NEW RELEASE: Small Basic Online Public Preview (v0.9)


Hello! Head to the new Small Basic Website 2.0:

 

In the upper right corner, you'll notice the new "Start Coding Online" button!

This is our Public Preview release of Small Basic Online. It's version 0.9. For our Small Basic enthusiasts, you're going to wonder why we have an online version in addition to the desktop version. There are several main reasons for this:

  1. This allows us to have a platform agnostic version of Small Basic. For example, if you only had an Android tablet, you could use Small Basic right now!
  2. This allows folks to use Small Basic, when they can't download software on their system. Sometimes there are IT management limitations or other limitations.
  3. This is an important step toward an Open Source version of Small Basic! We've always wanted the community to help us build Small Basic, and this is a step on that journey!

But, like everything in life, the road is bumpy. Since we're an all volunteer team (and focus our development efforts to 3 days a year, during our Microsoft Hackathons), we're releasing this in passes in order to get to our destination. This version is Small Basic Online 0.9 (our public preview).

Release Pipeline

We have many steps in the future for Small Basic Online (and Small Basic Desktop):

  1. Release Small Basic Online 0.9. Done!
  2. Release Small Basic Online 1 (SBO 1). This should ship with our release of the Small Basic Website 2.1.
    1. The code is done for this and SB Website 2.1.
    2. We have a few bug fixes and improvements, but largely, SBO 1 is very similar to 0.9.
  3. Release Small Basic Desktop 1.3. This might ship before SBO 1.
    1. It has the bug fixes found in the Windows App Store mobile release, as well as 3 new languages, and extra coding help in the interface!
  4. Release Small Basic Online 1.1. You can see this project in the works over on GitHub: https://github.com/sb/SmallBasic-Online
    1. It's Open Source!
    2. I'd expect to see some bug fixes from Small Basic Online 1.0.
    3. We're building toward parity with SB Desktop. Hopefully, we'll eclipse the parity so far in SBO 1 and get closer before we release SBO 2.
    4. New features, including our first Debugger in a core SB release! It's Small and Basic, of course.
    5. I don't expect perfect parity with SBD, nor would we get complicated feature sets like Extensions or Graduate to work (yet).
  5. Release Small Basic Online 1.2-9
    1. I expect continual parity improvements.
    2. I also expect to find some features we hoped to get in SBD, but were never able to.
    3. We would be moving toward building a Desktop version in the exact same open source repository.
  6. Simultaneous release of Small Basic Online 2 and Small Basic Desktop 2.
    1. The vision would then come true, as we release both SBO 2 and SBD 2 at the same time, from the same source code.
    2. Obviously, we'd need both Extensions and Graduate for this to work out.
    3. I'd also expect to find further features we wanted in SBD, like in-app tutorials and an Extension Manager. And if we didn't get them yet, I'd expect them to be coming on the horizon...
  7. Small Basic 2.1+
    1. Once we had a combined release, I'd hope to see an emphasis on in-app tutorials, extensions (like Minecraft), and more!
    2. I'd love to see a more robust Graduate feature set (such as to export into JavaScript, as an option).
    3. We'd also drive toward mobile apps, built from the same repo!

That's the vision. There is no timeline, just a roadmap. The more we work together (with the community), the faster we get there.

And that brings us back to Small Basic Online 0.9. What are the feature gaps and bugs?

Small Basic Online 0.9 Release Notes

Head to Small Basic Online.

Features Built:

  1. A Web Version: This version is online and is built from JavaScript and the Monaco Editor, among other sources, to enable online consumption!
  2. Sample Code: When starting SBO, you get sample code to quickly get started! 
  3. Help Pane: The Help Pane on the right allows you to interactively navigate the reference documentation!
  4. Double Display: For the first time, the Graphics Window and Text Window can be seen simultaneously. It's very easy to find and close those windows.
  5. Strong Toolbar Parity: Although it's not full toolbar parity, this release includes New, Import, Publish, Cut, Copy, Paste, Undo, Redo, and Run.
  6. Link to SB Website: The logo in the upper right takes you to the Small Basic website and the Small Basic community!
  7. Confirmation Message: As expected, when you leave the SBOnline editor, it asks you if you're sure that you want to leave.

Known Issues:

  1. Online Gallery is Disconnected: It currently has an upload of the Gallery pages from July 2017 (so you can import programs from then and earlier). Any programs you publish will be only available in Small Basic Online 0.9. They won't be available in Small Basic Desktop, and they will be deleted from the SB Online gallery when we next update. So if you want your program to be more permanently online, you'll need to publish the code from SB Desktop.
  2. SBO doesn't display results on Apple computers. We're investigating these issues. Although the online editor opens and is fully functional, the results don't display in the Graphics Window and Text Window. Apple computers passed earlier tests, so we need to do some research to find out what happened, whether this is just for certain devices and versions, or a new Apple update might have made this change.
  3. Different keymapping
  4. AND/OR don’t work
  5. To detect keys one has to click on TextWindow
  6. No window title
  7. DrawText acts as shape, changing font changes all drawn font size
  8. Italic doesn’t work
  9. SB Desktop Parity: All the quotations must be closed
    1. Note that this might be kept in, as a bug fix over SB Desktop.
  10. Sometimes it pops up strange errors, starting again removes them

 

If you found more issues or think something built is worthy of including in the "Features Built" section, please reply below with a comment (or if you want to explain/clarify one of the above items better)! We'll update this page and eventually build a Small Basic Online 0.9 Release Notes page on TechNet Wiki.

Note: If you find parity issues and bugs in Small Basic Online 1.1 on GitHub, please file those as GitHub Issues.

 

Thank you for your patience as we work through our Small Basic Release Pipeline!

That's Small and Basically it,

- Ninja Ed

Comments (6)

  1. Thanks Ed for the release notes.
    I’m preparing to write about SBO v0.9 known issues on TechNet Wiki with the list above and the following forum thread information.
    https://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/229a2a9e-bcc2-4c81-919c-ccf9ac7b0eaf/small-basic-online-public-preview-v09?forum=smallbasic

  2. About the known issue #2 above, I found that it depends on the browser Safari. Chrome on Mac will show the normal result with SBO v0.9.

    1. Excellent! Do people use Chrome on iPhones? I wonder if that works.

      1. Hi, I tried to run SB – Online on my iPad (iOS 12). But unfortunately, It could show the editor but could not run any programs.

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