QB64 Report

What is QB64's target audience?

November 09, 2021 Fellippe Heitor Season 3 Episode 1
QB64 Report
What is QB64's target audience?
Show Notes Transcript

What is QB64's target audience?

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Fellippe:

Welcome to another episode of QB64 Report, your podcast on all things QB64 and then more. Wow, this is season three. Who'd have thought? I'm your host Fellippe Heitor, and one question that often gets asked on our forum is: what is QB64's target audience. Well, if you're listening to this right now, then the answer also involves you. Let's get to it. I'm 37 years old. Wil be 38 soon. That means I didn't even exist when the BASIC language was created. Heck my dad was still a baby back in 1964. I cut my teeth on programming back in 1996 when I was 12 years old. And I did so with BASIC after I found the glorious QBasic in MS-DOS. It was love at first "Syntax Error". And although I later on, got in touch with other programming languages, it's BASIC that retained its place in my heart. After a few years of enchantment, I eventually stopped using it, as life led me to other things. Then one day in my late twenties, I felt nostalgic and started playing with it again. Eventually I found a bit more power in QuickBASIC 4.5, then Visual Basic for DOS. I had a working clone of the 2048 game written in text mode, but I couldn't share it with anyone, unless I instructed them to first download and set up DOSBox and... such a mess. While Googling for a way to distribute a DOS binary for modern systems, I stumbled across QB64, and my history with the project began. As I was saying earlier, this episode aims to address the question: "what is QB64's target audience?". And my first answer could be: me. When Rob started working on QB64 back in 2007, he didn't know it at first, but he was writing this project for this nerdy guy here, back in Brazil. But like me, of course, many others have come across, QB64 while searching for the same thing. How can I keep this project working in this day and age? How can I not discard my programming history while still using modern operating systems? So basically it's a project that's born out of nostalgia from nostalgic nerds to nostalgic nerds. So, how did we eventually welcome into our community young fellows, like Ashish, for example, who started working with us back when he was also 12 years old (he's 18 now), and who in many ways pushed QB64 further than anyone of us had done till he came along. How did Luke and Zach, end up becoming QB64 developers when they're still in their mid twenties? What in BASIC, and now in QB64, still has the power to bring this new generation onboard? Well, you can say people my age may now be in teaching positions, and they refuse to let go of their childhood memories, eventually forcing kids to learn BASIC instead of JavaScript. What the heck is going on with this guys, right? I mean, who in their right mind would do such a thing? You will find many people from Nigeria, for example, on Twitter, bitterly complaining that their schools are still teaching them COBOL, Fortran, and QBasic. They feel stuck in the past and tied to a curriculum that doesn't let them soar with modern languages built for the web. I agree that going with QBasic at university may be inappropriate in the 21st century. But the fact that BASIC has survived up until today and is still the doorway into programming for so many people is something you must recognize as a feat in its own. Kids in India are being introduced, not to QBasic, but to QB64 these days. We have been approached a few years ago by the local branch of Cambridge University Press in India when they were releasing two text books that had several chapters on QB64 as an introduction to programming. Of course they could have gone straight to JavaScript, but you cannot deny the immense approachability of the BASIC language, especially since it's so close to regular English. To answer the original question: our target audience is nowadays mainly comprised of nostalgic nerds who find QB64 when trying to bring an old, loved project back to life, as well as young learners who cut their teeth on programming in the 21st century with QB64. Or maybe there's a whole slew of programmers out there using QB64 and we don't know about them. Let us know about you guys. Is my answer to the question inaccurate? To all of you guys, my sincerest thanks, and let's keep it going together. Long live QB64. This was QB64 Report. I'm Fellippe Heitor. Catch you guys in episode two. Bye-bye.