Dec 222017
12/11 Listing of QuickBASIC Quirks.
File QB1211.ZIP from The Programmer’s Corner in
Category BASIC Language
12/11 Listing of QuickBASIC Quirks.
File Name File Size Zip Size Zip Type
QUIRKS.TXT 61971 18420 deflated
TEST.DAT 256 42 deflated
TPCREAD.ME 199 165 deflated

Download File QB1211.ZIP Here

Contents of the QUIRKS.TXT file

New items added 12/04/88-12/10/88

Part 1 - Updated for QB 4.50

This file contains information about bugs, quirks, and general points
of interest to programmers working with compiled BASIC. It is divided
into three parts:

Part 1 - Description of bugs, quirks, etc.
Part 2 - General points of interest
Part 3 - Sample programs

If you want to find one of the above quickly, use your text editor to
search for the text shown above. i.e., Search for "Part 1 -".

As of 12/3/88, all new or changed entries will be marked with the date
that the information as added or changed. The date will appear at the
end of the entry in the format (yy/mm/dd).

This file is maintained by Mark Novisoff of MicroHelp, Inc. Much of the
information was contributed by members of MicroHelp's BASIC Users Group,
users of the MSSYS forum on Compuserve and users of Mach 2, Stay-Res,
The MicroHelp Toolbox and the QB/Pro Professional series.

If you have additional information that should be added, please send it
Mark Novisoff
MicroHelp, Inc.
4636 Huntridge Drive
Roswell GA 30075
Compuserve ID 73047,3706 in MSSYS (Microsoft Systems Forum)

If possible, please include a *small* sample program that will demonstrate
the problem and cause it to happen whenever the program is run.

Part 1 - Description of bugs, quirks, etc.

Note: * Next to a QB 4 entry indicates that the problem has been
fixed with the QB 4.00a that is included in BASCOM 6. The
fix should apply to all later versions.

~ Next to a QB 4 entry indicates that the problem has been
fixed in QB 4.00b (and the accompanying BC program).

` Next to a QB 4 entry indicates that the problem has been
fixed in QB 4.50 and/or the accompanying BC program.

Command/Error Compilers Description
-------------- --------------- --------------------------------------------
$INCLUDE QB 4 If you have a DEFINT statement in an include
file and you wish to use it within subprograms/
functions in a module, you must $INCLUDE it
within each sub/function structure. If you
simply include it in the mainline code, the
DEFINT statement is not recognized. However,
if you have a statement DEFINT in your mainline
code (as opposed to $INCLUDE), it will work ok.
BLOAD/BSAVE QB 4~` When using these commands in DOS 2.x, you may
get an unexpected "too many files" error. This
problem can be solved using an assembly
language routine to read/write the file.
(Mach 2 users should use MhFile/MhRWSub).
CALL (asm) QB 4 If you pass a static string array as a
parameter to a subprogram, and the string
array represents FIELDed data (as in a
random file), AND you call an assembly
subroutine that displays the data, your
position in the file can be wiped out!
See sample program #22. The fix is to place
the string array in a COMMON SHARED statement
and remove it from the parameter list.
CALL QB 4 If you want to pass a single element from a
string array to a subprogram, be sure to put
an extra pair of parentheses around the
variable name in the parameter list. For
example, you may have a problem with:
CALL MySub(A,B,C$(3),D)
However, the following should work:
CALL MySub((A,B,(C$(3)),D)
CALL (asm) QB 4 Effective with QB 4, assembly
language subroutines must preserve
the SI and DI registers and make
sure the direction flag is cleared
before returning to BASIC.
In addition, you must not have a label name
after the END statement in your assembler code.
CALL INIT QB 2-3 Do not name a precompiled subprogram "INIT".
If you do, the compiler will go into never-
never land when your user library is loaded.
CALL INTERRUPT QB 4*` There is a bug in the source code (INTRPT.ASM).
If you have MASM 5.0, you can patch the source
code and reassemble. On line 49, the code
points to the DI register with "-1EH". This
should be changed to "-0EH", followed by
reassembly and library updates. If you don't
have MASM 5.0, the solution is to use INT86OLD,
or you can patch INTRPT.OBJ as follows (all
numbers are hexadecimal):

