Is anyone here purely for nostalgia?

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figosdev
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Is anyone here purely for nostalgia?

Postby figosdev » Jan 06, 2017 8:31

I'm sure there are people that are mostly here for nostalgia, but is there anyone here that *never* codes in basic anymore, and only shows up because they know people here?

The last time I tried FreeBasic (2014?) it was better than when I first used it. At least one feature I had major issues with in the past was fixed, and that feature didn't exist in most dialects.

I tried a handful of dialects last year, but other than that I don't really code in (any) basic anymore.

I know a couple people here, mostly I've stayed away for 10 years. I tried switching to FB for what I think was probably 6 months, really (truly) loved it at first, tried to get other people to try it and finally gave up because I thought it would never be stable-- it's pretty stable now, obviously.
BasicCoder2
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Re: Is anyone here purely for nostalgia?

Postby BasicCoder2 » Jan 08, 2017 3:10

figosdev wrote:I tried a handful of dialects last year, but other than that I don't really code in (any) basic anymore.

So what do you code in now?
It seems to me it depends on your needs and interests.
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figosdev
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Re: Is anyone here purely for nostalgia?

Postby figosdev » Jan 08, 2017 3:23

BasicCoder2 wrote:
figosdev wrote:I tried a handful of dialects last year, but other than that I don't really code in (any) basic anymore.

So what do you code in now?
It seems to me it depends on your needs and interests.
.


The short answer: Python. The longer answer: I tried QB64, waited for over year for the source to be released (it was originally going to be public domain according to Galleon or someone close to him) discovered Python, had switched almost entirely to that in the time it took for QB64 to go FLOSS.

To me, another QB clone with a non-free license was just setting people up for a repeat of QB becoming obsolete in a decade or two. I tried QB64 again for a while after it was licensed, but by that time I preferred coding in Python-- over things like lists (as a kid I always wondered why arrays had to be constrained to strings-only or numeric-only, though now I know) and getting used to never having to type $ (which FreeBasic doesn't require either.)

I also have my own (toy-ish) language now, which is going to give someone a good laugh when I used to say that "FreeBasic [was] too far from QB and too much like C," (this was more about the bindings to common libraries than the language itself...) and now I have my own language which is much farther from QB and probably too much like Python and Logo-- the main thing it has in common with Basic is the keywords.
BasicCoder2
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Re: Is anyone here purely for nostalgia?

Postby BasicCoder2 » Jan 08, 2017 5:00

Have spent some effort trying to learn Python as I had intended doing some hardware projects where the authors used Python. However I don't have the enthusiasm for leaning yet another language and it was a real pain thinking about how to express an idea in Python when I could easily do it in BASIC. It is like learning a new keyboard layout when you are a super fast typist on the old if flawed qwerty layout. Another example is having the wiper lever and light switch lever switched in different cars. Every time I tried to indicate turn right or left turn the window wipers started up. Rather dangerous when one of things that makes for safe driving is motor memory so you only have to be conscious of the outcome not the means to achieve it.

So you are here for pure nostalgia? It think Pritchard appears now and then for the same reason.
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figosdev
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Re: Is anyone here purely for nostalgia?

Postby figosdev » Jan 08, 2017 5:49

BasicCoder2 wrote:So you are here for pure nostalgia?


Something like that. One of my favorite programs (ever) was in an old version of FB, but only one person liked it. Whoever translated it into Polish, that made my day. I suppose im here to give this community one more go-- any differences are ancient ones, perhaps it will set a record or two straight. I think thats a long shot but who knows.

I coded in basic for a decade or two, and never got into any stuff as advanced as: SVGA graphics (except in FB,) or real animation, creating algorithms per se, networking, objects, libraries or 2000-line programs. I've always been interested in coding for beginners, and seeing how far it's possible to go without getting too, too advanced. It was Python that got me into libraries-- from math import * just made more sense to my DOS-raised sensibilities than the way QB did it.

I don't just think Basic can learn from Python though-- Python can learn from Basic in some things-- it could be easier to initialize a graphics screen in most Python libraries. I wish more languages took inspiration from Basic's simplicity, or even just that more libraries were designed with that as their main goal.

When I used FB, I'd never tried to write a language for anything but the simplest of tasks: an HTML generator or "markdown" is an easy one, or a demo language for simple text animations. The more you try to do the more it helps you appreciate what a challenge it is to make everything work together. The simplest examples are like command shells in structure or syntax-- not basic, but there are Youtube videos on how to create a Basic-like dialect. What I did was meant to show how easy such a task could be, not how sophisticated : create a bunch of functions in my language of choice (Python works, as does FB) then create a simple translator that reads an easily parsed language and spits out calls to the functions.., in most cases.

You don't have to write your own parser, you can borrow one per its license, or generate one. You got one thing right for sure: if you spend more than a week on it, it requires a lot of enthusiasm. Still I was bored of coding, and writing a toy language brought my interest back and let me do things exactly how I wanted. I wish more people tried doing that; perhaps they would learn or invent an easier way to create simple languages-- like a Basic dialect made for designing other dialects, or easy "Create your own language" kits for beginners. Proliferation would be the biggest hazard, like is it with distros; but these days I'd rather learn more mini languages than larger ones. I'd like to find a collection of FB mini languages, I know a few exist.
caseih
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Re: Is anyone here purely for nostalgia?

