The Unique Features of the Small Basic Language

The Unique Features of the Small Basic Language


This article originates with the question in the  Small Basic FAQ. We wanted to give the community a chance to answer this question in depth.

What are the unique features of the Small Basic language?

 
We're dividing up the unique features by the three pillars of Small Basic: Simple, Social, and Gradual.
 

Simple

  • Imperative
    Just like the early variants of BASIC, Small Basic is imperative and doesn't use or expose beginners to concepts like scopes, types, object orientation, and more.
     
  • Size
    The Small Basic language consists of just 14 keywords
     
  • Ease of Use
    The language only uses text operators (AND, OR); not symbol operators like { } or & and |      
     
  • Type System
    There actually isn't one. You can create string and numeric constants and assign them to variables. Operations performed on these variables will be interpreted according to the content. 
     
  • Variables
    All variables are global and are always initialized. They can often be used before they're assigned. Even better, they are all of one type, rather than integers, strings, etc. 
     
  • Events
    You can create a sub-routine and assign it to an event. This will wire the it up to an the event. 
     
  • Libraries / Extensibility
    The libraries provide static "Objects" that group operations, properties and events. New libraries can be created using other .Net Languages and added to the Small Basic runtime. For example, anyone can write a library in C# or VB and copy the DLL into the Small Basic "lib" folder and use those functions in the Small Basic language!   
        
  • IDE Colors
    Each type of code is assigned its own color, built right in the language's IDE. See Small Basic: IDE Colors.           
     
  • New IntelliSense
    Small Basic boasts a new incarnation of IntelliSense. Not only does it pop up and show you all your options as you type (which helps for learning, exploration, and spelling), but you can also scroll through your options in a fun and engaging way.                           
        
  • Integrated Help
    Small Basic takes learning to the next level with a dedicated Help pane that changes as you type and click your code. And IntelliSense also explains of every object, method, and keyword as you pick your options. You don't have to click Help or leave your app! You learn while you program!                       

Social

  • Easy to Share 
    Share programs easily with the "Publish" and "Import" buttons, which share programs to and from the Small Basic program share server (smallbasic.com). Example.

Gradual

  • Graduate to Visual Basic 
    By clicking the "Graduate" button, you can move your program into Visual Basic and continue to learn programming, building the skills of a professional developer! 

Other Languages


  • Easy to Share 
    Share programs easily with the "Publish" and "Import" buttons, which share programs to and from the Small Basic program share server (smallbasic.com). Example.
  • Easy to Share 
    Share programs easily with the "Publish" and "Import" buttons, which share programs to and from the Small Basic program share server (smallbasic.com). Example.
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Comments
  • Varaibles can not always be used befor assignment:  e.g.  a=3*b  gives an error   b has no value

  • Thanks, WhTurner!

    I clarified that statement.

  • nice article

  • I updated this article.

    To Add...

    Simple:

    - Error Codes Line coordination

    Fun:

    - Turtle Graphics

    - Flickr Integration

    - UI (graphics, IntelliSense wheel)

    - Kinect

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