GW-BASIC: A brief overview
GW-Basic is a Microsoft developed a variation of programming language BASIC. It was basically designed particularly for IBM PC and resembles IBM BASICA language. However, its uniqueness lies in the fact that it is self-contained, executable and does not require the ROM BASIC like other BASIC based languages. GW-BASIC is very suitable to program or code simple games, virtual business applications, and other similar developments. Its inclusion in the majority of the MS-DOS made it a reasonably affordable source for many ambitious programmers to learn basic computer programming.
Once you have loaded and initialized on your computers, an Ok prompt is displayed in the screens which indicate that GW-BASIC is now at the command level and is ready for your commands. From this point, you can use one of the two modes of GW-BASIC i-e direct and indirect mode. Direct Mode executes the commands and statements as they are entered. It is able to display the logical operations and arithmetical results immediately and can also store them to be used later. However, indirect mode instructions are lost once they are executed. Direct mode is good for debugging and for calculation so users can quickly compute figures without requiring a complete program. Indirect Mode is utilized mainly to enter programs and in this mode Program lines always follow the line numbers and these program lines are stored in memory and are executed when the command RUN is entered.
GW-BASIC functions, statements, variables, and commands:
GW-BASIC programming is done with elements including keywords, statements, commands, variables and functions. Keywords such as GOTO, PRINT, and RETURN have a particular significance for the Interpreter and they are interpreted as a part of commands and statements. Commands and statements, both are instructions that can be executed. The difference between both entities is that commands usually are executed in direct mode or on command level.
They are generally used for program maintenance including loading, editing or saving. On the other hand, a statement like GOTO, ON ERROR is a group of keywords generally used in program lines as the program’s part. Another part of GW-BASIC is Functions i-e numeric functions or string functions. Numeric Functions are mathematical calculations. While String Functions are strings based. For example, if the function of TIME$ and DATE$ are entered then the output is time and date that is known by the system. Variables are particular groups of alphabets and numeric that are assigned with values and provide information when they are executed.
Security: GW-BASIC makes some choices by default while keeping the basic security aspects in mind. However, while applying security measures, GW-BASIC avoids sandboxing its functions and programs in any notable way. In nutshell, GW-BASIC and programs developed with it have almost complete access to the host computer therefore, users should treat them by keeping in mind that relevant and appropriate cautions are necessary. For instance, users are recommended to not do run a program from the internet without first inspecting the source completely.
Easy learning: Microsoft’s GW-BASI is very easy to learn and simple programming language because it has understandable mathematical notions and statements which are very similar to that of normal English language. Despite its simplicity, users can write simple and complex both types of programs for your computers With GW-BASIC. Not only programming, but it is also possible to modify the already developed GW-BASIC based software.