Postby caseih » Jan 08, 2017 6:13

I confess I'm here purely for nostalgia. I had always had a soft spot in my heart for BASIC. I did quite a bit with turbo BASIC and later power BASIC a teenager. I hung around the powerbasic forums for years out of nostalgia until I was kicked off the forums for saying that power BASIC was now behind the times and didn't see that changing anytime soon. They were stuck with a fast but unmaintainable assembly code base, even for their windows compilers. As impressive as that was it was also their Achilles heal and when Bob died, the compiler died with it.

Anyway after being kicked off that forum and having my old power basic license revoked, I found free BASIC and had fun porting all my old pb code over to it on Linux, something i had wanted to do with pb for years. But other than that I've done precious little with fb. Mode of my coding these days is in Python, and I also still use c and c++ a fair bit, particularly when dealing with Arduino. Also recently dove into a fairly large c# project. Don't much care for c#. Feeling forced to adopt a object oriented structure to do what namespaces should do doesn't sit well with me.

I follow fb still but I'm hard pressed to want to choose it for any of my projects. But I'm glad it's there and providing utility to many of you. I'm amazed what people do with it.
BasicCoder2
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Re: Is anyone here purely for nostalgia?

Postby BasicCoder2 » Jan 08, 2017 7:37

figosdev wrote:Still I was bored of coding, and writing a toy language brought my interest back and let me do things exactly how I wanted.


Not really into creating yet another language as I see the multitude of languages as one of the problems.

What is it you want to do your way that can't be done by FreeBASIC?

Recently I did come across a project that I couldn't do in FreeBASIC and that involved speech. The only speech code I could find to interface with a FB program was limited and froze up the program while it initialized itself and carried out the speech task.

I had a very practical reason for using FreeBASIC. My interest was robotics and my past experience was with Assembler, C and BASIC. I had no desire to learn yet another language and FreeBASIC was sufficient for my programs to control hardware thanks to the code provided by some other FreeBASIC programmers capable of making C libraries and dlls accessible to FreeBASIC. I could do what I had been doing for years on the old computers such as the C64. Eight years ago there was no other language apart from C++ that I could use to write such programs and even that would have required taking a long course in writing C++ code for the Windows OS just to do what I had always been able to do with the simpler computers.
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figosdev
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Re: Is anyone here purely for nostalgia?

Postby figosdev » Jan 08, 2017 8:05

BasicCoder2 wrote:What is it you want to do your way that can't be done by FreeBASIC?


I suppose the most obvious examples for me are dynamic typing by default, intepreters (or compilers) across countless platforms by comparison, more optional punctuation in syntax-- generally things you would get from Python or source-compiling to Python. All of which comes at a cost of raw speed or relative ease in accessing lower-level things, which FB is better for. I've always preferred the things about Basic that make it a HLL, so you won't find me using C much (a great language. except for my coding needs.)

I started with the IBM PCjr, so I barely skipped the 8-bit wonders though I deeply admire them-- if not for this I would probably miss PEEKing and POKEing everything.


caseih wrote:I follow fb still but I'm hard pressed to want to choose it for any of my projects. But I'm glad it's there and providing utility to many of you. I'm amazed what people do with it.



It's been a treat having a polite conversation with you guys without 12 years of baggage. I offer this in a sort of truce, which is no guarantee that it won't be used against me:

figosdev wrote:which is going to give someone a good laugh when I used to say that "FreeBasic [was] too far from QB and too much like C," (this was more about the bindings to common libraries than the language itself...) and now I have my own language which is much farther from QB and probably too much like Python and Logo



Pritchard probably won't recognize me but Aurel will, so before that happens-- I was one of the few (possibly the only) person to ever get banned from this forum. I'm not worried-- unless the ban was intended to last more than 10 years.

In those days, I really felt that FB was elitist and destroying basic, and that it could be saved if FB just kept its promises. QB mode was the final insult (I thought) although it works alright. For the record, QB64 did a good job at first of keeping with what the QB "holdouts" really wanted-- a true QB clone. Eventually though, I think it went the same direction as FB:

It had to update, it had to have thinner (more verbose. lower-level) bindings to libraries, which is why FB didn't feel as "basic" to me. I couldn't get PSET to work reliably so I used allegro (?! ...I should've just switched to Linux but i wasn't ready. Basic should work in DOS! Right?)

Anyway, I had no problems with FB wanting to do its own thing, except it was "poaching" all our QB people with promises I didn't believe were true. (Or were they leaving of their own accord? No, impossible...)

The more the community ganged up on me, the more obliged I felt to argue with-- every single person. And so after several years of arguing, off I went in search of the perfect "Basic of the 21st century." The punchline is, after all that hoo-hah about QB compatibility, I ended up with Python anyway. Even after QB64 more or less accomplished exactly what I was demanding of FB (because, because-- you PROMISED!)

