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History

FutureBasic, known simply as "FB" to its advocates, began life in the mid-1980s as ZBasic, which was created by Andrew Gariepy and envisioned as a cross-platform development system. Before long, the cross-platform aspects were dropped in favor of focusing on Macintosh development.

ZBasic acquired a devoted following of developers who praised its ease of use and the tight, fast code produced by the compiler (a legendary labor involving extensive use of hand-built 68K assembly language code).

In 1992 and as the next major step after ZBasic version 5, Zedcor Inc., the company of the Gariepy brothers Andy, Mike, Peter and friends based in Tucson Arizona presented FutureBasic (later called FBI).

In 1995, Staz Software led by Chris Stasny, acquired the rights to market FutureBasic. Chris Stasny started this business with an upgraded version, namely FBII, and with his own development, a CASE tool namely the Program Generator (PG PRO) became available.

The transition from 68k to PowerPC CPUs was a lengthy process that involved a complete rewrite of the editor by Chris Stasny and an adaptation of the compiler by Andy Gariepy. This was undertaken during Apple's darkest days when the further existance of the Mac and Apple itself was in the news every week.

The result of their effort was a dramatically enhanced IDE called FB^3, and was released in September 1999. It featured, among many other things, a separate compiler application and various open hence modifiable runtimes, inline PPC assembly, simplified access to the Macintosh Toolbox API, as well as an expanded library of built-in functions.

Major update releases introduced a full-featured Appearance Compliant runtime written by Robert Purves and the Carbon compliance of generated applications. Once completely carbonized to run natively on MacOS X, the FutureBasic IDE was called FB4 and first released in July 2004.

Based in Diamondhead Mississippi, Staz Software was severely hit by Hurricane Katrina in September 2005 and development pace was slowed. This was at a time when major effort was required to keep the IDE up to date with Apple's evolution towards the Intel-based Macintosh.

More recently, an independent team of volunteer FutureBasic programmers developed a cross-compiler (FBtoC) that allows FutureBasic to generate applications as Universal Binaries through the use of the open source gcc compiler which is included with each copy of Apple's MacOS X system software.

On January 1, 2008, Staz Software announced that FutureBasic version 4 would henceforth be freeware and FBtoC 1.0 was made available at the http://www.4toc.com/fb website.