Software for Programming BASIC

BLINK

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 21, 2004
36
0
I am starting to learn how to program and I have trying to find a program that runs on OSX that is pretty identical to QBasic. I am taking a BASIC programming course right now and it is taught using QBasic. If there is a Mac version of QBasic I will gladly accept that too. Thanks.

BLINK
 

mrgreen4242

macrumors 601
Feb 10, 2004
4,355
1
BLINK said:
I am starting to learn how to program and I have trying to find a program that runs on OSX that is pretty identical to QBasic. I am taking a BASIC programming course right now and it is taught using QBasic. If there is a Mac version of QBasic I will gladly accept that too. Thanks.

BLINK
Someone is still teaching on QBasic? Yikes, whats the point? Anyways, your best bet is just to use Virtual PC or whatever the name of the open source x86 emulator is... qemu, i think. You could run FreeDos with either of those and QBasic will run just fine.

If you want to learn an easy programming language that you can actually do something usefull with, check out PHP. It's not really a programming language as much as it is a scripting language, but it's still a fun way to learn the fundamentals.

Good Luck,
Rob
 
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jadam

macrumors 6502a
Jan 23, 2002
699
1
If you want to learn program, I say, learn C. Its a very simple language and is very powerful too. Plus once you learn C you can move on pretty quickly to Objective-C.
 
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cyanide

macrumors regular
Jan 6, 2005
234
0
Chicago
Have we met before?

This might sound kind of crazy, and way out there BLINK, but I have the feeling you and I have met before. Something about the way you carry your words... I know, I know, with the millions of users out there how could i possibly just assume I know you... well.. I think I do. I think.. I... do.... Oh and as for the post, stick with REALbasic or learn C. the guys are right. You could be off to great things in no time flat.
 
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all-devourer

macrumors newbie
Feb 3, 2005
14
0
he didn't ask for a first-language holy war, he needs something like QBasic for a class. Sheesh. I could have told him that BASIC was extended way beyond its usefulness because Bill Gates is obsessed with it because his first success was a BASIC compiler (or was it that his early windows builds were in basic? Now I forget) but instead I tried to help. ;)
 
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robbieduncan

Moderator emeritus
Jul 24, 2002
24,784
142
Harrogate
ChrisBrightwell said:
Ugh. I couldn't disagree more.

I'd say to start with Java, myself.
I'm not sure on this. I learnt to program in Basic followed by Pascal then C and Assembly (then Java, Prolog, ML, SQL, Obj-C...). Of all the languages I know I think C is the most usefull as many languages have a C or C-like syntax, use C style operators and so on. Also C actually lets you learn how the machine works which can be usefull in all languages. It's also a good basis for learning Objective-C which is far better than Java for Cocoa.
 
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shake

macrumors regular
Aug 14, 2002
132
0
Toronto, CANADA
i would recomend RealBasic. i have made a quite a few apps and games using it. and it's syntax is very similar to the Applesoft Basic i learned as a kid. you can see some of my work at www.lo-fi.ca

as far as a first language goes, i dont think Java is a good "first" programming language. maybe as a first "object-oriented" course.

if you learn C first, everything language you learn after will be easier.
 
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plinden

macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2004
3,968
3
mrgreen4242 said:
Someone is still teaching on QBasic? Yikes, whats the point? Anyways, your best bet is just to use Virtual PC or whatever the name of the open source x86 emulator is... qemu, i think. You could run FreeDos with either of those and QBasic will run just fine.

If you want to learn an easy programming language that you can actually do something usefull with, check out PHP. It's not really a programming language as much as it is a scripting language, but it's still a fun way to learn the fundamentals.

Good Luck,
Rob
Does QBasic work in DOS mode? I've found that http://dosbox.sourceforge.net/ is fairly good at playing old DOS games and is available for MacOSX Panther. I haven't tried it on Mac thougn.
 
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mrgreen4242

macrumors 601
Feb 10, 2004
4,355
1
plinden said:
Does QBasic work in DOS mode? I've found that http://dosbox.sourceforge.net/ is fairly good at playing old DOS games and is available for MacOSX Panther. I haven't tried it on Mac thougn.
QBasic IS a DOS application. I learned to code on it on a system running DOS 5.x back in the early 90's. Like someone else above, I learned Basic, then Pascal, then C, and then went onto object oriented coding, and web scripting, etc. Looking back, learning basic and pascal was useless. I doubt I could do ANYTHiGN in Pascal right now, and probably only the simplist of applications in Basic. It only served as a way to introduce programming concepts, but in turn wasted a year or more of learning actual coding practice. I would have been better off being tought C from the start, then I would have learned the concepts AND something useful.

