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Native Cross Platform Development the Easy Way! Linux, Apple OS/X and Windows. RealBasic.
Author: HumanX | Thursday March 03, 2005

REALbasic is a cross-platform development system for Linux, Apple and Microsoft Windows. A GUI or Console based system which allows you to port your applications with ease. Write your code in one Operating System and natively compile for all three operating systems without changing your code.

Sample Application

Here is a sample application which was compiled for all three platforms. It is a Yahoo Stock Price display application which incorporates text to speech to read the current stock prices through your computer’s speakers. See the Above Image.

Stock Speak


REALbasic is similar to Microsoft’s Visual Basic and even imports Visual Basic Code! REALbasic is a true Object Oriented Programming (OOP) Environment for Apple, Windows and soon *Linux (Does Compile to). A RAD system which allows you to go from concept to production in just a short time.

*REALbasic will compile GTK GUI Linux apps or console applications.

From REALbasic’s Web Site
“REALbasic is the powerful, easy to use tool for creating your own software for Windows, Macintosh and Linux.”


For those of you not familiar with the Basic programming language, it was originally developed as a teaching tool for developing programmers. REALbasic grew from there and incorporated true OOP and made the language strongly typed.

Compared to Java, REALbasic is a breeze. The cryptic nature of Java does not lend itself to new programmers. C++,C which is cryptic like Java can achieve cross-platform but not without a great deal of effort.

The Basic Language combined with a near solid IDE and then throwing Cross-Platform compilation on top of that, REALbasic is a dream come true. How does one build a Cross-Platform Application with REALbasic? Develop the program on the operating system of your choice and compile to the target operating system. That is it!

*NOTE: The REALbasic GUI is drag and drop much like Microsoft Visual Basic.

So Easy that it Could be a Threat to Microsoft

Microsoft is attempting to Patent the IsNot operator which allows a program to compare to variables to determine if the two point to the same location in memory (Geek.Com).

Some feel that this is an attempt by Microsoft to stifle REALbasic because of its easy cross-platform nature.

What Else?

Any application which does not delve into the world of Audio and 3d will be cross-platform. Windows and Apple support this, but Linux does not. Customization is necessary. But REALbasic supports ifdef and includes functions which give O/S feedback. Example, you may want certain code to run on Linux machines only. In your cross-platform application “if targetLinux then” would let your application know you are running on a Linux Host. This is available for all supported platforms.

What you would expect from any modern language will be found in REALbasic. Here are a few highlights.

  • Native Look and Feel of Host Operating System
  • Supports ActiveX
  • Supports Apple Scripts
  • Can include Libraries from other languages.
  • Supports Linux Shell / DOS scripting
  • Build Console Applications (No GUI)
  • Supports REALbasic Scripting
  • Plug-ins allow you to modify the environment and expand the framework.
  • Full Network Support
  • Includes its own Database system and clients for Mysql, ODBC and more.
  • 3d Support
  • Optimized and Fast, Natively Compiled requires no supporting libs / runtimes.
  • No more DLL Hell. (REALbasic Quote)


    GUI needs to be tweaked for each operating system. This takes no more then a couple minutes for each application. Say you are designing your application in Windows, when the application is executed in OS/X, text may be overwritten by controls. This is not a REALbasic issue, but based on the way each O/S displays its controls. This is because REALbasic uses the native look and feel of each operating system.

    99% of all functions are supported cross-platform. 3d and Sound in Linux are not natively supported and for those of you familiar with Linux, you know why. Developers need to incorporate there own code to support this.


    REALbasic is 8 years old and initially opened its doors to the Apple. Since then, REALbasic has grown to multiple platforms and has grown its user base because of that. There are books, newsgroups, IRC channels and websites dedicated to REALbasic like Real Gurus.


    REALbasic is an exciting application which is easy to learn, use and port to other common platforms. Developers with any programming experience will learn REALbasic in no time. REALbasic is a great way for C programmers to quickly develop applications before production. Be careful though, you might just want to stay with REALbasic.

    Visual Basic Developers will love the fact they can import there code and compile to multiple platforms.

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