[TUHS] Book Recommendation

Adam Thornton athornton at gmail.com
Wed Nov 17 01:50:29 AEST 2021

Dijkstra notwithstanding, BASIC has the same strengths and weaknesses as,
later, PHP would for the web, and I think that Javascript might have these
days (and in the scientific programming world, Python).

That is, it's very easy for the novice to get something working that gives
them the results they want.  Maintainability and efficiency are simply not
on their radar for the scope of problem they're trying to solve.  I'm not
even sure how much of this you can lay at the feet of teachers: I would
argue that we see a huge efflorescence of essentially self-taught
programming cobbled together from (in the old days) the system manuals and
programs in magazines, and (these days) Googling that takes you to Stack
Overflow and various tutorials, of wildly varying quality.

Maybe we should take the "personal" in "personal computing" seriously.
That said, now that your personal project is probably exposed to the world
via the Web, maybe that's not a good idea if you have any data behind that
project whose integrity or privacy you care about.

Disclaimer: my formative experiences were MS BASIC on 6502-based micros,
and were fundamentally self-taught.


On Tue, Nov 16, 2021 at 8:38 AM Richard Salz <rich.salz at gmail.com> wrote:

> > What I don't know is if the PDP-8 BASIC came before the PDP-10 version.
> This was a fun rat-hole.  (My first programming was Edu-24 BASIC on a
> pdp-8/e my 7-12 school had.)  It appears that the DEC-10 BASIC is earlier,
> at least according to how I intuit the timeline from
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BASIC-8
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