Blitz Basic / AmiBlitz is available in a couple of different versions. This article describes the main versions and some of the differences between them.
Blitz Basic 2
This is the last commercial version of Blitz Basic released for the Amiga before the developers moved it to the PC instead. It came on floppy disk with a decent, ring-bound manual and provided a number of different options for use depending on the computer setup. It is no longer available commercially, but has since been released as a free download available from AmigaFuture.
This version could be used directly from floppy disk for people with unexpanded Amigas, and provides a decent editor and compiler setup with all the core elements available for use. Users with a hard drive and more RAM could add many more libraries of extra commands (known as "Userlibs"), a better debugger and a better editor, all of which were provided on the packaged floppies as optional extras.
The Blitz Support Suite was released as an add-on for this version of Blitz Basic. This added an editor that was better again, an updated debugger, updated userlibs with many bugfixes and additions, and some extra tools for making development easier. The Blitz Support Suite can be downloaded free of charge.
The Ultimate Blitz Basic CD was the final commercial release of this version, and included the original Blitz Basic 2.1, the Blitz Support Suite and numerous updates, contributions and examples on a CD-ROM, and while it still contains the core components from the floppy version, it is aimed at higher specced Amigas with extra RAM, hard drives and CD-ROM drives. The installer on this CD is unfortunately bugged, so installation is best done using the replacement installer which can be found on Aminet.
When support for the Amiga was dropped, the developers released the sourcecode of Blitz Basic to the Amiga community for further development under the condition that a different name was used. Thus AmiBlitz 2 came to exist, which is essentially Blitz Basic 2 with some improvements and including all the important updates from the Blitz Support Suite. AmiBlitz 2 can be downloaded from AmigaFuture.
Some new features were added to the compiler in this version which allow some clever new tricks, e.g. inline PPC assembly code, but all the new and updated features and functionality mean it requires a higher specification Amiga to run than the original. A hard drive, FPU and extra RAM are required at a minimum.
AmiBlitz 2 saw the addition of a number of "include" files, files which can be added to your programs to add useful procedures without having to add extra libraries.
This is the latest incarnation of Blitz, and consists of a much improved editor, much improved compiler, and the addition and updating of many of the very useful includes. This version is aimed at high-end classic Amigas as well as next-gen machines, though it will run on an 020 machines with an FPU, hard drive and lots of RAM. Executables produced by this version are not intended to be used on basic Amigas any more, and while this can still be done if you're careful, it might be better to use Blitz Basic 2.1 if you wish to exclusively target unexpanded classics.
The behaviours of some commands (e.g. the Null() function) have been modified in this version, so be careful when moving source from older versions to this version. Also, executables are likely to require an FPU when compiled with this version, so again, be careful if you intend your executables to be used on FPU-less machines.
This version is constantly updated and so is the version you're most likely to get support for. It is available on Sourceforge, though you're advised to get the latest snapshot from the code section, as there have been numerous changes and fixes since the 3.6.1 distribution.