Why do C programmers dump on Basic programmers? 
Author Message
 Why do C programmers dump on Basic programmers?

 I'm always amazed at th amount of scorn I get whenever I talk
to one of the computer science undergrads here and mention that I
like to program in QuickBasic. Almost invariably they roll their
eyes and say something like "well REAL programmers use c++/c or
assembler!"
 Well, I've done some programming in c (not c++) and I hated it.
I find that I can get the computer doing what I want it to way
faster in BASIC than in c with hassle. I've never done any assembly
language programming so I really can't say to much. I suppose it is
necessary for times when speed of execution is critical or for things
that just can't be done at a higher level. I can't help but think that
there has got to be a better way to get fast code than to resort to
assembler. Those lists of hex numbers and mneumonics should be enough
to drive even the most dedicated speed freak in search of a better way.
 I have often thought that if BASIC had been called COMPLEX and been
designed to drive programmers crazy every computer guru would flock
to use it for their largest project.
 I don't understand why nobody has develloped a flavor of BASIC that
includes the features of c++/c that so many people think are so hot and
why BASIC compilers generally produce sluggish code, often despite the
programmers best efforts to write efficient code.

Please don't think I'm knocking c or assembler. I don't want to be
buried beneath a deluge of e-mail from pissed off programmers!


P.G



Sat, 16 Aug 1997 20:02:25 GMT  
 Why do C programmers dump on Basic programmers?
There are a couple of reasons (not counting the obvious and simple one,
"They are just bigots!"). First I think BASIC's reputation as an
easy-to-get-into language works against it. People do not want to be
thought of as beginners, so they avoid BASIC mistakenly thinking it is
*only* for beginners. And since beginners often do use it, there is a lot
of trashy BASIC code floating around. People look at stuff riddled with
cryptic variable names and GOTOs and bizarre memory pokes and non-standard
language extensions and get freaked out: they don't want to *have* to
program like that.

Second is the really horrid nature of so many BASIC environments. For some
reason developers seem to think that "since only beginners use this,
nobody will notice if it is a piece of junk." So there are dozens of wimpy
BASIC compilers (or worse yet, interpreters - gahhckk!), very few
high-quality source code tools, scant utility libraries; all the quality
stuff goes elsewhere.

It's something of a problem. BASIC is a very nice language (when it's not
*too* customized!); it is easy to get into, but when done properly a BASIC
environment can be every bit as professional as one for C or whatever. C
programmers, who are by far the majority, are just convinced that the
language is not worth looking at, and won't give it a chance...

-MarsSaxMan
Red Planet Software



Sun, 17 Aug 1997 03:00:27 GMT  
 Why do C programmers dump on Basic programmers?
As one who programs in both C and Basic, I'd have to say that one of
Basic's great strengths is that it is so versatile.  There's a
different version of Basic for just about every platform and type of
environment (handhelds, etc.) you can think of.  This strength is
also its chief weakness: there are just too many variants and it is
a very {*filter*} language to port from environment to environment (for
proof, just look at some of the postings here).  Perhaps this is
why some C (or COBOL, Pascal, PL/1, etc.) programmers find it to be
exasperating.


Sun, 17 Aug 1997 10:36:12 GMT  
 Why do C programmers dump on Basic programmers?
:  I'm always amazed at th amount of scorn I get whenever I talk
: to one of the computer science undergrads here and mention that I
: like to program in QuickBasic. Almost invariably they roll their
: eyes and say something like "well REAL programmers use c++/c or
: assembler!"
:  Well, I've done some programming in c (not c++) and I hated it.
: I find that I can get the computer doing what I want it to way
: faster in BASIC than in c with hassle. I've never done any assembly
: language programming so I really can't say to much. I suppose it is
: necessary for times when speed of execution is critical or for things
: that just can't be done at a higher level. I can't help but think that
: there has got to be a better way to get fast code than to resort to
: assembler. Those lists of hex numbers and mneumonics should be enough
: to drive even the most dedicated speed freak in search of a better way.
:  I have often thought that if BASIC had been called COMPLEX and been
: designed to drive programmers crazy every computer guru would flock
: to use it for their largest project.
:  I don't understand why nobody has develloped a flavor of BASIC that
: includes the features of c++/c that so many people think are so hot and
: why BASIC compilers generally produce sluggish code, often despite the
: programmers best efforts to write efficient code.

