BASIC is 50 years old!
04-14-2014, 11:32 PM
Post: #21
 Don Shepherd Senior Member Posts: 745 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: BASIC is 50 years old!
(04-14-2014 09:03 PM)Alvaro Wrote:  BASIC is surely a good Programing language, specialy if you need to do a "quick" simple task.
But complete and powerful enough to full fill the most needs of end-users.
I am questioning myself why we don´t have it in every programable device today? Why is BASIC nearly gone.
Instead, seems that "everyone" around did cook their own soup at their flavour.
But at the end, people are facing , here and there, the one way or the other, with difficulties and this do indeed prevents end-user to work.
With BASIC around, the life of people would be much more easier and , younger people would have a good start up in Computer Programing World.

When BASIC was invented, there were no graphical user interfaces, pointing devices, and event-driven programming, so a simple clean language for learning a little about programming was possible. BASIC was not originally intended as a production programming language, but Microsoft based its Visual BASIC on that model, with many enhancements and extensions of course. When I was a professional programmer, I used FORTRAN and COBOL exclusively on mainframes (Univac and DEC), and those programming languages were fine. But for just "playing around", I still appreciate BASIC's simplicity.
04-15-2014, 01:16 AM
Post: #22
 Don Shepherd Senior Member Posts: 745 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: BASIC is 50 years old!
(04-14-2014 09:03 PM)Alvaro Wrote:  Why is BASIC nearly gone.
...
With BASIC around, the life of people would be much more easier and , younger people would have a good start up in Computer Programing World.
I wouldn't say BASIC is nearly gone. Far from it, there must be hundreds of versions of BASIC for all kinds of devices today, especially PCs and tablets. I especially like RFO BASIC! that runs on my Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD7. It is much more complex than Dartmouth BASIC, of course, but it is also easy to use and understand.

In 1964, Professors Kemeny and Kurtz were busy introducing BASIC to college and high school students. These days, the folks at MIT are getting younger kids involved in programming with applications like Scratch, which I find very interesting.

Programming can indeed be fun, as most of us found out decades ago.
04-15-2014, 08:41 AM
Post: #23
 Alvaro Member Posts: 73 Joined: Mar 2014
RE: BASIC is 50 years old!
(04-15-2014 01:16 AM)Don Shepherd Wrote:  I wouldn't say BASIC is nearly gone. Far from it, there must be hundreds of versions of BASIC for all kinds of devices today

What I want to stay is that BASIC is nearly gone from the devices where are most needed, in Calculators.
There is another "world" beyhond all that math´s that calculators are "Full filled" today. At University level you will apreciate very much a easy and quick programing language.
At University, outside the Math´s teaching, you will need something to deal with problems that are not present in Math´s Libraries and that is not a few things, that is a lot of things.
Also, in real world, you will need something handy to do simple tasks and for that is BASIC a ideal programing language.

About of "hundreds of versions of BASIC", that is also the questions: Why there is so many variations, most of them are not directly compatible, thought the differences of capabilities of each version is minor but the incompability is a major issue. So, what is the point of so many "versions"?

About FORTRAN (FORmula TRANslation) I had to learn it at University and I like it very much, specialy because it was sensitiv for "programing" errors. Before you got the Program running, it could be sometime very stressing.
04-15-2014, 01:54 PM
Post: #24
 Don Shepherd Senior Member Posts: 745 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: BASIC is 50 years old!
(04-15-2014 08:41 AM)Alvaro Wrote:  What I want to stay is that BASIC is nearly gone from the devices where are most needed, in Calculators.

Well, probably the most popular calculator out there right now is the TI-83/84 family, and each one of those has TI's version of BASIC (I assume that is still true, it's been a few years since I bought one). You've got to select your commands from menus, so it is not the easiest device to program, but it is possible, and you can write your program on your PC and download it to the calculator.

Quote:At University, outside the Math´s teaching, you will need something to deal with problems that are not present in Math´s Libraries.

That is true. I will list the first BASIC program I ever wrote, in 1973, in another post.

Quote:About of "hundreds of versions of BASIC", that is also the questions: Why there is so many variations?

There are so many variations because BASIC is a popular language and many developers have written their own version. People like simplicity.

Quote:About FORTRAN (FORmula TRANslation) I had to learn it at University and I like it very much, specialy because it was sensitiv for "programing" errors. Before you got the Program running, it could be sometime very stressing.

And that is exactly the reason for programming languages like Scratch. It eliminates syntax errors by making you choose pre-defined easy-to-use program structures. That makes the language very appealing to beginners and young students.
04-15-2014, 02:13 PM (This post was last modified: 04-19-2014 08:23 AM by Don Shepherd.)
Post: #25
 Don Shepherd Senior Member Posts: 745 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: BASIC is 50 years old!
In honor of BASIC's 50th anniversary on May 1, 2014, I list the first meaningful BASIC program I wrote, in spring 1973 for a Physical Geography class at the University of Louisville under Dr. John Anderson, one of the best teachers I have ever known. I wrote the program on a teletype machine connected to a HP-2000C minicomputer running BASIC.

Interestingly, the program uses the INPUT statement which was lacking in the original Dartmouth BASIC in 1964. That BASIC was not interactive. It wasn't until 1966 with BASIC version 3 that the INPUT statement was introduced, allowing a wide variety of interactive programs (and games of course). The program also uses string variables (A$) which appeared in BASIC version 4 in 1968. The program determines the Koppen classification code for a given region based on user responses to questions. This was a common method for classifying different types of climate regions for areas on earth based on precipitation and temperature, and it was very easy to code in BASIC. Code:  10 REM KOPPEN CLIMATE CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM 20 REM WRITTEN SPRING, 1973 30 REM BY DON SHEPHERD, UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE 40 INPUT "IS EVERY MONTH > 64.4 F";A$ 60 IF A$<>"Y" THEN 80 70 PRINT "A - TROPICAL" 75 STOP 80 INPUT "IS EVAPORATION > PRECIPITATION";A$ 100 IF A$<>"Y" THEN 120 110 PRINT "B - DRY" 115 STOP 120 INPUT "IS COLDEST MONTH 26.6 - 64.4 F";A$ 140 IF A$<>"Y" THEN 160 145 INPUT "IS AT LEAST ONE MONTH > 50 F";A$ 155 IF A$<>"Y" THEN 160 157 PRINT "C - WARM TEMPERATE" 158 STOP 160 INPUT "IS COLDEST MONTH < 26.6 F";A$ 180 IF A$<>"Y" THEN 200 185 INPUT "IS WARMEST MONTH > 50 F";A$ 187 IF A$<>"Y" THEN 200 188 PRINT "D - SNOW" 189 STOP 200 INPUT "IS WARMEST MONTH < 50 F";A$ 220 IF A\$<>"Y" THEN 240 230 PRINT "E - ICE" 235 STOP 240 PRINT "NOT CLASSIFIABLE" 999 END
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