By using this site, you agree to our updated Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use. Manage your Cookies Settings.
424,656 Members | 1,009 Online
Bytes IT Community
+ Ask a Question
Need help? Post your question and get tips & solutions from a community of 424,656 IT Pros & Developers. It's quick & easy.

Is Javascript the new "Basic"?

P: n/a
25 years ago every computer came with some form of Basic interpreter
so you could use yoru computer without having to buy more software. Is
Javascript (teamed with HTML) set to become the new Basic, where
anyone with a computer can start writing code without having to
purchase any expensive languages?

Bill H

Sep 7 '07 #1
Share this Question
Share on Google+
43 Replies


P: n/a
Bill H wrote:
25 years ago every computer came with some form of Basic interpreter
so you could use yoru computer without having to buy more software. Is
Javascript (teamed with HTML) set to become the new Basic, where
anyone with a computer can start writing code without having to
purchase any expensive languages?

Bill H
Hi,

Nah. JavaScript is popular of course, but you can get MANY quality
languages for free theese days that can do a lot more than JS.
Like Perl, PHP, JAVA, many versions of C, etc. The list is long.

Regards,
Erwin Moller
Sep 7 '07 #2

P: n/a
On Sep 7, 6:58 am, Erwin Moller
<Since_humans_read_this_I_am_spammed_too_m...@spam yourself.comwrote:
Bill H wrote:
25 years ago every computer came with some form of Basic interpreter
so you could use yoru computer without having to buy more software. Is
Javascript (teamed with HTML) set to become the new Basic, where
anyone with a computer can start writing code without having to
purchase any expensive languages?
Bill H

Hi,

Nah. JavaScript is popular of course, but you can get MANY quality
languages for free theese days that can do a lot more than JS.
Like Perl, PHP, JAVA, many versions of C, etc. The list is long.

Regards,
Erwin Moller
True - you can get these languages for free, but there is a a learning
curve for most, with Javascript and notepad, just a few lines of code
gives instant gratification.

Bill H

Sep 7 '07 #3

P: n/a
Bill H wrote:
25 years ago every computer came with some form of Basic interpreter
so you could use yoru computer without having to buy more software. Is
Javascript (teamed with HTML) set to become the new Basic, where
anyone with a computer can start writing code without having to
purchase any expensive languages?

Bill H
I'd say that PHP is the new BASIC, Javascript?

Its the new nightmare!

The code itself is fine: what's bad is the way each browser interprets
the DOM properties.
Still its early days yet.

Whats needed is a browser interop, but with IE still being proprietary,
and refusing to conform, its always going to be messy.
Sep 7 '07 #4

P: n/a
Erwin Moller wrote:
Bill H wrote:
>25 years ago every computer came with some form of Basic interpreter
so you could use yoru computer without having to buy more software. Is
Javascript (teamed with HTML) set to become the new Basic, where
anyone with a computer can start writing code without having to
purchase any expensive languages?
Bill H

Nah. JavaScript is popular of course, but you can get MANY quality
languages for free theese days that can do a lot more than JS.
Like Perl, PHP, JAVA, many versions of C, etc. The list is long.
Erwin Moller
I think it IS the new Basic in the terms Bill meant. It has a low
barrier to entry. Any beginner can do view-source on a webpage and look
at some javascript and without understanding too much about why things
are the way they are, they can copy it and make some changes and impress
themselves with a Hello World style program. There's no way a beginner
can do that with Perl, PHP, Java or any C variant. The fact that
JavaScript as quite forgiving when it comes to syntax and isn't strongly
typed too helps. They can get away with missing semi-colons,
accidentally declaring globals and all kinds of minor syntax issues. If
I was running an introduction computer class I'd definitely consider JS
a great easy entry language. Let's face it, what do you need? A browser
and a simple text editor. You've got a billion web pages and google
search that can help you with problems. The people in the QA department
where I work, who aren't Computer Science graduates can all hack
themselves a bit of JavaScript when they're setting up test pages. I
don't know how much they really understand about what they're doing, but
they're getting it done. If anything, I'd say that JS is easier to start
than Basic. Back in the days when I started using Basic, there was no
WWW and everything you needed to know was in a book.
Sep 7 '07 #5

P: n/a
Bill H :
Is Javascript (teamed with HTML) set to become the new Basic, where
anyone with a computer can start writing code without having to
purchase any expensive languages?
I think it is fair to say that it could be the new BASIC. One of my friends
(and occasionally colleague) teaches a Programming 101 course in
Javascript, with great success.

Personally, I find that the close connection with browsers introduces
quite difficult concepts, like self-modifying code, the possibility to open
a window with another program in it which itself may open another window,
etc. So if I were again to teach something like my friend, I would insist
on doing things first in an old-fashioned console, say with spidermonkey.
But apparently, his students do not have the same sort of perverted
curiosity mine had when I taught Programming 101 courses.

