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- Subject: Re: Scripting language takes a silicon turn
- From: Enrico Colombini <erix@...>
- Date: Thu, 26 Jan 2006 19:07:54 +0100
On Thursday 26 January 2006 15:48, Stephen Kellett wrote:
> You are not alone. I made the jump from CBM Basic on my VIC-20 to 6502
> assembler using the VIC-20 add in cartridge. Years later I had to write
> a few lines of Basic (this time on a C64) and realized that I couldn't -
> even though I could write huge amounts of assembly without effort.
I made the opposite journey: I was quite used to 6502 assembly when the PET
2001 arrived here, so I learned Basic (I should say "BASIC") later and
happily used both thereafter.
There is a point about those Basic implementations in the '80s, however, that
was sadly lost in the GUI-centered years that followed: they had small,
stable but fairly complete (for the times) APIs and they were _immediately_
usable to write both one-liners and real programs. In fact, even
non-technical people wrote good, useful programs with those Basics.
Those environments were amazingly productive despite of (or maybe even because
of?) their technical backwardness.
Now you need a post-doc in CS just to paint a dot on the screen (assuming
you've succesfully installed all the required libraries with the right
versions and read the foot-high stack of documentation); IT must have taken
the wrong turn somewhere.
Lua scores high in simplicity, completeness, power. It would be great if there
could be a standard, ready-to-use environment (complete with standalone
executable generation for the main platforms) without the need to put
together a puzzle of (possibly) conflicting libraries. Think QBasic.
Sadly, I fear that any effort in that direction could easily get stuck in
endless discussions about the best libaries, the best interface, the best
object model, the best modular framework... (it happened before, didn't it?)
Just old programmer's ramblings.