3.1217 trying BASIC, cont. (32)

Willard McCarty (MCCARTY@vm.epas.utoronto.ca)
Mon, 26 Mar 90 20:38:02 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 1217. Monday, 26 Mar 1990.

Date: Monday, 26 March 1990 1933-EST
Subject: BASIC defense

Whoa! I'm the one who questioned the value of offering
BASIC, without either Pascal or C, in a Programming Course
for Humanists. If I said or implied that "BASIC is somehow
a crude, old fashioned language," as Roger Kenner recently
complained on HUMANIST, that was not my intention. Actually,
my reasons for questioning the use of BASIC without Pascal
and/or C are well articulated later in Kenner's message:
"BASIC, because it is so forgiving, allows beginners to
develop sloppy habits"; and, the BASIC that Kenner rightly
defends "is not, of course, the old-fashioned BASIC you get
when you buy your computer." If BASIC is used with appropriate
care to produce structured programs, I guess even the form that
comes for free would serve well enough. But I can't help
thinking that it would be easier on teacher and students
alike if an explicitly structured language were used instead.
Do all forms of Pascal and C cost significant money these
days? I confess my ignorance.

Bob Kraft