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BASIC Doesn't Have to Be That Basic

Posted on 24 January 1999

The following text was written by Patrick Wilson:

Hello everyone. I've been thinking a lot after submitting my article, The TI Programming Alliance, and I realized a few important things. People complain that good assembly programs are few and far between. This is unfortunately true, however don't leave BASIC out. Unless it's for the TI-83 or less. Let's face it, BASIC pretty much just sucks. With the exception of rapid development and almost no risk of crashing, it's slow, cumbersome, inefficient, and resource lacking. Assembly makes up for this, fixing all of these (most of the time). Now, I may have strayed a bit, but... I bring these facts up for a reason and I'll get to the point in just a bit. There is this group of highly talented BASIC programmers that go under the name of "BKSoft". They make VERY good games for the TI-86. All in BASIC though. Second, an assembly program under the name of ASAP X Command extends BASIC in a unique way. It adds simple, fast, and very effective extensions to BASIC such as the ability to display inverted text, draw sprites, test the existence of variables and much more. Now, I will explain why I've said so many different things. What if BASIC was extended by so much, that you couldn't tell where the BASIC ended and the ASM begins? That's right folks! Add assembly power functions to the built-in BASIC. Just think, it wouldn't be that awfully hard.

  1. Find out what BASIC programmers want.

    Personally, I want the ability to draw sprites, find out whether or not the Axes or Coordinates or the Grid's are on, and have fast encryption and decryption. Just think, a math program that didn't mess up your graph screen, a BASIC RPG with fast moving sprites (Yes, BASSPro for the 86 does do this), and a way to encrypt saved games with a password so no one can screw up your saved game when you almost beat it!

  2. Create an API.

    OK, big idea coming! OK, you got one program that runs tiny little applets in the form of a prgm file. The applets would add all the functionality, while the big one would be run through the BASIC program wishing to use the applets. The program would search for all applets with a certain header and load them. Finally, the program could use the commands that were added by the applets. Phew!!!

  3. Keep some control.

    We want functionality, not oversized crap. If this idea is put to use, please use good judgment.

  Reply to this item

Re: Article: "BASIC Doesn''t Have to be That Basic"
Excalibur
(Web Page)

I have no knowledge of ASM whatsoever, other than the best games are programmed in it (i'm not putting down BASIC, but ASM has a lot of advantages). If is's possible to make a shell that lets me make BASIC stuff go as fast and look as good as ASM, that'd be great!!! (maybe a compiler that turns BASIC into ASM?) Being able to draw with grayscale in basic would be nice (not that CyclePic command either) Anyone who can make a shell like that, or upgrade the TI OS, Email ME! (TI92+ only)

Reply to this comment    17 May 1999, 16:31 GMT


Re: Re: Article: "BASIC Doesn''t Have to be That Basic"
no_one_2000_  Account Info
(Web Page)

My thoughts on BASIC and ASM are:

ASM is great. You can do anything low-level without restrictions. BASIC is slow. If BASIC were fast, then it would be great, but it's really slow and it lacks quite a bit of important features.

I've made BASIC games before, and for a while, it's fun to play them, but after about 5 rounds or so, you realize "these graphics suck!" and "this game goes as slow as cold molasses" That's why BASIC isn't popular. Now, with TIGCC for TI-89/92+ you can make C programs that run as fast as ASM, and the language is as easy to learn as BASIC, but it is much more poweful. I think it's a great alternative if you're too lazy to learn ASM or you hate BASIC.

But, I've read plenty of interesting webpages on how to do tricks in BASIC, but it's sometimes such a pain in a butt, it's not worth it.

Overall, I think that ASM is defenately the best choice over BASIC.

What I'd like to see in BASIC is
. MUCH MUCH faster processing
. Use of sprites
. low-level key reading
. More graphics options
. better use of binary
. grayscale
etc

What does everyone else think?

Reply to this comment    27 June 2002, 00:36 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Article: "BASIC Doesn''t Have to be That Basic"
DavidDuck11  Account Info

You can write calc programs in C?
What about C#?
It's better, and nobody knows what it is.

Reply to this comment    31 July 2002, 04:58 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Article: "BASIC Doesn''t Have to be That Basic"
lord_nightrose Account Info
(Web Page)

Yes, yes we do. And screw you, you like Micro$haft.

Reply to this comment    21 September 2002, 11:15 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Article: BASIC Doesn''t Have to be That Basic
David P  Account Info

Shut up. Microsoft is AMAZING. What other company/ies can send out a product riddled with errors and still manage to make BILLIONS?

Reply to this comment    26 July 2007, 18:14 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Article: BASIC Doesn''t Have to be That Basic
TStott  Account Info

So then what are you, a Mactard?