: Please don't think I'm knocking c or assembler. I don't want to be
: buried beneath a deluge of e-mail from pissed off programmers!


: P.G

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Sun, 17 Aug 1997 18:03:28 GMT  
 Why do C programmers dump on Basic programmers?


Quote:
>  I'm always amazed at th amount of scorn I get whenever I talk
> to one of the computer science undergrads here and mention that I
> like to program in QuickBasic. Almost invariably they roll their
> eyes and say something like "well REAL programmers use c++/c or
> assembler!"

I program using 80x86 assembler, a couple of BASIC compilers, and C.
Using assembler I get tiny, fast executables. Takes a lot of typing tho.

ASIC is ok for smallish BASIC programs, and produces small, fastish progs.
The ASIC compiler was written using Turbo C :)
QBasic produces huge, slow executables, and I only use it if I have to.
VB for windows gives very nice results, but has the same problems as
QBasic.

Using C, I can include assembler if I need it, but to maintain portability
it's not a good idea. C executables are small and fast. C source is
generally portable across platforms, most of the stuff I write will run on
macs, unix boxes, or any machine with a standard C compiler.

--
Douggie
          sig in recovery (cards welcome)



Sun, 17 Aug 1997 23:13:36 GMT  
 Why do C programmers dump on Basic programmers?


Quote:
> I'm always amazed at th amount of scorn I get whenever I talk
>to one of the computer science undergrads here and mention that I
>like to program in QuickBasic. Almost invariably they roll their
>eyes and say something like "well REAL programmers use c++/c or
>assembler!"
> Well, I've done some programming in c (not c++) and I hated it.

this is common across all of civilization: my car is best, my tv is best,
my vcr is best, my computer is best. i own/use the best of everything.
  pop over to comp.lang.c++ sometime where you will find an assortment
of ``best''. seems comp people refuse to believe that it's possible that
different tools are better for different jobs.
  i've found interpreted basic best for many jobs, as well as awk, rexx, c,
c++, pascal, ...
--kyle


Mon, 18 Aug 1997 00:00:09 GMT  
 Why do C programmers dump on Basic programmers?
: like to program in QuickBasic. Almost invariably they roll their
: eyes and say something like "well REAL programmers use c++/c or
: assembler!"

Welcome to elitest programming. I have used ALL the major languages and a
couple of propriotery(sp?) too. C is very nice because it does little or
no checking, allows you to access proc's with a ptr (I haven't ever had
the advantage of that explained to me.), and ptr in general..

Basic started out as a poor language because it did not lend itself to
structured programming. Now, the majority of programmer who roll there
eye have , generaly speaking, never tried a compiled basic. So there my be a
bit of ignorance going on. Which is a real bad place to make
pronouncements.

: necessary for times when speed of execution is critical or for things
: that just can't be done at a higher level. I can't help but think that
: there has got to be a better way to get fast code than to resort to
: assembler. Those lists of hex numbers and mneumonics should be enough
: to drive even the most dedicated speed freak in search of a better way.

Couple of points. Sometimes the only way you can interface to an external
device or chip is by you asm to diddle the bits. It is also good for real
FAST string sorts.

Just a note. Has come a long way from straight hex... Actually, I find it
fairly easy... Learning assembly will give you a better understand of how
the machine work...

:  I have often thought that if BASIC had been called COMPLEX and been
: designed to drive programmers crazy every computer guru would flock
: to use it for their largest project.

Your right.

:  I don't understand why nobody has develloped a flavor of BASIC that
: includes the features of c++/c that so many people think are so hot and
: why BASIC compilers generally produce sluggish code, often despite the
: programmers best efforts to write efficient code.

