Thursday, March 10, 2005

BASIC is Special

Of course BASIC is special!

I don't know how many times I've run into programmers who smugly stick their noses up in the air at the mention of BASIC. I know I've done the same thing when I hear the name Perl. :-p But in fact, pretty much all programming languages are particularly good for one or more kinds of programming tasks. They're all special!

Okay, but what makes BASIC special? Like most programming languages, BASIC can be used to create many kinds of software. But, BASIC is especially great for small games and utilities. If you need to write a tool or if you're playing around, and if you need to get something (anything?)working right now, BASIC is probably just what the doctor ordered. If you've just gotta write that "mega does it all" killer app in BASIC because you love BASIC? Don't let me stop you (especially if you're using my software to do it)! ;)

I know that people who love BASIC often want to make it good for everything. They add this and that until it has all the features of other languages. They mean well, I think. At a certain point this violates the KISS (keep it simple stupid) philosophy that makes BASIC so great at making computers accessible. After all, sledgehammers are great but they sure are heavy. SledgeBASIC anyone?

So let's keep BASIC special. I know I will!