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Why is BASIC primitive?

PuzzlerPuzzler Member Posts: 208
OK , don't flame me until you read my question fully.

First of all, why is basic never used to make anything very complex? I have never seen linked lists or priority queues. I have also not seen very much of anything in AI although semantic knowledge netwroks are easy to build and use and grammatical syntax changing is very simple (I have seen this in a very primitve form but...). Also, why haven't I seen a self-seeding random number generator or pointer routines? How about a BASIC pre-processor, written in BASIC? All of the things I have suggested could be done pretty simply with a little research...

Anyway, go out and try some of those things...

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I will bend your mind with my spoon...
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Comments

  • melissa_may1melissa_may1 Member Posts: 937
    :
    : First of all, why is basic never used to make anything very complex?

    Broad assumption. I sold a series of accounting software (AR, AP, GL, PR, IN) written in BASIC for years, starting in the early eighties. They were pretty complex, and pretty bulletproof.

    : I have never seen linked lists or priority queues.

    Well, the software I described had its own file management system, using a combination of ISAM and linked lists to get to the records.

    : I have also not seen very much of anything in AI although semantic knowledge netwroks are easy to build and use and grammatical syntax changing is very simple (I have seen this in a very primitve form but...).

    Early verions of "Eliza" were in BASIC, though cutting edge then, they don't match what can be done today.

    : Also, why haven't I seen a self-seeding random number generator or pointer routines?

    There wasn't much to "self-seed" from then - no internal clocks, etc., though I do recall one that "self-seeded" by reading memory locations until the user pressed the "Start" key, then used that location to seed the RNG. Closest thing I can recall to "self-seeding".

    : How about a BASIC pre-processor, written in BASIC?

    There were tons of these. There were programs written in BASIC that wrote other programs written in BASIC, as well as utilities to renumber, re-arrange, "pretty-up" and "pretty-print" BASIC source. There were even self-modifying programs (not a good thing to do, but...) written in BASIC.

    : All of the things I have suggested could be done pretty simply with a little research...

    And have been done!





    [purple]Melissa[/purple]

  • PuzzlerPuzzler Member Posts: 208
    Well then where are they now mellisa? Where is the grammatic parsing and semantic net code?

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    I will bend your mind with my spoon...

  • PuzzlerPuzzler Member Posts: 208
    And I forgot to ask: do you even know what I mena by self-seeding random number generator?

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    I will bend your mind with my spoon...

  • brisraybrisray Member Posts: 60
    Puzzler, this stuff isn't written in Basic anymore as it's all been done before and nowadays there are far easier languages to work with to do these types of programs.

    When Basic was written, in the 70's, it was one of the best all purpose languages around. The fact that 30 years later that it's still in use by many of us proves how good a language it is. Microsoft thinks so to, otherwise it wouldn't still be putting it on its CDs. Think of all the other languages that have come and gone since Basic was written, Fortran being just one, even COBAL is being phased out of schools and colleges as the learning language of choice. Prolog's specialty was AI, it dropped out of sight for a while but was revived a year or so ago.

    Melissa is right, at one time there were hundreds, maybe thousands of professional, commercial programs written in Basic and its variations, GWBasic, QBasic, Asic, QuickBasic, BasicA, Basic2, Basic2 Plus etc. etc. as well as the all the tools, libraries and utilities that are now commonly written for VB, C, C++, Delphi etc.

    QBasic programs can be as complex as anyone cared, or can care, to write. It's got all the tools necessary to get to the underlying software and memory. A company I used to work for spent a fortune getting the programmers copies of the MS Development software but even then I sometimes found it easier to write code in QBasic. As MS moves away from DOS based OS's then the problems with writing programs where you draw on the resources of the OS will only get worse for Basic - you need only look at what some of the earlier mouse programs do to a PC running some of the later Windows OS's to understand that.

    Personally, I'd hate to write some of the programs and routines you mentioned in your original post in QBasic, as I said, it's easier and faster in other languages. That's progress, otherwise we'd all still be using Assembler, or worse still Machine Code. As a program to learn programming techniques, it's great. I'ts free and there are millions of lines of code to examine. Besides that, I and many others, still like using it. You need only look around the net to see how many people are using it, what they are using it for, and from the emails I get to my site, are still interested in learning it.

