Is there interest in a new BASIC compiler for AVRs?
March 8, 2013
I want to find out how much interest there would be in a new BASIC compiler for AVR processors. I have been working on one in bits and pieces for about a year and a half. I would like to get motivated to complete it, so I want to know if others would be interested in it. This is a VERY large project, so it will take a lot of time. It will be about 10,000 lines of code for the first useable release. If I really get going on it, I think I could have an initial beta release before fall. My motivation level will be directly proportional to interest. I figure LMRians are the best target audience. Below are some details. I would appreciate comments for or against.
Specifics of the project:
1. A powerful, useful, yet simple to use and learn compiled language that runs fast.
2. Have true functions and procedures and local variables with good structure, like a "professional" language, but keeping the flavor of BASIC. Not like early microcomputer BASIC or PICBASIC or PICAXE BASIC, but not C or C++, either. In between.
3. Designed specifically from the ground up for small, embedded systems. Fast, compact code and direct hardware access are primary goals.
4. Easily extensible for new features. Easily portable to other processors ( ARM, maybe PIC).
5. Free and probably open source, but I would maintain control of what goes into the official version. Feedback from users would be the main development criteria.
6. Command line only to start, eventually integrated into some kind of IDE ( Eclipse, Arduino, or something similar).
7. Eventually, a PC version ( compiled or interpreted ) so you could build and test your programs without having to download them. Would provide much better debugging for a lot of code while running as close to the same as possible. Possibly useful on its own
8. Run on Linux (first) and Windows. I don't have a MAC so that would have to be further down the road, but a Linux version should port easily.
If you are interested, please let me know your experience/ability level and whether you would be able/willing to use a command line version as an early tester. If you think it is a bad idea, please tell me why. I have most of the design work done, and if there is interest in it I will post more details about the language itself for comments, suggestions, and other feedback. Doesn't mean I will implement your suggestions, but I will certainly listen.
Anyway, just fishing for interest right now. Let me know what you think and if you have any questions, please ask.