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QBASIC Programming for Dummies

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the truth-in-nomenclature dept.

Programming 630

HeavyJay writes "When I purchased QBASIC Programming for Dummies, I expected a clear, concise tutorial on how to construct programs in QBASIC. I'm new to the world of programming, and, having had luck with the Dummies series before, thought this the best place to start off. How very wrong I was." Read on for more; readers with recommendations for better (newer?) QBASIC books are encouraged to contribute.

I've read countless books and online tutorials on QBASIC, C++, PHP, and other various languages. I'm sure all you wise programmers can tell me the first sample program that comes to mind with any language, can't you? The classic 'Hello, world!' example. This easy app starts off would-be programmers with a level of confidence and understanding. To my surprise, Douglas Hergert decided not to use the ever-popular example program. So, you might be wondering, what did he use in it's place? A four-page-long currency converter.

This was Mistake #1.

The book started off making me feel stupider than I actually am. This oftentimes discourages readers from pursuing, and the book takes to the shelf, perhaps never to be picked up again. I've noticed that the best way to capture a reader's attention (and explain the most) is to start off with PRINT, INPUT, IF...THEN and GOTO. Then move on to loops, and get technical from there. It best prepares the reader for everything in store, rather than making them feel like idiots. The book didn't do this at all. It started off making in such a way that anyone without experience would be completely lost. IF...THEN doesn't even come in until the eleventh chapter, despite being one of the most important tools in the language!

So, what good can I say about the book? Not much, except that it came with some practical applications. This brings up another grievance I have with it, that being the lack of an accompanying disc. I feel every book on programming with long examples ought to come with a disc containing all example programs, so that the reader can tweak and observe them as he sees fit, without typing in five pages of code. The best way to learn is often by example, and discouraging lazy people doesn't help the learning process along.

Alas, the book does contain some humour, as it's other brothers and sisters from IDG often do. With chapter titles such as Text, Lies, and Videotape and How to Manage Arguments and Influence People, a book can't be completely bad.

Although I suggest beginners steer clear of this book, it can be useful to experienced programmers (supposing they don't think QBASIC a waste of time). It goes deeply into data structures, arrays, and databases. There are many helpful features, but it's definitely not a book to learn from.


You can purchase the QBASIC Programming for Dummies from bn.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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630 comments

Redundant??? (5, Funny)

(54)T-Dub (642521) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191709)

Isn't "QBASIC Programming for Dummies" a bit redundant?

Re:Redundant??? (-1, Redundant)

Bingo Foo (179380) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191753)

Shouldn't your comment be modded "Redundant?"

Re:Redundant??? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6191771)

I'm recommending "PERL for Dummies" or in the worst case "WTF are you using QBASIC for, Dummy!"

Re:Redundant??? (5, Insightful)

WndrBr3d (219963) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191774)

You know, flame all you want but we all know everyone started in this programming language. And if you were any good at it, you could make some pretty dope applications. I mean, what better way to show off to your junior high programming class than making a DOS based Paintbrush application by hooking the mouse interrupt.

Didn't get me any women, but it (QBasic) as a good springboard into computers.

Re:Redundant??? (2, Funny)

jcast (461910) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191808)

You got to start in QBasic? You don't know how lucky you are. Back when I started, we had to line-number our programs. And we were grateful!

Re:Redundant??? (1)

dougmc (70836) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191896)

You know, flame all you want but we all know everyone started in this programming language.
Not me. I started with Applesoft [applefritter.com] (and played with the Integer Basic a little), then 6502 assembly (Applesoft was slow), then USCD Pascal (while I dabbled with Gra-forth.) Then I replaced the Apple ][ with an Amstrad PC, and got Turbo Pascal and dabbled with Prolog.

Sometime later I got an account on the Suns at school, where I discovered some languages that I still use today ...

