Small Basic Curriculum: Lesson 1.1: Introduction

Small Basic Curriculum: Lesson 1.1: Introduction

Small Basic > Curriculum > Online > Lesson 1.1: Introduction

Estimated time to complete this lesson: 30 minutes

Introduction to Small Basic

In this lesson, you will learn how to:

  • Describe Small Basic.
  • Explore the Small Basic environment.
  • Write a Small Basic program.
  • Use IntelliSense technology.
  • Save your program.

What Is Small Basic?

A program is a set of instructions that a computer can understand. To write that set of instructions, you use a programming language.

Small Basic is a programming language that makes computer programming extremely approachable, easy, and fun!

Small Basic

Small Basic - A Programming Language for Beginners

In the beginning, only a few programming languages existed, and they were easy to learn. However, these languages became more and more complex, such as the Microsoft Visual C# development tool, the Microsoft Visual Basic development environment, and Java.

This complexity discouraged people who wanted to learn how to program computers.

Small Basic removes this complexity barrier and serves as a stepping stone for all beginners to the world of programming!

The Small Basic Environment

Small Basic provides you with an extremely simple yet powerful development environment with features like instant context-sensitive help.

  1. You write your Small Basic programs in the Editor.
  2. You can run various commands by clicking buttons on the Toolbar.
  3. As you write code, you can find information about commands in the Help window.

Small Basic Environment

Let’s explore the different elements of the environment where you write and run your Small Basic programs.

  • You can open and work with multiple Editor windows at one time.
  • The Editor window that contains the program you are currently working with is the active Editor.
  • You can indent your program code more consistently by highlighting it, right-clicking it, and then clicking Format Program.

Your First Program

Now that you’re familiar with the environment, you are ready to start programming!

As you know, the Editor is where you write your programs. So, let’s write the following line in the Editor: TextWindow.WriteLine(“Hello, World!")

TextWindow.WriteLine("Hello, World!")

You have created your first program, and now you can run it and check the result!

You can run your program either by clicking Run on the Toolbar or by pressing F5 on the keyboard.

In the next lesson, you will analyze a program in detail to learn more about it.

Click the Run button on the Toolbar.

This is the output you will see: 


IntelliSense - Making It Easy

While you were typing, did you notice that a list of items appeared with their explanations?

These items are part of an “IntelliSense” list, which you can use to type your programs faster.

An IntelliSense list contains commands that you can type. You can scroll through the list by pressing the UP and DOWN arrows on your keyboard, and you can press ENTER to insert the highlighted command into your code.

IntelliSense list

Saving Your Program

After you write a program, you must save it if you want to change or run it later.

To save your program, you can click Save on the Toolbar, or you can hold down the CTRL key on the keyboard while you press the “S” key.

TextWindow.WriteLine("Greetings to All")

You should save your program frequently so that you do not lose your work if the power fails or your computer suddenly shuts down.

Let’s Summarize…


Now you know how to

  • Define Small Basic.
  • Explore the Small Basic environment.
  • Write a Small Basic program.
  • Use IntelliSense.
  • Save your program.

Show What You Know

Now that you know some facts about Small Basic, you can demonstrate what you’ve learned by answering the following questions:

  • What is Small Basic?
  • Which feature of Small Basic helps you type your program faster?
  • How do you run your Small Basic program?

To see the answers to these questions, go to the Answer Key page.

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  • Not sure how to get this to you, but is there any possibility of allowing multiple variables to be input at the same time, separated by commas?  To do that now in SmallBasic requires quite a lot of code, and I seem to have lots of programs that require multiple variables be entered.  So anyway, if there is any way to add this to SmallBasic, that would be great.  Thanks!

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