Address Old Value New Value
------- --------- ----------
20E E2 F2
253 E2 F2
28D 0B EB
CALL vs GOSUB All If you have many calls to the same
asm routine or subprogram, you'll
use less memory if you set
variables and GOSUB to a routine
that performs the CALL instead of
having the CALL "in line". CALL is
much faster using variables than
using "literals".
CALLS QB 4 If you are passing string arrays to an
assembler subroutine, make sure that
$Static is in effect (not $Dynamic) when
you dimension your array. If
you do not, the data are not pushed onto
the stack correctly by BC. This affects
the use of MhBasStringSort in Mach 2.
CALLS QB 4* When CALLS (note the "S") is used and you
compile with "/D" (debug), the segment of
of a string element descriptor does not get
passed on the stack. In other words, if you
have an assembly language subroutine that
uses CALLS, you should not compile with "/d".
CHAIN QB 4~` Unreliable when using DOS 2.x.
CIRCLE QB 4 The start and end angles must be
LESS than 2*pi. Previously they could
be less than or equal to.
CLEAR QB 4 If you use SETMEM to free up memory for
use by other routines or modules, the CLEAR
statement does not force the compiler to give
up that memory. In other words, you must
explicitly do a SETMEM(640*1024), or
other large number. (Also see RUN.)
CLEAR,,Size QB 3,4 If you receive an out of stack
space message. The stack size is
not reset between CHAIN'ing but if
you CHAIN back to your original
program, be sure to skip the CLEAR
COMMON and QB 2-4 All statements that use COMMON or variations
COMMON SHARED thereon with CHAIN must use parameter lists
that match exactly. Best done with $INCLUDE.
QB 4 The TYPE statement must appear before
the COMMON statement and must appear in
all programs that use it. The COMMON
statement must contain "AS". See sample
program #1 at the end of this file.
Compile to EXE QB 4` QB issues an unusual LINK command in the
form of:
LINK Prog+YourLib.Lib;
This causes LINK to bring the entire
library into your program! The solution is
to exit QB, and run BC and LINK yourself.
Note also that the LIB environment variable
is not used to search for libraries in this
context, since the library name is in
the object module field.
CONST QB 4*~` Do not use string constants if you compile
with the /s switch. See sample program #14.
CONST QB 4 Must be included in all program modules
that use the constant. Place in the file
at the top, rather than inside SUB's.
CVL QB 4*~` This function is unreliable when a program
has been compiled with BC. See sample
program #8.
DATA QB 4 When a DATA statement is encountered inside
a SUB...END SUB structure, QB moves it
into the "mainline" portion of the code when
you are in the environment.
DEF FN All Functions are local to the module
in which the DEF FN appears. Use
global functions.
DEF SEG QB 4*~` See sample program #11.
DIM QB 3 See sample program #4. QB3 apparently has
a limit of 123 dynamic arrays.
DIM QB 4 Any array that is DIMmed inside of a subprogram
that does not have the STATIC keyword is a
DYNAMIC array.
DIM QB 4 In order to take advantage of the /AH switch
with TYPE..END TYPE records, the record
length must be a power of 2 (4,8,16,32, etc.)
DIM QB 4 Static numeric arrays are stored on the
"heap" when you are inside the QB 4
environment. BC programs store them in the
default DS.
DIM (TYPE) QB 4 See sample program #1 for dimensioning
arrays of TYPE'd variables.
Division All Using integer division "\" when an
integer result is desired is much
faster than normal division "/".
DRAW QB 2-4 Does not respect the boundaries designated
Duplicate Definition
QB 4 If you receive an otherwise unjustified
"Duplicate definition" error, check to see
if your program has variables called
F$ or F%. When programs reach an undefined
"critical mass" (in terms of size), variables
using those names will cause the error. The
solution is to find and replace all occurrences
of those names with other names. (88/12/03)
ENVIRON QB 2-4 If you attempt to create a new environment
variable inside a program, you are likely
to get an "out of memory" error, because the
amount of environment space available when
your program runs is very small. To get around
this problem, create a good sized dummy
variable in your AUTOEXEC.BAT, then inside your
program, eliminate it before attempting to
setup new variables. Eliminate the variable
by using the semicolon: ENVIRON "DUMMY=;".
ERR QB 4*~` Inside the QB 4 environment. If you watch
a variable, ERR does not get set properly
when an error occurs. See sample program #5.
/FPA BASCOM 6 If you use the /FPA switch (alternate
floating point math library) when compiling
one or more modules, you must use the
same switch in ALL modules in the same
FIELD QB 4 We've had a report that if you use array
elements for FIELD'ing a Btrieve file, and
you don't DIM the string array (i.e., you
default to 10 elements) that you can get
string space corrupt errors. The solution
is always to DIM the arrays.
File not found All See KILL (Network).
FILES QB 3 There is a bug in the QB3-8087 compiler that
causes FILES not to work correctly.
FOR/NEXT QB 4*~` If you pass a variable to a SUB, and that
variable is used as a loop counter in a
FOR/NEXT loop, the variable value is not
returned to the main program. See
sample program #15. Note that this happens
only when compiled with BC - it works fine
in the environment.
FOR/NEXT QB 4*~` If you use a long integer as your loop
counter, with a negative STEP, your loop
will not execute.
FOR/NEXT QB 4 If you use an integer for a loop counter,
and the top of the loop is 32767 (when
STEP is positive) or the bottom of the
loop is -32768 (when STEP is negative),
you'll get an overflow when inside the QB
environment or when compiled with BC using
"/d". With BC,if you don't use "/d", the loop
does not stop at the top/bottom - it wraps
around and executes your loop indefinitely.
FRE("") QB 4* Using BRUN gives approximately 4K more
than BCOM. Here is a table showing the
difference between compilers for a one
line program PRINT FRE(""):