By the way, it is entirely possible to get all kinds of quite serious
programming languages for free, from C++ and Ada to Prolog and Haskell.
Even FORTRAN and COBOL, if anybody is still interested!

--
Johannes
"Quand on dit c'est un Johannes, cela vaut autant que ce que maintenant
on appelle un pédant" (H. Estienne, in É. Littré, /Dictionnaire de la
langue française/, art. PÉDANT)
Sep 7 '07 #6

P: n/a
Stevo :
I don't know how much they really understand about what they're doing,
but they're getting it done.
That is what worries me about that approach, actually.

--
Johannes
"Quand on dit c'est un Johannes, cela vaut autant que ce que maintenant
on appelle un pédant" (H. Estienne, in É. Littré, /Dictionnaire de la
langue française/, art. PÉDANT)
Sep 7 '07 #7

P: n/a
Erwin Moller wrote:
I have no stats about this too, but I grew up with lots of
computerusers, and almost all could code BASIC to some extend.
(Talking about Vic20/Oric/ZX81/Amiga/Acorn Atom days)
Erwin Moller
Ahh, memories. My first computer was a ZX81 (KIT) with 1KB of memory. I
couldn't afford to buy it pre-built, or to add the 16KB memory pack.
Programming Games in Z80 assembler after school. Fun times :) I never
got BASIC until I upgraded to a BBC Micro. Fond memories of playing
Chuckie Egg that I'd burned onto an EPROM.
Sep 7 '07 #8

P: n/a
The Natural Philosopher :
with IE still being proprietary, and refusing to conform, its always
going to be messy.
I don't think your "always" can be safely predicted to last more than 10
years or so. There will probably be other messes by then, but I expect a
working core of standard, Open Source Web-based solutions (actually more
centered on XML than on whateverscript, but that's another story) to be
well established before that.

--
Johannes
"Quand on dit c'est un Johannes, cela vaut autant que ce que maintenant
on appelle un pédant" (H. Estienne, in É. Littré, /Dictionnaire de la
langue française/, art. PÉDANT)
Sep 7 '07 #9

P: n/a
Bill H <bi**@ts1000.uswrote:
>True - you can get these languages for free, but there is a a learning
curve for most, with Javascript and notepad, just a few lines of code
gives instant gratification.
I could make the same argument for Perl. A few lines of Perl can do
amazing things.

--
Tim Slattery
Sl********@bls.gov
http://members.cox.net/slatteryt
Sep 7 '07 #10

P: n/a
Tim Slattery :
I could make the same argument for Perl. A few lines of Perl can do
amazing things.
Perl is great, it is actually the language I use the most because there
are so many excellent modules in the CPAN, but its syntax is not easy at
all. One of its natural outcomes is Most Obfuscated Code contests :-)

Javascript has a much less confusing syntax, IMHO. I would definitely
choose it over Perl for beginners.

--
Johannes
"Quand on dit c'est un Johannes, cela vaut autant que ce que maintenant
on appelle un pédant" (H. Estienne, in É. Littré, /Dictionnaire de la
langue française/, art. PÉDANT)
Sep 7 '07 #11

P: n/a
On Fri, 07 Sep 2007 03:53:07 -0700, Bill H wrote:
25 years ago every computer came with some form of Basic interpreter so
you could use yoru computer without having to buy more software. Is
Javascript (teamed with HTML) set to become the new Basic, where anyone
with a computer can start writing code without having to purchase any
expensive languages?
JavaScript isn't teamed with HTML... the browser interprets whatever the
browser developers design it to interpret.

....and you don't have to purchase anything to program in just about any
language ever developed... you simply have to run an open source OS.
--
I told you this was going to happen.

Sep 7 '07 #12

P: n/a
Lee
Erwin Moller said:
>I have no stats about this too, but I grew up with lots of
computerusers, and almost all could code BASIC to some extend.
(Talking about Vic20/Oric/ZX81/Amiga/Acorn Atom days)
Only a few did C, simply because it was a lot harder to master.
Probably more significant than the difficulty was the fact that
BASIC was included with all home computers, while C compilers
were an investment that you would be unlikely to make unless
you had already outgrown BASIC.

Javascript is similarly included with all computers today, and
in addition, there's a whole web full of free horrible code to
copy and use as a starting point.
--

Sep 7 '07 #13

P: n/a
On Fri, 07 Sep 2007 04:08:12 -0700, Bill H wrote:
On Sep 7, 6:58 am, Erwin Moller
<Since_humans_read_this_I_am_spammed_too_m...@spam yourself.comwrote:
>Bill H wrote:
25 years ago every computer came with some form of Basic interpreter
so you could use yoru computer without having to buy more software.
Is Javascript (teamed with HTML) set to become the new Basic, where
anyone with a computer can start writing code without having to
purchase any expensive languages?

