I sort of did as well...
Tue Sep 28, 2021 11:24am

at least in the beginning. That said, I feel like I rarely got into more than a small set of the commands available and just found ways to hack together the same few commands to make things "work". Grimace, Wry, and the Dragon Slayer Demo are great examples of this. It's a ton of spaghetti code done mostly the same way.

I'm not really sure why I never really felt like I should just take a look at the help index and see if there's something there that would be helpful. I guess being an absolute beginner at the time, it's not surprising. I honestly don't think I used things like RTRIM$, LTRIM$, LEFT$, MID$, RIGHT$, UBOUND, LBOUND, LEN, or SPACE$ in a Qbasic program until NE File Util last year!

I did eventually get two Qbasic books. One was Qbasic for Dummies and the other was The Revolutionary Guide to Qbasic (Amazon link.. surprisingly still for sale). I unfortunately don't own either of these anymore but I remember the Revolutionary Guide to be really helpful.

Anyway, that's enough of that ramble-y mess.

I think the built in super helpful help sections died out not only because the internet made it easier to keep the information move available but things have become much more complex. Back in the day, you programmed in Visual Basic, the IDE was made by Microsoft and so was the language. There weren't any updates unless you moved to a newer version which weren't as frequent as things are now. So, the syntax and features wouldn't really change for a long time.

Today, things move faster than they used to and also a lot of people use external frameworks on top of the regular language. Not to mention, an IDE that's not necessarily made by the same people who make the language. (Visual Studio and C# still exist, but I can't really think of any other big players out there doing that...). For example, this site uses Spring and Java and I program in JetBrain's Intellij IDE. I think the size of the help required to hold all potential combinations of things possible would be huge and probably out of date by the time the IDE is released. One useful thing is stuff usually has Docstrings on the methods so you can always "CTRL+B" and that acts as help.

Rambling again.. going to stop here. lol

    • I think I pretty much learned QB from the docs - Puckdropper, Sun Sep 26 2021 3:54am
      We didn't really have Internet, I didn't really have good books (or a library), so it was all the stuff included on the system. It's too bad good help like QB had never really took off.
      • I sort of did as well...- Erik_, Tue Sep 28 2021 11:24am
        • I didn't really understand what most of those things did - Puckdropper, Sun Oct 10 2021 12:07am
          until I was introduced to them in college... I may not be super familiar with Perl, but Larry Wall's philosophies changed the way I view certain things. One is if an operation is really common, maybe someone's already got a command for it. So there's RTRIM$, LTRIM$, etc because people needed to r... more
          • 32 million downloads: But in a rational sense, that's a good philosophy. These days, I find myself looking to see if someone already created a package or library online before attempting to reinvent the wheel myself. I think my first real experience wit... more
            • Wait, so there's an entire package that just divides by 2 an - Puckdropper, Tue Oct 12 2021 4:57am
              d tells you if the result has a remainder? (Or shoot, you can just look at the last bit. If 1, not even.) It would kinda make sense in C, where the package could handle different numbers and number types, but isn't a number in JS just a number? (Been a while since I've looked at JS.) One area... more
              • It relies on another package called "is-odd". This is the entire code for "is-even" From: /*! * is-even * * Copyright (c) 2015, 2017, Jon Schlinkert. * Released under the MIT License. */ 'use strict'; ... more
                • Wow... You never know what people show they need. - Puckdropper, Sun Oct 24 2021 4:34am
                  I guess that could be a good programming language feature. After all, you're better off with well used libraries than you are writing your own in most cases. (The number of "Apps" on Android that are rewritten versions of other apps--with no more features or even a different design is staggering. ... more
                  • Most languages have a standard library or an equivalent but Javascript doesn't really have an official one. This leads to packages being created to fill this void. Which is fine, but sometimes people hijack these "standard" packages used by many and introduce vulnerabilities or malware into them on ... more
                    • It's not too late... - Puckdropper, Mon Nov 01 2021 3:19am
                      They just have to create an official standard library. It'd work kinda like CPAN: You don't get them included with the library but they're easily accessible from a trusted place.
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