Any archive of the original CrossBasic for Mac OS 7-8-9?

Greetings! “Old” developer here, but new fan of the REALbasic (Xojo) family of products.

So, for various technical reasons, I got VERY excited after trying out multiple versions of REALbasic and seeing:

  1. How incredibly QUICK and EASY it is to slap together a GOOD app;
  2. How painlessly-CROSSPLATFORM it is, both with legacy AND modern targets.

It honestly inspired me so hard that I feel like doing a REALbasic / Xojo-based startup (although I’m holding back for now, since being a CEO is obviously quite time-consuming), and my fellow workmates started telling me they suspect I am getting paid for promoting RB or that I got secretly hired by Xojo Inc… lol

Anyways… As a hobby, I’m also a software archivist. So I was wondering if anyone here (Geoff?) still has lying around somewhere, perhaps in an old HFS Standard floppy or external HDD in some ancient Power Mac, a copy of Andrew’s OG, final release of CrossBasic, the original shareware release before it went commercial under the name “REALbasic”.

The most I was able to find “out there in the wild” was some developer preview from 1997, apparently called version “DR1” or, more precisely, “DR1 Release 7”, but I’m very confident some further releases had also been made all the way up until 1998 (CrossBasic version 1.0?).

Does anyone still have that “latest” release of the shareware version? One really neat thing is that it targets Java aside from 68k/PPC apps… REALLY sweet. Seems to “bind” to Java’s AWT GUI API, with JDK 1.0.2 from what I could tell from the DR1r7 version.

Anyways, any help would be GREATLY appreciated! Thank you in advance!


Thank you, @David_Cox. I hope we can locate the final release of CrossBasic, though: the link you shared contains (as of writing) only the earlier “DR1r7” release I mentioned in my post, rather than the latest version.

Looking at @Geoff_Perlman’s screenshot of CrossBasic that he shared in another thread, it seems the final release of CrossBasic was CrossBasic 1.0. Notice how, for example, on the top-right corner, the app even has a unique icon on the Apple Menu (the icon of CrossBasic), whereas the older “DR1r7” release contains a different, generic app icon in a screenshot of that Macintosh Repository page.

Could it be Andrew (the original author of CrossBasic, Andrew Barry) is still reachable somewhere, somehow? Maybe he would have a copy of his final shareware release?

To better illustrate my previous comment:

Geoff’s screenshot of “CrossBasic 1.0”:

And now, for comparison, screenshot of “CrossBasic DR1r7”:


I also had used DR1r7 previously and, while partially functional, there is a lot of buggy behavior, as expected of a testing-only pre-release version, instead of a final, 1.0 version shareware release.

There is most likely a big discrepancy between this (DR1r7) and the final 1.0 release. So it would be great if we could secure it.

I miss how clean the Inspector was in those days.


Very much agree with this statement.


I notice that @Tonio_Loewald is also a member here. Supposedly, he worked together with Andrew J. Barry on CrossBasic (or at least gave him the idea for it), and even on the Mac game “Prince of Darkness” they co-created, so maybe he would have a “more modern” ( :sweat_smile: ) copy of CrossBasic, such as v1.0, than the older DR1r7 developer preview version found so far?

Assuming this is the same Tonio Loewald, of course… Although from the looks of it, not many people share that name (unlike “Andrew Barry”, or “Andrew J. Barry”).

While I’m still searching for the final version of CrossBasic, which seems to be 1.0, I came across what I believe is the very first public “release” (pre-release) of REALbasic, predating REALbasic 1.0.

Previously, I had found REALbasic F9, F7 and F4 (public testing version, release 9, 7 and 4, respectively?), but just this morning I located F1 (in the legacy “HolyGrail Collection”, Issue 28).

None of these pre-release versions of REALbasic support targeting Java, so CrossBasic 1.0 really seems to be the very final release able to do so. It would be really great if we could find it.