Nah. JavaScript is popular of course, but you can get MANY quality
languages for free theese days that can do a lot more than JS. Like
Perl, PHP, JAVA, many versions of C, etc. The list is long.

True - you can get these languages for free, but there is a a learning
curve for most, with Javascript and notepad, just a few lines of code
gives instant gratification.
#include <iostream.h>

int main(void)
{
cout << "Hello World!";
return 0;
}

It's the same with any language.

JavaScript on the other hand is difficult in the sense that the DOM is
variable between browsers and it's interpretation is at the whim of the
browser developer.

--
I told you this was going to happen.

Sep 7 '07 #14

P: n/a
Ivan Marsh :
JavaScript on the other hand is difficult in the sense that the DOM is
variable between browsers and it's interpretation is at the whim of the
browser developer.
baagoe@plumier:~$ js
jsprint("hello world");
hello world
js>

--
Johannes
"Quand on dit c'est un Johannes, cela vaut autant que ce que maintenant
on appelle un pédant" (H. Estienne, in É. Littré, /Dictionnaire de la
langue française/, art. PÉDANT)
Sep 7 '07 #15

P: n/a
On Fri, 07 Sep 2007 10:10:35 -0500, Johannes Baagoe wrote:
Ivan Marsh :
>JavaScript on the other hand is difficult in the sense that the DOM is
variable between browsers and it's interpretation is at the whim of the
browser developer.

baagoe@plumier:~$ js
jsprint("hello world");
hello world
js>
Yep... JS works fine for stdout... but that's not the DOM is it?

--
I told you this was going to happen.

Sep 7 '07 #16

P: n/a
Ivan Marsh :
>baagoe@plumier:~$ js
jsprint("hello world");
hello world
js>
JS works fine for stdout... but that's not the DOM is it?
No, it's Javascript. DOM is a different issue altogether. Just try
accessing the DOM with BASIC ;-)

--
Johannes
"Quand on dit c'est un Johannes, cela vaut autant que ce que maintenant
on appelle un pédant" (H. Estienne, in É. Littré, /Dictionnaire de la
langue française/, art. PÉDANT)
Sep 7 '07 #17

P: n/a
On Fri, 07 Sep 2007 10:23:12 -0500, Johannes Baagoe wrote:
Ivan Marsh :
>>baagoe@plumier:~$ js
jsprint("hello world");
hello world
js>
>JS works fine for stdout... but that's not the DOM is it?

No, it's Javascript. DOM is a different issue altogether. Just try
accessing the DOM with BASIC ;-)
BASIC wasn't designed from it's inception to access the DOM was it?

Perhaps you've misinterpreted what I was saying. The DOM isn't
standardized across all browsers.

--
I told you this was going to happen.

Sep 7 '07 #18

P: n/a
Ivan Marsh :
Perhaps you've misinterpreted what I was saying. The DOM isn't
standardized across all browsers.
Quite. But the OP's question was whether Javascript could be a present day
Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.

--
Johannes
"Quand on dit c'est un Johannes, cela vaut autant que ce que maintenant
on appelle un pédant" (H. Estienne, in É. Littré, /Dictionnaire de la
langue française/, art. PÉDANT)
Sep 7 '07 #19

P: n/a
Johannes Baagoe wrote:
Ivan Marsh :
>Perhaps you've misinterpreted what I was saying. The DOM isn't
standardized across all browsers.
Quite. But the OP's question was whether Javascript could be a present day
Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.
Exactly. The DOM is irrelevant in this discussion, whether not JS is a
good beginners language.
Sep 7 '07 #20

P: n/a
On Fri, 07 Sep 2007 10:47:32 -0500, Johannes Baagoe wrote:
Ivan Marsh :
>Perhaps you've misinterpreted what I was saying. The DOM isn't
standardized across all browsers.

Quite. But the OP's question was whether Javascript could be a present
day Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.
Yep... and as I suggested... for writing simple programs, as a beginner,
just about any language will do... it doesn't get difficult until it gets
difficult.

--
I told you this was going to happen.

Sep 7 '07 #21

P: n/a
On Fri, 07 Sep 2007 17:53:18 +0200, Stevo wrote:
Johannes Baagoe wrote:
>Ivan Marsh :
>>Perhaps you've misinterpreted what I was saying. The DOM isn't
standardized across all browsers.
Quite. But the OP's question was whether Javascript could be a present
day Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.

Exactly. The DOM is irrelevant in this discussion, whether not JS is a
good beginners language.
....and where did I say it wasn't?

--
I told you this was going to happen.

Sep 7 '07 #22

P: n/a
Ivan Marsh :
as I suggested... for writing simple programs, as a beginner, just about
any language will do... it doesn't get difficult until it gets
difficult.
In ordinary procedural languages, it becomes difficult the moment you
start writing loops. Since a firm grasp of the logic about loop invariants
and exits is IMHO what makes the difference between a programmer and
someone who plays with a computer, this should happen as soon as possible,
with minimal diversions about compilers, linkers and what not. That was
what made BASIC so popular, what inspired other (and even better)
languages for beginners like Logo, and where I see perhaps the most
important role of all for Javascript.

