Is there a good BASIC compiler for ubuntu?

Tristan Wibberley maihem at
Mon Mar 13 01:24:48 UTC 2006

Kipton Moravec wrote:

>> 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.

I never thought I would seen a C/asm programmer complaining about high 
level language (and scripting at that!) snobbery. I wonder if the devil 
has caught a cold today :)

> Different languages have different advantages. When someone says "their
> favorite language" is the "best" I know they are probably not well
> informed.

I cannot think of *anything* that any BASIC variant [if you'll pardon 
the MS pun] I have seen can do better than python except being a BASIC 
variant - or being integrated well with some purpose specific system 
where you obviously use your manufacturers chosen language.

> 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
> installed.
> 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 we should port *all* the software out there to the latest version and 
have a grand atomic switchover?

> So the first question before I even get started is why do I have both
> 2.3 and 2.4 installed on my computer,

Because some programs were written in the language called "python 2.3" 
and some were written in the language called "python 2.4".

 > and which one should I use?  Is
> that not confusing?

Uuh, so the benefit of BASIC is that there are fewer than two versions? 
That is not even true, let alone a benefit.
If you've learned QBasic, you run your programs with QBasic - If you've 
learned python 2.4, you run them with python 2.4. No it is not 
confusing, certainly no more confusing than the problem of multiple 
versions of basic, or prolog, or lisp, or C, or C#, or tcl, or haskell, 
or scheme, or (o)caml, or miranda, or ... (/me stops looking at the 
o'reilly language family tree).

> 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.

Beginner documentation for python is abso-bloody-lutely brilliant, IMHO.

Tristan Wibberley

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