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 Birthday~

  • I am 30 years old man, live in HongKong.

    Long long time ago, around 1999.

    I start learning VB6, and enjoy it to wrote some useful application to 2004.

    later, i go into the .NET world, and pick up VB.NET first, and start my programming career path.

    So on 2006, i also pick up C#, love it , mainly use in my jobs.

    But at now 2011, i am .net System analyst, i still love VB 2010, even i not much wrote it today, but i don't want it die.

    I still remember on early of 1999, i have to choice my first programming language - delphi or VB6.

    I glad to choice a right one - vb6, to bring me into the development world.

  • Happy Birth day

  • I'm 61 and still going strong as a senior software engineer.

    My favorite VB of all time was Microsoft's Professional Basic, the first truly powerful BASIC compiler with tools to build larger applications than Quick-Basic.

    I have been doing Visual Basic since VB 1.0 was introduced and am now working with VB.NET 2010 as well as C#.

    Happy Birthday VB!!!

  • Whoop Whoop YAY VB!!  :-)

  • An interesting comment about 'choice of Delphi or VB'. Personally, I thought that Delphi beat the hell out of VB as an IDE and a programming language ... but, sadly, it just never took off the way it deserved. I was never sure why, but I do know that it was not due to being inferior to VB. Of course, the designer of Delphi was lured to Microsoft to design C#.

    But, I can only say that the longetivity of VB and all its evolutions made it good enough to survive and prosper, albeit with a substantial amount of 'Nobody ever got fired for choosing Microsoft' philosophy.

    Sour grapes? No ... just a lot of experience with how great Delphi was (and probably still is, but  don't know now) and how it really did beat VB hands-down as a development environment. Just like many great products in the IT marketplace over the last 30 years, Best was not always a guarantee of success.

  • First line of code I ever wrote in my life was in Basic, back in the 80's, this article has made me remind that, and that is a sweet memory. I was just a teen. As long as I shifted away, and I really have never worked with VB, I am glad Basic is still alive and strong in this ever changing world. Happy birthday!

  • Wow - brings back memories writing my first VB 1.0, for DOS no less, program.  Ahhh, the simple days ;-)

  • Happy 1 VB

  • Wow, what a love fest for VB... no doubt this is a VB Blog but surprised that no bashers or flamers have been attracted to this thread  yet :)

  • I've always hated BASIC/VB.  Horribly inelegant syntax.

  • Happy Birthday VB! Believe it or not: We still have VB programs and they fulfil some pretty important task. However, the first steps have been initiated to replace them over the next two years and then it will say bye-bye VB.

  • Happy Birthday Visual Basic!  I think I started with 4.0 way back!  It was the launch of my career really and while I have shifted into data architecture with SQL Server, I still use VB these days, although as a hobby now.

    Cool product!

  • Happy Birthday VB! MS is going to release it as open source! :)

  • I never celebrate the birthday of dead people.

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