North Bay Python 2024

Phil Beffrey

Recently founded Revision PC and created a "boot-to-BASIC"-style OS and programming language with an '80s flavor but modern capability; and co-founded Atlas Innovations Inc (Delaware) and designed/developed next-generation crafting tools and STEM-learning products.

Co-founded Cognitive Devices Inc and developed hardware, firmware, and software for the Provo Craft Cricut line of electronic cutting products; you've seen these products advertised on TV.

At both Gracenote and Siren Systems I developed ML techniques for music analysis, identification, and recommendation. Gracenote created the well-known CDDB system for identifying music CDs.

Helped Pixar establish their interactive media group and developed numerous rendering and imaging technologies as part of their Graphics R&D group (i.e. RenderMan, which is the VFX/Animation standard for making images).

I was the first Engineering Manager at Digital Domain and the "father of" Nuke (DD's compositing system sold to The Foundry, now the industry standard for VFX post production).

Co-founded Digital Arts, a pioneering 3D graphics company that developed one of the first desktop 3D animation production systems, including the first RenderMan-compliant renderer.

Profile image nbpy-2024/question_uploads/headshot_Cwhj6hW.jpg


In the 1980s and earlier, Python used to be BASIC. Could BASIC possibly be an alternative or a companion to Python today?
Phil Beffrey

Python is widely used as both a professional software engineering language,
and as a "learning" language that many programmers get started with. But in the
early days of computing there was BASIC, the Beginners All-purpose Symbolic
Instruction Code. BASIC's original developers, Kemeny and Kurtz at Dartmouth
University, created it as a language that all students, from every field could
use, and that led to its widespread adoption. It quickly become the de facto
home computer language, and was pre-installed on virtually all computers right
up through the year 2000.

We'll review the syntax similarities and differences between Python and BASIC,
compare the source code and execution of several identical programs written in
both languages, and discuss the implementation of their respective "compilers".
Maybe BASIC can still teach us, and future language designers, some lessons?