Information for teachers

Liberty BASIC FAQ - Updated August 16, 2011

  • What is Liberty BASIC?
  • Who is Shoptalk Systems?
  • What are the minimum hardware and software requirements for Liberty BASIC?
  • Does Liberty BASIC work with Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10?
  • Can I use Liberty BASIC on my Mac or Linux computer?
  • Can I use Liberty BASIC to create web applications?
  • What sort of software can I write in Liberty BASIC?
  • Where can I learn to program in Liberty BASIC?
  • How does Liberty BASIC compare with Visual Basic?
  • How does Liberty BASIC compare with QBasic
  • What is the most recent version of Liberty BASIC?
  • Where can I get a copy of Liberty BASIC?
  • How much does it cost to purchase Liberty BASIC?
  • Does Liberty BASIC have an educational discount?
  • What books are available for use with Liberty BASIC?
  • Is Liberty BASIC a compiler?
  • How does the Liberty BASIC runtime engine work?
  • What is a 'standalone application'?
  • Can you make standalone applications with the trial version?
  • Is there any way to use sprites in Liberty Basic?
  • Can I program the PC printer port in LB?
  • Does Liberty BASIC come with a visual GUI builder (like VB)?
  • Does Liberty BASIC support the LPRINT command for sending text to a printer?
  • Can you make internet apps in Liberty BASIC?
  • Can Liberty BASIC use Active-X?
  • Where can I find additional tutorials for Liberty BASIC?

    Answers to Liberty BASIC FAQ Questions follow:

    Q: What is Liberty BASIC?
    A: Liberty BASIC is a easy to learn programming language for all versions of Windows including 64-bit versions. Our focus with Liberty BASIC is to uncomplicate Windows programming.  You don't need to understand all the nitty gritty details of Windows to use Liberty BASIC.  Use it to create custom utilities, business applications, games or programs that control lab equipment. Liberty BASIC consists of an integrated editor, compiler, and debugger. It also comes with a GUI editor called FreeForm, which is itself written in Liberty BASIC.

    Q: Who is Shoptalk Systems
    A: Shoptalk Systems is the publisher of Liberty BASIC and Run BASIC (a super-easy web programming system).  We have been providing our special BASIC languages since 1992.  We can be contacted at:
      Shoptalk Systems
      PO Box 1062
      Framingham, MA 01701
      United States of America
      508-532-0098

    Q: What are the minimum hardware and software requirements for Liberty BASIC?
    A: Any computer running Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7.  It is recommended that you have at least 1GB RAM installed.

    Q: Does Liberty BASIC work with Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10?
    A: Yes.  Liberty BASIC v4.5.0 is supported to work with these versions of Windows.

    Q: Can I use Liberty BASIC on my Mac or Linux computer?
    A: Current versions of Liberty BASIC work only on Windows, but Liberty BASIC version 5 which is actively being developed will work on Windows, Mac OSX and Linux.

    Q: Can I use Liberty BASIC to create web applications?
    A: A special version of Liberty BASIC called Run BASIC can be used to create web applications.  There are versions of Run BASIC for Windows, Mac OSX and Linux.  Read more.

    Q: What sort of software can I write in Liberty BASIC?
    A: Liberty BASIC is a general purpose language, suitable for all kinds of applications.  You can write all kinds. Games, utilities, engineering, education, business applications, etc.

    Q: Where can I learn to program in Liberty BASIC?
    A: Many schools use Liberty BASIC to teach programming.  There are several popular books you can purchase in stores and online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and more.  Read more here.

    Q: How does Liberty BASIC compare with VisualBasic?
    A: Both are Windows programming languages and can create graphical applications.  Liberty BASIC is the smaller language, and easier to learn.  Liberty BASIC is oriented around writing code in a traditional text editor.  The user can create GUIs using the included FreeForm drawing tool when needed.  Visual Basic is the other way around.  You draw your application windows in a drawing tool, and then write little bits of code that are attached to GUI objects.  Note:  Visual Basic is no longer sold or supported by Microsoft.

    Q: How does Liberty BASIC compare with QBasic?
    A: Like QBasic, Liberty BASIC is derived from the traditional BASIC language.  Liberty BASIC is a Windows programming language so it adds what's needed for programming graphical user interfaces (something QBasic lacks).

    Q: What is the most recent version of Liberty BASIC?
    A: The latest Windows version is Liberty BASIC v4.5.0, released August 11, 2015.

    Q: Where can I get a copy of Liberty BASIC?
    A: The trial version which can be downloaded at
    http://www.libertybasic.com/download.html.

    Q: How much does it cost to purchase Liberty BASIC?
    A: Liberty BASIC costs $59.95 for the basic version, and we also have a Pro version with advanced programming features for $119.95. 
    Have a look at out pricing and features chart.

    Q: Does Liberty BASIC have educational pricing?
    A: Yes.  For K-12 we have a special and very affordable per-class licensing.  Click here for more details.  For colleges and universities we also have special pricing.  Email us for an educational quote.

    Q: What books are available for use with Liberty BASIC?
    There are several books in print that teach or use Liberty BASIC. Follow this link: http://www.libertybasic.com/resources.html#books

    Q: Is Liberty BASIC a compiler?
    A: Like Java, Liberty BASIC is a compiler but it doesn't compile to machine language.  Instead it compiles to an intermediary format, which is executed by a runtime engine. When using the runtime engine, you do not have to include source code when distributing your application.

    Q: How does the Liberty BASIC runtime engine work?
    A: Liberty BASIC standalone applications use the runtime engine.  You use the runtime engine by compiling to a special file, which the runtime engine executes. You don't have to give away any of the code you write to produce a standalone application. There are a few DLLs you must include with the runtime engine.  A complete application is only about 1MB when compressed into a ZIP file. NOTE: To use the runtime engine, you must be a registered user of Liberty BASIC.

    Q: What is a 'standalone application'?
    A: A standalone application is a program which looks and runs like any Windows application. It can have its own icon, and can be run by double-clicking on that icon. You do not need to give away your source code to distribute such an application and users do not need to have Liberty BASIC installed on their computers.

    Q: Can you make standalone applications with the trial version?
    A: No. You need to purchase a license to use the Liberty BASIC runtime engine.

    Q: Is there any way to use sprites in Liberty BASIC?
    A: Liberty BASIC has sprite animation capabilities. Look in the help file for the section on sprite animation.

    Q: Does Liberty BASIC come with a visual GUI builder (like VB)?
    A: Liberty BASIC comes with FreeForm, which is written in Liberty BASIC. FreeForm lets you draw your windows without writing code, and then it generates code for you. Because it includes source code you can examine it, extend it, and learn from it! Most of the newest features of FreeForm were added by users of Liberty BASIC!

    Q: Does Liberty BASIC support the LPRINT command for sending text to a printer?
    A: Yes, Liberty BASIC supports the LPRINT command, and it also includes a command called DUMP with forces a page to print (like a form feed).

    Q: Can you make internet apps in Liberty BASIC?
    A: Yes, with TCP4W.DLL or FTP4W.DLL. These are libraries available here
    http://perso.wanadoo.fr/philippe.jounin

    Q: Can Liberty BASIC use Active-X or COM components?
    A: Liberty BASIC does not support Active-X or COM.

    Q: Where can I find additional tutorials for Liberty BASIC?
    A: Follow this link on the Liberty BASIC web site
    http://www.libertybasic.com/resources.html#tutorials