BC BC6 BC(QB4.00b)
BRUN 57280 59912 59912
BCOM 61560 61640 61640
FRE(-2) All Fre(-2) is unreliable in all versions
of QuickBASIC 2-4. See sample program #26.
FUNCTION QB 4 Provides global functions for all
modules in a program. All that is
needed is a DECLARE statement in
any module that needs to use the
function. In addition, this type
of function can be recursive. See DEF FN.
FUNCTION QB 4 Cannot be used in $INCLUDE files.
GOTO QB 4` See sample program #17.
GOTO QB 4* If you have a "GOTO GOTO" (two GOTOs) in
your program, QB 4.00 goes into never-never
land. You can still give a three-finger
salute, though.
HEX$ QB 4 Be careful when using with non-integer
values. For example, the output from
the two lines shown is "FFFF8002".
IF..THEN..ELSE QB 3 More than two nestings for ELSE on a single
line will not compiler properly.
IF..THEN..ELSE QB 4 ` See Sample program #9.
INPUT QB 4 ` Using INPUT directly to an array element that
should generate a "subscript out of range"
error causes a hard crash. LINE INPUT
generates the error just fine. Note that
this error occurs only inside the environment.
See Sample program #10.
Internal Error QB4` More problems with long integers. See sample
in BC program #25.
KILL (Network) All If you get a "file not found" error when
attempting to KILL a file on a network drive,
and you know the file exists, the problem is
most likely due to the user not having
"delete" rights in the network. In this case,
the network will issue an "access denied"
error, which BASIC will translate to
"file not found".
LEN QB 4*~` There is a problem using the LEN() function
with user defined types. See Sample Program #12.
LIB.EXE n/a LIB cannot recognize the name of a library
if you precede the library name with a path
that contains a hyphen "-". For example, if
you enter the following, LIB will fail:
LIB Test-Dir\MyLib
LINE INPUT QB 4*~` Don't attempt to LINE INPUT directly to a typed
variable (using TYPE...END TYPE) that has
a period in the name. Rather, LINE INPUT to a
temporary variable and then assign it to
the TYPE'd variable.
LINK All Use the /EXEPACK switch to condense the
file. Can be used on any program except
programs that are CHAIN'ed to using
all compilers except QB 4. All QB 4
programs can use this switch. Syntax:
LINK /EXE Progname (etc.)
LINK QB 4 When building a Quick Library, be sure
to specify BQLB40 in the library field. Example:
LINK /QU ObjMods,Lib,,BQLB40;
This also applies to BQLB41 if using BC6
or QB 4.00b and BQLB45 when using QB4.50.
LOAD QB 4 If you receive an "out of memory"
error, try breaking your program
into logical pieces (using
subprograms). Then use COMMON
SHARED for all variables that you
need in the entire program. The
exact same COMMON SHARED
declaration must appear in all the
modules in the program that need
access to the variables.
LOAD QB 4 If you download a QB 4 program in "fast load"
format, many modem transfer protocols
pad the file out using a number of
CHR$(0)'s. This will cause QB 4 to
crash when you attempt to load the program.
Use DEBUG to view the file, then write
the program to disk after changing the
CX register to shorten the length of the
file so that the trailing CHR$(0)'s are
not included. The other solution is to
download this type of file using an ARC
program that restores the original length
of the file.
ON ERROR QB 4*~` There is a problem with BC in QB 4.00
when you have ON ERROR inside of a subroutine
(GOSUB type). See sample program #20.
ON ERROR QB 4*~` If you use "ON ERROR GOTO 0", two problems
can occur when compiled to an EXE program:
1. If an error occurs in your program,
your system will crash.
2. You may get a "Program memory overflow"
error from BC.
ON ERROR QB 4 See "RESUME" for QB 4.
ON ERROR QB 2-4 Error handler routines must be located
outside SUB...END SUB structures. You
can RESUME to a line number/label that
is outside SUB...END SUB structures
(using /E) or to code inside the sub
