From: "Steve Andrew"
References: <firstname.lastname@example.org> <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Which basic compiler to buy?
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Date: Wed, 18 Dec 2002 05:08:29 GMT
NNTP-Posting-Date: Wed, 18 Dec 2002 16:08:29 EST
Organization: BigPond Internet Services (http://www.bigpond.net.au)
Tom Del Rosso wrote:
> "Steve Andrew" wrote in
> message news:WeEJ9.428$TC4.firstname.lastname@example.org...
>> Richard Steven Walz wrote:
>>> In article <email@example.com>,
>>> Michel Catudal wrote:
>>>> Rich Webb wrote:
>>>>> Although it has grown up a bit, originally C was described by its
>>>>> authors as "portable assembly language" in that it was small,
>>>>> simple, close to the hardware, and without very much in the way of
>>>>> behind-the- scenes magic.
>> Looks like somebody else who tried to learn C, and found it a bit
>> beyond his BASIC abilities ;->
> As Rich Webb said above, C was designed to be a portable machine
> language, but its operands were designed around the instruction set of
> the PDP-11, which had no support for strings.
>As a result, in C you
> have to call a function merely to test the equality of two strings.
> We have now had, since 25 years ago, which was less than 10 years
> after C was born, microprocessors (and I assume mainframes too) with
> opcodes that handle strings, but C didn't even become popular until
> after that, and it was already obsolete.
for a history of the development of the language. It has very little to do
with the instruction set of the DEC PDP-11, having most of it's basic drawn
from ALGOL and BCPL.
The only micro-processor I can recall that had anything that could remotely
be called a string compare function was the Z80. It was not a string compare
function as such, rather a block compare instruction that could be used for
many purposes. I have worked with a large range of micro-processors over the
years and as far as I can recall (but I may be wrong), the Z80 was the only
processor I ever worked with that had block compare functionality.
In any case, writing a string compare function in either C or assembler is a
pretty trivial task. Unpick the code for a BASIC string compare function and
you will almost certainly find that it compares strings in pretty much the
same manner as any other language and does not reply on hardware to do the
> I'm not claiming that BASIC is an option for most development, but
> with all the experience that computer science has behind it, we
> should have something better than C by now. And I don't mean C#.
I agree that choice of development language is dependant on many factors and
C is not always the best choice. Each language has it's advantages and
disadvantages. I would not waste time writing a trivial application in C
when BASIC could do the job just as well, neither would I contemplate
writing a stock control system in assembler.
C has been around a long time and seems to show no signs of dying - perhaps
that says something for the language ? - If there was something that did C's
job in a better and more efficient manner then it would have put C to death
many years ago.