Reply to this comment    21 April 2012, 19:44 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Article: "BASIC Doesn''t Have to be That Basic"
rpgmaster01 Account Info

Lemme point out a few things:

1)ASM is great but, it's harder to prgm (longer time to make)in and there are lots of calc programmers that don't know the ASM language very well.

2)BASIC may not have the graphical abilities as ASM, but it has potential on other things. It all depends on the programmer.

Reply to this comment    19 January 2004, 18:15 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Article: "BASIC Doesn''t Have to be That Basic"
MoMoRyan Account Info
(Web Page)

I agree with you. I have no clue at all abought ASM. When I try to read it, it confuzzes me. But with BASIC it's well..........Basuc. (no duh)

Any ways. Does anyone know how to program boss keys or timers??? (in BASIC) if you do e-mail me PLEASE....Bluethunder30201@aol.com

Reply to this comment    5 February 2004, 01:45 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Article: "BASIC Doesn''t Have to be That Basic"
MoMoRyan Account Info
(Web Page)

Uh........Typo. Let's try *Basic*

Reply to this comment    5 February 2004, 01:46 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Article: BASIC Doesn''t Have to be That Basic
Fibonacci Account Info

Those are my exact wishes for basic games. The worst error for BASIC games is the ERR: MEM FULL. That is the worst thing about BASIC games and all around programming.

Reply to this comment    11 March 2004, 05:34 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Article: BASIC Doesn''t Have to be That Basic
Fibonacci Account Info

How do u get rid of the MEM FULL error???

Reply to this comment    11 March 2004, 05:39 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Article: BASIC Doesn''t Have to be That Basic
hamster3.0  Account Info

I got a ti-83 plus and wondering did you mean
ERR:MEMORY
1:Quit
2:Goto

or...

ERR:ARCHIVE FULL
1:QUIT

LARGEEST SINGLE...

Reply to this comment    12 April 2005, 23:24 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Article: BASIC Doesn''t Have to be That Basic
Kevin Clark  Account Info

Dont use Lbl and Goto in your programs.

Reply to this comment    1 November 2005, 02:28 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Article: BASIC Doesn''t Have to be That Basic
graphmastur Account Info

Oh, well that shouldn't be difficult
P.S. Sarcasticly said of course

Reply to this comment    5 June 2007, 14:41 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Article: BASIC Doesn''t Have to be That Basic
Infinity  Account Info

I know this is a REALLY old topic, but it's not so hard to NOT use labels. You can utilize Repeat and For loops by arranging them correctly to not only make your program faster but also easier to debug and you DON'T have to have Mem Error.

Reply to this comment    23 April 2009, 02:01 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Article: BASIC Doesn''t Have to be That Basic
kevin roosa Account Info
(Web Page)

You are exactly right about the need of a more suitable BASIC!

Reply to this comment    27 October 2005, 01:25 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Article: BASIC Doesn''t Have to be That Basic
graphmastur Account Info

why don't you use xlib
it uses real staments.
you can use sprites or even change the contrast.
try it!!!

Reply to this comment    5 June 2007, 14:39 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Article: BASIC Doesn''t Have to be That Basic
Jaeil  Account Info

If you made BASIC do that much, I would download that app as soon as it came out and instantly convert all my games to games with those added features.

Mmmm...greyscale...

Reply to this comment    15 April 2009, 04:04 GMT

Re: BASIC Doesn't Have to Be That Basic
jessethemdiget  Account Info

Where can i find asap x command?
i looked for hours!

Reply to this comment    6 October 2004, 14:41 GMT

BASIC means EZ & accesibility
Cha$

I think basic is great. I am not bashing ASM. ASM is great, but you cant program it on your calculator, so basic is the quick solution for those programs on the "fly". I have created about 30 basic programs for math class that let me do 30 problems in 10 minutes, when it takes the "ti-less" people over an hour. As long as you keep the size down basic ain't bad and i think this idea of ASM and basic incorporated is GREAT!

Reply to this comment    3 June 1999, 23:47 GMT

Re: BASIC means EZ & accesibility
Neil Hodges  Account Info
(Web Page)

I really enjoy making a nice basic program with free time. I've even made a text scroller. The programs you mentioned, what are they? Where may obtain the 3 problem/minute prgms?

Reply to this comment    23 July 2003, 08:01 GMT


Re: BASIC means EZ & accesibility
atevin Account Info

Yeah, BASIC is easy, and since I do most of my programming in class it's more convenient. (plus i can give my ti-83 basic programs to people with ti-83+ calcs, I don't think that works with assembler)

Reply to this comment    16 November 2003, 19:55 GMT

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