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When BASIC Was Young: Great Memories
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jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
4/30/2014 | 10:51:39 PM
Re: VB6
Hah... I used VB6 way longer than was necessary because it was too much effort to update some of my code for VB.Net. New software in many ways is easier to write in VB.Net, but in other areas just becomes mind-numbing.

 

Tell you what, I like the sound of this updated VB6. Add in some things that should have been built-in in the first place, like reading/writing the registry, and I'm in!
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
4/30/2014 | 10:47:43 PM
Re: Visual BASIC
Reminds me of so many other things in life: "This is always right...except when it's wrong."

FWIW, I have zero shame at all about the many GOTOs I used in my halcyon youth.  ;)
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
4/30/2014 | 10:43:19 PM
Ah, the memories
Thanks for this retrospective, Thomas.  I have fond memories of programming in BASIC when I was a kid.  I forget most of what I made, but I do remember making all kinds of fun games and useful programs that kept me entertained for hours upon hours.

 
jthomas77001
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jthomas77001,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/30/2014 | 7:49:16 PM
Basic on a Cray
I earned an MA in French in 1977, and then became a bricklayers helper. I went back to school to get an MBA, taught French to help pay for it, learned COBOL, and discovered that language skills could be applied to IT. I taught myself BASIC on the university's Cray supercomputer by writing a program to average student grades. In 1984 a miracle occurred: a software company was looking for a BASIC programmer who could speak French. 31 years later, I am about to retire from my IT career. I still speak French, and I still love BASIC.
sten2005
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sten2005,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/30/2014 | 4:44:52 PM
VB6
Visual Basic 6 was the best version of the Basic programming language. Since then Microsoft has ruined it by making newer versions (VB.Net) that are just C# with a VB look.

VB6 has just risen to be the sixth most popular language in the April 2014 Tiobe index, despite being 16 years old.

There is a vote to bring back an updated version of VB6 at:

http://visualstudio.uservoice.com/forums/121579-visual-studio/suggestions/3440221-bring-back-classic-visual-basic-an-improved-versi

 

 
majenkins
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majenkins,
User Rank: Ninja
4/30/2014 | 3:16:06 PM
Re: Visual BASIC
Very well said.
jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
4/30/2014 | 3:15:01 PM
Re: Visual BASIC
Perhaps Dijkstra needed to learn the Perl maxim that TMTOWTDI (There's More Than One Way To Do It). I agree - the absence of GOTO does not mean it's good code. And there are situations where GOTO really is the only smart way out of a particular situation.

Like so many "rules" they really should be "guides", not hard and fast inflexible laws that don't take into account each situation on its own merits.
majenkins
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majenkins,
User Rank: Ninja
4/30/2014 | 3:02:38 PM
Re: Visual BASIC
I will concur he was at least a little bit disturbed. This comment is not the only dumb one he made and you are right he hated the command GOTO. The problem for me with him and others was that they acted like GOTO was the enemy and it wasn't and isn't. It is possible to write well structured programs with GOTOs and it is possible to write poorly structured ones without a single GOTO in them. Any subroutine or function call is just a GOTO spelled differently that knows how to come back to where it came from. BTW I have never felt any need to cut Dijkstra any slack, he was too a arrogant for my taste. “If you don’t write the way I say then you are an idiot”, not really a quote just an idea of how he liked to talk, kind of like the can’t teach then comment. I guess it also goes back to the COBOL instructor I had that like Dijkstra seemed to think that all you had to do was eliminate GOTO and your program was better. Over the many years in this business I have seen some really hard to maintain programs that followed all of Dijkstra’s ideas for writing good programs. OK, thanks for the opportunity to vent on an old pet peeve.
jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
4/30/2014 | 2:48:53 PM
Re: Visual BASIC
Don't hold back; tell us how you really feel about him :) I'm guessing that his comment came off the back of his hatred of GOTO statements, and undoubtedly noted their overuse in BASIC. Whether one likes the way he said it, there is some truth to the fact that it's necessary to unlearn some BASIC habits when moving to other languages. Well, except Perl perhaps.

Meanwhile, wikipedia says Dijkstra was a fan of ALGOL 60, so I think we should extend the poor guy a little slack. He was clearly a little bit disturbed.
majenkins
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majenkins,
User Rank: Ninja
4/30/2014 | 2:39:26 PM
Re: Visual BASIC
Dijkstra was always such a stuck up snob I am not surprised to find him making such a stupid comment. My feeling is if he had trouble teaching good programming techniques to people exposed to BASIC then perhaps it was an issue with the teacher not the students.
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