Blitzbasic goes open-source
It’s probably old news to some, but I just noticed that BlitzPlus and Monkey X, two commercial grade compiler systems from Mark Sibly and Blitz Research, was committed into open-source over at github.
Blitzbasic produces extremely fast code, tiny executables – and have been knocking out commercial games since the early 90’s. It was completely re-written for the PC some years back, is well maintained and up to date, and was in my view worth it’s initial $99 pricetag. So getting access to the underlying compiler and RTL source for free is a fantastic opportunity to learn from a master.
BlitzBasic was initially released for the 16 bit Amiga home computer, following the great success of an older Basic interpreter “Amos Basic”, written by Francois Lionet. Unlike Amos Basic, Blitzbasic featured (and still do for x86) inline-assembler and was a real compiler system. Blitzbasic was responsible for successful games such as Worms and Hardball. Worms is still selling on mobile and console platforms to this day – and is one of the best selling games in computer history.
But Mark Sibly did not stop there. With the death of the Amiga platform he completely re-wrote the entire codebase in C++ for Windows, and have over the years maintained and made a living from his language. Blitzbasic is no “light weight” basic lingo, but by far the most advanced basic dialect out there. It features inline machine-code, templates, classes and much, much more.
Mark’s latest language, called “Monkey X” takes the whole Blitzbasic philosophy one step further. Monkey X is platform independent and generates code for XBOX, Playstation, Windows, iOS and OS X. You can also compile for HTML5 which is a great bonus for game and multimedia developers.
Mark has also decided to open-source Monkey X as well. From what the blog rumors say, Mark has worked to much for to long and wanted a clean break from computing – resulting in open sourcing his whole portfolio. I sincerely wish Mark the very best and that his health improves, he has been an inspiration to a whole generation of programmers and was one of the people that inspired me to become a programmer in my teens.
If you have even the slightest interest in compilers or how to make your own programming language, or indeed need a good platform to realize your game – then this should be considered winning the jackpot.
Head over to github and fork this puppy: https://github.com/blitz-research/blitzplus