GFA - BASIC is a dialect of the BASIC programming language, developed by Frank Ostrowski. The first version was completed in 1986 and released for the Atari ST. The mid and late 1980s, this very popular programming language for the Atari ST home computer (since the ST BASIC, which comes bundled with the computers was quite flawed and limited ). Later ports for the Commodore Amiga, DOS and Windows were marketed.

Officially, the interpreter and the compiler today (2011) are no longer available, but there is still a small community of developers, which maintains old programs. The language dialect exists in a modified version on today only in the Linux clone X11 - Basic.


The language takes over like many other modern Basic dialects of Pascal and C, the control structures and therefore almost reminds a little of Fortran. This also allows GFA -BASIC structured programming ( see, for example Programming without Goto ).

There are completely missing the classic line numbers, therefore, is only one command per line allowed ( in later versions there was also a command separator to several commands in a row to accommodate ). As Anchor links are similar to most other programming labels, ie lines that contain a label name.

Subroutines are defined analogously to Pascal as procedures and functions, which functions as opposed to procedures have a return value. Both may get passed parameters, both pass- by-value as pass- by-reference. Local variables are also possible.

The data types include at GFA - Basic for Windows 32 -bit simple types: Boolean, Byte, Short, Card, Integer, Long, Handle, Large, Float, Single, Pointer, Currency, Date, String, fixed-length string, Variant; Structures ( = type ) are also definable.

Editor and interpreter are a single program, which already indicates error in the programming and complete instructions. A RUNONLY interpreter ( for Atari, Amiga, MS -DOS, Windows 3.x), the ( stored in a separate format) and execute source code independent of the true interpreter and a compiler faster, create executable programs.


  • The version 3.x for Windows also allows single-line case distinctions and the definition of multi-line functions.
  • A free version for projects up to 1000 lines was available, inter alia, on the " Gold Series " by Data Becker at least in Germany.
  • By accessing the Windows API can be with the 16- bit version for Windows 3.x still write programs and compile (with the exception of the 64 -bit versions ) are run on all versions of Windows.


Since 1986, versions for MS- DOS, Windows and Amiga operating systems exist. For Windows from Windows 3.0, there is a 16 -bit interpreter and compiler, as well as a 32 -bit interpreter and compiler, so compact executable files can be created.

GFA-Basic was very common in the most successful years of the Atari ST, not least because of the comfortable for that time editor, who introduced new features such as code folding. Due to the unclean from the operating system point of view of libraries GFA-Basic and unrealized in GEM IDE lost GFA-Basic in the mid nineties in popularity in favor of TurboC, PureC and Modula -2.

The development on the ATARI page was set up by the official side after version 3.6 TT, however, continued by dedicated programmers without knowledge of the source code by were gradually replaced by the modules of the library and the interpreter / IDE patched binary. The unofficial and last independent development of the HFA development package provide the RUN! Lib, RUN! Only interpreter of RUN! Software and GBE of ENCOM dar. Furthermore there is still a written from scratch, but still not quite finished programming editor.

GFA-Basic was used as 16 -bit ( last version: 4.38 ): provided for programming under Windows and as a 32- bit version ( 2:30 on 25 July 2001 last version ).

Since late 2002 GFA Software Technologies no longer responds to orders and customer requests, the official mailing list has been switched off without notice in the summer of 2005. Then, the active user of the former GFA-Basic mailing list have started a new community to be there weiterzuhelfen each other: gfa

Since late 2006, a small, dedicated group through the development of the Windows version ( 32 -bit). At Google new pages created specifically for GFA -BASIC 32 and GFA -BASIC 16 The relevant links can be found below.