From: email@example.com (Dave Martindale)
Subject: Re: Which basic compiler to buy?
Date: Sun, 15 Dec 2002 07:36:03 +0000 (UTC)
Organization: University of British Columbia, Canada
NNTP-Posting-Date: Sun, 15 Dec 2002 07:36:03 +0000 (UTC)
X-Newsreader: trn 4.0-test76 (Apr 2, 2001)
Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dave Martindale)
John Woodgate writes:
>>How can you write a readable program with only 1 and 2
>>character variable names? More than that, and you're no longer
>>using standard Basic.
>But there are many other BASICs that don't have these limitations. You
>might just as well deprecate English because Anglo-Saxon doesn't have a
>word for 'microprocessor'.
But if you use extensions to BASIC, you have a non-portable program.
For a one-shot embedded application, you may not care. But I like being
able to re-use library routines and other tidbits, and it's easy to
write portable C that will compile on just about any C compiler
that has ever existed.
>>Basic was designed as a toy language that students could learn very
>>fast. It shows.
>No, not a toy, at least, it isn't a toy even if it was intended to be.
>I am no programmer, but I've modified others' BASIC progs to do contour
>plots of magnetic fields, return-loss plots of telecoms products,
>'linear' d.c. power supply design etc., etc. All running on BBC Micros
>with 32 K (yes K) of RAM and a 4 MHz 6502. The contour plots took hours,
>but that's better than no plots at all, if you need them.
In theory, you could do all that with a Turing machine too. The
question is, what language lets you write the code you need the fastest,
and also gives you something that you (and others) can read and
understand years later? For anything more complex than printing a
Fahrenheit-Celsius conversion table, I always seem to find something
else better than Basic. The "something else" might be assembler, or C,
or Perl, or something further afield, depending on the application.