As we know, now Microsoft loves open-source software. Regardless of the motives Microsoft has, the giant software company unquestionably played an important part in the personal computer history, since the initial release of the BASIC interpreter made for the Altari 8800. To be fair, Microsoft has been very helpful in the effort to preserve this history of personal computing for the future generations.
Last year, the MS-DOS 1.25 & 2.0 source code was released to the public and today we are pleased to see that Microsoft has uploaded to Github the complete source code of GW-BASIC, the BASIC interpreter available since the MS-DOS version 2.0, targetting the IBM PC/XT and compatibles.
The source code is dated Feb 10th, 1983 and it consists of 100% 8088 assembly code and it is ready to be studied, and maybe modified, compiled, and used. Since this is not an unauthorized disassembly version, the code is fully commented – a treat for any programmer interested in learn how “things” were done.
The only thing is that you don’t expect MS to accept pull requests for this project. They warn that the repo is only available for historical purposes and it won’t be modified (by them).
Maybe it sounds silly, but because I spent a lot of time writing BASIC programs first in BASICA and then in GW-BASIC, it makes me happy to be able to read something like this:
--------- ---- -- ---- ----- --- ---- ----- COPYRIGHT 1975 BY BILL GATES AND PAUL ALLEN --------- ---- -- ---- ----- --- ---- ----- ORIGINALLY WRITTEN ON THE PDP-10 FROM FEBRUARY 9 TO APRIL 9 1975 BILL GATES WROTE A LOT OF STUFF. PAUL ALLEN WROTE A LOT OF OTHER STUFF AND FAST CODE. MONTE DAVIDOFF WROTE THE MATH PACKAGE (F4I.MAC).
Of course, you can see it all following the link below:
Link: GW-BASIC on Github