Small Basic

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    • #2997

      I ran across a blog entry a few days ago discussing a programming language for beginner programmers called Small Basic.  Small Basic  is, much like it sounds, a stripped down version of Visual Basic.  What is beneficial about it, is that it contains many of the core elements of common programming languages such as functions, objects, conditionals, loops, and even contains graphical elements.  For those of you who are already programmers and may remember Logo, the turtle is back! 

      While there are many languages that contain these same elements, one of the things that make a language a good starter language is the introduction.  Small Basic has a great getting started guide that will walk you through your first “Hello World” and then help you understand what is going on.  From there variables, conditional statements, and loops follow.  Once some of the basics are down, graphics come in and you will gain an understanding of windows, managing colors, and drawing shapes.

      The next chapter in the tutorial is on Logo.  If you haven’t heard of Logo, it was a language that was invented in the 70’s and later had a turtle added and turned into many peoples first programming language.  The turtle has a few basic commands including movement commands for going forwards, backwards, and to the sides.  The Logo turtle is used in this chapter to understand objects and is used to bring many of the skills from the first few chapters together.  This chapter is also an opportunity to try to do some fun things with what we’ve learned thus far. 

      The final chapters focus on subroutines, events, and tying everything together to build our first whole application, a basic paint program.  The tutorial is cut short here with a “(Pending completion)” note, but the appendices have some additional goodies.  Appendix A has a bunch of small sample programs to try out and modify.  Some of these include creation of a game and a fractal program.  Appendix B has a listing of colors that you might like to use along the way.  This is a handy reference regardless if you are a seasoned programmer or not. 

      By the end of this tutorial, you won’t be an expert programmer, but you should have an understanding of the constructs enough to have an idea of what programming languages can do.  Once you’ve gotten a little bit under your belt, you’re ready to pick up “Hello World” in something like Python, Perl, Javascript, or Visual Basic and getting started with something with more features. 

      If you want to check out Small Basic, go to


    • #20525

      @apollo wrote:

      For those of you who are already programmers and may remember Logo, the turtle is back! 

      Now I definitely need to take a look, cut my teeth coding for the Logo turtle in primary school (8yro for those in the US schooling system) years before I even knew what programming was 😉

      Cheers Apollo, nothing like some nostalgia to start the day

      Think I’ve still got a physical turtle in my loft somewhere to connect to my BBC Micros…

    • #20526

      Ahh I have fond memories of logo. I’ll have to give it a look for old times sake.

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