Programming Gambas from Zip/Afterword

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Afterword[edit]

This book is the work of someone who has only picked up Gambas in the last six months. It began as a Christmas holidays project. The only object-oriented programming experience I have had prior to this is with Xojo, another delightful language in which to program, though, unlike Gambas, commercial. Neither has this book been proof read, so there will be errors for sure. Programming is about errors every step of the way. The sample programs have been tested and they work, but even there something may have crept through that needs fixing.

My interest in computers began in 1974 while a student at a teachers college in Brisbane. At that time I was one of a small group whom a lecturer invited to learn programming after hours from an acoustic coupler. The telephone handset was fastened with rubber clips to a teletype and messages went to and from from the University of Queensland computer, a massive thing with a whopping 20 megabytes of memory that could handle 64 remote users concurrently. After graduation I went on staff in a primary school in north Queensland, and would often bike over to the secondary school to check out the latest version of a computer language called MBASIC written by some young bloke called Bill Gates.

That was in 1976 and the school was the first in the state to have a computer, a DEC-10. There were no floppy disks in those days: it was all stored on paper tape. It was fascinating to type a command (even the word made you feel powerful) on a keyboard and the paper tape writer somewhere else in the room would punch out confetti from a zigzag strip of paper. It could be read by lights shining through the small holes as they were pulled over the light sensors at the dazzling speed of 300 characters per second.

In one school a staff member couldn’t see what was difficult about using computers to print student reports. “Can’t you just press the PRINT button?” Forty years on I am still writing PRINT buttons. We all pursue the goal of finding the holy grail of programming: one button to rule them all, one button to do everything. Programming has only ever been a hobby, though. That there are people who write languages, database engines and operating systems is awe-inspiring. There are wizards out there. They walk among us. They look like ordinary people.

With that background, can you forgive me for using i and j as names for integer variables? For those who want to, there is http://Gambaswiki.org/wiki/doc/naming where my agricultural standards can be refined. For example,

Private $iLast As Integer
Private $sLast As String
Private $hEditor As Object
Private $sOldVal As String
Private $bFreeze As Boolean

Public Sub Form_Resize()

  Dim iWidth As Integer

This book also lacks an introduction to many tools.

Some of the Gambas Tools, page 1 Gambas Tools, page 2

Gambas Tools, page 3

Look at them all. All this book provides are buttons, textboxes, labels, grid- and tableviews and forms. The goodies remain in their boxes, unopened, under the Christmas tree. I may find out about them myself someday. They certainly look exciting.

To the person learning Gambas and programming for the first time, good luck.

Thanks again, Benoît and all the writers on forums.

Gerard

Waterford, Ireland, 2019

Programming Gambas from Zip
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