cen wrote:They're better off just learning proper programming habits and learn the differences *if* necessary.
I believe this is a very true statement. If you have proper programming habits, having to program in another language shouldn't be too difficult. In my experience, my problem solving skills are typically just as important if not more important than my programming skills.
Again, in my experience, BASIC is still being used in the controls industry for the same reasons you stated about Cobolt. There current systems have been working fine for the past 10+ years, but when there is a problem, not many people are comfortable with BASIC anymore. For this reason, knowledge of BASIC can get you a higher paying job in controls. However, to even mess with the BASIC code you also must be knowledgeable with PLC coding, which I doubt more than about 5 people on this site have ever even see PLC logic. I wouldn't try to rely on BASIC programming as my main source of income, but having BASIC programming in your repertoire can earn you higher paying jobs.
On the opposite side, I agree with you again, cen, that learning BASIC, especially for beginning programmers, would be a waste. However, I still believe it is better to start with a language that isn't object oriented. I think that learning it is asking to much of someone learning a new language. Having to master flow control, syntax, and various other hurdles can be challenging enough for many beginners, much less creating a class and understanding the concept of instantiating that class. Sure the industry today is continually moving to OOP, but languages such as C++, C#, Java, VB6, VB.net, etc. all require basic knowledge of programming as much as knowledge of OOP. I feel that starting with a language that lacks object orientation can make the learning process easier for the beginner as well as add a language to the repertoire of the learner.