Preliminary Material

Scan of inner cover Scan of preliminary information

ICL endeavours to ensure that the information in this document is correct and fairly stated, but does not accept liability for any error or omission.

The development of ICL products and services is continuous and published information may not be up-to-date. Any particular issue of a product may contain part only of the facilities described in this document or may contain facilities not described here. It is important to check the current position with ICL.

Specifications and statements as to performance in this document are ICL estimates intended for general guidance. They may require adjustment in particular circumstances and are therefore not formal offers or undertakings.

Statements in this document are not part of a contract or program product licence save insofar as they are incorporated into a contract or licence by express reference. Issue of this document does not entitle the recipient to access to or use of the products described, and such access or use may be subject to separate contracts or licences.

Publication 2015/P6
ISBN 0 900482 184
© International Computers Limited 1978
First Edition January 1978

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Educational Products Group,
Education Region,
International Computers Limited,
Computer House, 322 Euston Road, London NW13BD.
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ICL Printing Services, Works Road, Letchworth, Herts. SG6 1JY.


Scan of preface

2903 Educational System BASIC was developed by North Staffordshire Polytechnic Computer Centre in conjunction with International Computers Limited, as part of the ICL 2903 Educational System. The design of the system and the specification of the language were influenced by many factors: the needs of the potential user, the characteristics of the 2903, existing implementation of BASIC, both within ICL and elsewhere, and the developments towards an international standard for BASIC.

The BASIC language was introduced at Dartmouth College, USA, in 1963, and its development since then had been centred there. However, many implementors of BASIC systems have introduced new features in their own way, and in 1973 attempts were made to encourage some standardisation, with the publication of BASIC specification, 6th edition (Dartmouth College) and Specification for standard BASIC (G.M. Bull, W. Freeman, S.J. Garland; NCC). Since then the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the European Computer Manufacturers Association (ECMA) have set up committees to define a standard for the BASIC language which will have the full authority of those bodies.

The definition of BASIC for the 2903 Educational System has relied considerably on the documents mentioned above, and in addition the BASIC manuals of a large number of manufacturers and bureaux have been consulted. The aims throughout have been twofold: to define a language which is true to the original spirit of BASIC – that it should be natural in its constructions and easy to learn and use - and which at the same time provides a set of features sufficiently varied and powerful to allow a wide range of educational and applications programs to be written and processed efficiently.