Re:Redundant??? (1)

Slack0ff (590042) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191787)

I was able to learn QBASIC in 3 months using only the help files and Sample program. I was 12 at the time... Did the people at /. just put this up to give us all a good laugh? This cannot be a serious review of a book or ask /. question. Heres my advice buddy. A. Different Language... C++, JAVA, Python... B. This is even better then the first one. DO YOUR HOMEWORK!!! Didnt you look online and see some QBASIC pages that said somthing like "Last Updated xx/xx/1990?"

Re:Redundant??? (1, Funny)

Anonvmous Coward (589068) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191898)

"Isn't "QBASIC Programming for Dummies" a bit redundant?"

Q.) What'd the farmer say when he couldn't find his tractor?

A.) He said: "Where's my tractor?"

Man, I hope whoever modded the previous post gets around to mine. I should be at +5 in no time!

Fitting title (-1, Redundant)

cruppel (603595) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191711)

The title of this book is sort of redundant, isn't it?

Re:Fitting title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6191737)

heh so is your post idiot

Re:Fitting title (1)

chibiyoukai (543922) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191750)

It's not nearly as redundant as your post. ;-)

Re:Fitting title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6191794)

Ooo! Ooo! And so is yours, the AC above you got one in there first!

This is like some sort of bad recursive redundancy situation.

Re:Fitting title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6191820)

LOL Your post is redundant too cuz of the AC that posted before you!

Re:Fitting title (-1)

Steven Blanchley (655585) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191824)

Your post is redundant too; some AC already got to that one!

Re:Fitting title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6191906)

heh, TWO ACs got it in there before YOU

Re:Fitting title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6191925)

10 PRINT "Your post is redundant." 20 GOTO 10

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6191716)

I was the troll who posted the color goatse ascii art on #forum.d last night! Did you like it thegleek?

...!! QBasic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6191723)

QBASIC? They still make FPs? :/

Chapter Summary (4, Funny)

Prince_Ali (614163) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191724)

Chapter 1: That game where the snake eats the numbers.
Chapter 2: That game where the monkeys throw bananas at each other.
Chapter 3: That game..

pretty good book report (0, Troll)

WndrBr3d (219963) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191728)

From A-Apple to Z-Zebra, Baby's First Pop-Up Book is twenty-six pages of alphabetic adventure.

QBASIC ?? (2, Interesting)

makapuf (412290) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191729)

Why, I mean, why ?

if it's in a corporate world, flee while it's time
else, why not use python as a first language ? or, Java ?

I mean, you could learn something simple, like, LISP ?

Re:QBASIC ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6191903)

LISP was my first programming language. FORTRAN was my second. COBOL was my third. All of that included courses with Paul Erdos and Douglas Hofstadter. Ah, to be young again.

Re:QBASIC ?? (3, Insightful)

Anonvmous Coward (589068) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191932)

"if it's in a corporate world, flee while it's time else, why not use python as a first language ? or, Java ?"

Programming is a rather abstract concept. Best to start with something where you don't have to trip over stupid things like case sensitivity or declaring variables.

Nothing wrong with starting with Basic.

QWhat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6191730)

why in the hell would you ever want to learn qbasic in the first place?

Who realy is the Dummy? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6191731)

You bought the book so im starting to wonder who realy is the dummy?

Actualy I have read several of those books, the one on linux was a decent read for a noobie.

QBasic (1, Interesting)

nogoodmonkey (614350) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191732)

We are reading book reviews from books written in 1994 now?

I never understood why they did away with line numbers in QBasic. Seemed like a very big part of GWBasic.

Re:QBasic (1)

YetAnotherAnonymousC (594097) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191859)

I know you're probably kidding, but just as a piece of nerd trivia: There's nothing stopping you from using line numbers in QBASIC if you want to. They just get treated like any other labels.

Re:QBasic (1)

Tom7 (102298) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191914)

You can use line numbers in QBasic. Of course, the reason to remove them is that it becomes impossible to maintain your code when you've got lines 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, and need to insert a line between 64 and 65. ;)

For what it's worth, I learned on QBasic and think it was a really good starting point.

Dear Sun, (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6191733)

Dear Sun,

Good riddance! Curse you for bringing the scourge of Java on our industry and fragmenting and confusing the development landscape! Rot in hell, and take Java with you!

