OT: What is BASIC? (was Re: What is Python?)

Aahz Maruch aahz at panix.com
Thu Sep 21 14:44:20 CEST 2000

In article <prdk8c6m3yl.fsf at beagle.eng.cam.ac.uk>,
Andy Smith  <ams70 at cam.ac.uk> wrote:
>The GW-BASIC/BASICA/TV-BASIC family on DOS (and maybe others) had a
>"feature" whereby you could define the type of a variable depending on
>its first letter, so "defint a-f" would make it assume all variables
>beginning with a to f were integers.  I'm not sure which made your
>code less readable, using the $%! suffixes or ensuring your variables
>started with the right letters.

That "feature" was essentially borrowed directly from FORTRAN.  IIRC,
FORTRAN variables starting with I-N defaulted to ints.  Now you know why
the canonical loop variables are "i" and "j".
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