Small Basic – Hammer and Nails

One of the great things about Small Basic is that you have to be imaginative to solve problems, since there is such a small set of commands.  This makes it fun to use even when you have quite good programming skills – it is still a challenge to get it to do new things more efficiently.

There was a recent Small Basic forum question that highlighted this for me, and reminded me of the saying…

“If the only tool you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail”


In other words for programming – “if you know one way of doing something, then this may be how you try to do everything“.  This is a very good lesson to be mindful of.

I had been adding and fixing some methods for a Small Basic extension, when I saw this post by jricestk (JR).

TextWindow Issues Can’t Show after hiding textwindow

“I have tried this on 2 computers that are running windows8.1 and get the error that is in the image.


Can anyone confirm that they get the same error? If I comment out the 1st line I don’t get the error. This does occur with no extensions present.”

A few posts later it was confirmed that it appeared to be a Small Basic bug and some-one suggested perhaps an extension could be written to create a fix for it.

It was a simple fix and I had just been working on extensions so I created a couple extension commands to handle hiding and showing the TextWindow.  Job done.

Then came a post by Jibba Jabba with simple and effective workaround without any need for extensions reminded me of the Hammer and Nail proverb.

“Hello jr

What about a simple work around?

I use this for both TW and GW, it solves any clearing of the TW and any Shapes issues for the GW.”

TextWindow.WriteLine("hello, hide for 3 seconds")
lastTop = TextWindow.Top
TextWindow.Top = Desktop.Height
TextWindow.Top = lastTop


So all you have to do is move the TextWindow off the desktop, and return it to show it again – cool – lesson learned again.

Comments (3)

  1. Is this bug written up in our Wiki article that lists the Known Issues?

    Thanks for calling this out!

    Also, this is an excellent argument of how Small Basic is fun and valuable for experienced programmers as well (not just beginners)!

    Thanks, LitDev!

  2. litdev says:

    It is now!

  3. anonymouscommenter says:

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