Signed,
Bill Stevens
MCSD/MCSE

Re:Dear Sun, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6191885)

Why does it not surprise me that an MCSE can't figure out which story his reply goes under...

go ahead and laugh (5, Interesting)

cr@ckwhore (165454) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191742)

Go ahead and laugh, but I work for a company that still writes/maintains qbasic software and sells it to unsuspecting clients for $50,000 bucks a pop. I think we need a "software purchasing for dummies" book.

Re:go ahead and laugh (2, Funny)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191780)

Go ahead and laugh, but I work for a company that still writes/maintains qbasic software and sells it to unsuspecting clients for $50,000 bucks a pop. I think we need a "software purchasing for dummies" book.

More like a "leaving your cave for dummies" book.

Re:go ahead and laugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6191786)

You don't happen to work for AEA Technology or BNFL do you? Do you still write in M$ FORTRAN for DOS as well?

Re:go ahead and laugh (1)

malraid (592373) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191825)

OMG

I was really impressed with companies selling software written in Pascal (including DB engines ), but QBASIC is on another league completly.

Bad title (0, Redundant)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191743)

QBASIC Programming for Dummies

Isn't that redundant?

I remember QBasic (1)

Carme (232239) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191751)

I used to be a QBasic freak. Up until, oh, 1994.

Seriously, is anyone still using it for anything? I can kinda-sorta understand how it would be good as an intro to programming, but it's like tinkering with a Model T engine and working your way up to a V8 over the course of a few years. It strikes me as impractical for anyone seriously trying to learn.

What is next (4, Interesting)

Fizzlewhiff (256410) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191754)

A review for MS-DOS 5.0? QBasic hasn't been included with Microsoft operating systems since they stopped selling DOS if I am not mistaken.

Re:What is next (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6191854)

QBasic was included on the windows 95 CD, but not installed by default. NT has it installed by default. Not sure about 98 or 2000 and up.

But yeah, I agree with your point... learning to use qbasic is about as useless as learning VAX assembler.

Re:What is next (1)

Goalie_Ca (584234) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191863)

Try windows 9x. Just look on the install CD.

Re:What is next (1)

ketamine-bp (586203) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191875)

Wrong. They have that in windows 95 cdrom under the 'oldmsdos' directory inside some directory...

Re:What is next (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6191905)

Actually you are mistaken, Windows 3.1 had qbasic but Windows 3.1 was just a shell program running off DOS made to look like its own OS.

Re:What is next (1)

haus (129916) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191927)

It appears to come up on my office Windows 2000 Pro box. Go figure.

5 1/4 inch floppy (1)

BlueWaldo (651162) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191756)

Maybe the book should come with a 5 1/4 inch floppy instead of a CD, since QBASIC lost its usefulness about the same time as the 5 1/4 inch floppy.

QBASIC is the first language. (3, Insightful)

Omni Magnus (645067) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191757)

I can't even count how many educational institutions use QBASIC to teach programming. With QBASIC, you can learn the fundamentals very easily, and that is why it is still used. Granted, these fundamentals are being taught in junior high and sometimes at high school. If he is reading about QBASIC he probably isnt a skilled programmer and he is just starting out, and that is what he needs to do, start with QBASIC.

Lazy people can't learn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6191758)

>discouraging lazy people doesn't help the
>learning process along.

I find this comment misguided. If you're lazy, you're going to have a hard time learning. Learning requires work and effort - and if you aren't willing to put in the effort, you aren't going to learn.

Re:Lazy people can't learn (1)

cloak42 (620230) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191845)

I find this comment misguided. If you're lazy, you're going to have a hard time learning. Learning requires work and effort - and if you aren't willing to put in the effort, you aren't going to learn.

No. Learning requires the ability to learn. WORKING requires work. You can easily learn stuff just by sitting around and listening. It's applying that knowledge that takes the work and effort, not the actual learning. Just because you had to study for hours every night with a textbook doesn't mean that we all had to.

Arghh (0)

fasura (169795) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191759)

GOTO
haven't you heard, GOTOs are considered harmfull?

