13 Replies - 443 Views - Last Post: 08 August 2018 - 05:56 PM

#1 Skydiver   User is offline

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Why did BASIC style direct editing die?

Posted 07 August 2018 - 12:47 PM

For you former BASIC programmers on the C-64 and the Apple II, do your remember when you could type in LIST to get a listing of your code, move the cursor through to the listed lines and do live edits, and then move the cursor back down to prompt and RUN the new program?

I can see why that went away for code that needs to be compiled. There's no getting away from the file based editor for that, but what about some shells (like PowerShell, SQL Console, net console, etc.) where you can dynamically write scripts or full blown functions? Why force people to edit a file, or just up-arrow to show a command history? Is it because of the dumb terminals and telnet sessions which limited the options for reading stuff back from the screen buffer?

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#2 modi123_1   User is offline

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Re: Why did BASIC style direct editing die?

Posted 07 August 2018 - 01:34 PM

Files are just the same thing, right? Differed execution versus immediate. (Page 46)

http://www.classiccm...ng%20Manual.pdf
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#3 Skydiver   User is offline

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Re: Why did BASIC style direct editing die?

Posted 07 August 2018 - 02:26 PM

Yup, but nowadays, you basically need to have a text editor to edit the file. Would be nice to be able to cat or type the function to be edited; or just move the cursor back up to the previously run command, do edits, and then try again.
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#4 modi123_1   User is offline

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Re: Why did BASIC style direct editing die?

Posted 07 August 2018 - 02:36 PM

Eh.. I mean I can do changes and hit f5 to compile/run them, but sadly I haven't written anything in a long time that would simple enough to maneuver around a command line to write it.
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#5 no2pencil   User is online

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Re: Why did BASIC style direct editing die?

Posted 07 August 2018 - 07:07 PM

I still write loops on the Linux prompt for Bash, & occasionally write directly on the mysql prompt when creating databases & tables.
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#6 baavgai   User is offline

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Re: Why did BASIC style direct editing die?

Posted 08 August 2018 - 06:14 AM

Hmm... you could make a case that BASIC was both an editor and an interpreter. It really depends on how you define editor.

Modernly, the spiritual successor to some old line number BASICs might be various REPL environments. Python's IDLE can be like BASIC. A number of functional languages that focus on REPL are also like this. Python, Haskell, OCaml, Racket, etc. When I use F# I tend to spend a lot more time in REPL land than in C#. Perhaps the language dictates the modality?

Fun fact, vi is an editor that descended from ed, a line editor. I recall one of the vi contributors admitting to still using ed... Some early PC users remained loyal to edlin.

People find a thing they like and stick with it, regardless of objective improvements. Another fun fact, George R. R. Martin writes with a DOS word processor.
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#7 DarenR   User is offline

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Re: Why did BASIC style direct editing die?

Posted 08 August 2018 - 07:26 AM

all i remember from BASIC was going into stores and writing programs on their "new" gadgets ie computers where it would infinitely loop asking for a password and every time you gave the wrong answer it put my handle up..........
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#8 no2pencil   User is online

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Re: Why did BASIC style direct editing die?

Posted 08 August 2018 - 07:50 AM

HAH! @DarenR, I got kicked out of Radio Shack for similar tomfooleries. My basic program asked for your name, once entered it looped "Well I think {name} is an asshole!". It even captured cntrl+c.
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#9 baavgai   User is offline

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Re: Why did BASIC style direct editing die?

Posted 08 August 2018 - 08:31 AM

Heh, I believe the standard department store program most commonly seen was something like:
10 PRINT "I R GENIUS!!!" : GOTO 10



The text would vary: names, slogans, profanity, etc. Extra credit for throwing in a semicolon so it would spin around a little more.

I have mixed feelings about BASIC. From a structural perspective, it's an abominstaion that should be killed with fire. However, it is this chaos inviting simplicity, the lack of structure, that made approachable for any kid with an interest. There's really nothing quite like that anymore, which is kind of sad.
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#10 modi123_1   User is offline

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Re: Why did BASIC style direct editing die?

Posted 08 August 2018 - 08:36 AM

Now QBasic.. there was a diamond in the rough.
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#11 baavgai   User is offline

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Re: Why did BASIC style direct editing die?

Posted 08 August 2018 - 10:24 AM

I'm afraid I disagree. QBasic, along with its parent QuickBasic, not only killed the line numbers, but also set the stage for Visual Basic. QBasic eviscerated BASIC, erased it from existence, and stole the name. Curiously, Microsoft would do the same thing a decade later to VB with VB.NET.
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#12 modi123_1   User is offline

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Re: Why did BASIC style direct editing die?

Posted 08 August 2018 - 11:01 AM

Exactly! I agree - a grand history was had.
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#13 jon.kiparsky   User is offline

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Re: Why did BASIC style direct editing die?

Posted 08 August 2018 - 11:06 AM

This conversation makes me think of the old LISP Machines. Apparently, you could inspect and edit the OS, in real time.
Oddly enough, they were never very profitable.
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#14 Skydiver   User is offline

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Re: Why did BASIC style direct editing die?

Posted 08 August 2018 - 05:56 PM

Same with the Forth based machines/chips. You can change the OS on the fly.
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