Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:14 pm
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Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:00 pm

chrisws wrote:
I hope someone will make SmallBASIC available in RaspbianRepository, it should be trivial since the debianisation work is already done.

I would like to see SmallBASIC be available in Raspbian Repository also. I've tried BBC Basic (too old), TinyBasic (too tiny), BASIC256 (Rough around the edges). I'd like to see Small BASIC next.

Regarding MS Small Basic, I believe there is a .net library for Linux. So, it is possible. But MS Small Basic is still too buggy for formal classroom work, IMHO. I much prefer Processing. I'll have to try it with the new JavaVM from Oracle. And as far as BASIC programming goes, I much prefer Nintendo DSi PetitComputer.
Raspberry Pi Journal: http://simpletongeek.blogspot.com/p/raspberry-pi-journal-directory_4.html

Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:54 pm


Mon Jul 27, 2015 1:05 pm

BBC Basic (Too old)

I personally feel that it is not 'too old'

With Reporterhttp://www.avisoft.f9.co.uk/Reporter.htm providing great error reporting and debugging facilities, and Basalt http://www.kappasite.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/basalt.htm providing more keywords, OOP functionality, and easy access to the WIMP via the toolbox, not too much is left?

I myself have programmed a music library app which maintains a current database of 21,000 tracks (limit is based on the memory in the machine), and it is all in interpreted BBC BASIC. :@)

I have programmed in BASIC, C, C++, Java, PHP (as server side scripting AND as standalone scripting), JavaScript, Peal, and Forth. Personally BASIC has always proven the most safe and easiest language (although my Father swears by Forth), and BBC BASIC has been the easiest for my two kids to learn.

I am not including scratch, as that is for learning :@) The kids like that too.

Let's see how they take to SmallBASIC.

Posts: 16293
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm


Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:41 pm

Hmmm...BASIC... a language war... great.

I too was taught BASIC as an introduction to programming during a GCE course in Computer Science, Statistics and Numerical Analysis back in 197...something.

For a beginner to programming there are a few fundamentals to learn. The concept of a variable that can hold values. The concept of an expression acting on variables that can return a calculated result. Then we get on to sequences of such statements. Then comes the tricky parts, conditional statements that can change the flow of a program according to some condition. Then the concept of loop. Basically "sequence, selection and iteration". Then you have the basis to introduce the concept of an algorithm.

As such BASIC can do that quite well. But it is very limited conceptually. If people come away thinking they have "learned programming" after such a course they are lost. Luckily on my GCE course they also taught assembler language programming which if nothing else shows you a bit about how real machines work and more importantly that BASIC is only an abstraction over that.

When Edsger_W._Dijkstra said:
It is practically impossible to teach good programming to students that have had a prior exposure to BASIC: as potential programmers they are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration.

He was not trolling. He meant something deeper. Programming languages are about abstraction. That's why we have them. BASIC is good for those, well basics, but it is missing so much: functions, parameters, objects, methods, encapsulation, separation of concerns, structure, actors, closures, introspection, "data as program", composition. I could go on.

Yes, yes, I know VB or whatever has some of those features. Well, as far as I am concerned they are not BASIC. They are what happens when you try to adapt BASIC to some of the above programming abstractions. They have no reason to exist, we have plenty of other languages that can do all of that and are better designed, cross platform and open source.

Teachers today should be using Python, everything you get in any BASIC and a ton more. Heck I think Javascript is about the best beginners language there is. Very simple to use to introduce all those programming features you might use BASIC for but also containing so many more advance features. And besides, JS is practically useful as every web browser in the world runs it.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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