Actually I can't even see the point in buying a book for a dead and crappy language.

Best way to learn is with gorilla! (1)

HenryC (147782) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191760)

I got into programming with Qbasic by studying Nibbles and gorilla. I remember modifying the code and break both program so many times before acchieving anything useful. And as I was 9 at the time, I thought it was really cool to steal the dollarsign intro screen they used for my own programs.

-- Henry

Q-what? (4, Funny)

jabbadabbadoo (599681) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191761)

"The book started off making me feel stupider than I actually am."

I would feel pretty stupid actually reading a QBASIC book in 2003. Modern programming languages are easier to learn than QBASIC.

In short:
10 PRINT "QBASIC SUCKS"
20 GOTO 10

Re:Q-what? (1)

ketamine-bp (586203) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191837)

Wait, but qbasic does not require line number and it supports text-labels! Your post should file under 'GWBasic for dummies' or 'BASICA for dummies'... :-)

(It will run fine, though.)

By the way, i think this book review should be placed in 'it's funny, laugh' category.

Re:Q-what? (1)

jabbadabbadoo (599681) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191870)

"Wait, but qbasic does not require line number and it supports text-labels! Your post should file under 'GWBasic for dummies' or 'BASICA for dummies'... :-) (It will run fine, though.)"

Hey, I wouldn't write a "QBASIC SUCKS" program in QBASIC, now would I? Of course it's GWBasic ;-)

Re:Q-what? (1, Funny)

jcast (461910) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191860)

That's GWBasic.

What, you mean you don't have your obsolete useless languages memorized? Shame on you.

Re:Q-what? (5, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191910)

I would feel pretty stupid actually reading a QBASIC book in 2003. Modern programming languages are easier to learn than QBASIC.

They are? By what reconning? These days they turn this:

print(a + b)

Into this:

am = new math.ArithmeticManager()
opA = new math.Operand((float) a)
opB = new math.Operand((float) b)
am.addOperand(opA)
am.addOperand(opB)
am.operator = new math.operators.Addition()
am.executeMathOperation()
system.io.output.print(am.mathOperationResult())

Ob Dummies Comment (1)

FroMan (111520) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191762)

Well, yeah! Ofcourse QBASIC is for Dummies.

It is practically impossible to teach good programming to students that have had a prior exposure to BASIC; as potential programmers they are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration.

-- Edsgar W. Dijkstra

Re:Ob Dummies Comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6191809)

I love that quote! So very true.

QBasic programming for Dummies?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6191764)

Show me QBasic programming for Nerds. (reads "News for Nerds")

Here ya go... (4, Informative)

nbvb (32836) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191765)

Want a *good* book on QBasic?

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/15 56 153406/qid=1055522032/sr=1-3/ref=sr_1_3/002-837483 1-7720813?v=glance&s=books

there ya go.

Running MS-DOS: QBasic by MS Press.

I'm *NOT* a fan of Microsoft, but this IS a well-written book that covers the QBasic language well.

I used this many years ago when I wanted to modify the source code to VirtualBBS 6.12 (Remember that mess?)

Re:Here ya go... (0)

liquidzero4 (566264) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191881)

I couldn't agree with you more. This is the first programming book I ever read, and the first language I ever learned. I still have and love the book after 15 years. I don't use it all but still have found memories of my first Qbasic program.

Coming up next on Slashdot Book Reviews... (5, Funny)

ecc0 (548386) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191769)

"Making your own Apple I keyboard in 21 days"

"Changing Vacuum Tubes in your ENIAC for Dummies"

"4004 Assembly Made Easy"

Re:Coming up next on Slashdot Book Reviews... (1)

jabbadabbadoo (599681) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191838)

>>"Making your own Apple I keyboard in 21 days"
>>"Changing Vacuum Tubes in your ENIAC for Dummies"
>>"4004 Assembly Made Easy"

What is this? A post to the prototype of usenet that got lost in the seventies, but that now have magically found its way through an electronic wormhole to /. ?

