Read the story of BASICODE, a pioneering achievement in program portability of the Dutch radio. This was back in the old days of 8-bit machines with cassette storage and awkward BASIC dialects.
When you run Linux, you can choose between quite a few basic interpreters that are written by amateurs. But neither of these comes close to QBASIC under MSDOS 6.22. They are either buggy or incomplete or slow. Did you ever notice that bwbasic is so awfully slow? If you are accustomed to an old Commodore 64, probably not. But on a Pentium it ought to be at least 2 orders of magnitude faster! My attempt to write a BASIC interpreter is still very unfinished, but it is fast!. You can download it here. This is distributed under the GNU General Public License. It offers most functionality of BWBASIC, except PRINT USING and random access files. In the long run it sould offer much more, but progress isn't going to be fast during the coming months.
At the moment I work on a version that has some terminal-related commands and color (text mode only). Eventually it should have graphics capabilities as well (under X).
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