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!

    Good to be vb programmer

  • VB is without doubt one of the finest languages around. Happy VB' day

  • Happy Birthday Visual Basic!

    Congratulations to the entire Team! Great Achievement!

  • I like VB, but it's a misnomer to have the word BASIC in its name anymore. VB 6, with whatever warts it had, was the last version of VB that deserved the name BASIC. A beginner who'd never written programs before is much more lost today than in the days of QBasic. VB.NET killed the "everyone can learn it" idea.

  • Like a clean windshield, and a full tank 'a gas.

  • Happy birthday VB. Never needed to learn any other language as I've always found a way to do everything I needed, even if I had to bend my brain in two. One of microsofts better creations! Long live VB

  • Happy Birthday VB. thanx for introducing me to computer programming. Haaa vb my first love!

  • I remember writing my first line interpreted application in BASICA, Back in the day either twas GWBASIC or BASICA. I was amazed at what the little machine could do with instructions being fed in at runtime. That was it. That was the last time I used VB (ahem...Basic). Since then I have been on the C, C++ and now C# side of things. My old friend has grown and wiser too!

  • Well congrats Visual Basic. I am never going to leave programming in VB

  • Having been a VB developer since VB 2.0 and even VB for DOS, I'm very proud to say I'm a VB developer.  Coming from a C++ background, I was very stubborn about making the switch.  It was, in fact, a Windows World Shootout in the early 90's that convinced me that VB was worth taking a look at.  I haven't looked back since.  BTW, has anyone else noticed some similarities between the VB early days and today's Lightswitch?  I hear folks pushing Lightswitch aside as a "toy" or something "targeted toward non-progammers."  Sound familiar?

  • Happy Birthday Visual Basic!

    Curly brackets languages will hold out for a long time still but future in a long run is definitely brighter for languages like Visual Basic with its truly humane syntactic properties. Its evolution may even be speedier soon since in latest incarnation of .NET Framework there virtually no differences between VB.NET and C#.

  • VB.NET is not VB. VB has been dead for 10 years when VB6 got killed off.

  • How about it guys?  Can we get something similar to Microsoft BASIC 2.0 for my kids to learn programming the way I did?  It should be easy enough to take the old kernal and stick out there as a learning tool, right?

  • How about it guys?  Can we get something similar to Microsoft BASIC 2.0 for my kids to learn programming the way I did?  It should be easy enough to take the old kernal and stick out there as a learning tool, right?


  • What are u celebrating? The most ugly progamming languaje in the world? VB is the worst thing that have happened to my professional life.    Programming languaje?... give me a break!!!

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