Re:Coming up next on Slashdot Book Reviews... (1)

robslimo (587196) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191928)

"4004 Assembly Made Easy"

Actually, I'd go for that one... or any help with the 4004/4040 processor.

I've got a 4040 processor that I'd like to design into a working computer as a novelty. In my research, I've come up with a dearth useful documentation for the chip. The best I've found so far is a list of the opcodes.

Alas, I had no need for BASIC of any kind in this system.

Windoze (0, Flamebait)

Malicious (567158) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191770)

The main problem with the 'For Dummies' series, is that it appeals to the lowest possible denominator, which implies not only Windows users, but the worst kind of moronic Windows drones....

"When I said to move your mouse 'up', I meant forwards, not vertically.........."

Re:Windoze (1)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191918)

You are so 1337.

I know I've already commented, but (1)

Prince_Ali (614163) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191772)

I know I've already commented, but I just realized he mentions that GOTO should be taught. If QBASIC has conditional loops (which I assume it does) there is no reason to teach GOTO!

Re:I know I've already commented, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6191937)

You are hereby sentenced to 1000 hours of programming in assembler, and are forbidden to ever use a branch instruction.

QBASIC is dying (1)

5prite (655586) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191773)

QBASIC is dying, but QBASIC for dummies will live forever!

Re:QBASIC is dying (1)

ketamine-bp (586203) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191798)

Have Netcraft confirmed that?

1993 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6191779)

*Checks year*
Good, it's not 1993... I thought I got sucked into a time machine...

Duh? (1)

Kenshin (43036) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191783)

"The book started off making me feel stupider than I actually am."

1) QBASIC? That's so 1992...

2) You bought a DUMMIES book for QBASIC. It's like buying a Dummies book for cooking Kraft Macaroni.

Try a different language. (1)

dmand (578804) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191785)

. . . supposing they don't think QBASIC a waste of time . . .

I think just about any experienced programmer will tell you not to bother with QBASIC at this point. There are many other better choices for a first language, and I'm sure other people will offer their insights here as well.

I would suggest starting w/ a scripting language like JavaScript, or jump right into Java. There are many good (and free) tutorials online.

Sweeet! (0)

alexre1 (662339) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191788)

Man... anybody else remember nibbles? I'm going to pull out my old MS DOS 6 disks and install it on my old 486, and play it when i get home :) Alex

CD in the book (1)

viega (564643) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191792)

CDs in the book add to the production costs and generally result in a higher cost to the consumer. Instead, you should be asking for an accompanying web site from which you can download the code.

This has a further advantage in that, as inevitable bugs are found in the code, the code on the web site can be updated.

Dummies books are for... Dummies! (1, Funny)

graveyhead (210996) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191795)

graveyhead writes "When I purchased World Domination for Dummies, I expected a clear, concise tutorial on how to take over the world. I'm new to the world of world domination, and, having had luck with the Dummies series before, thought this the best place to start off. How very wrong I was."

Try the O'Reilly's QBasic Book (0, Funny)

Gabe Garza (535203) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191797)

Just look for the book with a black & white line drawing of a quarter-length bus on the front. (Apologies to anyone forced to learn QBasic for employment reasons...)

QBASIC?!?! (1)

NetRanger (5584) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191800)

Who the heck uses QBASIC?!? Not even QuickBASIC, the compiled version -- but the QBASIC interpreter? Perhaps as a first programming language it wouldn't be TOO bad... but where would one even find the interpreter anymore?

QuickBASIC was an interesting product in its day, except for the fact that the simplest programs were bloated by about 400% due to the overhead of all the standard libraries in the runtimes. Or you could create a "Standalone EXE" which contained the minimum necessary procedures. (If only Visual BASIC did that.)

I can't really recommend QBASIC to anyone these days though -- the structural model of QBASIC was pretty weak, and these days, it pays to learn C and Java as your first structured and OO languages, following up with VB. (Assuming this is for a novice programmer).

QBasic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6191801)

(o o)
/
O
Funny how we remember things from the passt

OK, it was bad at some stuff.. (1)

El_Smack (267329) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191804)


... but if it teaches you how to modify the banana into a "Redemer" type weapon and render the Gorilla in 3D, I'll buy it.

Wow! (2, Funny)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191806)

You know, I've seen many a troll in the comments, but never before have I seen one actually posted as an article.

QBASIC for Dummies (1)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191816)

Don't buy Dummies books for languages. Period. If you can, try to find the O'Reilly Windows 95 in a Nutshell (yes, Windows *95*) book somewhere; it looks from the index like it has about 20 pages on QBASIC.

June fool's day (1)

forgetmenot (467513) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191817)

This is obviously an April fool's joke. Very sneaky. Everyone knows that the posts on April 1 are dumb redundant stupid annoying *ahem*.."jokes". So now they wait until mid June to post them hoping to "REALLY" fool someone.

I mean.. it IS a joke right? QBASIC?

Coming soon (1)

salimma (115327) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191818)

... OS/360 for dummies! Comes bundled with the Hercules [conmicro.cx] emulator and DASD images. Money back guarante efor people who could not grok mainframes after 21 days.

Wow, a review for a 1994 book (1)

dyj (590807) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191829)

I feel like going through a time machine. Someone please review a GW-BASIC book! :)

QBasic for Dummies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6191834)

It looks more like he needs "Punctuation for Dummies": "what did he use in it's place" What is this #$)#)$ problem with people who claim to be smart? "it's" means "it is". "its" is a possessive as in "its place." Based upon the consistency of this type of problem, it's not a problem where people do not proofread. It's a matter of stupidity.

dummy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6191843)

on so many levels.

DIETEL's "JAVA how to program" is like this (1)

mekkab (133181) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191850)

I was a fan of "C how to program". I thought it was a gentle book. My professor had nothing but bad things to say about Dietel's JAVA book, and I can see why. Its heavily applet based so there is a lot of "bulky" support code around the stuff you really care about.

Why am I mentioning this? The QBASIC "Currency Converter" program reminds me of Dietel's example program for RMI. MY GOD! It was like 10 pages of pain! ANd it was only mildly useful- it was about WEATHER report updates! who cares? Some of my teammates tried to use it as an example for RMI but got hoplessely lost. The layers upon layers of code just obfuscated things horribly. I stuck with it (cuz I'm the networking guy, dammit!) but it sure wasn't easy.

Still Taught Out There!! (1)

moehoward (668736) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191852)

Some colleges still teach QBASIC as a first programming language. Not in CS, but for some business or IS types. Instructors love it for simplicity. Some of the very well done textbooks are good for reasons other than they are just QBASIC books. Some of the textbooks are just good intro programming books. Unfortunately, they are a dying breed. Some of the textbooks have not been updated in over 5 years, but they stay in print. Perhaps because QBASIC (and predecessors) were around so long, these textbooks and courses had an unprecedented chance to mature.

I know some instructors are going to move from QBASIC to teaching VB .NET from the command prompt, or only teaching command-line apps. That seems OK, given the ability to debug, etc. Modern constructs, OO, access to classes, etc.

I will always fondly recall my days of QBASIC hacking. Fun stuff.

Oh Aren't WE All So Superior... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6191856)

www.libertybasic.com

Try the shareware version...

But... (1)

Fortyseven (240736) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191858)

...it's QBASIC!! Lemmie know when "C=128 BASIC 7.0 for Dummies" comes out. (I'd actually like to thumb through that, sarcasm aside.)

Seriously though, the one person who comes to mind that I've seen use QBasic with any amount of success is good ol' BUILD Boy, AwesoKen [advsys.net] . There's a bit of source on the site, some dealing with voxels and such. It's interesting in the same way as seeing a woman with no arms make a nice painting with a brush between the toes of her feet. You go, girl! :D

C/C++ or Delphi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6191892)

You need a language and you want to get into programming. Use one of these

Delphi, C/C++

Simply because the structre there will prepare for everything else. They may not be Extreme OO but they form the foundation for pretty much everything, with exceptions of SmallTalk and TCL. Even then the concepts are similar

yes (1)

Lxy (80823) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191862)

but does it run (on) linux?

