- Oct 12, 2010
@All you guys who programmed in BASIC back in the day: It was possible to translate things between the differing dialects, right? What do you think the chances are for being able to adapt old type-in listings for this?
That really depends to be honest. If you're proficient in BASIC then you'll be able to read the source and (with the help of the manual for the source dialect) be able to translate between the two. Some gotchas may be that one uses line numbers, the other uses labels - for example, converting from BBC Basic, which uses line numbers, to AMOS which doesn't - some coders used computed GOTOs such as GO TO x*10 which would be a pain to convert. On the other hand, converting from BBC BASIC to Sinclair BASIC would likely be trivial so long as you bear in mind that the two machines had wildly different graphics systems.
In general, if your languages are based on the Dartmouth specification (which was the first BASIC, and the vast majority are based on it) then you should be ok until you get to the fine details like sound and graphics. If you're after converting from something like Visual BASIC to a less-modern syntax such as Sinclair BASIC (or PandaBAS!) then you'll likely need the guidance of someone more of an expert than you are currently. You'll learn a hell of a lot about programming in general as you go though, and it's satisfying to do.
If you're wanting to learn a simple language then I cannot recommend BASIC highly enough - it's very easy, gives immediate results without wading through compiler errors and is very good fun.