View Full Version : Anything similar to Visual Basic?

September 9th, 2007, 06:00 AM
I just installed Ubuntu on a test machine, so far i am very impressed. I have programmed in Visual Basic for years... I know that many people program in C... and I may need to migrate to that. For the moment, if there is something similar to Visual Basic it would help me get several project kick started.

My main need is to make a control panel with some buttons that will send commands to the serial port. On a Windows machine I would use Visual Basic and the MSCOMM plug in. For gauges and sliders I can use SWF files that I can create... so if there is a web based tool that can talk to the serial port... I can use that too.

I am hopeful that there is something I can download and experiment with.

I am also interested in doing some CNC... so having any routines and such for that would be a bonus.

Thank you for your help,

September 9th, 2007, 07:24 AM
on this board you may hear a lot of python, python and even python.

if you've wrapped your brain around the "object.method()" syntax of VB, Java really isn't that much more of a stretch. Plus it has the key benefit of having libraries for interacting with all sorts of different uses.

I'd suggest a little time reading the book Head First Java (which you should be able to get used for dirt cheap). Then, use Netbeans IDE installed directly from Synaptic. The Matisse UI builder is pretty decent although I must point out the msft tools IMHO are the most developer-friendly on the planet. If you take just a bit of time up front to switch to java though, a whole world of libraries and support are open to you.

September 9th, 2007, 08:51 AM
There are an embarrassment of riches in scripting languages for the Unix environment. Most of them are also available in Windows as well a Unix based OS's. Once you learn one that you like in Unix, it should also be available in Windows, as well.

Unfortunately, none of them are as well integrated to applications as VB is in the MS Windows applications. Its part of the bargain. To get away from a monopoly, one needs to give up what a monopoly can provide.

However, the situation is still pretty good for Unix, if not better in a lot of ways. For example, if you were to learn Perl, then there is an archive called CPAN which has methods for accessing common applications. Lets take spread sheets for example. In CPAN you will find a number of methods published for accessing the OpenOffice Calc ( spreadsheet) in the archives. The archives methods are free and normally tested and sufficiently documented.

I picked Perl as an example, but there are many different scripting languages that can call and access different applications. So the problems shifts from having no choices to too many choices.

For myself, I seek tools that have good supporting books and classes designed for them. Its not so much the matter of the particulars of the language as it is the time one kills in trying to figure out how to make the language work well. A good online starter class combined with a decent book makes up for whatever deficiencies the language may have.

Good luck.

September 9th, 2007, 11:01 PM
I don't know about you, but when I installed Ubuntu linux (first distro I installed) I got this weird feeling about needing to write some small program for it to make it work better/easier to use...

As far as CAD/CAM/CNC stuff on linux... what kind of a CNC machine do you have? I know the CAD area of linux in general is very lacking, the only CAD program that I know of for linux sucks. I don't know about CAM... I suspect there is a couple alright CAM programs, but am not sure.

There are forums wholly dedicated linux & CNC that build their own stuff... one of those forums might be better choice to ask CNC related questions.

September 10th, 2007, 01:03 PM
I believe the word everyone was searching for was gambas (http://gambas.sourceforge.net/)

September 11th, 2007, 02:30 AM
I believe the word everyone was searching for was gambas (http://gambas.sourceforge.net/)

Lol ya!