Alot of stuff has been moved over. But they try to stick to what BASIC is
supposed to be. For sluggish code. That is a bit tougher... I have often
wondered this myself. When you step back and take a look at what a
compiler does you will find that it parses out line and then goes to a
library of assembly black boxes and finds the one that fits any given
piece code.

Now, if you have ever done string manipulations in BASIC you will find it
is one of the slower things you can do. Since this is the case I made it
a point to rip apart the asm code for the mid$ function... It is safe to
say it could have been tighter...

In C everything is a number. a char is a byte. You can use just like an
integer if you want to pay that close attention. So when do string work
in C itis iherently faster. Because C is not seeing "john" but,
4a5623..etc (not corresponding numbers.)

: Please don't think I'm knocking c or assembler. I don't want to be
: buried beneath a deluge of e-mail from pissed off programmers!

It is a fair question...

--
RW...
GA is IDDG! :)
I go ga ga over GA! ;)
The Few, The Proud, The GATB...



Mon, 18 Aug 1997 00:07:48 GMT  
 Why do C programmers dump on Basic programmers?


: > I'm always amazed at th amount of scorn I get whenever I talk
: >to one of the computer science undergrads here and mention that I
: >like to program in QuickBasic. Almost invariably they roll their
: >eyes and say something like "well REAL programmers use c++/c or
: >assembler!"
: > Well, I've done some programming in c (not c++) and I hated it.

: this is common across all of civilization: my car is best, my tv is best,
: my vcr is best, my computer is best. i own/use the best of everything.
:   pop over to comp.lang.c++ sometime where you will find an assortment
: of ``best''. seems comp people refuse to believe that it's possible that
: different tools are better for different jobs.
:   i've found interpreted basic best for many jobs, as well as awk, rexx, c,
: c++, pascal, ...

Bingo we have a winner!! BTW My OS is better than your OS, you forgot
that one <OS/pew vs. Windoze 2095>. Read this and think about it.
And the next time someone aggervates you with this think on this,
is he really using all his options? I can't tell you how many times I
cross posted a general programming question in the FIDO echoes of
C/VB/C++/PASCAL/QB/ASM and general programming only to find that a Basic
programmer had the most comprehensable answer. the C/C++ programmers give
some long history of the subject dating back to Z90's which does me no
good, but the QB programmer explains it quite well and correctly.

--



Mon, 18 Aug 1997 08:40:01 GMT  
 Why do C programmers dump on Basic programmers?

:  I'm always amazed at th amount of scorn I get whenever I talk
: to one of the computer science undergrads here and mention that I
: like to program in QuickBasic. Almost invariably they roll their
: eyes and say something like "well REAL programmers use c++/c or
: assembler!"
[stuff deleted]

I love the "REAL PROGRAMMERS" line I always hear. The people rolling
there eyes at you aren't making any REAL money programming in C, they're
students. Do people like the PEACH TREE accounting program? It's one of
the most popular. The first few versions of it were WRITTEN IN BASIC. I
have clients who still use the BASIC version. Numerous programs that I've
purchased for clients at CompUSA have been written in BASIC.

Don't think that writing in BASIC doesn't make your programs powerful.
QuickBasic has "come a long way baby" and can give C a run for its money
in many cases. Okay C is faster with graphics, but how many graphics
packages are written in ratio to other types of programs?

BASIC's biggest weakness is its *^%%$# name!! I write many programs in
QB4.5 for my clients, from payroll, database, barcode, package tracking
comm programs, and many utilities. To HIDE the fact that I'm using BASIC
for nosey people with editors I PKLITE the .EXE file. Besides other neat
memory tricks more advanced hackers would know you couldn't tell the
difference between a BASIC, C++, PASCAL, or other compiled .EXE file.
I can whip up a demo program for a client very quickly in QB4.5 and after
they say what needs to be changed finishing quickly with very tight code
is a breeze. BTW, all of my programs are network-ready so they have to be
robust. One of my programs is a COMM package that lets users call up and
see where their product shipments are (like UPS and FEDEX tracking
software.) It also allows callers to view their account information. The
program interfaces with a dispatch program written in FoxPro and an
accounting software package. The program pulls data from these packages
every 1/2 hour to keep information current while not hogging all network
resources. The cost for this program to be written in C++ wouldn't have
made this program cost-effective for them. I would have lost a sale!
And besides this program was alot of FUN to write because it was a
challenge - I hadn't written anything like this before.

