Technical Issues - BASIC Tutorial I - Getting Started
This page supplements material in FilmStar/Scantraq printed or online manuals. Since FilmStar BASIC is largely compatible with Excel VBA, familiarity with Excel VBA will be very helpful. The main difference is the way in which forms (dialogs) are implemented. There are any number of helpful online tutorials and books to be found by searching for Excel VBA tutorial.
FilmStar BASIC is a built-in
language similar to Microsoft VBA. While power users rely on FilmStar BASIC and
can hardly imagine working without it, other users are completely unfamiliar
with its benefits. This page is intended to inspire users who have little or no
experience. The only way to learn a computer language is to try
it and proceed one step at a time.
Users often complain that they have no time to
learn VBA or FilmStar BASIC. We suggest that you take home the USB key (or download
the Free Version) and learn on your own time. Think of it as attending a
university course which you would also do on your own time. A large number of
examples are provided in subdirectory c:\Winfilm\Basic32. Study and make use of
You are now a programmer! Your next task is to familiarize yourself with the Macro Commands dialog Tools.. Macro Commands <Ctrl+Z>. Click Edit.. Insert BASIC Open and Edit.. Insert BASIC Run as shown below. OPEN provides quick access when developing code, while RUN executes code without displaying the BASIC editor. By isolating technicians from source code, RUN is most important in production.
Place the text cursor on a line
between Begin Dialog and End Dialog and click Edit.. UserDialog
or click the UserDialog icon (second from right). The editor opens as
shown below left. Visual design techniques are similar to VB or VBA. Objects may
be moved and resized and new objects added. Click the Save and Exit icon
(2nd from right) to close the dialog and insert changes between Begin Dialog
and End Dialog lines.
In the code below we see familiar BASIC language keywords Sub, Dim, Tan, Atn, and Sqr as well as FilmStar keywords AxesDraw, CalcPlotStart, and LineColor. Help for BASIC language keywords is given in online help under BASIC Language while explanation for FilmStar keywords is found under FilmStar DESIGN Extensions.
The object browser offers users a quick way to review syntax and to paste in code fragments. Place the cursor on word AxesDraw and then click the 6'th icon from the left.