Tutorials. Learn how to use a Mac, work with iWork software including Pages and Keynote, and basic computer skills such as navigating folders and setting up email, calendars, and preferences. QuickBooks Desktop for Mac 2021 makes it easy to track expenses, send invoices, and more. It includes flexible and time saving insights so you can focus on what matters. BASIC interpreter and debugger, wrapped up in a DOSBox shell and ready to use on any Mac computer Although Microsoft has never released an OS X version of their Qbasic IDE, one can still use it with the help of this DOSBox based app wrapper, designed to allow any Mac.

FutureBasic is a freeBASICcompiler for Apple Inc.'s Macintosh.

It consists of an integrated development environment (IDE), editor, project manager, etc. for both PowerPC and Intelmicroprocessors. Since 1 January 2008, the package has contained a translator, FBtoC, that converts the FutureBasic syntax to C and automatically calls Apple's GNU Compiler Collection (gcc). No knowledge of C is required. FutureBasic supports access to Mac OS library calls.


FB began life in the mid-1980s[1] as ZBasic, which was created by Andrew Gariepy and envisioned as a cross-platform development system. Before long, the cross-platform aspects were dropped in favor of focusing on Macintosh development. ZBasic acquired a devoted following of developers who praised its ease of use and the tight, fast code produced by the compiler (a legendary labor involving extensive use of hand-built 68K assembly language code). In 1992 and as the next major step after ZBasic version 5[2], Zedcor Inc., the company of the Gariepy brothers Andy, Mike, Peter and friends based in Tucson, Arizona presented FutureBASIC (later called FBI).[3] In 1995 Staz Software,[4] led by Chris Stasny, acquired the rights to market FutureBASIC. Chris Stasny started this business with an upgraded version, namely FBII,[5] and with his own development, the Program Generator[6] (PG PRO), a CASE tool.

The transition from 68k to PowerPC central processing unit (CPU) was a lengthy process that involved a complete rewrite of the editor by Chris Stasny and an adaptation of the compiler by Andy Gariepy. The result of their efforts, a dramatically enhanced IDE called FB^3[7], was released in September 1999[8], featuring among many other things a separate compiler application, various open, hence modifiable runtimes,[9] inline PPC assembly, a simplified access to the Macintosh Toolbox Application Programming Interface (API), as well as an expanded library of built-in functions. Major update releases introduced a full-featured Appearance Compliant[10] runtime written by Robert Purves and the Carbon compliance of generated applications. Once completely carbonized to run natively on the Mac OS X, the FutureBASIC Integrated Development Environment (FB IDE) was called FB4 and first released in July 2004.

Based in Diamondhead, Mississippi, Staz Software was severely hit by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 and development pace was slowed at a time when major effort was required to keep the IDE up to date with Apple's evolution towards the Intel-based Macintosh.

In 2007, an independent team of volunteer FB programmers, known as the FBtoC team, developed a translator (FBtoC) that allows FB to generate applications as Universal Binaries through the use of the open source GCC compiler which is included with each copy of Apple's Mac OS X system software.

On January 1, 2008, Staz Software announced that FB would henceforth be freeware and FB4 with FBtoC 1.0 was made available.[11]

Processor and operating system support[edit]

System requirements for original Macintosh release: Motorola 68000System requirements to create universal binaries with FBtoC: Mac OS X v10.4 or higher, GCC 4.0 or higher, and the Cross-development SDKs must be installed.


FutureBasic syntax supports procedural, modular styles of programming using function calls and local variables.

Program flow & structural blocks[edit]

User-defined functions (a.k.a. LOCAL FNs in FutureBasic) are much like C or Pascal functions.

  • They can also be totally insulated from the main program (LOCAL MODE statement);
  • they allow recursion;
  • they can be called dynamically at runtime (DEF FN USING statement);
  • called automatically by FutureBasic built-in event vectors (ON EVENT FN statement);
  • used as cooperative threaded functions (THREADBEGIN statement).

Specific structures (ENTERPROC/EXITPROC) are used for callback procedures when calling the Macintosh Toolbox.

The language provides the programmer with a complete set of vectors for event-driven applications, such as ON MENU, ON MOUSE, ON DIALOG, ON APPLEEVENT, ON EDIT, ON TIMER, etc.

Other structured keywords include conditional blocks such as:

  • LONG IF .... XELSE ... END IF
  • DO .... UNTIL
  • WHILE ... WEND
  • FOR ... NEXT

Legacy BASIC language commands such as: GOTO and GOSUB/RETURN with line numbers and labels - while discouraged - are supported for educational purposes.


An example of a simple program to input a number and display 'Hello World' is given below

Data types[edit]

Mac For Dummies

FutureBasic supports complex data types include single and double precision floating points, double length integers, arrays, strings and records (similar to struct in C). Of note is the DYNAMIC array structures (size of memory footprint grows only when used) including DYNAMIC string arrays called INDEX$ and 'container' variables which can perform string-like operations on data streams up to 2Gb in size.

C and Pascal borrowed coding styles[edit]

Commenting in the code is substantial allowing REMark statements, and C style /* remark */ statements. Sections of code can be bookmarked for easy reference.

Other alternate syntax borrowed from C allows the use of operators such as ++ -- != += -= || &&

Characters in Pascal strings are accessible much like items of an array: a$[0] (length byte); a$[1] (first character in string a$).