Nowadays, with so many programming options, Basic is just a stupid place to start a student. I wouldn't jump into object oriented code right away. I never cared for it myself, and I think that some 'standard' type language would be better suited as a first. C would work, but it is mildly complex, and there are so many other USEFUL and EASY things you could learn from.

PHP like I pointed out is amazingly useful, and can be used to introduce almost any programming concept. File I/O, variable manipulation, if/then/or/xor logic, etc. And writing a usefull, attractive, interface can be done with HTML, which anyone serious about learning to code should be able to pick up (the basics) in under a week.

If basic it must be, the VB packages up 'till the .NET stuff is pretty easy, but not where I'd start out, personally, due to the added complexity of having the code spread out amongst several forms or windows. It'd be a good second semester tool, tho.

Anyways, give DOSBox or QEMU a try along with FreeDOS (a fully DOS6.0 compatible open sourse OS), and you should be able to run QBasic faster than I did on the 386 I learned on. :)

Rob
 
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MisterMe

macrumors G4
Jul 17, 2002
10,650
29
USA
BLINK said:
I am starting to learn how to program and I have trying to find a program that runs on OSX that is pretty identical to QBasic. I am taking a BASIC programming course right now and it is taught using QBasic. If there is a Mac version of QBasic I will gladly accept that too. Thanks.

BLINK
Chimpmunk BASIC is a console-type BASIC interpreter very much like QBASIC. If you have a QBASIC program, you should require little, if any, effort to port it to Chimpmunk BASIC or vice-versa. Included in the download are both Terminal-based and Aqua-based versions of the interpreter. Recommended.
 
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BLINK

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 21, 2004
36
0
Thank you all. I think I will be fine now. Here is my next question which has been inspired by the previous posts. I want to make a list of programming languages that I can learn, in order of difficulty. I will start off with BASIC, which is probably totally useless these days but it will give me practice and a high school credit. I already know HTML 4, but not much of CSS, XHTML, or DHTML (as far as the web languages go).

Any ideas? Thanks.
 
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cyanide

macrumors regular
Jan 6, 2005
234
0
Chicago
don't ignore me blink..

BLINK, i know you blink. come on.. drop me a PM.. i gotta know that its you!!! you cant hide forever!
 
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MisterMe

macrumors G4
Jul 17, 2002
10,650
29
USA
BLINK said:
Thank you all. I think I will be fine now. Here is my next question which has been inspired by the previous posts. I want to make a list of programming languages that I can learn, in order of difficulty. I will start off with BASIC, which is probably totally useless these days but it will give me practice and a high school credit. I already know HTML 4, but not much of CSS, XHTML, or DHTML (as far as the web languages go).

Any ideas? Thanks.
BASIC is most certainly not useless. There is a large community of REALbasic developers. On the Wintel side, Visual BASIC is the choice for developing cheesy Windows shareware. Xtools and its assorted programming languages are free. My suggestion is to find a language that you like and a software problem that you want to solve. Use your favorite language to solve your problem. This way you will learn a lot more than you can hope to learn by dabbling in every language your know about. Once you become proficient in one language, you will find new ones much easier to learn.
 
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jamdr

macrumors 6502a
Jul 20, 2003
659
0
Bay Area
If you want to learn program, I say, learn C. Its a very simple language and is very powerful too. Plus once you learn C you can move on pretty quickly to Objective-C.
Christ, this is some of the worst advice I've ever heard. C is a very difficult language to learn and master, especially for someone who has never programmed in a similiar language before. At least learn C++.

However, for beginner programmers there's no better choice than Java. Don't learn REALbasic--all flavors of the BASIC are pretty much useless for real software development and they teach really bad habits. Virtually all intro to computer science courses in college nowadays teach Java as a first language because it relatively easy to pick up and is very powerful. And once you know Java, it's not too difficult to learn C++ if that's what you want (although Java's so nice, you probably won't).
 
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jeremy.king

macrumors 603
Jul 23, 2002
5,479
1
Fuquay Varina, NC
jamdr said:
Christ, this is some of the worst advice I've ever heard. C is a very difficult language to learn and master, especially for someone who has never programmed in a similiar language before. At least learn C++.

