Re: VisualBasic Compiler for Linux

"Alex K. Angelopoulos" <>
24 May 2003 20:24:48 -0400

          From comp.compilers

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| List of all articles for this month |

From: "Alex K. Angelopoulos" <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 24 May 2003 20:24:48 -0400
Organization: Compilers Central
References: 03-05-025 03-05-064
Keywords: Basic
Posted-Date: 24 May 2003 20:24:48 EDT

Scott Nicol wrote:
> "(R)JA.GAR. SOFT" <> wrote in message
>> I'd like to make a VB Compiler for Linux based on GNU/GLP.

>> Will MS claim its copyright? Is anybody working on
>> the same? Some hint? Some help?

> I can only speak for version 6 and older. The main problem is that
> there is no definition for the language other than what VB will
> compile/run - the manual is incorrect and incomplete (amazing, given
> its weight!).

Oh, yes. Purely hand-coded lexing/parsing. The VB.NET compiler is almost
the same.

> ...- for instance, there is an extra calling
> convention that was completely undocumented and not understood by the
> vast majority of VB programmers (would only affect you if you made
> recursive calls with certain types of arguments). Parenthesis had more
> meaning than was documented...

The parentheses conventions are a big mess. They come the closest to
being fully documented for the VB family languages in a post Eric Lippert,
one of the VBScript developers, made to a newsgroup back in 1999. I have
a copy I keep with some scripting info on my site...

> VB.NET, as I understand it, is a complete rewrite, and it got rid of
> some of the funky stuff (much to the dismay of some VB programmers!).
> There is also a language spec
> vbSpecStart.asp. I have no idea how close this grammar is to reality.

Good call on the grammar, since it is "reasoned" backwards from behavior
of the compiler.

The original version had several small problems, but the author (Paul
Vick) has been continually modifying it. The newest version I know of was
released at the end of 2003-April and can be found here:

Unfortunately, it is embedded in a Word document. I've done an automated
extraction of the grammar which I intend to put up on a site at some
point - if anyone really wants it now, feel free to send me email or post
a response.

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