Sunday, July 10, 2005


Someone recently mentioned a new up and coming BASIC language product called KBASIC and asked me what I thought. I went to Google and found the site. What I discovered there was so complicated that it reminded me of programming in Java using the Eclipse IDE. Eclipse is an excellent IDE, at least in the sense that it makes programming in Java practical (possible?). You need all the power of Eclipse because Java is a big, heavy and complicated way to write software.

KBASIC seems to emulate Java. Even the style of object orientation presented is very Java-like or C#-like and some syntax is borrowed directly from Java. Why do this? BASIC shouldn't need an industrial strength IDE that is as complicated as the cockpit of an F-15.

This is the sort of thing I am trying to avoid with the new BASIC programming language I'm working on. Java is a mountain of rules and exceptions that the programmer must navigate, never forgetting to dot i's and cross t's. Why make a BASIC that emulates Java? This is the sort of thing that caused outcry when Microsoft did away with Visual Basic and replaced it with VB.Net.

I know that some people enjoy mastering complexity, perhaps as a way to find satisfaction in their work. This is incompatible with the way BASIC programming should be. BASIC should be small, simple and fun.