Friday, July 17, 2015

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BASIC: A Computer Programming Language

Computer programming has its own language, and that’s just the beginning of the software adventure. There are many different languages in computer programming, and all of them have their own purposes. In order to understand the importance of computer programming languages, knowing them, and tweaking them, one has to understand the importance of computer programming.

Computer programming produces software packages, among other things, to meet our needs. We may need software for accounting, making photos bigger or smaller, or editing our home videos. Behind all these software packages are the computer programmers who use their individual languages in order to create the software.

One such computer programming language is the Beginner’s All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code, or BASIC. BASIC is actually composed of many different kinds of programming languages that are actually higher level than most other languages. This BASIC family of computer programming languages was first designed in the 1960’s, and was originally made for non-science people to gain better access to computers. BASIC is a general-purpose, high-level programming languages whose design philosophy emphasizes ease of use. In 1964, John G. Kemeny and Thomas E. Kurtz designed the original BASIC language at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.

During that time, using a computer required that a person write customized software, a task that only mathematicians and scientists were equipped to do. The BASIC language was therefore a bridge for people of other professions to take advantage of the power of computers.

When the 1970’s came, the BASIC language, whether in its original form or a variant of it, spread onto microcomputers; and by the 1980’s, even home computers could be run in BASIC. Today, BASIC remains popular, as it serves as the basis for many of the more modern programming languages that have been developed in the wake of advanced operating systems and the Internet.

When it was originally conceived, BASIC was meant for beginners: it was a language that people could use easily, whether or not they were educated in mathematics and the sciences. The language also had to be a general purpose one, in that it had to serve many different needs, and not only those that mathematicians and scientists required. The root language of BASIC also had to allow for advanced features to be plugged on as experts grew more and more adept in it, and as the language found further use in many other fields. BASIC was also meant to be interactive, and was designed to show error messages that were clear and friendly; that is, these error messages had to completely explain what the problem was, which would hopefully allow the user to fix it faster and easier.

When it was first released, moreover, BASIC was free of charge, which allowed the language to spread much faster. Once the language spread much faster, it was also easy to modify it and correct errors. BASIC was also distributed to a few high schools in order to promote it faster. Thanks to this widespread use of the language, BASIC was soon implemented on several microcomputers, and by several software manufacturers.

Despite its success, BASIC has had its dissenters. For instance, some programmers find that its scripts do not show proper programming practices, and the language itself is too slow, or sometimes even too simple. Despite all these, however, BASIC has continued to thrive, succeed, and evolve, and has thus become a good tool to introduce beginner programmers to the concept of coding and computer programming.

These are only a few facts about the BASIC language. For more information on BASIC, read and do your own research through several key pages online, or using computer programming books.


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