I'm relatively new to windows gui programming, so based on some of the publicity here about autohotkey I finally decided to try it out for a new app I'm making for aiding ReplayTV (a DVR similar to Tivo) users who process and edit the videos on their PC. I did a check on the docs to make sure it was up to the task, and it seemed that it was.
Anyway, I'm about 3/4 of the way through with the coding and find it powerful, yet a bit quirky with syntax imo. The help on the AHK forum seems to be great and when I had an issue sending an array (which are conceptually supported) to a function, it was promptly answered in a friendly and helpful way. I have done some comparisons of the AHK docs with AutoIt 3 and I think I will probably go with AutoIt 3 in the future. The user base (registered users) on the AutoIt forums is also larger which increases the chance for help when needed (1815 AHK users vs. 8269 AUT users as of now). Also, AutoIT3 has AutoItX, a DLL/COM control that should let you run AutoIT commands from other languages.
I also checked out FBSL, and while it does seem interesting the user base is very small, which is a factor for me, but I could see how that could be a positve for others. Gerome also seems very helpful to those on his forum. While it is free now, it seems to be headed towards a commercial product and as of now, you cannot sell an app developed in FBSL, see http://www.fbsl.net/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=479
I need some opinions from the FBSL community regarding the development of commercial grade applications.
What are your thoughts? If FBSL only for scripting and small GUI apps or is it capable of developing commercial apps?
What would the cost be of distributing FBSL compiled exe's and who would I need to pay a royalty to?
At this point, I am not concerned about some-one accessing the source via decompilation.
And Gerome's response:
-1- At this time, FBSL is capable of beeing used for more than 'small appz', i think Mike has exposed the power of FBSL via his excellent editor.
-2- The cost will be determined once our e-commerce web site will be achieved.
-3- For the moment you are NOT allowed to sell any FBSL applications.
-4- The self decompilation was made to discourage some malicious people who dare trying to sell FBSL applications without my permission.
This backdoor is necessary for the moment.
The commercial version will have strong algos + specific files to identify a real sold version versus a hacked one
I am not trying to upset anyone, just wanted to point out some of my observations. Anyhow, so after looking at FBSL, I decided to look at some other some other BASIC-type languages, including PowerBasic, RealBasic, iBasic, and PureBasic (and a few others). I liked the idea of a relatively low cost development tool that could make Windows compatible .exe files with small file size and without need for external dll's or .NET framework installed.
Out of these, PowerBasic probably has the largest userbase, good docs, and seems well suited for commercial apps, but it costs $199 plus cost of upgrades. What I ended up choosing was PureBasic, http://www.purebasic.com/
. It costs $69 as of now (this may go up when latest version is officially released), but that gives you lifetime updates as well as versions for linux and Mac OS X. It's still a growing language, but seems pretty solid and the latest version, 4, was just released in beta form (readme here: http://freak.purearea.net/v4/ReadMe.html
. The docs are OK and getting better (online version: http://www.purebasic.com/documentation/
). The developer works full time on this and the community seems active and helpful. The language seems well suited for applications as well as games. It offers small, fast executables, as well as inline ASM support. I am just a beginner with this language, so these are just my initial thoughts.
I guess all this goes to show is that a large variety of languages is a good thing, as everyone who is interestered can find one that suits them and their projects!