Differences from BB4W
Click on picture for full-size version:
BBCSDL running on Windows
BBCSDL running on Linux (Ubuntu)
BBCSDL running on MacOS
BBCSDL running on Raspberry Pi
BBCSDL running on Android
BBCSDL running on Amazon Fire TV
BBCSDL (64-bit) running on iOS
BBCSDL running in Firefox
BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 (BBCSDL) is an entirely free and Open Source
cross-platform implementation of
BBC BASIC for Windows,
MacOS, Linux (x86 CPU only), Raspberry Pi OS (RPi3 or later), Android, iOS or for
running in a browser.
It combines the simplicity of BASIC with the sophistication
of a structured language, allowing you to write utilities and games, use
sound and graphics, and perform calculations.
The Desktop editions (Windows, MacOS, Linux, Raspberry Pi) include
a BASIC program editor with syntax colouring, live indentation, search & replace
and many other features. Built-in diagnostic aids such as run-time trace, listing of
variables, single-step execution and a profiler make debugging even the most complex programs
The Android and iOS editions, for smartphones and tablets, have a simplified interface
optimised for touchscreen control. It too provides a BASIC program editor with syntax
colouring, live indentation, search & replace and other features; see
here for more details. The Android edition will run nicely on a (64-bit) Chromebook,
particularly if you enable window resizing.
The in-browser edition also uses the simplified interface, it is compatible with desktop
versions of Brave, Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera, Safari & Vivaldi;
the Android versions of Chrome and Firefox, and with Safari on iOS. It will also run on a Chromebook.
The Android edition will also run on the Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick and some smart TVs.
Several of the supplied example programs can be operated using the navigation wheel and
buttons on the remote control, including most of the games. Any sounds or music created
by a BASIC program will be played through the speaker(s) of the attached TV.
You can 'compile' your BASIC program to a standalone application bundle which will run without
BBC BASIC having to be installed (.exe file in Windows, .dmg file in MacOS, .zip
file in Linux or Raspberry Pi OS and .apk file in Android via the BBC2APK utility).
You can distribute such application bundles freely without any royalty for BBC BASIC being due.
BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 is largely compatible with BBC
BASIC for Windows; it shares with that dialect many new and advanced features
including data structures, PRIVATE variables, an EXIT statment, long strings, event interrupts, an
address-of operator, byte variables, a line continuation character,
indirect procedure and function calls and improved numeric accuracy.
It also retains a high degree of compatibility with the BBC Microcomputer, including
emulation of the SOUND and ENVELOPE statements, and the MODE 7 (teletext) screen mode.
Up to 256 Megabytes of memory (16 Mbytes in the in-browser edition) is provided for the user's
program, data and stack (subject to sufficient RAM being available). Unlike some older
versions of BASIC, you won't suffer the frustration of running out of memory!
Line numbers are optional.
BBC BASIC incorporates an assembler* which can be used
when the speed or other capabilities of the interpreter are inadequate. The assembler
depends on the CPU in your device: x86 (32-bit or 64-bit) for Windows, MacOS or Linux;
ARM (32-bit or 64-bit) for Raspberry Pi. In the case of Android the assembler is ARM or x86
as appropriate. You can access Application Program Interface (API) functions
from BASIC and from assembler code, allowing an experienced programmer to produce
BBC BASIC for Windows programs that call Operating System API functions, or that rely on libraries
that do not have a direct equivalent in both dialects, will need to be adapted in order to be compatible with
BBCSDL. Also, programs that use the *FONT command will require a small alteration. But otherwise
programs can be expected to run with little or no modification. Of course, programs that incorporate
assembly language code will not run on an ARM-based Android device or Raspberry Pi without significant changes.
Details of the differences between BB4W and BBCSDL may be found here.
BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 is entirely free and may be downloaded for
the supported platforms as follows :
The Windows edition is available either as an installer or a Zip archive which simply needs to be extracted to a suitable place.
The MacOS, Android and iOS editions are self-installing. The Linux and Raspberry Pi editions
must first be unzipped, and then installed according to the instructions in the supplied text file. The in-browser edition needs no installation.
‡ On a Mac you will need to override the "unidentified developer" security warning; there are instructions for doing that
here. Please note that the app is
signed and is therefore protected against tampering; the warning simply means that it has not been reviewed by Apple. This
edition is x86 (Intel) code but will run nicely on an M1 ('Apple silicon') Mac under Rosetta 2 emulation.
