For those that follow me on twitter, it’s probably not escaped notice that I’ve been making mention of a personal project for some time now. A couple of months ago I decided I really needed something to do out of work which didn’t involve, well, you know, more work. Much as I love what I do during the day, I was at serious risk of losing what little remains of my sanity. I also couldn’t bring myself to do DIY/gardening or one of the plethora of other activities that people seem to use for this purpose.
What I did decide to do was to put my money where my mouth was and start work on something I’ve been saying should be done for quite some time – the result of which was a project called ConnectBasic.
ConnectBasic is an attempt to create a fully featured macro programming environment which is easy to integrate into the 3rd party applications. It is based largely on the, seemingly defunct, VBA language but with ambitions to take on functionality from more modern languages which are useful to macro systems – for example, collections, dictionaries, sets, generics, integrated queries, and more. It’s probably also important to say that ultimately ConnectBasic is intended to be a superset of VBA which means I will be aiming to preserve as much of its quirkiness as possible, but possibly providing additional “Option xyz” statements to control these quirks.
The launch today isn’t me saying “it’s ready, go and integrate it!”, it is me saying that I think I’ve proved that the major components are prototyped and it seems to be workable, I’m actively seeking people to help out now, and I’m excited about kicking this project into the next gear. Be warned, it is very definitely a prototype as it exists today,
ConnectBasic is available under the terms of the Microsoft Public License on CodePlex today, and the official web site is at http://connectbasic.net/. The license agreement basically allows you to do whatever you like with the code – create derivative works, fork it, contribute, use it in open source/proprietary applications with or without attribution.
I’m really hoping that this project is going to grow into something great, the ability to write macros in modern applications has, for me, been one of the most important developments in software.
I’ll be posting more over the coming days and weeks to try and explain the major components of ConnectBasic, how it works, what it does/doesn’t do, what the road map looks like etc. In the mean time, if you’ve got any questions, please feel free to ping me at [email protected].