Is there a good BASIC compiler for ubuntu?

Kipton Moravec kip at
Mon Mar 13 00:52:46 UTC 2006

On Mon, 2006-03-13 at 07:35 +0800, Michael T. Richter wrote:
> On Sun, 2006-12-03 at 17:36 -0500, Eric Dunbar wrote: 
> > Is Python transferrable to other operating systems?
> Yes. 
> > It seems to me that for basic programming BASIC is an admirable
> > solution. I've seem some pretty impressive programs written in BASIC,
> > and, for simple data manipulation it can't be beat (if you already
> > know the language).
> Python kicks BASIC all over the place on any front.  Anything you can
> do in BASIC can be done -- usually easier and faster -- in Python.
> Many (most?) things you can do in Python cannot be done easily in
> > Just because programming snobs don't like it doesn't mean that people
> > shouldn't be using it.
> Yes.  Just because people who know what they're talking about don't
> like it doesn't mean that people who don't know what they're talking
> about should listen to them.  I mean it's obviously only snobbery when
> people point out technical superiority.  It can't ever be informed
> opinion.
> Insert an eye-rolling icon here from your favourite IM client.

I have been programming longer than most of you have been alive.  I have
programmed in over 15 different languages since 1975, and currently
program most of my stuff in C or assembler.

Different languages have different advantages. When someone says "their
favorite language" is the "best" I know they are probably not well
informed.  Different languages have different strengths.  Basic is
better than C for example in string manipulation. Lisp has some
qualities for symbol manipulation and Artificial Intelligence that can't
be found in Basic, C, Pascal, or I imagine, Python.

Since Python is one of the languages I have not programmed in, I took a
quick look at Python.  First I went to Synaptic Package Manager and
searched for python to see what was available and what was already

955 files came up.  First thing I noticed was there was some stuff
labeled python 2.3 and python 2.4 already installed on my computer.  For
me that raises some red flags, because in most languages it is not a
good idea to have two versions going at the same time. Or to use 2.3
libraries with 2.4 language or vice-versa.

So the first question before I even get started is why do I have both
2.3 and 2.4 installed on my computer, and which one should I use?  Is
that not confusing?

That is a problem with most Unix programming environments. Beginner
documentation is scarce. The versions change so much that it is hard to
keep up with it unless you program in it every day or every week.

> > I'm sure there are plenty of other languages out there that are now as
> > easy to use as BASIC, but, the advantage to using BASIC is that if you
> > learned how to program in the language 15 years ago (as I did) and you
> > never needed to learn another language (I stopped at BASIC & Pascal),
> > then you _still_ know how to use it.
> Which dialect of BASIC?  On which platform?  There is no "BASIC" so
> much as there is a certain dialect of BASIC on a certain architecture
> with vague similarities from one instance to another.  Compare and
> contrast this with, say, Python (or Ruby or Lua or ...) where it's
> pretty much the identical language (and even a mostly-identical
> programming environment) from platform to platform.  

You exaggerate the differences for variants of Basic.  Of course your
example is GW Basic which is Microsoft's version.  Microsoft does a good
job of not following any standards. Look at the trouble with Microsoft
Java, and Front page extensions.

> Hell, compare GWBASIC, say, to modern BASIC dialects and then compare
> Python 1.0 to the current Python.  Try to make your GWBASIC programs
> work on any modern BASIC system.  Do the same for Python 1.0 on a
> modern Python.  Tell me how you "never need to learn another language"
> with that.
> >  I've only ever seen Linux geeks extolling the virtues of Python.
> Your blindness is largely meaningless to this discussion.

That comment is not helpful for the discussion either Michael.

> --
> Michael T. Richter
> Email: ttmrichter at, mtr1966 at
> MSN: ttmrichter at, mtr1966 at; YIM:
> michael_richter_1966; AIM: YanJiahua1966; ICQ: 241960658; Jabber:
> mtr1966 at
Kipton Moravec <kip at>

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