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Posted at 1:12am on 10 May 2008

Pair Programming

Those who've delved into the depths of this site will have noticed that my programming language/development environment of choice over the years has been REALbasic.

REALbasic is by no means a perfect language. A crude description would be Visual Basic, only cross-platform and with more bugs - hardly a glowing review.

But the reason I use RB, apart from the ridiculous ease of creating a program and compiling it for Mac, Windows and Linux, is that it keeps extending the language with fascinating new features, borrowing not only from Java and C++, but occasionally coming up with obscure but ingenious things found only in more esoteric languages such as Ruby or Python.

The latest addition is a new feature called pairs, sometimes referred to in other languages as a tuple, but essentially a form of isolated hashkey/value pair.

I think any hardcore software engineers out their would be well served by taking a look at RB. For all its faults (and there are many), it is much more than just a buggy VB clone, and how many other languages offer the raw low-level structs and pointers of C, the classes, interfaces, introspection and automatic memory management of Java, the simple and accessible API of Visual Basic, and offer single-click cross-platform compilation from a common code base all in the same package?