However, I noticed something quite curious: among these pre-release versions of REALbasic, REALbasic F1 still contains the folder “Java Support Classes”, also found in that CrossBasic DR1r7 preview posted earlier. Despite that, the option to target Java is nonetheless still absent anyway in REALbasic F1. But I found that to be very curious. Is it simply a leftover folder that REAL Software Inc. forgot to take out? Or is the feature of targeting Java with it… hidden, somehow? Such as perhaps requiring holding some key combination before trying to bring up the Build window, thus triggering the older CrossBasic build window instead. Maybe using ResEdit, ReSorcerer and the like can answer that.

In any case, the search for CrossBasic version 1.0 continues.

My memory may be bad, but… I was thinking Java was removed and replaced by Windows in REALbasic 2.0…

Unfortunately, I do not have my archives handly (and they only go back to april 1998 / 1dr23 ?)

@Emile_Schwarz Indeed, REALbasic 2.0 introduced Windows targeting support, besides only Mac 68k/PPC. REALbasic 1.x had only Mac 68k/PPC support. CrossBasic had both Mac 68k/PPC and Java.

April 1998 is a good period to look for archives of CrossBasic. According to the text description under @Geoff_Perlman’s imgur link, the picture is of “Crossbasic 1.0 from approximately January 1998”, which is a very close date to April 1998.

I’m still digging through all kinds of software compilation CDs, DVDs, floppies and other specialized archives, but so far I’m empty-handed.

This might be my last reply on this topic. I couldn’t locate CrossBasic 1.0, or any other version of it besides that unfinished DR1r7 pre-release. I searched high and low, including all the catalogs of collections I have access to, but nothing came up.

There is a few other discs and FTP archives, without catalogs, that I can look into one-by-one over time, but there’s close to no chance of me finding it by myself. The only hope is if someone else has it archived, somewhere, and surfaces with a copy people can access.

I believe, for now, we can deem the original CrossBasic 1.0 lost software.

To enjoy the existing unfinished CrossBasic DR1r7 for its Java targeting ability (which, by the way, is suggested from example projects found in REALbasic F1 to have never been fully implemented for all CrossBasic / REALbasic functions, as some examples are explicitly documented as “not Java compatible”), you can find yourself a copy of REALbasic F1 in the HolyGrail archive, Issue 28, and use the included documentation to guide you through what is legal syntax and illegal syntax in CrossBasic DR1r7. I tested multiple bits of code against it, and they all worked. I find it indispensable to secure these docs to guide you through it since, back then, there was no intellisense (that I could tell) nor an offline in-app helper with references and draggable code samples, unlike you have on, say, REALbasic 5.5.5 (my favorite version, which lacks nothing, except 68k targeting last seen in 3.5.2, and compression for PPC binaries, last seen in 2.1.2).

Hopefully this helps or entertains others.

EDIT: Welp, just after writing this, I noticed at least one newer developer version (DR1r22) is available in a certain Japanese shareware collection, plus some other unspecified “DR1” version from presumably circa December 1997, but these two versions are still not the final CrossBasic 1.0 release, so no good news about that. Nonetheless, for those interested, the discs containing these might be requested from the catalog maintainer from here.

I cannot edit the same post again, so I’m posting one more time:

Both pre-release versions mentioned above found in the maintainer’s archives:
DR1r22: MacPower (December 1997)
Unspecified “DR1”: HyperLib Winter 1997, should be in CD 1.

No CrossBasic 1.0, but this is at least an improvement.

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My first version of Realbasic in 2000
in German version
Unfortunately I sold my I Mac G3 from back then

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Two quick corrections to make:

  • That MacPower issue has the unspecified “DR1” release, I got the two mixed up;
  • It’s HyperLib Winter 1998, not 1997, which has DR1r22.

If you are still in Germany, you probably are able to find a relatively-inexpensive Mac mini G4 on eBay and other such similar places, varying in price from 20 EUR to 100 EUR, depending on your patience etc…

I bring up the mini not just because of the price and availability, but also due to some incredible folks over at Mac OS 9 Lives! who made it possible to boot Mac OS 9.2.2 on them. Normally, it would only be able of running OS X.