QBASIC Programming – Beginner’s Friendly

Computer programming is the process of designing, building, and instructing a computer to do a particular computing task. To instruct we need to write codes in some particular programming language that our computer can understand. There are lots of programming languages today, however here we will learn about QBASIC programming language, which is one of the easy-to-learn languages for beginners.

What is QBasic Programming?

QBASIC stands for “Quick Beginners All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code”. QBASIC was developed by Microsoft Corporation in the year 1991. It is considered to be one of the most simple and easy programming languages for beginners.

Qbasic language is suitable to solve both mathematical and business problems and it’s been adopted by most microcomputers.

QBASIC is a replacement or an upgrade of the GWBASIC (Greg Whitten – BASIC). It was based on the QuickBASIC 4.5 compiler. It is only compatible with MS-DOS Environment on windows, it contains two files: 1.QBASIC.EXE and QBASIC.HLP. These two files allow us to execute, edit and debug code in the DOS environment. QBASIC doesn’t produce a .exe file, the files are saved with .bas extension.

History of QBASIC Programming Language

In the year 1985 QuickBASIC was originally released. It was sold on a 5.25” floppy disk. The second version Version 2.0 was released in the year 1986 and it was available on both 5.25” and 3.5” floppy disks. Version 2.0 had a built-in user interface for the comfort of users.

In 1988, the latest version QuickBASIC 4.5 was released it fixed a few problems from the previous version and was compatible with any computer from 8088 with DOS 2.11 to a Windows XP machine.

And in the year 1991, QBASIC programming language builds as a replacement/upgrade version of the old GW-BASIC. The language was based on QuickBASIC 4.5 but it didn’t have QuickBASIC’s Compiler and also the linker elements. The first version of QBASIC (Version 1.0) was shipped with MS-DOS 5.0 and higher. It was also shipped with Windows 95, Windows NT 3.x, Windows NT 4.0, and Windows 98. It was not shipped with Windows XP but a user can install and use it on their XP machine without any issues.

Starting with QBASIC

QBASIC is an Open- Source software, which means you can use it for free.

The whole QBASIC window is divided into two parts :

Program Window:

It is where people can write/edit their codes. The window is titled as ‘Untitled’ by default which can be changed when the user saves the program into a disk.

Immediate Window:

The Window titled ‘Immediate’  is the Immediate  Window. This window is used as a debugging tool and the outputs of every single command statement can be seen here

Program Window and Immediate Window

Advantages of QBASIC

QBASIC Programming language is quite simple and easy-to-understand language. And there are lots of advantages to this language for beginners.

  • Firstly, it’s open source and so free to use by anyone. It is easily downloadable from the internet.
  • This language is available for every computer (from micro-computers to mainframes).
  • Suitable for mathematical and business-related applications.
  • Writing/editing code is very easy and fun.
  • Debugging is simple and easy
  • QBASIC automatically checks the syntax for errors.

Disadvantages of QBASIC

  • It is not a structured programming language.
  • QBasic is Dos based programming language and at present time it has become obsolete, now it is only used in Education and as a beginner’s programming language.
  • QBASIC does not generate any executable file(.exe), the files are saved in .BAS extension.

Difference between QBASIC and QuickBasic?

The difference is that QBASIC is an open-source, shareware software, while QuickBasic is commercial software. As compared to QuickBasic, QBASIC can handle programs that are of a specific limited size. QBASIC does not have the support of the QuickLibrary modules, it only has the standard QB.QLB.  QBasic is only a program interpreter. It just executes raw code, it cannot be used to create executable files directly.

How to start coding in QBASIC programming language?

To start coding, you need to check our article on how to download and install Qbasic in your Windows 7,8, and 10.

Next, check out the basic Qbasic programming commands to understand the basis of the commands used in the language.

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