The Birth of BASIC.

For other topics related to the FreeBASIC project or its community.
D.J.Peters
Posts: 7667
Joined: May 28, 2005 3:28

The Birth of BASIC.

Postby D.J.Peters » May 29, 2017 19:50

Last edited by D.J.Peters on Jan 10, 2019 11:54, edited 1 time in total.
MrSwiss
Posts: 2996
Joined: Jun 02, 2013 9:27
Location: Switzerland

Re: The Birth of BASIC.

Postby MrSwiss » May 29, 2017 21:14

Really cool stuff ... start is slightly before my Time.
Thanks for sharing.
deltarho[1859]
Posts: 1723
Joined: Jan 02, 2017 0:34
Location: UK

Re: The Birth of BASIC.

Postby deltarho[1859] » May 29, 2017 23:39

I first saw BASIC in 1972, by which time it was 8 years old. I was reading for a Masters in Numerical Analysis at the University of Dundee and had been using Algol 60 and Fortran II. I took one look at BASIC and thought "Oh, I don't think so - NEXT!". It has come on a bit since then. <smile>. Mind you so has code editing. I used to spend a lot of time hand punching holes in cards or splicing tape with cello-tape. I remember an IBM 1130 'going down' after someone bought some cheap cards which were slightly longer than the specification allowed. The chafing created a fine dust which got into the drive. Knuckles were wrapped. They may have been told to stay will IBM as no one ever got sacked for buying IBM - but I may be wrong.<Ha, ha>
caseih
Posts: 1332
Joined: Feb 26, 2007 5:32

Re: The Birth of BASIC.

Postby caseih » May 30, 2017 1:10

Thanks for sharing the video. Very interesting. It's easy to criticize this classic BASIC as Dijkstra so famously did many years ago, especially when one was already familiar with other more complicated, and more powerful, languages like Algo 60 and Fortran but Dartmouth did some amazing things to bring computers to the masses. Setting up remote terminals in high schools was both generous and genius. Fascinating story.
leopardpm
Posts: 1791
Joined: Feb 28, 2009 20:58

Re: The Birth of BASIC.

Postby leopardpm » May 30, 2017 21:47

great video!
D.J.Peters
Posts: 7667
Joined: May 28, 2005 3:28

Re: The Birth of BASIC.

Postby D.J.Peters » May 31, 2017 2:30

There are so many information in 38 minutes, I saw it a second time without to have boredom :-)

Joshy
Boris the Old
Posts: 132
Joined: Feb 04, 2011 20:34
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: The Birth of BASIC.

Postby Boris the Old » Jun 02, 2017 23:38

That brought back memories. I actually used the Dartmouth time-sharing BASIC in 1965 while I was working for General Motors. Little did I know that, over 50 years later, I'd still be using BASIC as my main development language. :-)

Rod
leopardpm
Posts: 1791
Joined: Feb 28, 2009 20:58

Re: The Birth of BASIC.

Postby leopardpm » Jun 04, 2017 6:12

Boris the Old wrote:That brought back memories. I actually used the Dartmouth time-sharing BASIC in 1965 while I was working for General Motors. Little did I know that, over 50 years later, I'd still be using BASIC as my main development language. :-)

Rod
pretty amazing.... I guess I was part of the 'second wave', I used basic in the late 70s on apple ][, trs-80,c-64,sinclair z80,Dec PDP-11.... The first thing I checked for when getting a new computer is what version of Basic it had.... nice to see ya 'old timers' still around and teachin' us 'young uns' your talents!
D.J.Peters
Posts: 7667
Joined: May 28, 2005 3:28

Re: The Birth of BASIC.

Postby D.J.Peters » Jan 10, 2019 11:55

added: The basics of BASIC, the programming language of the 1980s

Joshy
jj2007
Posts: 1111
Joined: Oct 23, 2016 15:28
Location: Roma, Italia
Contact:

Re: The Birth of BASIC.

Postby jj2007 » Jan 10, 2019 12:31

Interesting how (at the beginning of the video) they stress the importance of Basic as a portable programming language.
Boris the Old
Posts: 132
Joined: Feb 04, 2011 20:34
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: The Birth of BASIC.

Postby Boris the Old » Jan 12, 2019 5:02

Joshy

In the late 1970's, when I started my own software business, I was writing multi-user business applications for Data General mini-computers using Business Basic. Far more advanced than the Basic used on micro-computers in the 1980's. And although I've programmed in many languages over the years, Basic is still my language of choice.

Rod
Tourist Trap
Posts: 2679
Joined: Jun 02, 2015 16:24

Re: The Birth of BASIC.

Postby Tourist Trap » Jan 12, 2019 10:51

caseih wrote: It's easy to criticize this classic BASIC as Dijkstra so famously did many years ago

The critizism of Djikistra was only turned against using BASIC for learning. I think I understand what he wished to say. As BASIC in general will hide internal memory management, students will understand nothing to it if they stick on BASIC too exclusively. However, Freebasic is not subject to this critizism, because we have all the pointers and in depth memory management and control that one may need. And for myself, that's why I came to Freebasic first. Because it's true, VB, even VB.net hides most of the internal mechanisms, and we get quickly stuck if we need performance or fine tuning.
jj2007
Posts: 1111
Joined: Oct 23, 2016 15:28
Location: Roma, Italia
Contact:

Re: The Birth of BASIC.

Postby jj2007 » Jan 12, 2019 13:38

Dijkstra criticised many languages with equally harsh words. He (and many others) targeted BASIC specifically for its use of GOTO and spaghetti code - and that's fine for me. Dijkstra was right.

However, about 30 years ago BASIC had already overcome the GOTO phase, and we had if elseif endif, repeat...until, while..wend, etc - everything that's needed for structured programming, including user-defined types.

Re memory management, that is an awful habit from the C/C++ clan. A reasonable BASIC doesn't need "memory management", it's built in and automatic.
Tourist Trap
Posts: 2679
Joined: Jun 02, 2015 16:24

Re: The Birth of BASIC.

Postby Tourist Trap » Jan 12, 2019 14:32

jj2007 wrote:Re memory management, that is an awful habit from the C/C++ clan. A reasonable BASIC doesn't need "memory management", it's built in and automatic.

You are probably right in general, people making a life with programming are probably the happiest in the world if they just find the library they need and use it without more testing or trouble required. However I still think that for the people still studying computer science, a language that plunges deep enough in the machine is absolutly needed. I always thought it was the purpose of the word of Djikstra, because I love Gotos instructions :)
marcov
Posts: 2731
Joined: Jun 16, 2005 9:45
Location: Eindhoven, NL
Contact:

Re: The Birth of BASIC.

Postby marcov » Jan 12, 2019 15:17

Tourist Trap wrote:
The critizism of Djikistra was only turned against using BASIC for learning. I think I understand what he wished to say. As BASIC in general will hide internal memory management, students will understand nothing to it if they stick on BASIC too exclusively.


(The exact quote btw seems to be:

Edsger W Dijkstra wrote: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

)

I would rather think it was lack of structured programming. Basic was later heavily modified for structured programming (e.g. sub's with parameters like QB got instead of just gosub <linenr>), and removed the need for goto/gosub in most common scenario.

I don't think the quote thus applies to FB (or even QB, unless you forcedly stick to oldschool line based syntax)

E.W. Dijkstra was quite big on structured programming.

Return to “Community Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests