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Small Basic FAQ
Small Basic is a project that is focused at making programming accessible and easy for beginners. It consists of three distinct pieces:
The Language draws its inspiration from an early variant of BASIC but is based on the modern .NET Framework platform. The
Environment is simple but rich in features, offering beginners several of the benefits that professional programmers have come to expect. A rich set of
Libraries help beginners learn by writing compelling and interesting programs.
Small Basic is intended for beginners that want to learn programming. In our internal trials we've had success with kids between the ages of 10 and 16. However, it's not limited to just kids; even adults that had an inclination to programming have found
Small Basic very helpful in taking that first step.
To install Small Basic, you have to be running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7.
You also need to be sure that you have Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 installed on your computer.
Download and install the Small Basic software. You can then use the friendly
Getting Started Guide to help you get started with Small Basic. We also provide a free teaching
curriculum that you can use in class or on your own to learn Small Basic.
We noticed there’s another version of "Small Basic" out there. Other than the naming coincidence, our version of Small Basic doesn't have anything to do with this other
KPL (now known as Phrogram) was a great concept that used to focus purely on beginners (and hence the name, Kids Programming Language). In the last couple years, it seems to have now extended its vision to support intermediate and advanced users too. Small
Basic focus purely on the beginners; there are tons of other options for the intermediate and advanced users.
We wanted to keep Small Basic as small and intuitive as possible. We felt that it's okay to limit Small Basic from being the language of choice for solving every conceivable problem. For example, while it's theoretically possible to write a Small Basic compiler
using Small Basic, it's probably not a good idea.
The Small Basic compiler and the environment allow 3rd party Small Basic libraries to be plugged in to extend the possibilities of what you can do from within Small Basic. We'll post more on how to achieve this on the
Small Basic Blog. See the
Small Basic Extensions Gallery.
One of the most important visions of this project is to focus on the beginner persona. This is very important for us and we've so far successfully avoided the temptation to add any feature that doesn't cater to this persona. For example, Small Basic isn't
going to start supporting Generics any time soon. :)
The future of Small Basic is undetermined at this time. We’ll provide an update after our plans have been finalized. Until then, we will focus on the education and information about the current version of Small Basic and on continuing to build the community
around it. You can join the community at the
Small Basic Forum and the
Small Basic Blog.