Tiny BASIC Released!
Saturday, 19th October 2019
This weekend, Damian Gareth Walker released his Tiny BASIC compiler and interpreter. Conceived as a learning project, this implementation of the 1970s subset of the BASIC programming language works on Linux, Windows and Android.
Tiny BASIC was designed as a small language for early microcomputers that had only a few kilobytes of RAM. It was also an early template for the free software movement, with code being shared freely or being made available only at the cost of copying it. While limited, it was an easy introduction to programming for hobbyists of the time.
This persent version can interpret programs saved in a text file, and with the aid of a C compiler, can create executables from them too. It follows the original specification very closely, offering all the commands except for those used in the interactive programming environment (in this version, a text editor is the programming environment).
While avoiding most of the extensions to the original language, two are offered. Due to memory limitations, the original Tiny BASIC didn't support comments. This version does, with the traditional BASIC REM statement. And because program entry is via a text editor, line numbers are now optional; you only need to supply those that are the target of a GOTO or GOSUB. If you choose those numbers carefully, the interpreter can output a listing with the comment lines stripped and the missing line numbers inserted so that your program could in theory be run on the original Tiny BASIC interpreter, memory permitting.
To obtain the interpreter and compilter, visit the Files for Download section of the web site. There are six classic games included as examples in the interpreter and compiler package. The download section also includes additional games, and some useful subroutines for your own programs.