I know enough C to write decent programs, but writing menus, windows,
list boxes, etc is soooo much easier with QuickBasic. I know many
programmers who learned C++ just so they could get respect from other
programmers. What a waste! QB4.5, powerbasic, TrueBASIC, etc. have tons
of libraries from Winer and others to write tons of different programs -
even TSRs in some cases.

When someone tells you to learn a "REAL LANGUAGE" ask him how much money
he's made on his programs - or were they all homework assignments. I'm
not knocking ANY compiler, I'm just saying learn to program in a
language that YOU like not one that you can struggle with just so you
can say "I'm a _________ programmer." BTW, VisualBasic looks more like
C, but Mr. Bill and his MicroSerfs didn't want to change the name
because they thought it would frighten away new programmers.    

 +--------------------------------------------------------------------------+
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 +---------------------------------------------------------------------------

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 +==========================================================================+



Mon, 18 Aug 1997 08:30:26 GMT  
 Why do C programmers dump on Basic programmers?
:  I'm always amazed at th amount of scorn I get whenever I talk
: to one of the computer science undergrads here and mention that I
: like to program in QuickBasic. Almost invariably they roll their
: eyes and say something like "well REAL programmers use c++/c or
: assembler!"

Thats because undergrads haven't had to work for a living yet (much like
many of their CompSci professors)... REAL programmers use the most
appropriate tool to get the job done. I write in C. But only subroutines
to use from PDS Basic.

:  I don't understand why nobody has develloped a flavor of BASIC that
: includes the features of c++/c that so many people think are so hot and
: why BASIC compilers generally produce sluggish code, often despite the
: programmers best efforts to write efficient code.

Just for the hell of it, about once a year or so I send a more-or-less
standardized letter to Microsoft's product support people {*filter*}ing about
that kind of thing. Basic would be very cool with function pointers,
bitfields, etc. As for compiled code speed, PDS Basic 7.1 produced
consistently faster EXE's than any C compiler that was out at the same
time (you've got to remember that PDS 7.1 is something like four years
old at this point, whereas they crank out new C compilers every third
Wednesday of each month).



Mon, 18 Aug 1997 22:52:07 GMT  
 Why do C programmers dump on Basic programmers?
: [stuff deleted]

: Don't think that writing in BASIC doesn't make your programs powerful.
: QuickBasic has "come a long way baby" and can give C a run for its money
: in many cases. Okay C is faster with graphics, but how many graphics
: packages are written in ratio to other types of programs?

The only thing I have to disagree with is the C and fast graphics part.
The BGI that comes with most C compilers is absolutely slower than the
basic interface and not until rescently did they decide to incorporate
the direct memory writes for text into C <something QB has always had>.

It takes a library add-on for C to have fast graphics or you hacking the
code yourself <not a pleasant experience> which can be done in QB as well.

: BASIC's biggest weakness is its *^%%$# name!! I write many programs in

That and the over use or error checking in the final code, that 5K+ text
you'll see at the end of about every .EXE. Though PB and ASIC don't use this.

: QB4.5 for my clients, from payroll, database, barcode, package tracking
: comm programs, and many utilities. To HIDE the fact that I'm using BASIC
: for nosey people with editors I PKLITE the .EXE file. Besides other neat
: memory tricks more advanced hackers would know you couldn't tell the
: difference between a BASIC, C++, PASCAL, or other compiled .EXE file.
: I can whip up a demo program for a client very quickly in QB4.5 and after

DOSSHELL was written in VB-DOS.

