Clipper (programming language)

Clipper is a compiler for xBase applications that dominates the programming language of the dBASE system.


The first Clipper version was released in the winter of 1985 by the company Nantucket. She assisted in the beginning mainly the dBASE programming language. This justified by the fact that the developers of Clipper originally were employees of the company Ashton- Tate, who developed the very successful database program dBASE, with the most famous and successful version III Plus. These developers had unsuccessfully demanded a compiler that protects the code and makes immutable.

The applications were created independently, and it was no longer needed a dBASE each license for each workstation. After the originally pure dBASE language scope was supported, the compiler quickly developed its own life in the development, and there were added unique features. The best-known version was called " Summer 87 ". In the further course of development the Clipper language is object- oriented ( but with only four classes, and without the ability to create custom classes) and leaned against the C language. The most popular versions here were 5.01 and 5.2, while the last version 5.3 was not a great success granted. The main reason for this was that since the DOS era has ended and Windows became the dominant operating system. Clipper is however purely character-oriented. In version 5.3, an attempt was made ​​to engage graphical structures. However, this is still based on MS -DOS, not Windows.

The company Nantucket was bought in 1992 by Computer Associates. In the aftermath Clipper has evolved and become a general database development tool. Clipper is a high-level language, which is similar to other programming languages ​​such as BASIC, Pascal and C. In addition, Computer Associates from 1994 Clipper has evolved with the new stand-alone product Visual Objects of a procedural language to an object-oriented language. However, Visual Objects remained a niche product, which was continued later under the name " Vulcan ".

The first attempt to port Clipper programs after Windows was made by Alaska Software, a German company. The product Xbase allows existing Clipper programs up to and including version 5.2 to translate immediately into a clean 32 -bit program. The language scope has been greatly expanded, so that other functions such as for graphical output and ActiveX have been added in addition to pure Clipper functions. In addition, the functions of the Clipper tools.

The company Multi Soft delivered since 1992 the compatible development environment FlagShip, the Clipper applications ( Sommer'87 to 5.3 ) translates to Linux, Unix, MS- Windows, and this 32-bit or 64-bit programs both textually and in a GUI can run around.

Since 1999, with Harbour also has a free compiler. End of 2001, then the xHarbour project was launched. To ensure a professional and continuous development of the project, a commercial distributor was established in parallel. Here is a current distribution of the full development environment for Windows and Linux is provided monthly. In addition to the compiler and linker are included from many of the world famous Clipper additional libraries and a graphical development environment (IDE).

Examples in Clipper

A simple Hello World application:

? "Hello world! " A simple database entry screen:

USE customer SHARED NEW cls @ 1, 0 SAY " Client number " GET customer -> customer no PICT " 999999 " VALID customer -> Cust > 0 @ 3, 0 SAY " Name " GET customer -> name VALID! Empty ( client -> name ) @ 4, 0 SAY " address " GET customer -> address READ Web Links

  • Harbour
  • Database language
  • Programming tool