BASIC vs Python

Steve Holden steve at
Fri Dec 17 16:14:05 CET 2004

Steve Holden wrote:

> Adam DePrince wrote:
>> On Thu, 2004-12-16 at 13:36, abisofile wrote:
>>> hi
>>> I'm new to programming.I've try a little BASIC so I want ask since 
>>> Python is also interpreted lang if it's similar to BASIC.
>> Nobody is answering this question because they are shuddering in fear
>> and revulsion.
>> During the 1980's BASIC was the language to embedd into the ROM's of the
>> computers of the day.   This was in a misguided effort to make computers
>> understandable to their target audience.  The goal of the day was to
>> build a system that a manager would want to buy; it was believed that
>> the only way for a manager to see the value of a system was to make the
>> language understandable to said manager.  The expectation, of course,
>> that the manager would sit down and play with the computer instead of
>> delegating the tasks to somebody more qualified is somewhat misguided in
>> hindsight.  To do that, a language that closely resembled the process of
>> micromanaging an untrained worker was employed.
> But that language was COBOL, not BASIC. BASIC is actually an acronym for 
> "Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code", which the initial 
> implementations at Dartmouth weren't, really. The big innovation was the 
> use of line-numbering to allow interactive editing and testing of a 
> program.
Which, now I remember, Digital Equipment extended to floating-point in 
their FOCAL language. I never did discover whether the number of 
insertions required was limited by the floating-point precision, but 
Focal was unique in my experience in allowing insertion of statement 1.5 
between statements 1 and 2.

(mumbles into beard and drools quietly in the corner).

talking-to-myself-again-ly y'rs  - steve
Steve Holden     
Python Web Programming
Holden Web LLC      +1 703 861 4237  +1 800 494 3119

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