The moral of the story is: be careful what you wish for, you just might not care when you finally get it.


When FB came out I really was excited about it, and I really did put a lot of effort into trying it with new features and things like that. I actually tried to "convert" a few at the QBasic Forum to FB at first, until 0.15 (I adored 0.14 you know) dashed all those hopes forever :)

Now I actually like smaller, less-qb-like languages anyway. And all that excitement over... well, it made perfect sense at the time.

Aurel knows I'm the real Mccoy (all the more reason to point it out before he does) and references available upon request. (?)


your "friendly" neighborhood mennonite... 2005-

lover of freebasic: 2005ish-2006ish (tried it in 2014 too)
lover of basic and qb: 1985ish-2010ish-?
misguided sjw: 2005ish-some time this decade
general social masochist: late 1970s-(forever, it would seem)


(If anyone has a list/online page of languages implemented in FB, that was a sincere inquiry, fwiw.)
marcov
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Re: Is anyone here purely for nostalgia?

Postby marcov » Jan 08, 2017 13:23

figosdev wrote:I'm sure there are people that are mostly here for nostalgia, but is there anyone here that *never* codes in basic anymore, and only shows up because they know people here?


I originally came here mostly because similarities between FPC and FB projects, and specially RTS design, how headers are handled etc. In 2005-6 FB seemed to go in the same direction as FPC did a small 5 years earlier.

However since FB over years has gone more and more in the C direction (both libraries and compiler with the C backend) that is a bit outdated, so one could argue I'm here out of habit.

I haven't coded Basic since a QBasic period in the early nineties after which I changed to Turbo Pascal, and stayed with mostly Pascal/Delphi since. (though at work I do some embedded work in C too)

Before that I of course also did Basic on the Commodore 64.
Last edited by marcov on Jan 09, 2017 11:51, edited 1 time in total.
vdecampo
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Re: Is anyone here purely for nostalgia?

Postby vdecampo » Jan 08, 2017 23:44

I'm here for nostalgia and teaching others. I mostly program in C#, C, and ASP.NET but I will program in whatever the situation requires. I've taught myself a little PHP as well. I started with GW-BASIC, and graduated through QB, VB, then C and C# all over the course of 30 years. The move to C/C# just came in the last 5 years.

-Vince
BasicCoder2
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Re: Is anyone here purely for nostalgia?

Postby BasicCoder2 » Jan 09, 2017 5:00

figosdev wrote:
BasicCoder2 wrote:What is it you want to do your way that can't be done by FreeBASIC?

I suppose the most obvious examples for me are dynamic typing by default, interpreters (or compilers) across countless platforms by comparison, more optional punctuation in syntax-- generally things you would get from Python or source-compiling to Python. All of which comes at a cost of raw speed or relative ease in accessing lower-level things, which FB is better for. I've always preferred the things about Basic that make it a HLL, so you won't find me using C much (a great language. except for my coding needs.)


And for me none of that matters. I start with the programming project and look for the solution which in this case is finding a suitable programming language to implement the project. For some recent projects FreeBASIC's weakness as a BASIC language is not having a PLAY or TALK function and recently I would have liked a print string to a printer with fonts function to replace LPRINT.
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St_W
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Re: Is anyone here purely for nostalgia?

Postby St_W » Jan 15, 2017 13:47

@vdecampo: Your website "imakegames.com" seems to be offline since a while, which means that unfortunately some interesting FreeBasic projects are not available for download anymore. Could your code or website on some other (free?) hosting service like sourceforge or github or provide a dump, so that your valuable work doesn't get lost?
vdecampo
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Re: Is anyone here purely for nostalgia?

Postby vdecampo » Jan 16, 2017 17:53

St_W wrote:@vdecampo: Your website "imakegames.com" seems to be offline since a while, which means that unfortunately some interesting FreeBasic projects are not available for download anymore. Could your code or website on some other (free?) hosting service like sourceforge or github or provide a dump, so that your valuable work doesn't get lost?


Yeah I let my domain expire because I did not have time to maintain it. I created a site on my home computer to host all my FB projects for download. You should be able to access it here...

vdecampo's FB project download site.

If I am missing something please let me know and I will dig through my source code archives for it.

Regards,
Vince
Blair
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Re: Is anyone here purely for nostalgia?

Postby Blair » Jan 28, 2017 21:01

I am definitely here for nostalgia.

I check in on this forum every now and then but seldom post. I am still making games, but not in QBasic or FreeBasic. I haven't touched FreeBasic since...2005. It's been awhile. Anyone still on this forum from waaaay back in the day?

Blair
BasicCoder2
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Re: Is anyone here purely for nostalgia?

Postby BasicCoder2 » Jan 28, 2017 21:15

So for the last 10 or so years FreeBasic has not been the best or even a good enough choice for a game programmer?
I notice that in the early years it was used a lot for writing games.
Over the years FreeBasic failed to evolve as a BASIC game playing language.
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