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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by fabrica64 on Thu 1st May 2014 13:52 UTC
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BASIC was my first programming language, but when I discovered C I left it for good. I think BASIC is more or less like MS-DOS, it did much more harm than good to the computer industry. It's not a real programming language, very difficult to maintain, very unclear, very error prone and not really educative...

It may have had a sense in a world of PC with very little memory and very slow processor, but has no sense at all in modern world.

Not a single good and/or serious piece of code has been written in BASIC

Reply Score: -1

Black Annex
by righard on Thu 1st May 2014 14:42 in reply to "BASIC?"
righard Member since:

Programmed in QBasic:

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Black Annex
by fabrica64 on Thu 1st May 2014 14:57 in reply to "Black Annex"
fabrica64 Member since:

QBasic != BASIC

Reply Parent Score: 1

by Soulbender on Thu 1st May 2014 15:28 in reply to "BASIC?"
Soulbender Member since:

Guess why it's called BASIC...

Reply Parent Score: 3

by WereCatf on Thu 1st May 2014 15:34 in reply to "BASIC?"
WereCatf Member since:

I have to disagree with you. BASIC was never even intended to be a full-blown, complex language meant for high-quality apps; it was meant to be simple, "my first programming language(TM)" - style thing that made it easy for total novices to grasp the basics of what programming is about, and I think it did that job marvelously.

I know at least a few dozen people who picked up programming by getting to know BASIC, including myself. Had I had to have started with something more complex I probably would never have learned programming in the first place.

I simply cannot see how introducing people -- especially the young un's -- to programming harmed the industry.

Reply Parent Score: 4

by fabrica64 on Thu 1st May 2014 15:42 in reply to "RE: BASIC?"
fabrica64 Member since:

May be you're right. Beginning with BASIC teaches you how to be very careful to avoid errors. But it's more difficult than beginning with a structured language like Java.
The real problem, in my opinion, is that, once you learn with BASIC, you may end up with BASIC mindset, that may help if you code in assembler but not much if you migrate to structured and OO languages

Reply Parent Score: 1

by zima on Sun 4th May 2014 00:45 in reply to "BASIC?"
zima Member since:

Not a single good and/or serious piece of code has been written in BASIC written in BASIC.

Reply Parent Score: 2