While the FutureBasic language still supports old style variable typing with suffix identifiers, it provides a modern alternative with the as clause:dim b as byte; dim s as short, dim l as long; etc.

Bridges to other languages[edit]

  • AppleScript scripts can be assembled with FutureBasic statements then executed on the fly by a running application. Example:
  • FutureBasic allows the triggering of UNIX commands. Example:
  • FB allows inline C code. Example:


  • No cross-platform development. This is a Macintosh-only compiler.

FutureBasic supports Macintosh Intel architectures but does not compile on or for any version of Microsoft Windows.[1] and see bottom of page at:[2]


Basic For Mac
  1. ^
  2. ^
Wikibooks has a book on the topic of: Futurebasic
  1. ^ An history of Basic wars on the Mac platform by Jonathan Hoyle for MacCompanion, Part IMacCompanion, Part II
  2. ^ ZBasic 5 reviewed by Dave Kelly for MacTech magazine
  3. ^ FBI introduced major enhancements to the BASIC language, encouraging the developers to use named constants and local functions instead of subroutines for better structured programs and re-usable code.
  4. ^ Home of Staz Software,inc.
  5. ^ FBII was 32bit-clean and could run from Mac 128 to G5-based Macintosh in emulated mode.
  6. ^ Program Generator is a Rapid application development tool that is flexible enough to build sophisticated applications quickly for the Macintosh pre-Mac OS X environments. For Mac OS X, Appearance compliant programs onwards, FutureBASIC uses Apple's Interface Builder.
  7. ^ pronounced FB cubed.
  8. ^ A week later the European edition was released which included English, Italian, German (now discontinued) and French language versions. There is also a Japanese language edition.
  9. ^ Starting with FB^3, a runtime consists of include files written in FutureBASIC that are compiled along with the source code written by the programmer. It contains various declarations for structures, constants, global variables, resources, functions and procedures that constitute the FutureBASIC language. The main runtimes are: Standard BASIC, Appearance Compliant and Mac Toolbox.
  10. ^ The Appearance Compliant runtime allows access to most of the features of Apple's Appearance Manager.
  11. ^Welcome to the FBtoC Project and FutureBasic Freeware
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Written by Mårten Björk

This guide will help you become familiar with Mac OS X — the operating system of every Mac. In just a few, short steps, this article will teach you everything you need to know to get started with your Mac.

Mac OS X — The Basics

Mac OS X is the operating system of your Mac. It’s the basic system that enables your Mac to work. All the files, folders and programs are handled by Mac OS X as well as internet connectivity, battery consumption and more.

As a Mac user, you will encounter Mac OS X in many different forms:

  • When viewing the desktop
  • When you’re browsing through files
  • Through the Mac’s search function (called “Spotlight”)
  • Through the application bar (called “The Dock”)
  • As the system that runs your applications

…and much more. Mac OS X is always there in the background, making sure your Mac runs smoothly. By learning more about Mac OS X, you will become a more efficient and confident Mac user. Let’s get started!

Mac OS X — An Overview

The home of your Mac is the desktop. Think of it as a physical desktop – a place where you may temporarily spread out your work while performing a task.

Basic For Mac Os X

For example, you may put an image from the internet on the desktop, make some modifications, and then drag it into an email. Just remember, while the desktop is a great workspace it not a good place to store files long-term since it quickly gets messy — again, just like an actual desktop.

Let’s have a look at the other things you see in when you first turn on your Mac.

The Dock

In the bottom of your screen, you should see “the Dock” — a bar with convenient shortcuts to your favorite applications. If you don’t see it by default, try moving your cursor to the bottom of the screen and it should pop right up.

The icons in the Dock are just shortcuts. You can add or remove icons from the Dock without affecting the actual applications.

To add an application shortcut to the dock, you can use Launchpad, which is a complete overview of all your applications. You can probably find Launchpad in the left part of your Dock. Click Launchpad to view all your applications, then drag any icon into the dock to create a new shortcut.

Another way to add shortcuts to the Dock is to find the Application file (in the Applications folder) and drag it to the Dock. This requires some familiarity with browsing through files.

To remove an item from the dock, just drag it out and hold it over the desktop. After a second or so, a “remove” label shows up. Release the icon and the application shortcut is removed from the Dock.

Basic For Mac


At the top of the screen you will see some menus. These menus change depending on what application you are using at the moment.

If there is ever anything you want to do in a certain application, try to find it in these menus.

Menu extras

Look at the top of your screen. To the right of the menus you are most likely to see a few symbols.

Basic For Mac

These little icons are mostly used to quickly edit your Mac’s settings. Rather than having to open System Preferences, you can change the settings using Menu extras.

Apple For Dummies Online

To change what Menu extras are visible, open System preferences. Click a preference pane and look for the checkbox that lets you choose if you want the specific Menu extra to be visible or not.


Mac OS X offers a really nice way to switch between the different user accounts on the Mac. Near the upper right corner of your screen you will find your name. Click it and a list of all the users on the computer will appear.

Now, just click another user in order to log in to his/hers account (password may of course be required).


If you look at the upper right corner of your screen, you will see a small magnifying glass. This is Mac OS X’s search function. It is called Spotlight. To read more about it, click here.


Basic For Machine Learning

Mac OS X has a great thing called Dashboard where you can run mini-applications called widgets. Read the article about it, Dashboard is awesome.