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Qub -- QBasic Website Generator

Qub (pronounced "cube") is a CLI that generates a web server and framework for building websites in QB64 -- a more modern variant of QBasic.

Screenshot of Qub running Screenshot of Qub-powered website

Getting started

(Note: macOS & Linux only)

To get started, set up your qub alias first:

alias qub="source <(curl -sSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/jamonholmgren/qub/main/src/cli.sh)"

Now, you should be able to run the CLI:

qub
qub --version
qub --help
qub create
qub update

Windows Support: Qub has only been tested on macOS and Linux. It might work on Windows WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) or Git Bash on Windows. If you want to help test and make it run on Windows, please open an issue or PR!

Creating a website

To create a website, run qub create and follow the prompts:

qub create

It'll ask you for your domain name (e.g. jamon.dev) which doubles as your project's folder name. It will also ask if you want to install QB64 (I recommend you do).

When done, you can CD into the new folder and run ./bin/build to build the website. Then, run ./server to start the web server. Visit http://localhost:6464/ to view the website.

Modifying your website

Your new website has the following folder structure:

bin
qub
  server.bas
  qub.conf
web
  pages
    home.html
    contact.html
  static
    scripts.js
    styles.css
  layout.html
README.md

qub/server.bas

This is the Qub web server. You can periodically update it by running qub update. Note this will blow away any modifications you've made, so be careful!

Qub's web server was originally based on Yacy by SmokingWheels, but has been heavily modified since. It comes with a number of features:

  • Page routing (e.g. jamon.dev/links renders web/pages/links.html)
  • Individual header and footer and support
  • Static file serving (css, js, etc)
  • Binary file serving (images, fonts, etc)
  • Custom 404 page support
  • Basic dynamic variable support (e.g. <!--$YEAR--> in web/layout.html, etc)
  • Custom port support (via ./qub.conf)
  • Customizable dynamic variable support (coming soon)
  • 301 redirects support (coming soon)
  • Custom 500 page support (coming soon)
  • More customizable templating support (coming soon)

It does not (and probably won't) support HTTPS or HTTP2. I recommend putting CloudFlare in front of it in production (more in the deploy guide below).

Common included files

In the web folder, you'll find a layout.html file.

This is the standard layout for your website, and includes your html's head and body sections, with placeholder comments for dynamic content like what page is being rendered.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
  <head>
    <!-- other stuff -->
    <title><!--$TITLE--></title>
  </head>
  <body>
    <!-- whatever you want to wrap your page content with -->
    <!--$BODY-->
    <!-- footer content, etc -->
  </body>
</html>

web/pages

This is where your website's pages go. Each page is an HTML file. You can add as many as you want, and they'll be routed automatically (minus the .html extension).

So, for example, if you add web/pages/links.html, it will be available at example.com/links. If you add a folder it'll route to that as well, so web/pages/blog/2023.html will be available at example.com/blog/2023.

web/static

You'll put your static files here -- CSS, JS, images, fonts, etc. They'll be served at example.com/static/ (e.g. example.com/static/styles.css). Any image files, fonts, PDFs, etc will be served as binary files (e.g. example.com/static/logo.png).

404.html

If you want to customize your 404 page, you can do so by editing web/pages/404.html. This is shown if the router is unable to find a page for the given URL. It'll also respond with the proper 404 status code.

Deploy Guide

COMING SOON!

History

When I was twelve, I built my first game in QBasic -- and kept building games and small apps (we called them "programs" in those days) for years. I have a lot of nostalgia and a special place in my heart for QBasic.

A few years ago, I was talking about rebuilding my website in something different, just for a fun challenge, and my friend Mark Villacampa said "do it in BASIC you coward!". I took on the challenge and built jamon.dev in QB64.

Once I had a working website, I realized that I wanted to make it easier for other people to build websites in QB64, so I started building Qub, aided by @knewter who is another QBasic fan from way back.

Qub is not particularly important to modern technology in the grand scheme of things, but it's been a blast to work on. I hope you enjoy it!

Future

I'd love to build more QBasic-powered server capabilities. I'm still learning how to utilize QB64 -- for example, in old QBasic, you couldn't include external files, but in QB64 you can.

TODO

  • Make the default template look nicer, better template README
  • YouTube video on Jamon's Code Quests

License

MIT -- see LICENSE for details.

QB64 is licensed under the MIT license.