Programming is, in the words of Edsger W. Dijkstra, "one of the most
difficult branches of applied mathematics". Ever since I started
programming nearly 40 years ago, it has worried me that many people
imagine that the main difficulty is mastering syntax, and that once they
have figured out when to use commas and when semicolons, they have learned
enough. EWD considered this a menace to civilisation, and I agree.

The fact that Javascript also allows one to make fancy and funny things on
the Web is of course a most welcome motivating factor. From there, it is
possible to carry on and actually write useful applications. But one has
to learn the logic. That is what really matters, not details about the way
Microsoft misinterprets the DOM.

--
Johannes
"Quand on dit c'est un Johannes, cela vaut autant que ce que maintenant
on appelle un pédant" (H. Estienne, in É. Littré, /Dictionnaire de la
langue française/, art. PÉDANT)
Sep 7 '07 #23

P: n/a
On Fri, 07 Sep 2007 11:47:59 -0500, Johannes Baagoe wrote:
Ivan Marsh :
>as I suggested... for writing simple programs, as a beginner, just
about any language will do... it doesn't get difficult until it gets
difficult.

The fact that Javascript also allows one to make fancy and funny things
on the Web is of course a most welcome motivating factor. From there, it
is possible to carry on and actually write useful applications. But one
has to learn the logic. That is what really matters, not details about
the way Microsoft misinterprets the DOM.
JavaScript was created for the very function you are suggesting is
secondary to its existence.

http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/java...s_history.html

....and again, any language can be used to write simple programs and learn
programming logic, compiled, interpreted or otherwise, with little effort.

JavaScript is not a defacto replacement for BASIC... and unless your
intention is to create client-side web applications for a browser IMO
JavaScript would be poor choice of language to start with... though,
obviously, some would disagree... in a JavaScript forum, probably more
than some.

--
I told you this was going to happen.

Sep 7 '07 #24

P: n/a
Erwin Moller wrote:
Bill H wrote:
>25 years ago every computer came with some form of Basic interpreter
so you could use yoru computer without having to buy more software. Is
Javascript (teamed with HTML) set to become the new Basic, where
anyone with a computer can start writing code without having to
purchase any expensive languages?

Bill H

Hi,

Nah. JavaScript is popular of course, but you can get MANY quality
languages for free theese days that can do a lot more than JS.
Like Perl, PHP, JAVA, many versions of C, etc. The list is long.
True -- but I admit I have occasionally toyed with the idea of creating
a JavaScript environment for straight-up application programming.
--
John W. Kennedy
"The blind rulers of Logres
Nourished the land on a fallacy of rational virtue."
-- Charles Williams. "Taliessin through Logres: Prelude"
Sep 7 '07 #25

P: n/a
John W. Kennedy :
I admit I have occasionally toyed with the idea of creating a
JavaScript environment for straight-up application programming.
Spidermonkey already is that, to a certain extent - it suits me, but I
learned with punch cards, so I am easily satisfied.

What else do you think would be needed? I would be very happy to
contribute to a project.

--
Johannes
"Quand on dit c'est un Johannes, cela vaut autant que ce que maintenant
on appelle un pédant" (H. Estienne, in É. Littré, /Dictionnaire de la
langue française/, art. PÉDANT)
Sep 7 '07 #26

P: n/a
In comp.lang.javascript message <46*********************@news.xs4all.nl>
, Fri, 7 Sep 2007 12:58:43, Erwin Moller <Since_humans_read_this_I_am_sp
am************@spamyourself.composted:
>Bill H wrote:
>25 years ago every computer came with some form of Basic interpreter
so you could use yoru computer without having to buy more software. Is
Javascript (teamed with HTML) set to become the new Basic, where
anyone with a computer can start writing code without having to
purchase any expensive languages?
No - because it has already become so. Except that Web-type Javascript
has no access to the rest of the machine, and JScript under WSH seems
less used than VBScript under WSH.

VBS has alas become the new Basic; but JScript ought to have done so.
>Nah. JavaScript is popular of course, but you can get MANY quality
languages for free theese days that can do a lot more than JS.
Like Perl, PHP, JAVA, many versions of C, etc. The list is long.
Something which is already present on a PC is distinctly more attractive
to /hoi polloi/ than something which needs to have a source chosen, and
installed, with maybe an IDE to learn, and new bugs, etc.

The *average* user, who we don't see here, likes to hide in the herd.

It's a good idea to read the newsgroup c.l.j and its FAQ. See below.

