True Basic

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True BASIC is a structured version of BASIC that offered high code portability that is developed by the TrueBasic company founded by John G. Kemeny and Thomas E. Kurtz, who had developed the original Dartmouth Basic in 1964.


The original True Basic offering for DOS and a number of home computers in the mid 1980's was the first structured Basic implementation generally available which lead it to gain a strong foothold in the educational market particularly in the USA. Their market share diminished greatly when Microsoft released their first structured BASIC product in the form of QuickBASIC in the latter half of the decade.

Until version 5 TB was a multi-platform product aimed at educational institutions that tried to be as inclusive as possible supporting all major Unix workstations, 32 bit OS/2, all MS Windows versions, DOS and 68k and PPC versions of the Macintosh. Prior to that they had supported the Atari ST and Amiga even. The company also had a huge range of optional tool-kits available that targeted educational, scientific, professional development and business usage. DOS was dropped with release 5 although they continued to sell an older version at a discounted price. Versions for Unix workstations were dropped with release 5.1, and Windows 3.x around version 5.4. With release 6 they have dropped support for all platforms except Windows XP and newer.

However the company continues to sell and support 5.5 versions of the software, including an full and cut down versions for MacOS 9 and Windows 95 and up, however they only offer the most basic "Bronze" edition for OS/2 and not the more powerful "Silver" and "Gold". Older Atari and DOS versions are also offered.


  • Latest Version for OS/2: True Basic/2 Bronze Edition V 5.3 (1999-05-24)
  • V. 3.05 Last Student and Standard Edition for DOS
  • V. 2.07 Last Student and Standard Edition for MacOS 68k


  • Commercial. It is available for sale at USD $25.
  • Authors: TrueBasic Inc. (John G. Kemeny and Thomas E. Kurtz)


  • William S. Davis: True BASIC Primer - 1985, ISBN 0-201-03225-2
  • Henry Simpson: True BASIC: A Complete Manual - 1986, ISBN 0-8306-1970-4
  • Larry Joel Goldstein: Structured Programming with True BASIC - 1986, ISBN 0-13-855008-5
  • Wade Ellis Jr.; Ed Lodi: Structured Programming Using True Basic: An Introduction - 1987, ISBN 0155840762
  • Avery Catlin: Standard BASIC Programming with True BASIC - 1987, ISBN 0-13-841578-1
  • Brian D. Hahn: True Basic by Problem Solving - 1988, ISBN 0895738147
  • Stewart Venit, Sandra M. Schleiffers: Programming in True BASIC: Problem Solving with Structure and Style (First edition) - 1991, ISBN 0314879498
  • Stewart Venit, Sandra M. Schleiffers: Programming in True BASIC: Problem Solving with Structure and Style (Second edition) - 1998, ISBN 0534953514
  • Avery Catlin: Let's Program It... in True BASIC - 1996, ISBN 0939553341 (Sold directly by the True Basic company)