Ok, to make a serious point, is there a QBASIC interpretor for linux? I have some code that I don't want to bother re-writing in C, and I want to first get it working on linux then re-write it as I have time.

QBasic for Dummies (1)

aldousd666 (640240) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191864)

F1

Why is this here? (1)

DarkHelmet (120004) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191873)

QBasic for dummies: Because everyone on slashdot runs a windowless version of DOS, right?

*crickets chirping*

RIGHT?

It is not bad to learn QBasic... (5, Insightful)

halivar (535827) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191877)

For all those folks ranting at WHY someone would want to learn QBasic, I like to consider myself a QBasic "success story."

WAY back when when I got my first computer, DOS was this wierd arcane alter-world from Windows 3.1, I found QBasic. It CAME with my computer. I didn't have the internet, so free, downloadadable compilers were not an option. For me, QBasic was my only link to the programming world.

I never had a book, btw, so all I had to learn BASIC was a vague memory of LET and PRINT commands, and the help file. The help file was awesome. It is, to date, the only good docs I have ever seen from MS. After 6 years, I could do stuff in BASIC that my friends who started out in Pascal and C++ could not dream of doing. Why? Because their learning curve made it impossible.

Before I found QBasic, I wanted to be a writer or a chef or something silly like that. QBasic introduced me into the programming world in which I can now call myself a professional.

So, I'm going to do something right now that, as a Linux user, I thought I would never do...

Thanks, Microsoft.

Speaking as a QBasic user ... groan (1)

seniorcoder (586717) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191879)

My #2 son is taking a programming course at High School. For some misbegotten reason, the chosen language is QBasic. As I have been programming for 30 years now, he fully expected me to give him some assistance with some of his projects ("A better Pong", "Fruit Machine", "Chutes and Ladders", etc,.). I found this quite difficult as the language totally sucks. I can't believe that this language, which isn't all that old, doesn't have parameters which can be returned from a subroutine (without using globals).

I really, really, really wish the teacher had chosen something viable like Perl. It's free, it's easy to learn, it's versatile, it's in use in industry, etc,.

Why do they teach using QBasic? It's such an obscene language.

A Better Choice (2, Informative)

Frodrick (666941) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191887)

In my experience, a far better book for beginners than Qbasic for Dummies is The Idiot's Guide to Qbasic. It is very straight forward and much easier for an absolute beginner to understand.

Setting the Wayback machine a bit further, Perhaps the best "beginner's basic" book that I have ever seen was How to program the Commodore 64 (If you have never programmed a computer before). Although very system specific, it explained concepts like arrays in language a beginner might actually understand.

Everything i ever learned about QBASIC... (1)

aberant (631526) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191889)

Came from gorilla.bas. That program had sooo much valuable info to glean from it, especially that tricky chr$(h) equals the up arrow. If anyone wants the 3D polygon rendering library i wrote in QBASIC 10 years ago just drop me a line.. when i finished that i realized i needed to find a real programming language.

BASIC... (1)

jcast (461910) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191891)

I (vaguely) remember that. INTERCAL designed by people who didn't know it was a joke, IIRC.

QBasic? (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191893)

Hasn't QBasic been dead for years?

I wrote in it, as a passing interest. I made a few executables of stupid graphic programs (draw moving lines and dots) with our BBS names and phone numbers in it.. That was back in the days of scripting BBS's and other passively fun things..

Maybe they should have a review of BBS's for dummies, so we can relive other things that are long since dead.

Python (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6191901)

If you want a good language to start with, try Python.

There are better choices (1)

Saganaga (167162) | more than 11 years ago | (#6191924)

QBasic? There really are better choices for a first programming language.
  • Perl. A fun language. This would be my first choice if I had to start over again.
  • Java. Teaches you to follow modern OO principles. May be a bit difficult for someone who has never programmed before.
  • Visual Basic. I'm not a fan, but it would be a better choice than QBasic, for sure.
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