    Ray


  • PuzzlerPuzzler Member Posts: 208
    But everything you people have talked about were done 20-30 years ago. Why don't I see any of now? No one can say a semantic net isn't useful but I have never seen one implemented in BASIC. I am just wondering why you people aren't doing that sort of thing.

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    I will bend your mind with my spoon...

  • melissa_may1melissa_may1 Member Posts: 937
    :Well then where are they now mellisa?

    I think I have the source code and disks (8" floppies) packed in the closet next to the polyester leisure suits...

    :Where is the grammatic parsing and semantic net code?

    I vaguely remember some grammatic programs. I don't know what "semantic net code" is. Could you please explain?

    : But everything you people have talked about were done 20-30 years ago. Why don't I see any of now?

    Good point. You know, maybe we should swing by the Ford dealer and pick up a new orange Pinto hatchback? What? You can't get those anymore?

    Times change. Code changes. Why would I do all that file handling work in BASIC today, when I can use SQL for my new projects? (which I do...)

    : No one can say a semantic net isn't useful but I have never seen one implemented in BASIC. I am just wondering why you people aren't doing that sort of thing.

    Don't know what it is, so it's not yet useful to me. Please enlighten?

    :And I forgot to ask: do you even know what I mena by self-seeding random number generator?

    I thought I did. Could you please clear that up for me too?


    Don't get me wrong. I have great fondness for BASIC. I was making a living writing things in BASIC for many years. I dug through the BASIC code, disassembled it to learn new tricks, mixed machine code and BASIC, did crazy stuff like embedding machine code in a string and executing it from within BASIC - I had a ball!

    But, all good things must come to an end! I still use BASIC when I want to do something quickly, since years of using it has made me pretty fast at it.

    People joke when I toss together a BASIC program, run it to do what I need, and never save it. Why bother? Just write it again if I need it!

    Todays languages and tools distance us from the machine's internals, and I don't think that's good for understanding. But, things are far more complicated today then when BASIC's popularity was at its peak.

    Do you rub sticks together to start a fire, or use a lighter!




    [purple]Melissa[/purple]

  • PuzzlerPuzzler Member Posts: 208
    OK. I didn't mean to be rude when I posted at first so...

    Anyway a semantic net is a form of knowledge representation in which you have node and links between the nodes. The links describe the relationship between the nodes. This is especially good for a is to b as c is to d.

    By a self-seeding random number generator, I meant one that doesn't need a randomize function. I would basically seed itself somewhere in its algorithm.

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    I will bend your mind with my spoon...

  • Pappy1942Pappy1942 Member Posts: 46
    Hi,
    The question you really seem to be asking is:
    Why have BASIC at all?

    It's fun, easy to use and cheap. I like many programmers first learned to program in BASIC (WANG's 2200 BASIC) many years ago. Of all the languages I've come in contact with, BASIC is the easiest to get started in. A potential programmer can in one line print his name or the old standard "Hello World".
    QBASIC was, until recently, free with the operating system. Kids, when they tired of playing minesweeper or some other game, started to program in QBASIC. Now many of those same kids are REAL programmers in C/C++ or JAVA.
    There in lies the greatest mischief that Bill Gates and MS have wrought on the technical future of this country. Many kids, without a free and easy introduction to programming provided to them by QBASIC, will never be bitten by the programming bug. Many will take their talents and become lawyers, accounts or whatever.
    I wonder if Bill Gates knows how many of his programmers started in QBASIC or some other BASIC.

    Just my thoughts.



    Pappy
    You learn something everyday.

  • PuzzlerPuzzler Member Posts: 208
    That wasn't what I meant... You should make assumptions... To assume is to make an @ss of you and me.

    Why though have none of these things been done? That is all I asked. I think you read too deep here...

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    I will bend your mind with my spoon...

  • mercman2000mercman2000 Member Posts: 80
    I know you weren't trying to badmouth BASIC, but if you think about it, you only see it as primitive because you know other languages exist. When BASIC ruled the road back then, it was the only choice home users had, save assembly, and who wanted to learn assembly when you could type print?

    If you didn't know any better, you'd think basic killed for speed and features.

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    I've got a plan, but I'm going to need a dead monkey, some empty liquor bottles, and a vacuum cleaner.

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