Originally Posted by Dunny
Agreed with all of the above.
I'll make a confession - I've written a BASIC interpreter because I prefer the language to lower-level languages. When forced, I code in Delphi and port to Linux using FPC. I cannot stand
C or C++ - they're bloody awful to code in and damn-near incomprehensible to me. I can't begin to fathom the reason that they're so popular in geek circles
In another community I inhabit, I had to port a game written in C++ to an ARM device, and having never coded anything in C++ I had a very difficult time even getting the code to build and spent the best part of a month learning how to get binaries built. Only after I'd spent all that time could I actually start to mess with the actual code, and I count that month to have been a complete waste of time that could have been spent doing better things like actually coding. The actual port took me two days, despite goading from the community that it would be better done by someone who knows C++...
But anyway, it's for these reasons that I think the current trend for coding in C and C++ is completely the wrong thing to be teaching our children. We need a language that gives instant results without need to be run through several lines of terminal code in order to do
something, and for that you simply cannot beat the old 8bits.
And the sad fact is that for immediate access to coding, you still
cannot beat the old 8Bits. The Amiga had no way to just "jump in" without either figuring out Amiga BASIC or acquiring a copy of AMOS or BLITZ - and to do either of those you'd have to learn Workbench or CLI first. Things still haven't improved.
I have to disagree with most of this. You dont need to learn to use workbench or a cli to use AMOS or Blitz for starts. Insert disc, turn on computer and youre ready to go.
As for C/C++, sure the initial learning curve can be steep, but its not so dificult once you get your head around it, and the benefits are huge. How many device drivers are written in Java, or html? How many OSes are written in pascal? What happens when you want to port your game from an XBox360 to ps3 when youve coded in a specific version of BASIC, and so on and so forth. There's many reasons C/C++ has for the most part become the defacto standard for commerical development. It's hardly a recent trend either unless you consider 30+ years recent.
The only thing I agree with is that it was nice when you could flick the switch and be ready to go, but this requires a standard set of hardware, or at very least a common set of portable apis, which in itself would require a larger immediately accesible storage device. It would also require these dependencies to be portable. The only place where a parallel to the 8bit days is feasible these days is a console or other device where the hardware is set in stone. I doubt they'll do it, but something like this Pi could potentially be such a platform.