--
(c) John Stockton, Surrey, UK. ?@merlyn.demon.co.uk Turnpike v6.05 IE 6
news:comp.lang.javascript FAQ <URL:http://www.jibbering.com/faq/index.html>.
<URL:http://www.merlyn.demon.co.uk/js-index.htmjscr maths, dates, sources.
<URL:http://www.merlyn.demon.co.uk/TP/BP/Delphi/jscr/&c, FAQ items, links.
Sep 7 '07 #27

P: n/a
On Fri, 07 Sep 2007 14:13:07 -0500, Johannes Baagoe wrote:
Ivan Marsh :
>and unless your intention is to create client-side web applications for
a browser IMO JavaScript would be poor choice of language to start
with...

Why? Good arguments here would make the discussion more interesting.
I agree.
What is wrong with Javascript for other uses than client-side web
applications, and specifically as a beginners' first programming
language? For instance, what would you candidate be?
Not a thing. But as a first programming language I wouldn't suggest one
whose primary function, client-side scripting for web browsers, has no
clear dividing line between the language specification that's standardized
and DOM access which is not.

Seems if someone was asking about JavaScript as a first language it might
be nice to warn them about that... which is exactly what I did.

Perhaps I'm the only person who assumed that the OP might have been
talking about programming with a browser as standard out rather than the
console.

The fact that you can use JavaScript outside of the browser sounds like
one of those high-minded concepts you were talking about earlier...
especially considering the first 100,000+ results you're going to get back
on any search for JavaScript information is going to be about client-side
scripting rather than writing for the console.

Amusingly enough if you google "javascript outside the browser" the first
paragraph on the first link reads:

"When you think of Javascript, you generally think of the web."

--
I told you this was going to happen.

Sep 7 '07 #28

P: n/a

"Bill H" <bi**@ts1000.uswrote in message
news:11*********************@d55g2000hsg.googlegro ups.com...
25 years ago every computer came with some form of Basic interpreter
so you could use yoru computer without having to buy more software. Is
Javascript (teamed with HTML) set to become the new Basic, where
anyone with a computer can start writing code without having to
purchase any expensive languages?

Bill H
Basic has come around again.
VB2005 express edition is free - its the new basic.
I remember having to number each line, too.
Basic has grown up and its easier to program now.
Sep 7 '07 #29

P: n/a
Johannes Baagoe wrote:
Bill H :
>Is Javascript (teamed with HTML) set to become the new Basic, where
anyone with a computer can start writing code without having to
purchase any expensive languages?

I think it is fair to say that it could be the new BASIC. One of my friends
(and occasionally colleague) teaches a Programming 101 course in
Javascript, with great success.

Personally, I find that the close connection with browsers introduces
quite difficult concepts, like self-modifying code, the possibility to open
a window with another program in it which itself may open another window,
etc. So if I were again to teach something like my friend, I would insist
on doing things first in an old-fashioned console, say with spidermonkey.
But apparently, his students do not have the same sort of perverted
curiosity mine had when I taught Programming 101 courses.

By the way, it is entirely possible to get all kinds of quite serious
programming languages for free, from C++ and Ada to Prolog and Haskell.
Even FORTRAN and COBOL, if anybody is still interested!
Don't forget ALGOL, LISP, FORTH, JAVA, PASCAL, PERL, :-)
Sep 8 '07 #30

P: n/a
Johannes Baagoe wrote:
Stevo :
>I don't know how much they really understand about what they're doing,
but they're getting it done.

That is what worries me about that approach, actually.
The world works that way, Johannes.

1% of people explore and make mew tracks. 5% understand where they have
gone. 95% learn how to take the bus.
Sep 8 '07 #31

P: n/a
Johannes Baagoe wrote:
Ivan Marsh :
>as I suggested... for writing simple programs, as a beginner, just about
any language will do... it doesn't get difficult until it gets
difficult.

In ordinary procedural languages, it becomes difficult the moment you
start writing loops. Since a firm grasp of the logic about loop invariants
and exits is IMHO what makes the difference between a programmer and
someone who plays with a computer, this should happen as soon as possible,
with minimal diversions about compilers, linkers and what not. That was
what made BASIC so popular, what inspired other (and even better)
languages for beginners like Logo, and where I see perhaps the most
important role of all for Javascript.

Programming is, in the words of Edsger W. Dijkstra, "one of the most
difficult branches of applied mathematics". Ever since I started
programming nearly 40 years ago, it has worried me that many people
imagine that the main difficulty is mastering syntax, and that once they
have figured out when to use commas and when semicolons, they have learned
enough. EWD considered this a menace to civilisation, and I agree.
I consider EWD a menace to civilzation, but there ya go ;-)

The fact that Javascript also allows one to make fancy and funny things on
the Web is of course a most welcome motivating factor. From there, it is
possible to carry on and actually write useful applications. But one has
to learn the logic. That is what really matters, not details about the way
Microsoft misinterprets the DOM.
Only if you are an academic. 90% of the world just wants boring
workmanlike code that does the job its supposed to.
Sep 8 '07 #32

P: n/a
Johannes Baagoe wrote:
The Natural Philosopher :
>with IE still being proprietary, and refusing to conform, its always
going to be messy.

