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Computer Science
and Technology


NBS Special Publication 500-70/1
NBS Minimal BASIC Test
Programs-Version 2,
User's Manual

Volume 1-Documentation



VEC V Z 1980


The Univershy

of Michigan
Cog eering


The National Bureau of Standards' was established by an act of Congress on March 3, 1901. The Bureau's overall goal is to strengthen and advance the Nation's science and technology and facilitate their effective application for public benefit. To this end, the Bureau conducts research and provides: (1) a basis for the Nation's physical measurement system, (2) scientific and technological services for industry and government, (3) a technical basis for equity in trade, and (4) technical services to promote public safety. The Bureau's technical work is performed by the National Measurement Laboratory, the National Engineering Laboratory, and the Institute for Computer Sciences and Technology.

THE NATIONAL MEASUREMENT LABORATORY provides the national system of physical and chemical and materials measurement; coordinates the system with measurement systems of other nations and furnishes essential services leading to accurate and uniform physical and chemical measurement throughout the Nation's scientific community, industry, and commerce; conducts materials research leading to improved methods of measurement, standards, and data on the properties of materials needed by industry, commerce, educational institutions, and Government; provides advisory and research services to other Government agencies; develops, produces, and distributes Standard Reference Materials; and provides calibration services. The Laboratory consists of the following centers:

Thermodynamics and

Absolute Physical Quantities - Radiation Research
Molecular Science Analytical Chemistry Materials Science.

THE NATIONAL ENGINEERING LABORATORY provides technology and technical services to the public and private sectors to address national needs and to solve national problems; conducts research in engineering and applied science in support of these efforts; builds and maintains competence in the necessary disciplines required to carry out this research and technical service; develops engineering data and measurement capabilities; provides engineering measurement traceability services; develops test methods and proposes engineering standards and code changes; develops and proposes new engineering practices; and develops and improves mechanisms to transfer results of its research to the ultimate user. The Laboratory consists of the following centers:

Applied Mathematics Electronics and Electrical Engineering'


Engineering and Process Technology Building Technology Fire Research --
Consumer Product Technology Field Methods.

THE INSTITUTE FOR COMPUTER SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGY conducts research and provides scientific and technical services to aid Federal agencies in the selection, acquisition, application, and use of computer technology to improve effectiveness and economy in Government operations in accordance with Public Law 89-306 (40 U.S.C. 759), relevant Executive Orders, and other directives; carries out this mission by managing the Federal Information Processing Standards Program, developing Federal ADP standards guidelines, and managing Federal participation in ADP voluntary standardization activities; provides scientific and technological advisory services and assistance to Federal agencies; and provides the technical foundation for computer-related policies of the Federal Government. The Institute consists of the following centers:

Programming Science and Technology Computer Systems Engineering.

'Headquarters and Laboratories at Gaithersburg, MD, unless otherwise noted;

mailing address Washington, DC 20234.

'Some divisions within the center are located at Boulder, CO 80303.

Computer Science
and Technology

NBS Special Publication 500-70/1

NBS Minimal BASIC Test
Programs-Version 2,
User's Manual

Volume 1-Documentation

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Reports on Computer Science and Technology

The National Bureau of Standards has a special responsibility within the Federal
Government for computer science and technology activities. The programs of the
NBS Institute for Computer Sciences and Technology are designed to provide ADP
standards, guidelines, and technical advisory services to improve the effectiveness
of computer utilization in the Federal sector, and to perform appropriate research and
development efforts as foundation for such activities and programs. This publication
series will report these NBS efforts to the Federal computer community as well as to
interested specialists in the academic and private sectors. Those wishing to receive
notices of publications in this series should complete and return the form at the end
of this publication.

National Bureau of Standards Special Publication 500-70/1
Nat. Bur. Stand. (U.S.), Spec. Publ. 500-70/1, 79 pages (Nov. 1980)

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 80-600163


For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402
Price $4.00

(Add 25 percent for other than U.S. mailing)

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This publication describes the set of programs developed by NBS for the pur po se of testing conformance of implementations of the computer language BASIC to the American National Standard for Minimal BASIC, ANSI X3.60-1978. The Department of Commerce has adopted this ANSI standard Federal Information Processing Standard 68. By submitting the programs to a candidate implementation, the user can test the various features which an implementation must support in order to conform to the standard. While some programs can determine whether or not a given feature is correctly implemented, others produce output which the user must then interpret to some degree. This manual describes how the programs should be used so as to interpret correctly the results of the tests. Such interpretation depends strongly on a solid understanding of the conformance rules laid down in the standard, and there is a brief discussion of these rules and how they relate to the test programs and to the various ways in which the language may be implemented.

Key words: BASIC; language processor testing; Minimal BASIC; programming language standards; software standards; software testing


Acknowledgments: Version 2 owes its existence to the efforts and ex ample of many people. Dr. David Gilsinn and Mr. Charles Sheppard, the authors of version 1*, deserve credit for construction of that first system, of which version 2 is a refinement. In addition, they were generous in their advice many of the pitfalls to avoid on the second iteration. Landon Dyer assisted with the testing and document preparation. It is also important to thank the many people who sent in comments and suggestions on Version 1. We hope that all the users of the resulting Version 2 will help us improve it further.


* issued as an NBS Internal Report; no longer available.

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