Macro scripting languages

I can read that LibreOffice supports several macro scripting languages: LibreOffice Basic, JavaScript, BeanShell and Python. (Look for “StarBasic” or “OpenOffice Basic” for more info on LibreOffice Basic).
I have a few questions related to that:

  • How come StarOffice, then OpenOffice and later LibreOffice created and maintained their own Basic-related language instead of utilizing already existing programming languages?
  • Why keep a Basic-related language at all when it seems that you can use e.g. Python or JavaScript? Do they have different areas where they work the best, or is it just pure preference of the individual user?
  • Why doesn’t LO use Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), is it proprietary to MS? Do they want to remain control of the development?
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“How come StarOffice, then OpenOffice and later LibreOffice created and maintained their own Basic-related language instead of utilizing already existing programming languages?”

I think it may be because StarOffice preceded these programming languages by a number of years, if Wikipedia is to be believed. And having included their own scripting language, it would make sense to keep it, if for no other reason than backwards compatibility.

The expense for continued support of BASIC should be next to zero. The language didn’t need (?) and not get (!) enhancements for many years now, as far as I can see. User programming concerning LibreOffice is not based on a specific language (as MS software seems to be), but on an API (uno based). Any language/IDE aiming to support LibO user programming will need a “bridge” to that API.

The BASIC included with AOO/LibO is rather poor in specialised and/or powerful tools. Other scriping laguages may emphasise their rich treasure insofar. That’s nothing to do with LibO.

However, concerning the communication about the principles of a suggested solution, BASIC can still play the role of a common reference language - and with respect to its being fond of automatic conversions it is well adapted. The rich tools may then be represented by a bit of pseudocode and later be implemented either directly in BASIC or taken from the box another sripting comes with.

StarOffice was developed as a commercial product by StarDivision, a German software developer. It was scquired by Sun in 1999 and Sun was acquired by oracle in 2010. I think the competition from MS Office hit the sales of StarOffice and the source code was released in 2000. OpenOffice took up development of the suite as a free open source product.

StarBasic was developed to be used in StarOffice as I think the developers wanted to have control of it in the same way that MS developed VBA for use with MS Office.