using plain RESUME or RESUME
NEXT (/X). Much better is to $INCLUDE
subroutines that perform error trapping
instead of having them in subprograms.
This allows the use of RESUME line number/
label and avoids the /X.
Note - with BASCOM 6 and QB 4.00b, error
handling has been improved. See the docs.
ON KEY QB 4*~` See sample program #16. If you use
RETURN LineLabel in conjunction with
a subroutine invoked by ON KEY, you can
get a RETURN WITHOUT GOSUB error in the
QB 4.00 environment. However, the program
will work when compiled with BC.
OPEN COM QB 4` If you compile with /S, and use OPEN COM
with a literal string, the statement will
generate "Device Unavailable".
See sample program #18.
OPEN COM QB 4*~` If you open the COM port within
the environment, then compile to an EXE
from within the environment, you get a
"far heap corrupt" error.
OPEN COM QB 4*~` If you open a COM port, close the port, then
do a SHELL, you cannot reopen the same port.
The compiler sets the COM port address
(at hex 40:0 through 40:7, depending on the
COM port number) to 0 and cannot find the
port. The solution is to leave the port
open during the SHELL. A fix is to save
these addresses before opening any ports:
FOR I = 0 TO 7
PortAddress(I) = PEEK (I)
After closing a port, do:
DEF SEG = &H40
I = (PortYouOpened - 1) * 2
POKE I, PortAddress(I)
POKE I + 1, PortAddress(I + 1)
OPEN All With Novell NetWare, using OPEN on a file that
does not exist does not always create the file.
Novell has acknowledged the problem but they
don't have a solution available as of 12/19/87.
A workaround for the problem when using
Btrieve is to open the NUL device on the local
system instead of the network. For example,
OPEN "R",1,"A:NUL".
Overflow All BASIC uses integer types for all
calculations and processes the
right side of the equal sign
before the left side. To force
BASIC to use a different numeric
type, place a type identifier on
the right of the equal sign.
Example: A=Peek(2)+256!*Peek(3)
Periods in variable names
QB 4 We have found numerous problems using periods
in variable names. We believe the problems
are somehow associated with TYPE..END TYPE
user defined records. Because of these problems,
we recommend that you do NOT use periods in
variable names. See sample program #28 for
one example of this problem. (88/12/03)
PRINT # QB 4 In order to print a blank line using QB 4,
use the syntax:
Note the absence of the null string after
the comma. We've had an unconfirmed report
that if the print buffer is filled, using
the null string causes characters to be
PRINT USING QB 4 With previous compilers, you could place TAB
statements, variable names, or most anything
else between PRINT and USING. With QB 4,
nothing should come between PRINT and USING.
PUT 4.00b See sample program #21. When using the
syntax PUT Filenumber,RecordNumber,Variable
you'll get a "bad record length".
READ QB 4` If you want a REMark on a line that contains
DATA statements, be sure to put a colon on
the line between the end of your data and
the REM or '.
REDIM QB 2.01 In EXE programs (not in the environment),
the following logic will cause your FIELDed
variables to go haywire:

DIM StringArray$(SomeNumber)
FIELD #SomeFile....
ERASE StringArray$
REDIM StringArray$(ADifferentNumber)
SomeVariable = FRE("")

The solution to the problem is to reFIELD
the file after a REDIM and a FRE("").
REDIM QB 3 If you have a subprogram that REDIM's arrays,
and you get a "string space corrupt" message
after calling the subprogram several times,
try using ERASE on the array before you do
the REDIM.
REM $INCLUDE QB 4` See sample program #24.
REM $TITLE QB1-4 When you use the REM $TITLE metacommand,
you are limited to 60 chars of title. If
the title is longer, you'll get an error
message "Metacommand error". Note that QB2.01
does not print an error message, but still
shows "1 severe error".
RESUME All If you always use RESUME

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