|a.||1.||(Chem.) Relating to a base; performing the office of a base in a salt.|
|2.||(Min.) Said of crystalline rocks which contain a relatively low percentage of silica, as basalt.|
|n.||1.||(Computers) an artificial computer language with a relatively simplified instruction set.|
|Noun||1.||BASIC - a popular programming language that is relatively easy to learn; an acronym for beginner's all-purpose symbolic instruction code; no longer in general use|
|2.||basic - (usually plural) a necessary commodity for which demand is constant|
|Adj.||1.||basic - pertaining to or constituting a base or basis; "a basic fact"; "the basic ingredients"; "basic changes in public opinion occur because of changes in priorities"|
incidental, incident - (sometimes followed by `to') minor or casual or subordinate in significance or nature or occurring as a chance concomitant or consequence; "incidental expenses"; "the road will bring other incidental advantages"; "extra duties incidental to the job"; "labor problems incidental to a rapid expansion"; "confusion incidental to a quick change"
|2.||basic - reduced to the simplest and most significant form possible without loss of generality; "a basic story line"; "a canonical syllable pattern"|
|3.||basic - of primary importance; "basic truths"|
|4.||basic - serving as a base or starting point; "a basic course in Russian"; "basic training for raw recruits"; "a set of basic tools"; "an introductory art course"|
|5.||basic - of or denoting or of the nature of or containing a base|
|(language)||BASIC - Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.
A simple language oroginally designed for ease of programming
by students and beginners.|
BASIC exists in many dialects, and is popular on microcomputers with sound and graphics support. Most micro versions are interactive and interpreted.
BASIC has become the leading cause of brain-damage in proto-hackers. This is another case (like Pascal) of the cascading lossage that happens when a language deliberately designed as an educational toy gets taken too seriously. A novice can write short BASIC programs (on the order of 10-20 lines) very easily; writing anything longer is (a) very painful, and (b) encourages bad habits that will make it harder to use more powerful languages well. This wouldn't be so bad if historical accidents hadn't made BASIC so common on low-end micros. As it is, it ruins thousands of potential wizards a year.
Originally, all references to code, both GOTO and GOSUB (subroutine call) referred to the destination by its line number. This allowed for very simple editing in the days before text editors were considered essential. Just typing the line number deleted the line and to edit a line you just typed the new line with the same number. Programs were typically numbered in steps of ten to allow for insertions. Later versions, such as BASIC V, allow GOTO-less structured programming with named procedures and functions, IF-THEN-ELSE-ENDIF constructs and WHILE loops etc.
Early BASICs had no graphic operations except with graphic characters. In the 1970s BASIC interpreters became standard features in mainframes and minicomputers. Some versions included matrix operations as language primitives.
A public domain interpreter for a mixture of DEC's MU-Basic and Microsoft Basic is here. A yacc parser and interpreter were in the comp.sources.unix archives volume 2.
See also ANSI Minimal BASIC, bournebasic, bwBASIC, ubasic, Visual Basic.