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What is Gnome Basic
Mailing lists
Getting GB
Reporting Bugs
Reaching me

GB - Basic for GNOME

This project is deprecated ...

The Gnome Basic project died a death of stagnation many moons ago. However - the great news is that some of the code, and the hackers live on inside Mono.

Mono is an exciting project that already far surpasses Gnome Basic, it provides large chunks of .Net including an in-progress VB.Net compiler, and a nicely performing JIT. You can find the latest information on mbas the Mono Basic compiler here.

This project is dead ...

What is Gnome Basic?

It is an embryonic attempt to provide VB compatible functionality for the GNOME project, particularly with respect to office (VBA) compatibility. It is part of the GNOME desktop environment: a project to create a free, user friendly desktop environment.  As every other component of GNOME, Gnome Basic is free software  (Some other people like to call this OpenSource software) and it is licensed under the terms of the GNU GPL.

Gnome Basic announcements:

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What about Macro virii?
  •     A total non-issue, gb has been designed from the ground up to
      be as secure as possible, currently the worst DoS is RAM consumption
      but this is hardly serious. The security capabilities will be updated
      as more functionality is introduced.
  • So how do I send a patch then?
  •     Please send the result of 'cvs -z3 diff -u' to me, and if
      this is your first patch a brief note saying you have read and agree
      to the terms of docs/LICENSE.
  • Isn't it really difficult / have you considered this aspect?
  •     Not really and yes many aspects have been considered others
      we do not wish to consider yet. If you can see some great pit we are
      falling into send a patch. The scale of the project is large but this
      is not scary.
  • I use VB a lot and really want to speed up GB developement, how can I help?
  •     If you are an ace VB coder but cannot code in C there is a
      limited role for you. If you feel you wish to learn C pick an item from
      the ( expanding ) TODO, implement it, and send me a patch. However, there 
      is room for a competant VB programmer to expand the regression test 
      suite to exercise all the new features that gb implements. All patches
  • Why don't you just translate to Python? Python is great ...
  •     It is my opinion that translating to Python will sacrifice
      exporting to VB and will in the long run cause serious compatibility
      problems that are not evidant if you control the interpreter.
        Futhermore, it is possible to have a Python 'backend' if you
      so desire but in reality a total waste of time since the interpreter
      will provide equivilant functionality and the C backend eventualy
      will provide faster functionality.
  • Why is GB written in C?
  •     C is a great language for writing low level functionality
      in. For example, Python is written in C, GCC's C++ compiler is written
      in C. C is portable, standardized, lucid and powerful. GB is however
      written in an object oriented fashion using the Gtk Object model.
  • What License is GB under?
  •     Essentialy GPL for core and LGPL for runtime. Please read
      gb/docs/LICENSE before you contribute code, as we reserve the right
      to switch code between the GPL and the LGPL.


    Just to whet your apetite there is a simple number game test in CVS that so far appears to work quite nicely. Here is a photograph of it running.

    Here is the fruit of the project work, loading a shed load of forms at once.

    Mailing lists

    The Gnome Basic mailing list can be reached at If you want to subscribe to the mailing list please fill out the subscription form. Also if you could please check the Gnome Basic archives for an answer to your question before posting your query it would be greatly appreciated. Please read some advice before sending mail.

    The project is still in a very pre-alpha stage, hence be kind in your critique. Furthermore any comments of a non technical nature only serve to waste valuable developer time. This list is intended for technical developer discussion, preferably with patches.

    Getting Gnome Basic

    As with any other software in GNOME, you can fetch the latest development version of Gnome Basic from the GNOME Anonymous SVN and from the GNOME SVN. Just checkout the module "gb".

    CVS can also be browsed from

    A tentative preliminary, development release is available at

    Contractual Support

    If you are interested in contracting support for Gnome Basic, please check the Ximian Inc. web page.

    All the code written by Ximian is released under the terms of the GNU GPL. If the code extension is general enough your extension might be folded into the main Gnome Basic distribution.

    Reporting Bugs

    We are very interested in grammar / parser bugs, since these usually point to features we havn't thought about yet, and affect the core design. We are less interested in general bug reports, since development is proceeding apace. Also security bugs are of great interest, please report these. Try to make sure that you have the latest version of gb before reporting a bug since many bugs are silently fixed.

    The standard procedure for bug reporting is detailed at please ensure that your bug hasn't already been logged by checking the list.

    There are certain types of bug that we are especially interested in. GB should never die (SEGV) if it does please, please put the effort in to submit a bug report, it will save others lots of grief. Also, if you see any gaping security holes, we would be most interested.


    Gnome Basic has mainly been coded by Michael Meeks funded by Ximian Inc, with help from other intrepid hackers that have contributed code, bug fixes and documentation:
    • Sean Atkinson (misc functions)
    • Frank Chiulli (Form support)
    • Kevin DeKorte (date bits)
    • Jody Goldberg (co-author, parser & structure)
    • Amaury Jacquot (bits of parser, misc. internals)
    • Eric Lloyd (minor fixes)
    • Thomas Meeks (misc. functions)
    • Ravi Pratap (misc. internals, functions and time)
    • Ariel Rios (internals, functions)
    • Per Winkvist (functions)
    • William Miller (file I/O)

      Many other people have contributed ideas and suggestions.

      Reaching me

      Michael Meeks. My own home page.