Happy 20th Birthday Visual Basic!

Happy 20th Birthday Visual Basic!

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Twenty years ago, May 20th, 1991 at Windows World, in Atlanta, Microsoft founder Bill Gates demoed Visual Basic 1.0. Twenty years later, the 10th version of this latest in an unbroken line of Microsoft BASIC languages stretching back to Microsoft’s founding is still going strong. When you look back over the history of a tool that’s been around that long you start to see some familiar experiences from Wetware products (commonly called children :P ): The cute and cuddly days of its youth, in the 16-bit era; the awkward teen years and the transition to .NET; sibling rivalry with the new baby (C#); and finally getting those braces … er, underscores off :). And now, finally out of those turbulent teen years, a matured language looks to the future. Visual Basic has always had a personality for humanizing programming and with Async methods in vNext it continues that tradition.

You might ask after two-decades how VB can keep re-inventing itself to face modern and future challenges. The answer is quite literally that – re-inventing itself.  OK, more accurately re-writing itself. The VB compiler is being re-written from the ground up in Visual Basic and its syntactic and semantic analysis services exposed through a managed API that exposes parse trees, expression binding, assembly production (and more) to enable a world of new scenarios including REPL, VB as a scripting language, and more. It’s all very exciting! As a VB user for … half my lifetime, now, it’s great to look back and be proud of where VB has been, happy with where it is, and especially excited about where it’s going!

I have many fond memories of Visual Basic and likewise great aspirations for its future and I know millions of customers out there have the same. Please, share your stories (and hopes), and join me in wishing our old :P friend, VB, a Happy 20th Birthday and many more! :D

Anthony D. Green
Program Manager
Visual Basic (code-name "Roslyn") Compiler

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  • Happy B'day VB!!

  • VB whether for Windows or DOS (yes there was a version of VB for DOS)  has really allows people to write applications easily.     If it were not for VB the windows platform wouldnt have exploded to what it is today.   The language has evolved and today is as powerful and feature complete as any language out there.     Those that look down on it as a toy language be careful.  In the 20 years I've seen many languages touted as VB Killers but have yet to see one actually pull it off ( The only one that really has done that is C#) .    Long Live VB and thanks to all the developers that use it and the developers/testers at Microsoft that have made it what it is - Truly awesome.

  • Belated Happy Birthday VB :D

  • Happy Birthday VB and to your child  

  • Thanks Gog and Microsoft for Visual Basic & .NET Framework! Happy birthday, VB!

  • Happy birthday VB! Congrats Visual Basic Team!

  • Happy Birthday VB

  • Though some people think VB6 is old and long gone but for me it made a remarkable difference in my computing world.My first application was made in vb6, called it '"grade point calculator"" and it made a remarkable change to people around me.VB6 though people think you are old and useless I will say they are just being ungrateful you've set the landmark that other  versions will follow.HAPPY BIRTHDAY VB6

  • I wrote my first basic program circa 1972 on a DEC PDP/8 mini computer. It played blackjack on a console typewriter. Since then I've written in Machine code, Assembler, COBOL, Fortran, RPG, Pascal, C, Java and a host of other languages you've never heard of, like SCIP and NEAT/3 but I always keep coming back to Basic. I'm now using Visual Studio 2010 and I love it. I notice from the comments that programmers either love Basic or hate it and those that claim hatred are merely elitist. They've been crying about Basic for 50 years yet it still is one of the most popular languages in use today. Happy Birthday VB.

  • I still think VB is the best current programming language, and I'm sad that my current job forces me to use another language. I hope the new compiler polishes some of the weak areas in the current VB, although these are primarily due to the IDE. VB was always at its best when the compiler and IDE worked together to take as much tedium as possible out of the job of designing software.

  • Happy birthday VB and I wish you to be more and more stonger.

    Don't let C# defeat you.

  • Aw, it DOES make me feel all warm and fuzzy. 19 years ago when I was a little *** I still recall learning Basic! I sat at home for hours creating little programs that I tried to make interact like a human. Back in the days of the relentless command prompt. Print, $, all that stuff. I am glad to be getting to know about the new version of Basic! Its been a long time! Im 30!

  • I write my first Basic program on a Wang Microcomputer (anybody out there remembers those things). I was amazed !!!. (Maybe beginning of the 80's). From that on, I've programmed Basic on Apple, Radio Shack, Synclair, Commodore, Compaq Portable (Portable ?), and, lastly, my first PC. The last 12 years, I have been teaching programming at College, and amongst the languages i taught was Visual Basic (.Net, 2003, 2005 2008 and 2010). I retired 3 months ago, but still doing ocassional works on VB. I just love VB!!!.

    From Argentina.

    Alberto Oliver

  • Simplemente el mejor lenguaje de desarrollo de todos los tiempos...

  • Just tried this in VB2010...still valid!

       Sub Main()

    10:     Dim a%

    20:     a = a + 1

    25:     Console.WriteLine(a)

    30:     If a = 1000 Then End Else GoTo 20

       End Sub

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