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 Post subject: Why QB64? (QBasic for Windows)
PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:51 pm 
Willamette
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I just ran across an app someone had made (or modified) for Windows called QB64, which is essentially a Windows-compatible version of Microsoft's classic QBasic program that was distributed with MS-DOS versions 4+/5+

I guess I don't quite understand why someone would waste their time with a text-based programming language. I'm sure it's good for learning the BASIC languaguge, but even the latest version of Visual Basic syntax and language is a severe offshoot of the original BASIC language.

I'm just ranting about this simply because it seems like a waste of time to me for people to be bothered with text-based applications, unless you're working at the circuit level, writing stuff like BIOS programs for motherboards or other programs that aren't meant to be everyday, mainstream programs. I mean, people are writing full apps with this thing, only sad thing is that DOS is dead and Windows applications are starting to fade themselves as everything moves to the Internet and web applications...

Information and download can be found at : www.qb64.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:33 pm 
Java Junkie
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Perhaps as a learning exercise? Programming language fundamentals include learning the basic principles of a programming language: parsing syntax, for instance, is definitely non-trivial.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:46 pm 
Willamette
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I guess it's a good starting point for people. But from what I've seen, Microsoft has revamped the BASIC language to a point where it is very similar to C# and other newer languages in the .Net system. So, why not just learn them?

I just hate seeing people waste their time with learning a language that has evolved so much and is not really even the same language as it was 15-20 years ago. It is and it isn't. Sure the basic decision making structures are the same (or similar) and other minor things, but the more advanced stuff, like writing/reading files, dealing with graphics, and the entire process of creating a user interface in VB is way different from back when DOS was popular. I just think people would be better off starting out in VB.net, which the Express edition is free too. Even older VB4/5/6 programs aren't really a fair representation of the latest iteration of the VB.Net development language. To me, a lot has changed in the world of the BASIC language over even the last 10 years.

I do admit that I have a copy of QBasic somewhere ona CD, along with a few programs I wrote back in the mid 1990s for it, but I have since moved on to VB.net and web/database programming.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:17 am 
SON OF A GUN
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I thought all programming was text based? :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:19 am 
SON OF A GUN
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cbassett01 wrote:
I guess it's a good starting point for people. But from what I've seen, Microsoft has revamped the BASIC language to a point where it is very similar to C# and other newer languages in the .Net system. So, why not just learn them?

I just hate seeing people waste their time with learning a language that has evolved so much and is not really even the same language as it was 15-20 years ago. It is and it isn't. Sure the basic decision making structures are the same (or similar) and other minor things, but the more advanced stuff, like writing/reading files, dealing with graphics, and the entire process of creating a user interface in VB is way different from back when DOS was popular. I just think people would be better off starting out in VB.net, which the Express edition is free too. Even older VB4/5/6 programs aren't really a fair representation of the latest iteration of the VB.Net development language. To me, a lot has changed in the world of the BASIC language over even the last 10 years.

I do admit that I have a copy of QBasic somewhere ona CD, along with a few programs I wrote back in the mid 1990s for it, but I have since moved on to VB.net and web/database programming.
>_<

This post makes me a sad panda.

There are still Cobol programs in the world. Sure, nothing new is written in it, but I wouldn't say that learning it would be a waste. Just one example. There is lots of VB6 and really old applications left out there that need maintained, or replaced. Having an understanding of older languages and how they work is beneficial.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:47 am 
Willamette
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VB6 isn't quite dead yet, and you are right in saying that there are still apps out there that need to be maintained. And I suppose that learning BASIC would be beneficial to some. I suppose that what you learn from using QBasic or regular BASIC could be useful in VB6, but really after VB6 Microsoft really kind of redid the entire language and made it work and function very similarly to C3 are C++ (with classes, methods and objects--object oriented programming).

Cobol I can understand because it is still used on some older mainframe systems (I took a mainframe COBOL and ASSEMBLER course in college) so this I don't mind. But not many people use the original BASIC any more, partially because of its limitations.

I guess if people want to use it to learn I don't really have a problem with it, but a few people on various forums I found were creating app after app in hopes of possibly selling them... that's what makes me a bit sad. I guess I was a bit wrong in saying that it's a waste of time... for play, sure it can be great, but don't plan on making any money from your programs (or at least, not much I don't think).

There are only a few select industries I can see where writing text-based programs (with text-based Interfaces) can be useful or is even needed. Even most manufacturing computer systems nowadays run on Windows (or a specific proprietary system).

But we must admit that while learning BASIC with this QB64 or QBasic in general, it can only help to a point. Sure it can help novice programmers learn about the process of programming (debuging code, figuring out algorythms, and such, but to try to make a commercial marketable product with it is not really a feasible solution, and that's what really bothered me about this QB64 (or QBasic) in general. it's meant as a hobby or learning tool, not to act as a professional development system.


AND YES, all programming is text based! - I was referring to the interfaces...... :)


Last edited by cbassett01 on Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:50 am 
Willamette
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What would be interesting to me would be if someone would create a port of VB to Linux... that would be cool (there may already be something like this, but then again, Microsoft may have limitations on this since Visual Basic is their product).


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 Post subject: QuickBasic languages
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 4:55 am 
8086
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Writing in an older language such as QuickBasic (or the updated version QB64) allows new programmers to actually see what code structure is like. These languages force programmers to "learn" how to write code and more importantly debug code. Who cares that it's not as powerful, it's the learning process that is important.

