In defence of BASIC
Image via Wikipedia

I have done a lot of programing in my time, but not really written many programs: by which I mean lasting artefacts.

You used to be able to download a Windows (3.1 vintage) application I had written back in 1993 to calculate UK election results from the Demon Internet FTP server – but that service disappeared in 2010. Sad but not a great loss to the world.

I wrote some software that was used in places I worked – a database contact manager for the Labour Party press office (they ‘lost’ it in a server upgrade after I left) and a web application for Britain in Europe, a body that died in 2003. 

Then there are the bits and pieces I have added to the Linux kernel: a quick grep shows I get credits for six bits of software (ok, obscure drivers) and for a documentation file for an equally obscure piece of hardware. And then perl module Image::Pngslimmer, which I wrote because I needed it and I know it used to have at least one other user.

On the other nobody has ever paid me to write programs (not strictly true, I got some freelance work for this in 2009/10, but not much). So I mainly do this for fun.

And that is why I want to defend BASIC. I read this and was rather downheartened by the comments at the end. BASIC is meant to be fun and it was a quick way for many children, myself included, to learn how to get a computer to do things and what the key concepts of computing were.

Nah. I’d never use it now.