Wednesday, April 27, 2005

BASIC, not BATAP

This blog is about BASIC, which means Beginners All purpose Symbolic Instruction Code. If it were about Being All Things to All People, the language would be call BATAP. ;-)

I'm inspired to write this because of the plight of General Motors. The world's largest auto manufacturer is losing money in droves. The reason is in their name, the first word of which is General. The problem is that there is so much competition in this world today, that being general is not a strength. If you want to get people's attention, you need to specialize.

BASIC also needs to specialize. The key ideas it needs to specialize in? Easy, simple, approachable, and fun. Does it have power? Yes. It has the kind of power that gives the average person the ability to program computers because of the four qualities I just listed. When Microsoft created Visual Basic (now officially unsupported by the way) they took BASIC out of the domain of the everyday person and tried to make a professional tool out of it. They should have called it Visual BATAP.

BATAP can never be BASIC.

2 comments:

Rogue said...

i can see that happening. believe it or not, i think that your JustBASIC product is a perfect template to build upon if you're going to specialize. Why don't i think Liberty BASIC would be just as good? well, i'm not a hypocrit, i think that Liberty basic is essiantially a "business" type language. (thats my opinion, not to be an ass or anything) but just basic is the base roots of it all. just think, instead of haveing to constantly overload your liberty basic paradigm, you can take just basic, and add on or optimize current statements and create a new "dialect". like slang.
JustBASIC:office
>has more advanced document read/write
>has built in GUI objects that allow for a set up like the excel worksheet

JustBASIC:Lab
>more advanced mathmatics and data handling.
>built-in databaseing functions

JustBASIC:Tapestry
>optimized image handleing and effects
>more advanced drawing functions

thats what i got off the top of my head.
--Rogue--

Tom Dison said...

---Step up on soapbox---

I agree that Visual Basic is not basic. I am a professional programmer. I use VB, C#, etc. I also support other languages such as Liberty Basic and Euphoria. I don't want to forget my early days of gw-basic and qbasic. Too many managers choose Visual Basic for their programmers to use because they think it will be "Easy" for their programmers to learn. It isn't. Worse is VB.Net. I like VB.NET, but I feel sorry for Visual Basic programmers who finally did learn to "work the VB" and are shocked to find that there is nothing "Visual Basic" about VB.Net. Just because it has a "basic-like" syntax does not mean it is Visual Basic. That's like saying, "You know C, and Java looks like C, so please write me a Java application." In essence, Microsoft is abandoning classic Window's programming that has been around since Windows 3.1. The .NET runtime that .NET programmers code for might as well be Linux as far as VB6 coders are concerned. And I like Linux!

----Step off of soapbox----