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Learn X in Y minutes Quick Intro: SmallBASIC

SmallBASIC is a fast and easy to learn BASIC language interpreter ideal for everyday calculations, scripts and prototypes. SmallBASIC includes trigonometric, matrices and algebra functions, a built in IDE, a powerful string library, system, sound, and graphic commands along with structured programming syntax.

Development

SmallBASIC was originally developed by Nicholas Christopoulos in late 1999 for the Palm Pilot. Project development has been continued by Chris Warren-Smith since around 2005.

Versions of SmallBASIC have been made for a number of early hand held devices including Franklin eBookman and the Nokia 770. Also various desktop versions have been released based on a variety of GUI tool-kits, some of which have become defunct. The current supported platforms are Linux and Windows based on SDL2 and Android based on NDK. A desktop command line version is also available, although not typically released in binary form.

In around 2008 a large corporation released a BASIC like programming environment with a similar sounding name. SmallBASIC is not related to this other project.

REM This is a comment
' and this is also a comment

REM print text
print "hello"
? "? is short for PRINT"

REM Control structures
FOR index = 0 TO 10 STEP 2
  ? "This is line number "; index
NEXT
J=0
REPEAT
 J++
UNTIL J=10
WHILE J>0
 J--
WEND

REM Select case statement
Select Case "Cool"
 Case "null", 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,"Cool","blah"
 Case "Not cool"
   PRINT "Epic fail"
 Case Else
   PRINT "Fail"
End Select

REM catching errors with TRY/CATCH
Try
  fn = Freefile
  Open filename For Input As #fn
Catch err
  Print "failed to open"
End Try

REM User defined subs and functions
func add2(x,y)
  ' variables may be declared as local within the scope of a SUB or FUNC
  local K
  k = "k will cease to exist when this FUNC returns"
  add2=x+y
end
Print add2(5,5)
sub print_it(it)
  print it
end
print_it "IT...."

REM Display lines and pixels
At 0,ymax/2+txth("Q")
Color 1: ? "sin(x)":
Color 8: ? "cos(x)":
Color 12: ? "tan(x)"
Line 0,ymax/2,xmax,ymax/2
For i=0 to xmax
  Pset i,ymax/2-sin(i*2*pi/ymax)*ymax/4 color 1
  Pset i,ymax/2-cos(i*2*pi/ymax)*ymax/4 color 8
  Pset i,ymax/2-tan(i*2*pi/ymax)*ymax/4 color 12
Next
showpage

REM SmallBASIC is great for experimenting with fractals and other interesting effects
Delay 3000
Randomize
ff = 440.03
For j = 0 to 20
  r = rnd * 1000 % 255
  b = rnd * 1000 % 255
  g = rnd * 1000 % 255
  c = rgb(r,b,g)
  ff += 9.444
  for i=0 to 25000
    f += ff
    x = min(xmax, -x + cos(f*i))
    y = min(ymax, -y + sin(f*i))
    pset x, y color c
    if (i%1000==0) then
      showpage
    fi
  next
Next j

REM For computer historians, SmallBASIC can run programs
REM found in early computer books and magazines, for example:
10 LET A=9
20 LET B=7
30 PRINT A*B
40 PRINT A/B

REM SmallBASIC also has support for a few modern concepts such as JSON
aa = array("{\"cat\":{\"name\":\"harry\"},\"pet\":\"true\"}")
If (ismap(aa) == false) Then
  throw "not an map"
End If
Print aa

PAUSE

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Last modified 18 May 2022