* The iOS and in-browser editions are exceptions. Because iOS does not permit 'arbitrary code execution' the assembler, the CALL statement and the USR function
are not usable. This is a restriction imposed by Apple and is unavoidable.
|Version||Date||Modification summary (click on the version number for details)|
||Added Hebrew to DejaVuSansMono; added @fn%(21) table entry; added tabs to editbox.bbc; added timerdem.bbc & settab.bbc; bug fixes.
||Added system variable @cache%; updated SDLIDE & BBCEdit IDEs; added calculator.bbc example program; a few minor bug fixes.
||Windows edition makes standalone EXEs; SDLIDE supports bi-directional text; new analyser & Hello_Box2D examples; updated libraries.
||Fixed PLOT 68 plotting when it shouldn't; use unbuffered I/O for serial devices; new examples blacksmith.bbc, carousel.bbc, welcome.bbc.
||Updated SDL2, SDL2_ttf and SDL2_net to the latest versions; updated pdflib library; new script library; new Add SDL Constants utility.
||Enabled *float 80 in ARM editions; fixed compiler.bbc failed upload; added FN_readlinesocketM to socklib; restored Ceefax Sport index.
||SDLIDE supports keyword abbreviations; added mysqllib library & mysqldem example program; fixed a minor mouse coordinate issue.
||Updated SDL2, SDL2_ttf & stb_image; listboxes now support multiple selection; updated telstar.bbc; new pdfdemo.bbc example program.
||Improved iOS edition; updated the compile & touchide utilities; updated gfxlib library;
added bugs.bbc & pageturn.bbc example programs.
||Updated aagfxlib library; updated searchin utility; added conway.bbc & video.bbc example programs; support for serial I/O; minor bug fixes.
||Updated dlglib, gfxlib & imglib (to support animated GIFs) libraries; added anigif.bbc example program; modified telstar.bbc to send CR.
||Added support for web bundles; updated audiolib and gfxlib libraries; added candle.bbc example program; several minor bug fixes.
||New audiolib & gfxlib libraries; new cowboy.bbc & metronome.bbc example programs; minor compatibility improvements & bug fixes.
||PAGE may be lowered (with care!); new SUM operator (modulo-264 addition); stringlib library updated to support 64-bit integers.
||Added GCOL 5-7; relative plot commands don't discard the LSB; fixed a memory leak on string array initialisation; fixed bugs in SDLIDE.
||Added 64-bit Raspberry Pi edition; added msgbox library; updated BBCEdit; more Mac shortcuts; fixed cruncher bugs, and more.
||Added more Mac keyboard shortcuts; added cradle.bbc & Box2D sample demos; updated sudoku.bbc; some performance optimisations.
||Supports some Mac keyboard shortcuts; added box2ddbg library; added pinball.bbc & voronoi.bbc examples; several minor bug fixes.
||Fixed FOR...NEXT bug in ARM editions; added f1-f4 shortcuts in Ceefax.bbc; removed timeout from sudoku.bbc; several minor bug fixes.
||Extended *dump cmd; new editbox & menulib libraries; new gorillas & textedit examples; new macro recorder for SDLIDE; bug fixes etc.
||New -borderless switch; PTR() accepts FN/PROC name; pdflib.bbc, raytrace.bbc & saa505x.bbc added; BBCEdit updated; bug fixes etc.
||New shaderlib and webgllib libraries; BBCEdit IDE updated; Ceefax.bbc updated to track BBC website changes; bug fixes and more.
||New PTR()= statement and SYS function; SDLIDE has breakpoints and can print a listing; updated Ceefax.bbc & telstar.bbc; bug fixes etc.
||New *dump command, updated IDEs, updated dlglib.bbc & filedlg.bbc, updated SkyBaby.bbc & telstar.bbc examples, bug fixes etc.
||MODE7 & SOUND improvements, smooth listbox scrolling, new classlib & mode7lib libraries, new example sortdemo.bbc, bug fixes & more.
||Improved file selector, touchide copies directories, new example programs bbclock.bbc, dunebuggy.bbc & kerning.bbc; bug fixes and more.
||Render batching; MODE 7 font changed; new example programs spotlight.bbc, pintograph.bbc & trebuchet.bbc; bug fixes and more.
||Box2D physics engine bundled; kaleidoscope.bbc, crates.bbc, dangle.bbc & lotto.bbc example programs added; bug fixes and more.
||New Memory Monitor utility, dlglib library improved, Ceefax simulator updated to include weather, travel & local news, and more.
||Bug fixes, eventlib made 64-bit compatible, added ellipsefit.bbc, bezierfit.bbc and multitouch.bbc example programs, SkyBaby updated.
||Bug fixes, treeview has a scrollbar, aagfxlib supports dotted/dashed lines, listboxes can be drag-scrolled, new SkyBaby example program.
||Antialiased graphics (via new aagfxlib library); assembler fixes; aagfxdem.bbc, knots.bbc & BBSterm.bbc example programs added.
||Bug fixes, Goto Line in SDLIDE, combobox support, updated DejaVuSans font, new fluid.bbc & 3D animation to accompany skaters.bbc .
||VDU 23,24,n| adjusts character spacing; @tmp$ is now always user-specific; hangman.bbc & figleaf.bbc example programs added.
||BBCEdit IDE updated; Search BASIC programs utility added; multi-column list boxes; mandel.bbc rewritten to run on all platforms.
||ARM & 64-bit editions buffer files; dlglib includes trackbar support; new polydots & recorder
examples, telstar.bbc updated, bug fixes.
||VDU 23,23 works with circles/ellipses/arcs; RECTANGLE SWAP added; SDLIDE improvements; disco, slitscan, surks & swirl examples.
||SDLIDE loads Acorn-format files, Cross Reference utility, ARM align directive, ellipse & treeview libraries, seascape & ellipses examples.