REALBasic coming soon to Linux, Slashdotters expected to scream in agony

REALBasic, if you haven’t heard of it before, is a Visual Basic-like IDE and programming language that first gave the Mac a pretty easy to use drag-and-drop GUI builder and fairly easy-to-grasp programming language similar to VB. The earliest incarnations of RB could only deploy applications for Mac OS, and later ones were capable of cross-compiling to Windows. The current version of RB, version 5, is available for both Mac OS and Windows and and each version can cross-compile to the other OS.

In response to customer demands (and many long discussions on the REALBasic mailing list), REAL Software has announced that RB 5.5 will be capable of cross-compiling apps for Red Hat and SuSE distributions of Linux, with other distros being added according to demand. You’ll still need either a Mac or Windows box to create and cross-compile the app for Linux. You’ll have to wait for the Linux-based REALBasic IDE, but REAL Software says that they intend to make one available in a later version.

RB 5.5 is expected to be released in the first quarter of 2004.

Recommended Reading

REALBasic’s FAQ on their Linux support.

MacWorld recently gave REALBasic 4.5 mice out of 5 in a review.

I’m not sure how much traction REALBasic on Linux will get amongst geeks, as Basic is the least respectable of the “Ghetto Languages”, an LFM (Language For the Masses), not an LFSP (Language For Smart People). I don’t agree with this LFM/LFSP bunkum; it smacks of nothing more than programmer/muggle class snobbery, the same kind in which some Slashdotter refer to those who don’t program, play D&D and fansub anime as “sheeple”. The Masses may have dummies, but they have many smart people whose primary interest isn’t computer programming. These people might have domain knowledge that we programmers lack (“Never!” say some geeks, “We know everything!”).

Maybe we should call them Languages For Mom.

It’s more likely than not that your Mom is one of “the masses”. My mom is, and she’s not dumb: she’s the Chief of Cardiology at St. Joseph’s Heatlh Centre, a large hospital here in Toronto. If you called her stupid, she’d kill you and make it look like natural causes.

I know lots of people like my Mom who’ve crafted their own applications using things like HyperCard. They have the domain knowledge, they couldn’t afford to hire a programmer to write the app for them, and in many cases, some apps don’t get written because they’re not itches that programmers feel like scratching. Shouldn’t they be given the chance to whip up their own apps?

Go ahead, call your Mom stupid. I dare ya. (Eminem, for obvious reasons, is excluded from this challenge.)

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