I don't think your "always" can be safely predicted to last more than 10
years or so. There will probably be other messes by then, but I expect a
working core of standard, Open Source Web-based solutions (actually more
centered on XML than on whateverscript, but that's another story) to be
well established before that.
Indeed. I really meant 'as long as IE remains proprietary, it's always'...
Sep 8 '07 #33

P: n/a
Tim Slattery wrote:
Bill H <bi**@ts1000.uswrote:
>True - you can get these languages for free, but there is a a learning
curve for most, with Javascript and notepad, just a few lines of code
gives instant gratification.

I could make the same argument for Perl. A few lines of Perl can do
amazing things.
Mostly unintended, but yes...;-)
Sep 8 '07 #34

P: n/a
Johannes Baagoe :
>What is wrong with Javascript for other uses than client-side web
applications, and specifically as a beginners' first programming
language? For instance, what would you candidate be?
Ivan Marsh :
Not a thing. But as a first programming language I wouldn't suggest
one whose primary function, client-side scripting for web browsers,
has no clear dividing line between the language specification that's
standardized and DOM access which is not.
Well, I cannot see why this should disqualify an otherwise suitable
language. Would it be better if we call it, say, "BasicScript",
and never mention that it can also be used in browsers?
Seems if someone was asking about JavaScript as a first language it
might be nice to warn them about that... which is exactly what I did.
Perhaps I'm the only person who assumed that the OP might have been
talking about programming with a browser as standard out rather than
the console.
No, you have a point, he actually said so himself: "Is Javascript
(teamed with HTML) set to become the new Basic...".

Well, I would not go with the "teamed with HTML" part, I expect we
agree here, and your warning seems to be wise - I may have a bit of
an Asperger's syndrome; anyway, I tend to forget that most people
make more automatic assumptions than I do.

I would dissociate JavaScript as the new BASIC from HTML and the Web.
Not (perhaps we disagree again...) because implementations differ
among vendors, this is nothing new and has always been a pain in
the... pardon my French, but because as an input / output system for
a beginners' first programming language, HTML is really overkill.
The fact that you can use JavaScript outside of the browser sounds
like one of those high-minded concepts you were talking about
earlier... especially considering the first 100,000+ results you're
going to get back on any search for JavaScript information is going
to be about client-side scripting rather than writing for the console.
Well, call me arrogant or elitist or whatever, I am not impressed
by what most people think... There is a very rude saying about the
unsavoury eating habits of I don't remember how many billion flies
who can't be wrong.
Amusingly enough if you google "javascript outside the browser"
the first paragraph on the first link reads:
"When you think of Javascript, you generally think of the web."
Quite, but why not try to change that?

--
Johannes
"Quand on dit c'est un Johannes, cela vaut autant que ce que maintenant
on appelle un pédant" (H. Estienne, in É. Littré, /Dictionnaire de la
langue française/, art. PÉDANT)
Sep 8 '07 #35

P: n/a

"Stevo" <pl****@spam-me.comwrote in message
news:fb*************@news.t-online.com...
Erwin Moller wrote:
>I have no stats about this too, but I grew up with lots of
computerusers, and almost all could code BASIC to some extend.
(Talking about Vic20/Oric/ZX81/Amiga/Acorn Atom days)
Erwin Moller

Ahh, memories. My first computer was a ZX81 (KIT) with 1KB of memory. I
couldn't afford to buy it pre-built, or to add the 16KB memory pack.
Programming Games in Z80 assembler after school. Fun times :) I never got
BASIC until I upgraded to a BBC Micro. Fond memories of playing Chuckie
Egg that I'd burned onto an EPROM.
I still have an original Sinclair ZX81 and a newer Timex T1000?, and I
added the 16 K memory pack kit. I had books on assembly language, and I
even designed an interface that would allow the ZX81 to print to a
Centronics port and dot matrix printer. My first experience with computers,
around 1966, was with an IBM 7094 at John Hopkins. We used punch cards and
programmed in "AFBIC", or "All Fortran BASIC Interpretive Compiler". An
acronym within an acronym.

I enjoyed following this thread. My language of choice is Borland Delphi,
but I am learning JavaScript so I can make web based applications. I've
also used standalone JScript apps as alternatives to batch files.

Paul
Sep 8 '07 #36

P: n/a
In comp.lang.javascript message <IB*************@newsfe12.lga>, Fri, 7
Sep 2007 16:34:48, John W. Kennedy <jw*****@attglobal.netposted:
>
True -- but I admit I have occasionally toyed with the idea of creating
a JavaScript environment for straight-up application programming.
I'm uncertain of how much you mean to embrace by the words "environment"
and "application" there; but MS WSH allows application programming in
Javascript.

Question : In off-the-shelf Vista, there must be a javascript engine for
reading Web pages. How else can Javascript be used in o-t-s Vista - is
there a recognisable WSH or replacement with it, can it script within
Office, etc.?

