I was looking for the thing yesterday – and found it today.
Ah, “what thing”, I hear. Jukkasoft’s history! The QuickBasic programs, written under DOS, years ago, that formed that backbone of my programming experiences. Well, truth be told, I dissed QuickBasic pretty much right after moving on to deeper waters. But QuickBasic was an excellent quick prototyping environment, even though there were a lot of things that would’ve probably been difficult if not outright impossible to do.
I wrote code pretty much every day; the programs varied from very simple one- or two-liners to more sophisticated ones.
One of those more complicated was TM2.BAS, a program that tracks expenses and income. I believe it was year 1993 when I wrote it; it’s pretty funny that just now, in recent years, electronic banks have started providing private customers these kinds of tools to aid in financial planning.
QB or QuickBasic was a fairly sophisticated IDE for MS-DOS. What differentiated it from lighter products were several features. First of all, the look and feel of the environment was very consistent and professional. Menus were built using block-based (ASCII) graphics, since in MS-DOS era programs ran in “text-mode”. There were drop-down menus, where one could navigate using either hotkeys or the cursor (or mouse).
The edit-compile-debug cycle of QuickBasic was very fast, which is always good in programming!
Especially being a novice, having a fast editor environment to test things it was easy to quickly learn from experiments, and not let a bed of bugs accumulate in the uncompiled and thus untested areas of the code. Quick variable and expression evaluation was also possible!