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I was asked to write this for The Encyclopedia of Computer Languages
(http://hopl.murdoch.edu.au/), and I thought I'd share it with the list.
For work reasons, I needed an implementation of Standard BASIC, and it
needed to be an implementation of the newer (1987) standard dubbed "Full
BASIC". For various reasons, I was only interested in free (in the GNU
sense) implementations, and the only one I found was deficient. At the
same time, I was looking for a project to practice my compiler-writing
skills. Hence, Agora BASIC was born.
From the start, it was clear that Agora BASIC should be a fairly
faithful implementation of the standard. I allowed myself the freedom
to lift some of its sillier limitations, but an important goal is to
make Agora BASIC accept any valid Full BASIC program. However, it is
also important to make Agora BASIC practical for at least some
programming work, and so I am allowing for extensions that interface
with the underlying POSIX system.
At the time this is being written (May 2006), Agora BASIC does not
fulfill either of the stated goals; it implements the bare minimum I
needed for the work project mentioned above. I intend to grow the
compiler gradually to fulfill the two goals.
On the name: Agora is the name of the building where I work.
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