Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 30th Apr 2014 18:16 UTC, submitted by KLU9
General Development

I find the "everybody should learn to code" movement laudable. And yet it also leaves me wistful, even melancholy. Once upon a time, knowing how to use a computer was virtually synonymous with knowing how to program one. And the thing that made it possible was a programming language called BASIC.

Invented by John G. Kemeny and Thomas E. Kurtz of Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, BASIC was first successfully used to run programs on the school's General Electric computer system 50 years ago this week - at 4 a.m. on May 1, 1964, to be precise.

It's the only programming language I was ever somewhat proficient in (when I was about six years old). I never moved beyond it, and now, I know nothing about programming. BASIC has played a huge role in the history of computing, and its birthday deserves to be a thing.

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RE: Comment by drcouzelis
by ebasconp on Wed 30th Apr 2014 19:51 UTC in reply to "Comment by drcouzelis"
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10 The problem with BASIC's simplicity is that it does not provide higher level abstractions like structs, functions, local variables and so on. Without such tools, programming something relatively complex is a nightmare. I think all the features found in C or Pascal should be the minimum common denominator that any imperative programming language should have.

20 The first programming language I learnt was ATARI BASIC, and though I enjoyed using it a lot, I do not imagine writing something useful on it nowadays.

30 GOTO 10

Edited 2014-04-30 20:07 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[2]: Comment by drcouzelis
by jgagnon on Wed 30th Apr 2014 20:05 in reply to "RE: Comment by drcouzelis"
jgagnon Member since:

BASIC's original design was for use on low memory systems (hence the usage of byte codes for commands). In my opinion it never should have been taken seriously as a full development language. Microsoft, of course, would argue with me on that point. Then again, Visual BASIC was not at all like the early BASIC languages on personal computers.

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RE[3]: Comment by drcouzelis
by bassbeast on Thu 1st May 2014 13:24 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by drcouzelis"
bassbeast Member since:

VB was frankly perfection. it did ONE job and it did it VERY well, and that was building business programs, especially VB frontends to DBs. You'd be surprised how useful that is to SMBs even today and sadly I have yet to see any language that can whip off a frontend as light, quick, responsive, or as easy to go from mockup to useful program as VB. Damned shame they got rid of it for .NOT, just one more bonehead idea from ballmer I bet.

Reply Parent Score: 3