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The Icon Bar: News and features: BBC BASIC Reference Manual updated
 

BBC BASIC Reference Manual updated

Posted by Mark Stephens on 07:04, 12/1/2018 | ,
 
ROOL continues on its mission to bring RISC OS and its documentation up to date with a thoroughly revised and updated version of the BBC BASIC Reference Manual. This available both as a PDF in the programming documentation and as a hard copy book.
 
Issue 1 was published in 1992 so quite a lot has changed for this 2017 release 2. It is a fairly substantial volume (510 pages including the index). It is bang up to date, mentioning RISC OS 5.24 and BASICVFP.
 
The manual is nicely structured so it can be read from cover to cover as a tutorial but is also clearly structured to provide a lookup for people wanting to find a specific item of information. The book identifies 3 target readership groups:-
1. Total beginners looking to learn BBC BASIC as an introduction to computing.
2. Experienced programmers looking to learn a new language.
3. A reference guide for experienced BBC BASIC programmers who want to look-up some details.
 
To this end, it is split into Overview, Programming Techniques, Reference and Appendices. There are lots of little programming examples to show how commands work. There are no screenshots.
 
If you are dipping your toe into the programming waters, there are some simple examples and some good explanations of the technical side of programming (integers and floating point, error handling, writing structured code, binary) while there is lots of detail for more advanced developers (?, !, |, $ indirect operators, VDU commands, using the assembler). You will need additional resources to learn to write Desktop WIMP programs but it will give you a full grasp of BBC BASIC.
 
The book now has pride of place on my technical bookshelf and the Appendix section is becoming increasing thumbed through. What are your thoughts?
 
Buy the book from ROOL
 
  BBC BASIC Reference Manual updated
  VincceH (11:37 12/1/2018)
  markee174 (13:29 12/1/2018)
  Elesar (07:58 13/1/2018)
    VincceH (11:18 13/1/2018)
 
VinceH Message #124233, posted by VincceH at 11:37, 12/1/2018
VincceH
Lowering the tone since the dawn of time

Posts: 1590
Issue 1 was published in 1992 so quite a lot has changed for this 2107 release 2
Blimey. I know I overslept this morning, but I thought by about ninety minutes, not ninety years! wink

[Edited by VincceH at 11:38, 12/1/2018]
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Mark Stephens Message #124234, posted by markee174 at 13:29, 12/1/2018, in reply to message #124233
Member
Posts: 37
You are very welcome to apply for the vacant post of proof reader at iconbar or write some articles so that there is still fresh content once the 2017 backlog has been published.
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Robert Sprowson Message #124235, posted by Elesar at 07:58, 13/1/2018, in reply to message #124233
Member
Posts: 9
I'm counting the picture of ARMBE on page 194 as a screenshot - you need some serious anorak points to appreciate that though.

In case of emergency Shift-F4 gets you back to BASIC!
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VinceH Message #124236, posted by VincceH at 11:18, 13/1/2018, in reply to message #124235
VincceH
Lowering the tone since the dawn of time

Posts: 1590
Mark: Don't take my comments too seriously; the intention was simply to point out an important typo in an what was intended as a humorous way.

Rob: Was the menu structure on page 192 not grabbed from the screen using Snapper or some such? Surely the image wasn't mocked up?
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The Icon Bar: News and features: BBC BASIC Reference Manual updated