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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  • VB is still one of my favourite languages of all time.

    Its human readable, and now as a manager, that more important than ever

  • I started with BASIC, in 1985, has a instructor of training! I have started many teens and, in rare cases, old persons, to programming in BASIC, and later, in 1992 and 1993, Visual Basic. Thanks, VB! Happy long run!

  • Happy Birthday my supportive Visual Basic

  • it is very good achievement. keep it up. congrats to whole team

  • I soon 65.

    I started my career in 1967 as a computer programming Operating System, in assembler of course.

    I programmed in assembly languages ​​on a variety of hardware, 8 and 16 bits.

    I also programmed languages ​​like PL / 1, Fortran, PLM, LISP, etc. ... Of tens of thousands of lines of C + + !

    I developed on the first versions of Windows, in 1982 and I never really stopped doing it.

    Today I'm still developing fabulous software in C #  and  VB. NET with VS 2010, for fun!

    And I appreciate the integration of VB.NET in Visual Studio, offering real help to the user.

    Today is my favorite language.

  • I thought I entered this comment but it seems to have been lost so here it is again.  

    I first starte working with the ancestor of Visual Basic on the Naval Academy's Dartmouth Time Sharing System with  the Beginners All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code version IV (BASIC IV) in 1971.  Up until then my only exposure to computers had been watching the characters on Star Trek work with their voice activated system.  So much to my surprise I and every other member of the Freshman class was going to have to learn to program in order to program their engineering, weaponeering, physics, electronics,  and chemistry problems to derive their solutions.  (Talk about culture shock.)  Since then I've learned Fortran, Algol, Cobol, C++, and Java.  But i keep coming back to a form of Basic.  I worked with it on my brothers TRS hand held "computer" in the late seventies.   I helped fellow railworkers with their programs on their Atari systems.  I played with GW-Basic while learning dBase IV.  I played with Quick Basic and something called VBDos (Visual Basic for Dos) on the first computer I ever owned, a old IBM PS2.  Since 1995 I worked with every version of Visual Basic from VB 3.0 onwards including Access 2.0 Basic, VBA, VB 6.0, VB script, ASP, and all the versions of .Net.  i primarily work in C#, JavaScript, and T-SQL now.  But whenever I have a problem that requires concetrated original thought I always return home to Visual Basic where I don't have to spend effort thinking about syntax and punctuation.

    So Happy Birthday Visual Basic. May you have many, many more.  

  • Happy Birthday!

  • As a novice, I was asked if I could develop a touch screen application. VB was the easiest way for me to begin.

    It took a couple hundred dollars of books and a lot of reading, but I did it.

    Please MS, take a very complicated app with database connectivity and all the trimmings, and explain it in a book or so. Your software is great but too difficult to learn, based on the lack of info. Technet DVD libraries are only ok if you already know what to look up.

    Assume we know nothing. Teach us as though we know nothing. Cultivate us, we want to learn.

    No offense to the brilliant programmers I met in all the forums. I envy all of you.

  • WOW, VB is now 20 years old?  Amazing!  Of course I did some Basic programming, back in the day, but not really much.  I didn't get into Basic until VB 4.  Then VB5 was a big deal when it was compiled.  Next VB6, where many of our applications are still written in.  Today, I'm working with VB.NET 10.  It's a great language!

    Here's to another 20, VB, may you do well.

  • I am very impressed that the next VB compiler is being written in VB.NET

  • I've been writing in BASIC since I was 13.  I love VB!

  • It's 20 but still FAD.

  • Happy Birthday VB.NET! Alas, the syntax is really from PASCAL and pretty elegant, if I do say so. Those that push anything starting with the letter 'C' need help from a good shrink because all the C(rap) languages lead to deviated septa. Somewhere in my files there is a proof of the above!

  • Now if you can just kill off the idiot VS interface and create one that is actually usable, we could all be happy

  • It's not VB anymore - it's a piece of JIT technology.

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