However, for beginner programmers there's no better choice than Java. Don't learn REALbasic--all flavors of the BASIC are pretty much useless for real software development and they teach really bad habits. Virtually all intro to computer science courses in college nowadays teach Java as a first language because it relatively easy to pick up and is very powerful. And once you know Java, it's not too difficult to learn C++ if that's what you want (although Java's so nice, you probably won't).
I'm not sure recommending an OO language as a first is necessarily the best advice either.

I would recommend a procedural language then move on to OO. This is most likely why his school starts them on BASIC. The point is to get the developer to think about a problem and think of a scientific way to solve that problem, with functions acting as steps to the solution. No need to pollute the mind to think in an OO manner yet - while this usually filters out the weak - it makes easy problems a bit more difficult because of the distractions an OO language will present.

Then again, there are some stronger thinkers who can pick up and learn a Java or C++ as a first language, but you are kidding yourself if you think that is the easiest first language to learn.
 
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jadam

macrumors 6502a
Jan 23, 2002
699
1
jamdr said:
Christ, this is some of the worst advice I've ever heard. C is a very difficult language to learn and master, especially for someone who has never programmed in a similiar language before. At least learn C++.
C happens to be a very simple language, whats so bad about learning it? C++ has some very wierd things about it like templates and virtual functions which will be a very hard for someone who has never programmed to learn before. Plus once he learns C he can easily move on to Objective-C.
 
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plinden

macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2004
3,968
3
jadam said:
C happens to be a very simple language, whats so bad about learning it? C++ has some very wierd things about it like templates and virtual functions which will be a very hard for someone who has never programmed to learn before. Plus once he learns C he can easily move on to Objective-C.
The problem with going C -> C++ is you have to unlearn all the bad habits you learned by starting off with procedural language. Then if you go C++ -> Java, you have to unlearn all your bad C++ habits. This was the route I took (except I had BASIC -> FORTRAN 77 in there before C, with a side track into Parallel C - for programming on Transputers. Whatever happened to Transputers?)

If anyone's serious about programming, the best thing to do is to start with an OO language, and Java's the best for beginners. You can learn C++ if you know Java. I taught my wife to program in Java, not that she ever did anything with it later.

That is, that would have been best for me - there are as many optimum routes to learning programming languages as there are people wanting to learn them. Unfortunately for me, when I wrote my first Hello World program, the state of the art computer was the Sinclair Spectrum, and Java hadn't been invented yet.
 
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ChrisBrightwell

macrumors 68020
Apr 5, 2004
2,294
0
Huntsville, AL
jadam said:
C happens to be a very simple language, whats so bad about learning it?
*Everyone* should be able to write in C, but I dislike it as an intro-to-programming language, due to the fact that you're forced to handle memory management yourself more than anything.

Personally, my favorite "Programming 101" language is Java. When you're in the JVM (a sandbox, if you will), you're basically harmless. You don't have to worry about memory leaks (thanks go garbage collection) nor do you have to worry about running off the end of an array into unknown memory (thanks to built-in runtime exception handling).

Java is good for learning the BASICS of programming. You can learn both procedural and OO, as well as network and database code, all relatively easily. Once you have a solid foundation, you can move out into C or C++ and be much more capable and confident, IMHO.

I started w/ BASIC, then QBASIC, FORTRAN, COBOL, and finally C++. Now I'm kicking around in Java daily and loving it more and more eacy day. Any time I have to go back to one of those "other" languages, I wind up bitching and moaning about how much of a pain in the ass OO in a non-native-OO language (like C++) really is and how irritatingly difficult procedural code can be.
 
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Thom_Edwards

macrumors regular
Apr 11, 2003
240
0
jamdr said:
Don't learn REALbasic--all flavors of the BASIC are pretty much useless for real software development and they teach really bad habits.
not to go too far off topic, but i often wonder how many people that bash realbasic have even used it. it is certainly *not* really a flavor of basic, unless you think that for/next and if/then constructs == (or is it =) similarity. realbasic is an oo language, no ifs, ands or buts about it.

while it does lack some of the more advanced features of java and c++, saying it is useless for 'real software development' (whatever that means) is the kind of blanket, snobbish statement that always makes me laugh. our company uses realbasic exclusively, and i promise you we get better 'write once, deploy everywhere' behavior and overall performance than we would if it were done in java.

i'm not saying that realbasic is better. in fact, i would say one would definitely be better off with java or c++ if you had to pick one mainly due to market demands. (it's hard to find a shop using realbasic as its primary ide.) but realbasic, while being the suprisingly perfect language for a beginner in that it levels the oo learning curve, is a lot more powerful than people think. and just for the record, harder != better. i thought we mac people had already agreed on that.
 
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