Thoughts on BASIC

Anything to do with New Zealand Classic or Vintage Computing not covered in the other forums

Thoughts on BASIC

Postby tezza on Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:56 am

Someone posted this link in the VCF, which got me thinking...
http://softwareengineering.stackexchang ... d-if-so-ho

I was a dab hand at BASIC in the day (1982-1988 ). At that time it was generally sneered upon by those in the computer science community for being unstructured, inelegant and allowing spaghetti code...a "toy" language. There is some truth in this, but I can't help thinking there was snobbery also. There were many variants of BASIC but even with 8k BASIC you could write understandable code. It was a matter of being disciplined and commenting extensively (where RAM allowed it). Once we moved past the basic (8-12k) BASICs into GW-BASIC and QuickBASIC, structural elements were there (e.g. WHILE...WEND etc.). You also had enough RAM to comment well.

I wrote some highly useful in-house programs for my work that did the job exactly as they should, and weren't hard to maintain. It was an Everyman's language. BASIC I salute you!

What's your experience with BASIC?
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Re: Thoughts on BASIC

Postby Sleepwalker3 on Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:59 pm

Perhaps a bit late to the party, but I noticed this post and felt it might be of interest to you and others.

Basic is by no means dead, nor is it in the realm of the limited and unstructured language it was back then. Yes I was tinkering with the BASICs back in those days too and have continued over the years. For those looking for modern versions, there is a number of alternatives that people might find useful or interesting, though some I find better than others.

[url][/url] - PowerBasic is a commercial program and was written by the late Bob Zale, who also wrote 'Turbo Basic' (originally ZBasic) back in the day, which Borland later bought. Powerbasic comes in two main types for Win, as well as the old DOS version of Powerbasic. PBCC is a Console compiler version for Windows that is very similar to QBASIC and PBWIN, which is a GUI type language. I've used PBCC for years and it's my main programming language, it's fast, small and is certainly not your old BASIC-A. Bob Zale passed away some years back, but another company (that relied on PB) bought it out around 2016/2017 I think and hopefully will continue to develop it. Freebasic

[url][/url] QB64 is a QBASIC clone for 64 bit PC's that also has many modern features I believe. I haven't used it yet.
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