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Chapter 474.   nanoBase 1997

A free xBase for Dos.

This material appeared originally at, in 1997. Now it is incorporated inside the Italian document ``Appunti di informatica libera'', and might be reached at the URI <>.

Questo materiale è apparso in origine, nel 1997, presso Adesso viene incorporato nel documento «Appunti di informatica libera» e può essere raggiunto attraverso l'URI <>.

Web-Counter: countersince 1996/09/04.

474.1   What is it

nanoBase (1) is a Dos program that works essentially as:

nanoBase 1997 is compiled in two versions: a small one to be used with old computers (i86 with 640 Kibyte RAM), and a second one to be used with better computers, at least i286 (or better) with 2 Mibyte RAM.

474.2   The dot command line

Figure 474.1. The dot line.


The dot command line is the first face of nanoBase, the one that appears starting the program normally. It recalls the dot line command of the old xBases.

Please note that nanoBase recognise only expressions (that is: no commands).

474.3   The menu

Figure 474.2. The file menu.


Pressing [F10] the nanoBase menu appears.

From this menu the operations are easier than writing all commands on a prompt line, but it is always possible to come back to the dot line to do an operation not available from the menu.

474.4   The macro recording, compiling and execution

Figure 474.3. The macro menu.


nanoBase is able to record some actions made with the menu and all what is correctly typed from the dot prompt. This may be the begin for a little program (called macro inside nanoBase) that can be executed as it is (ASCII), or compiled into another format, faster to execute.

Macros for nanoBase are made with a reduced set of the Clipper syntax. The statements recognised from nanoBase are:

PROCEDURE procedure_name
DO PROCEDURE procedure_name
CASE lCondition1
[CASE lCondition2]
WHILE lCondition
IF lCondition1

Beside these limitations, there are many added functions to the standard language that make the programming easier.

All you need is inside NB.EXE:

474.5   The report system

Figure 474.4. The report menu.


nanoBase can handle label (.LBL) and form (.FRM) files in the dBaseIII format. Labels and forms may be created and edited inside nanoBase. Beside these old report system there is another way to make a little bit complicated reports without making a complex macro: it is called RPT.

A RPT file is a ASCII file with text mixed with code. The text may contain variables (usually a field or an expression containing fields).

To make a complex report some work is needed, but surely less than the time needed to make a report program.

The main purpose of it was to be able to print text with variables (typically names and addresses) for every record of a particular .DBF file. Now the RPT system makes something more.

474.6   The integrated text editor

Figure 474.5. The integrated text editor.


nanoBase contains an integrated text editor not particularly good, but very usefull for RPT files (as the expression insertion is very easy with the use of the [F2] key) and whenever there isn't any other editor there.

474.7   The internal documentation

Figure 474.6. The internal documentation.


nanoBase's documentation si translated also inside the HTF format: NB.HLP. Pressing [F1], normally, a contextual piece of the manual appears.

Some standard functions have its own internal help, contained inside the .EXE file. This was made to help programming with nanoBase.

474.8   Download it

Here is the 1997 edition of nanoBase.

474.9   Bugs and known problems

Here is the list of known bugs and problems.

Appunti di informatica libera 2006.01.01 --- Copyright © 2000-2006 Daniele Giacomini -- <daniele (ad) swlibero·org>, <daniele·giacomini (ad) poste·it>

1) nanoBase   GNU GPL

It should be possible to link to this page also with the name nanobase_1997.htm

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