This just floated into the Debian “testing” repos:
BASIC-256 is an easy to use version of BASIC designed to teach anybody (especially middle and high-school students) the basics of computer programming. It uses traditional control structures like gosub, for/next, and goto, which helps kids easily see how program flow-control works. It has a built-in graphics mode which lets them draw pictures on screen in minutes, and a set of detailed, easy-to-follow tutorials that introduce programming concepts through fun exercises.
It looks like a pretty good/complete BASIC system - it even has native support for databases (SQLite), graphics (including simple sprite routines) and networking basics. It’s not going to replace C, Java or Python any time soon, but it looks like it’s simple enough to catch student’s attentions and allow them to quickly start getting results. I would imagine that development of a simple “Space Invaders” type game could be taught in just a few hours.
I know there are a few of us here old enough to have fond memories of programming in BASIC…