Comment 2S1E Ahh, the good old days


Lost lessons from the 8-bit BASIC era


Ahh, the good old days (Score: 1)

by on 2014-09-04 03:31 (#2S1E)

QuickBasic was an interesting cross between a compiler, IDE, and a live environment. Code was parsed as you typed, and after running the program, you could interact with it in immediate mode after the program stopped running, or after breaking out of execution. You could then type in BASIC statements and query and set variables. It was a unique blend of the live environment the author seems to be pining for, and the modern compiler IDE.

Python for me fits this niche rather well. I can fire up the interpreter in a second or two, run a few statements, etc. Modules I'm currently working on can be imported quickly and tested interactively. I understand the IDLE provides something similar in a full IDE environment.

I personally don't worry about a computer being "instant on." Wasn't useful back then either. At least, Cassette BASIC was never useful to me anyway. I needed to have a disk operating system running so I could load and save files to the disk drive. Even on Apple II I rarely used the command-reset to break out to integer basic. I much preferred teh BASIC that booted up with Apple DOS. Kind of funny to think that BASIC pretty much was DOS back then. At least the user interface to it on Apple. And it did provide a fairly low barrier to entry to budding programmers. Boot it up, break out a book and start coding. I wish I still had the book that my parents gave me when I was about 7. Can't even remember the title but it contained simple games (guessing games, etc) in BASIC that taught basic skills like input, variable, logic, loops, output.

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