The FAQ might require updating on the subject, since it covers all use
of the language whether or not fully standards-compliant or extended.

It's a good idea to read the newsgroup c.l.j and its FAQ. See below.

--
(c) John Stockton, Surrey, UK. ?@merlyn.demon.co.uk Turnpike v6.05 IE 6
news:comp.lang.javascript FAQ <URL:http://www.jibbering.com/faq/index.html>.
<URL:http://www.merlyn.demon.co.uk/js-index.htmjscr maths, dates, sources.
<URL:http://www.merlyn.demon.co.uk/TP/BP/Delphi/jscr/&c, FAQ items, links.
Sep 8 '07 #37

P: n/a
In comp.lang.javascript message <pa****************************@you.now>
, Fri, 7 Sep 2007 18:42:56, Ivan Marsh <an*****@you.nowposted:
>
The fact that you can use JavaScript outside of the browser sounds like
one of those high-minded concepts you were talking about earlier...
especially considering the first 100,000+ results you're going to get back
on any search for JavaScript information is going to be about client-side
scripting rather than writing for the console.
Inaccurate. The 14th reference is ECMA-262.

Probably the first thing to learn about non-browser Javascript is the
name JScript.

--
(c) John Stockton, Surrey, UK. ?@merlyn.demon.co.uk Turnpike v6.05 MIME.
<URL:http://www.merlyn.demon.co.uk/TP/BP/Delphi/&c., FAQqy topics & links;
<URL:http://www.merlyn.demon.co.uk/clpb-faq.txt RAH Prins : c.l.p.b mFAQ;
<URL:ftp://garbo.uwasa.fi/pc/link/tsfaqp.zipTimo Salmi's Turbo Pascal FAQ.
Sep 8 '07 #38

P: n/a
Johannes Baagoe wrote:
John W. Kennedy :
>I admit I have occasionally toyed with the idea of creating a
JavaScript environment for straight-up application programming.
Spidermonkey already is that, to a certain extent - it suits me, but I
learned with punch cards, so I am easily satisfied.
What else do you think would be needed? I would be very happy to
contribute to a project.
Spidermonkey is the first half. The second half is the -- damn! I forget
the proper jargon -- the magic object that has all its attributes loaded
for free into the namespace, like the "window" object when JS is being
used in a browser environment. Say it's an object named "system". It
contains various methods and properties to provide file access, window
access, etc., etc., etc..

It might be cooler to use Rhino and make wrappers for the Java API
objects, instead, but in a cleaner version that doesn't expose Java's
historic dead ends (raw AWT programming, stream function that has been
superseded by readers and writers, etc.).

Actually, for all I know, such a gadget may already exist.

It's just a notion, I haven't really worked it out.
--
John W. Kennedy
"There are those who argue that everything breaks even in this old dump
of a world of ours. I suppose these ginks who argue that way hold that
because the rich man gets ice in the summer and the poor man gets it in
the winter things are breaking even for both. Maybe so, but I'll swear I
can't see it that way."
-- The last words of Bat Masterson
Sep 9 '07 #39

P: n/a

"Paul E. Schoen" <ps****@smart.netwrote in message
news:46***********************@news.coretel.net...
>
"Stevo" <pl****@spam-me.comwrote in message
news:fb*************@news.t-online.com...
>Erwin Moller wrote:
>>I have no stats about this too, but I grew up with lots of
computerusers, and almost all could code BASIC to some extend.
(Talking about Vic20/Oric/ZX81/Amiga/Acorn Atom days)
Erwin Moller

Ahh, memories. My first computer was a ZX81 (KIT) with 1KB of memory. I
couldn't afford to buy it pre-built, or to add the 16KB memory pack.
Programming Games in Z80 assembler after school. Fun times :) I never got
BASIC until I upgraded to a BBC Micro. Fond memories of playing Chuckie
Egg that I'd burned onto an EPROM.

I still have an original Sinclair ZX81 and a newer Timex T1000?, and I
added the 16 K memory pack kit. I had books on assembly language, and I
even designed an interface that would allow the ZX81 to print to a
Centronics port and dot matrix printer. My first experience with
computers, around 1966, was with an IBM 7094 at John Hopkins. We used
punch cards and programmed in "AFBIC", or "All Fortran BASIC Interpretive
Compiler". An acronym within an acronym.

I enjoyed following this thread. My language of choice is Borland Delphi,
but I am learning JavaScript so I can make web based applications. I've
also used standalone JScript apps as alternatives to batch files.

Paul
Its good to hear the young folk talk. My first computer was the Sinclair
MK14, programmed in hex. I have come through Basic, Fortran, Cobol, PL/I, to
the joys of trying to learn js.

A long journey through seeing "error in line 14" with line numbers to the
modern sophistication of seeing "error in line 14" messages without line
numbers.
Through the simplistic I% to get an integer to having to use a function to
get one.

