On April 23, 2021, I helped Wayne Phillips introduce the world to twinBASIC at the Access DevCon Vienna conference. I boldly predicted that twinBASIC (along with the Monaco editor) would replace VBA and its outdated development environment by 2025. With that goal in mind, this weekly update is my attempt to keep the project fresh in the minds of the VBA development community.
Every Sunday, I will be providing updates on the status of the project, linking to new articles discussing twinBASIC, and generally trying to increase engagement with the project. If you come across items that should be included here, tweet me @NoLongerSet or email me at mike at nolongerset dot com.
Here are some links to get involved with the project:
- Custom twinBASIC IDE Installation Guide (NOTE: the twinBASIC VSCode extension is under a feature freeze until 2023)
- GitHub Issue Tracker (report bugs)
- twinBASIC Discord Server (chat about the project)
- twinBASIC/VBx LinkedIn Group
Context-Sensitive Help Support Added
The BETA 190 release added support for the following properties:
- HelpContextID / WhatsThisHelpID / ShowWhatsThis for all controls
- Form.WhatsThisButton support
- Form.WhatsThisHelp support
- Form.WhatsThisMode support
- Project setting of
Application HelpFileand associated VBP import support
GoSub Support Added
To be clear, no one should be writing
GoSub code in 2022.
You can rewrite any code that uses a
GoSub by refactoring the
GoSub code block into a standalone function. This makes code that is easier to read, easier to test, and easier to follow logically.
That said, support for the
GoSub statement is required to provide 100% VBx compatibility. For some older code bases, the previous lack of
GoSub support was one of the last major issues that prevented the successful import of VB6 projects into twinBASIC.
As of BETA 193, you can set the mouse icon to a custom image using Screen.MouseIcon.
Screen.MousePointer = vbCustom Screen.MouseIcon = LoadPicture("C:\Program Files\TortoiseHg\icons\thg_logo.ico")
Around the Web
RunAsTrustedInstaller - Open Source twinBASIC Project
The utility allows you to run applications in the context of the Windows "super admin" account, TrustedInstaller. This allows you to do potentially dangerous things–like deleting files in C:\Windows\–that Microsoft really doesn't want people doing accidentally.
Be aware, this is not a way to circumvent UAC protection. It simply provides existing administrators complete control of their computers. fafalone makes this distinction clear:
Important: You must use Run As Administrator to use this code; it simply allows an admin to be an actual admin, it cannot escalate a unprivileged normal user to administrator.
The utility is an open-source alternative to AdvancedRun from NirSoft.
Here is some more background and usage ideas from fafalone:
Yeah I couldn't believe there wasn't an open source equivalent... some that opened as SYSTEM but not TI... a few specialized tools specifically for unloading Windows Defender... not to mention there's very very little in the way of VBx code that deals with tokens
FYI it can also be used without the GUI; you can open a program with it and it just launches it and exits; e.g.
"C:\temp\RunAsTI64.exe" "C:\Program Files\Process Hacker 2\ProcessHacker.exe"So you can create shortcuts and whatnot
Server Upgrade Fundraising Goal Reached
In last week's update, I linked to the twinBASIC Ko-fi page where Wayne was looking for non-subscribers to donate towards a server upgrade to speed up the development process. The community responded in a big way, meeting the fundraising goal in one week.
Here's Wayne's response:
A massive thank you to all of our supporters helping us achieve the server upgrade goal so quickly! I'm amazed and very grateful for all of your generosity. Time to buy the components now...
Here are the updates from the past week. You can also find this information by visiting the GitHub twinBASIC Releases page.
- added: all controls now support HelpContextID / WhatsThisHelpID / ShowWhatsThis
- added: Form.WhatsThisButton support
- added: Form.WhatsThisHelp support
- added: Form.WhatsThisMode support
- added: project setting of
Application HelpFile, and associated VBP import support
- fixed: WhatsThisHelpID not working with Label and Image controls on the root Form container [ https://github.com//issues/1188#issuecomment-1329456114 ]
- improved: when opening a CONSOLE project now, the IDE now also shows a console window for debugging purposes [ wqweto, discord]
- improved: Standard EXE (Console App) template now includes a basic Console class, and small demo
- added: initial support for importing VBP forms that contain ActiveX controls
- fixed: some ActiveXExtender regressions
- fixed: tweaked Console App demo to workaround a WriteConsoleW API bug in Win 7
- improved: redesigned the internal compiler memory management (Win32)
- fixed: (regression) STATSTG UDT used in UserControl implementation was using an incompatible version of GUID type, causing compilation errors [ https://github.com//issues/1386 ]
- fixed: (regression) UserControl.Width and Height properties have been on holiday for a while [ https://github.com//issues/1386 ]
- added: support for Screen.MouseIcon [ sokinkeso, discord ]
- fixed: (regression) End statement not working correctly since Forms modal support was added [ https://github.com//issues/1384 ]
- added: support for GoSub
- fixed: some imported ActiveX control events not binding due to ByVal/ByRef mismatch that is allowed in VBx [ https://github.com//issues/1389 ]
- fixed: removed erroneous warning of "WARNING: USE OF INVALID DLLs IN KERNEL MODE..." for calls to declares in .SYS files [ fafalone, discord ]
- fixed: form designer race condition could cause rendering problems during Undo/Redo [ https://github.com//issues/1365 ]
- improved: much faster form designer grid dot rendering [ https://github.com//issues/1365 ]
- fixed: tB now translates OLE pixel/himetric arguments in UserControl events into twips, as per VB6 [ https://github.com//issues/1389 ]
- fixed: when using Sub Main startup object, non-modal forms were not keeping the process alive [ fafalone, discord ]