Here's an example. I took a scripting class in college recently that dealt with VBS and WSH. The prerequisite for the class was Visual Basic. I'm a self taught programmer from way, way back. Visual Basic as far as I'm concerned is a no brainer. But, the other students in my class, who had JUST COMPLETED their Visual Basic course were completely lost in the scripting class? Without the VB IDE and point-and-click interface to walk them through they had no clue what to do! They had no idea how to construct actual code.

In my opinion the prerequisite for VB should be a scripting class or a language that forces programmers to actually write code.

Here is an excellent piece of code recently written in QB64.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/416997/Super%20 ... ayable.zip


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:18 pm 
Willamette
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Where I went, a programming logic class was required before you got any actual true hands-on programming like VB, C#, C++, etc.

I think they wrote small programs (like 20 lines or less) in QBASIC or something to illustrate not the language, but how a loop looked and worked, and how if statements looked (generally) and how they worked, and how to do level breaks, etc.

But the examples were so easy you could have done most of them with javaScript if you wanted to, or even PHP. Point being that the logic and design class helps people to understand the coding process and the planing process a bit better. I think at the end they look at other languages like C/C++, and VB. But its a good start for newbies.

I am a self-taught programmer myself, and most of my programming (with the exception of Assembler for the IBM mainframe) was done by reading books and playing around with various languages. I do have a BS in computer science now, but even before starting that degree, I knew a fair amount about quite a few languages (BASIC, VB, C/C++, PASCAL, HTML, etc), so I was well off from the beginning. It's just been quite a while since I finished my degree, and since I don't write apps on a daily basis (I'm actually a retail manager at a store as of the moment, so computer tasks are on the side for extra $$) I've lost my touch with some of the concepts and techniques (and since a lot has changed in the past 10 years, that doesn't help).


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 Post subject: Re: QuickBasic languages
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:19 pm 
Java Junkie
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MisterMoose wrote:
Writing in an older language such as QuickBasic (or the updated version QB64) allows new programmers to actually see what code structure is like. These languages force programmers to "learn" how to write code and more importantly debug code. Who cares that it's not as powerful, it's the learning process that is important.


Why would you want to teach someone to write and think in a procedural language?

How does QuickBasic demonstrate code structure more clearly than Java? Or C#?

Quote:
Here's an example. I took a scripting class in college recently that dealt with VBS and WSH. The prerequisite for the class was Visual Basic. I'm a self taught programmer from way, way back. Visual Basic as far as I'm concerned is a no brainer. But, the other students in my class, who had JUST COMPLETED their Visual Basic course were completely lost in the scripting class? Without the VB IDE and point-and-click interface to walk them through they had no clue what to do! They had no idea how to construct actual code.


Your issue appears to be with the use of an IDE rather than the choice of a language. I do agree that using an IDE is something that should not be allowed in the first year of an CS curriculum.

Quote:
In my opinion the prerequisite for VB should be a scripting class or a language that forces programmers to actually write code.


Again, the language doesn't force programmers to write code .. the tools do.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:26 pm 
Willamette
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I agree, there actually is virtually no structure to the QBasic iteration of the BASIC language (QBasic/QuickBasic/QB64... all of those types of IDEs), simply because you can write a simple program without any structure (as in the use of functions) and it won't teach you anything, where as like C# or Java, structure is important, plus I think you learn a lot more by using those languages rather than an iteration of a language that is quite old. Even the BASIC (as in VB) that's around today is severely-modified version of what it used to be).

I think you may be getting the idea behind "writing structured code" confused a bit. Yes you can have structured code in any language, it merely implies that the code is easy to read, and has a fairly easily readable flow to it. Where I think you are getting confused is with language structure, as in how the language works... You could write a very useful program in QB64 using just a long list of instructions, no functions, no subroutines, and no OOP (although QB doesn't support OOP anyway), and you would have learned very little about how real languages (like C++, C#, Java, etc) work. It really won't even help you learn VB all that much either, since the new versions of VB are heavy on OOP and using good design).

QB64 is OK for the person that likes to go back and enjoy the old days of DOS programming... but the only purpose I could see for QB64 in today's computing world was if you had some hot program that you needed to run on a 64-bit environment (in Vista or Win7)... but even then so, I still wouldn't pursue it myself. Other than that, I think it's sort of a waste of time, especially those who go on creating tons of programs for it. I quit DOS-based programming back when Win95 came out (somwhere shortly after 1995-96 when I realized that text-based DOS apps where on their way out, and that Windows was here to stay. I played with VB back when Win3.1 was hot, but never really got into because DOS was still around until Win95).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:43 pm 
Willamette
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IDEs are a bad idea for beginner programmers... but they are helpful once you get to know the language in how it works. I mean, for Assembler, we had NO IDE at all. Just a simple DOS-based program that let us talk with the IBM 360 and our desktops (actually it was a simulator that simulated an IBM 360, but it was very accurate in design in how it functioned and responded to our programs).

But anyway, I think people get too dependent on using the tools in the IDE that they don't really learn the language too well.

This is the same logic as to why math instructors make you learn the formulas first (and how to apply them) without using a calculator... then once you've mastered the formulas and applications of the formulas without the calculator, then you can use the calculator, because you already know how the process works the calculator just makes calculations go faster.

When I learned Java, we didn't use an IDE... we used Notepad and a DOS prompt Window, and that was it. Now a lot of colleges are using programs like NetBeans and JCreator (by Borland). I learned a lot about Java by having to type in all the source-code by hand, and compiling by hand, and fixing errors by hand, etc. IDEs are great once you know how to program, and understand the language, without that knowledge, the IDE is almost useless (because you most likely won't understand the tools and what they do, etc).


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