My earliest contribution to interfacing was to conceive and design the
Kempston Joystick. It made a lot of money for someone else.

David F. Cox
Sep 9 '07 #40

P: n/a

"Ivan Marsh" <an*****@you.nowwrote in message
news:pa****************************@you.now...
On Fri, 07 Sep 2007 04:08:12 -0700, Bill H wrote:
>On Sep 7, 6:58 am, Erwin Moller
<Since_humans_read_this_I_am_spammed_too_m...@spa myourself.comwrote:
>>Bill H wrote:
25 years ago every computer came with some form of Basic interpreter
so you could use yoru computer without having to buy more software.
Is Javascript (teamed with HTML) set to become the new Basic, where
anyone with a computer can start writing code without having to
purchase any expensive languages?

Nah. JavaScript is popular of course, but you can get MANY quality
languages for free theese days that can do a lot more than JS. Like
Perl, PHP, JAVA, many versions of C, etc. The list is long.

True - you can get these languages for free, but there is a a learning
curve for most, with Javascript and notepad, just a few lines of code
gives instant gratification.

#include <iostream.h>

int main(void)
{
cout << "Hello World!";
return 0;
}

It's the same with any language.

JavaScript on the other hand is difficult in the sense that the DOM is
variable between browsers and it's interpretation is at the whim of the
browser developer.
It is not "the same in any language".
I was on a PL/I contract when I bought A Tandy Model 4. I was bragging about
it, and my boss said it was not a "real" computer, and challenged me to
write the equivalent of a PL/I program to print the days between two given
dates. I did it in a one line Microsoft Basic PRINT statement, almost typing
the algorithm word for word.

David F.Cox
Sep 9 '07 #41

P: n/a

"Stevo" <pl****@spam-me.comwrote in message
news:fb*************@news.t-online.com...
Erwin Moller wrote:
>Bill H wrote:
>>25 years ago every computer came with some form of Basic interpreter
so you could use yoru computer without having to buy more software. Is
Javascript (teamed with HTML) set to become the new Basic, where
anyone with a computer can start writing code without having to
purchase any expensive languages?
Bill H

Nah. JavaScript is popular of course, but you can get MANY quality
languages for free theese days that can do a lot more than JS.
Like Perl, PHP, JAVA, many versions of C, etc. The list is long.
Erwin Moller

I think it IS the new Basic in the terms Bill meant. It has a low barrier
to entry. Any beginner can do view-source on a webpage and look at some
javascript and without understanding too much about why things are the way
they are, they can copy it and make some changes and impress themselves
with a Hello World style program. There's no way a beginner can do that
with Perl, PHP, Java or any C variant. The fact that JavaScript as quite
forgiving when it comes to syntax and isn't strongly typed too helps. They
can get away with missing semi-colons, accidentally declaring globals and
all kinds of minor syntax issues. If I was running an introduction
computer class I'd definitely consider JS a great easy entry language.
Let's face it, what do you need? A browser and a simple text editor.
You've got a billion web pages and google search that can help you with
problems. The people in the QA department where I work, who aren't
Computer Science graduates can all hack themselves a bit of JavaScript
when they're setting up test pages. I don't know how much they really
understand about what they're doing, but they're getting it done. If
anything, I'd say that JS is easier to start than Basic. Back in the days
when I started using Basic, there was no WWW and everything you needed to
know was in a book.
Later versions of DOS basic came with a good help file, and you could start
learning with minimal instruction and no book.
Sep 9 '07 #42

P: n/a
The Natural Philosopher wrote:
>
1% of people explore and make mew tracks. 5% understand where they have
gone. 95% learn how to take the bus.
1% understand they have gone to Statistics class by taking the bus. ;-)

--
John
(looking for mew tracks before I step in them)
Sep 9 '07 #43

P: n/a
On Sep 7, 7:42 pm, Ivan Marsh <anno...@you.nowwrote:
On Fri, 07 Sep 2007 14:13:07 -0500, Johannes Baagoe wrote:
Ivan Marsh :
The fact that you can use JavaScript outside of the browser sounds like
one of those high-minded concepts you were talking about earlier...
especially considering the first 100,000+ results you're going to get back
on any search for JavaScript information is going to be about client-side
scripting rather than writing for the console.
There is some bias to the results, as Javascript-for-the-web tends to
be discussed openly on the web, whereas Javascript-for-x-niche (where
"x" is any industry) tends to be discussed in password-protected
forums. For instance, using Javascript to automate Adobe products is
an important use of Javascript, but the discussion of it tends to
happen on the Adobe forums, which are behind a password. The one time
I asked a question on comp.lang.javascript about how to automate
Photoshop, I was told that I should probably take my question to the
Adobe forums, which I then did.


Sep 10 '07 #44

This discussion thread is closed

Replies have been disabled for this discussion.