Small Basic Prime (extended IDE)


Gungan37 created a great extended Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for Small Basic back in 2013 (called SB++).  It had some nice features and looked really good.

Over the years it was not maintained to work with newer versions of Small Basic as they were rolled out (Gungan37 was busy studying and working).  Also, I couldn't get its debugging feature to work.  Code debugging was the main feature that I felt was missing from Small Basic - the ability to step through code, set breakpoints and see how variables changed and therefore how the program worked or didn't.


So, late in 2017, I decided to have a go writing an extended IDE.  The main objectives were:

  • To work with any installed desktop version of Small Basic and any extensions (using SB compiler and Import/Publish features etc).  Therefore SB or my IDE could be updated independently and still work together regardless of version (unlike SB extensions that need to be re-compiled for each SB version).
  • Add debugging capabilities.
  • Learn some new things, especially the syntax highlighting/code folding that Gungan37 had used so successfully (.Net library called Scintalla.Net).

The resulting IDE is now called Small Basic Prime (SB-Prime) - thanks to Ed Price for the name suggestion.

Here is a screenshot of the IDE using the debugging option.

There are many options to configure the envirnment including all the colors and font sizes in the Advanced ribbon tab.

The Tools tab has some additional tools and the Home tab has standard features like Import/Publish and Run.

SB-Prime can be dowloaded from Technet Gallery.  There is also a Small Basic forum post for comments or suggestions.  SB-Prime is OpenSource with all the source code available on GitHub.


There isn't much documentation for SB-Prime.  Hopefully it is fairly intuitive, but I did write some for debugging.


After doing the basics and a few extras like extension management, file searcher, extension API documentation and graduate to VB, I had a go at creating a flow chart visualisaion (that works with debugging) and a shapes/controls editor.


It is also possible to write plugins for SB-Prime.  A simple sample Visual Studio solution for plugins is available.

Enjoy Small Basic!