: I know enough C to write decent programs, but writing menus, windows,
: list boxes, etc is soooo much easier with QuickBasic. I know many
: programmers who learned C++ just so they could get respect from other
: programmers. What a waste! QB4.5, PowerBasic, TrueBASIC, etc. have tons

Not to mention the cost of the libraries compared to the cost of the
equivalent C libraries.

: When someone tells you to learn a "REAL LANGUAGE" ask him how much money
: he's made on his programs - or were they all homework assignments. I'm
: not knocking ANY compiler, I'm just saying learn to program in a
: language that YOU like not one that you can struggle with just so you
: can say "I'm a _________ programmer." BTW, VisualBasic looks more like
: C, but Mr. Bill and his MicroSerfs didn't want to change the name
: because they thought it would frighten away new programmers.    

Actually VBWIN 3.0 looks more like C++, but the older VB including
VB-DOS are very much Basic. And to be quite honest there isn't a lot of
difference between C and basic once you get through the requirements.

Basically just start the main code wuth a main() , use lower case,
and {} are SUB/FUNCTION , END SUB/FUNCTION. Oh yeah don't ask why, but
about every statement has to end with a ';' At first I used to use a
QB program and add a ; to the end of each line after saving it and remove the
1 or 2 lines that don't need it. And last declare everything not declared
in a *.h file <I can deal with everthing except the ';' thats is just
ridiculous and serves no purpose unless your using multiple command on
one line.

--



Tue, 19 Aug 1997 06:14:12 GMT  
 Why do C programmers dump on Basic programmers?

: : [stuff deleted]

: : Don't think that writing in BASIC doesn't make your programs powerful.
: : QuickBasic has "come a long way baby" and can give C a run for its money
: : in many cases. Okay C is faster with graphics, but how many graphics
: : packages are written in ratio to other types of programs?

: The only thing I have to disagree with is the C and fast graphics part.
: The BGI that comes with most C compilers is absolutely slower than the
: basic interface and not until rescently did they decide to incorporate
: the direct memory writes for text into C <something QB has always had>.

: It takes a library add-on for C to have fast graphics or you hacking the
: code yourself <not a pleasant experience> which can be done in QB as well.

: : BASIC's biggest weakness is its *^%%$# name!! I write many programs in

: That and the over use or error checking in the final code, that 5K+ text
: you'll see at the end of about every .EXE. Though PB and ASIC don't use this.

: DOSSHELL was written in VB-DOS.

        was not



Wed, 20 Aug 1997 04:15:21 GMT  
 Why do C programmers dump on Basic programmers?


: Using C, I can include assembler if I need it, but to maintain portability
: it's not a good idea. C executables are small and fast. C source is
: generally portable across platforms, most of the stuff I write will run on
: macs, unix boxes, or any machine with a standard C compiler.

Try PowerBasic...

RW...
GA is IDDG! :)
I go ga ga over GA! ;)
The Few, The Proud, The GATB...



Mon, 18 Aug 1997 06:17:10 GMT  
 Why do C programmers dump on Basic programmers?

Quote:

> > Using C, I can include assembler if I need it, but to maintain portability
> > it's not a good idea. C executables are small and fast. C source is
> > generally portable across platforms, most of the stuff I write will run on
> > macs, unix boxes, or any machine with a standard C compiler.

> Yeah, C is better in that way, it is far easyier to port (unless you have the
> ZX-Spectrum and C64 markets in mind :) - in which case asm would probably be
> easyier to port than anything else).
> However, it seems to me that unless you are using a text mode then you have to
> rewrite most of it anyway (?) because of how different platforms like
> DOS/WIN/MacOS/XWin/Unix etc are with regards to gfx.

Thats what header files and libraries are for. These hold details like
screen layouts, no. of colours, etc., and make porting a (usually) easy
task. CURSES is available for msdos, unix, and other platforms, and handles
multiple windows amongst other things. I haven't tried it myself yet, but
it looks like it works ok.
--
Douggie
          sig in therapy, and doing well. Just don't mention the war...


Wed, 20 Aug 1997 07:59:44 GMT  
 
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