Happy 50th Birthday, BASIC!

Happy 50th Birthday, BASIC!

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UPDATE: QuickVB is now open source!

The Visual Basic team joins Dartmouth and developers worldwide whose lives have been touched by this amazing language in wishing Dartmouth BASIC (and indeed the whole BASIC family of languages) a very happy 50th birthday (and many more) today!

So many of us here on the Managed Languages team got our start with one dialect of BASIC or another we couldn’t help but put together something to show our nostalgia and affection for our roots. In homage to grandpa BASIC’s 50th we give you: QuickVB.

QuickVB is powered by the .NET Compiler Platform ("Roslyn") NuGet packages that were previewed at BUILD this year. To get started, download the source from CodePlex into a solution folder and then build and run it from Visual Studio 2013. You don’t need any Roslyn Previews installed, as NuGet package restore should pull down the required packages upon build.

When you start QuickVB, you’ll see an environment that looks quite a bit like QuickBasic:

However, this is actually a Windows console application powered by Roslyn. To light up Roslyn colorization, hit Alt-O to go to the Options menu, and hit R to “Enable Roslyn”:

Because QuickVB uses Roslyn’s semantic Classification API, it can colorize VB’s contextual keywords correctly, even in a pretty gnarly query:

And QuickVB also uses the Roslyn Recommendations API to build symbol completion lists for your cursor location as you type:

Hit F5 to run the code you’ve written:

QuickVB even shows compiler diagnostics if we leave off the Imports statement that pulls in LINQ’s Where operator:

There’s a few other surprises, but we’ll let you explore those on your own! (as a hint, the VB compiler in Roslyn is self-hosted (it’s written mostly in VB!), and QuickVB is no different. Try the “Open Self” menu item on the File menu to load up QuickVB inside of itself, and then try modifying it and running it again!)

Have fun!

Anthony, Alex, and Ian on behalf of the Managed Languages (VB, C#, F#) Team

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  • @Nikolaos The Roslyn Workspaces API depends on MSBuild for reading solution and project files, specifically the version of MSBuild that shipped with Visual Studio 2013.

    To get this working on Visual Studio 2012, you can try installing the free Microsoft Build Tools 2013 package (www.microsoft.com/.../details.aspx).

  • Looks great, brings back memories to me as well!  I'm glad Microsoft did something like this.  Looks like QuickVB could help people to learn programming.  Where can we download QuickVB as an actual application?  Is a downloadable .EXE available somewhere?

  • The call to "Bring back Classic Visual Basic, an improved version of VB6" on the Microsoft VisualStudio UserVoice site has now reached 7,000 votes - making it the fifth highest vote.

    But no reply from Microsoft.

    And VB6 is now the most popular Microsoft programming language in the May 2014 Tiobe index.

    But no response from Microsoft.

    Surely it is time to update VB6 with the same modifications that VBA has had ?

    If not then VB6 should be open-sourced.


  • Birthday Gifts, Flowers Bouquet, Chocolates, and Cake Delivery to India through www.flowerngiftdelivery.com

  • It's our way or the highway Microsoft tells VB6 Developers


    Microsoft have announced they will not add the same changes to the VB6 that they have already added to VBA. Microsoft's Paul Yuknewicz claimed those changes are "not possible" while "maintaining the essence" of the VB6 programming language.

    In refusing to support VB6 developers, Yuknewicz stated "VB6 was and still is without a doubt awesome. VB6 made developers incredibly productive building a breadth of applications and as a result we have a wealth of applications and passionate developers to this day in 2014. "

    Yuknewicz naively assumes VB6 developers will "incrementally move forward to .NET" despite not having done so for the last 12 years.

    Yuknewicz also claimed it would not be 'feasible' to open source VB6.

    Yuknewicz does admit VB6 will be supported by Microsoft 'at least' through 2024.


  • Basic : only 50 years old . I am surprised because I began to learn it in a French engineer school in September 1967 and  I wrote my 1st program in Basic in October 1967...


  • It's a good program,but something wrong with the UI.

    When I compiled and ran the default program(display "Hello World") and pressed a key,the UI became messy.

    OS version: Windows 8.1 Core

    System Language:zh-cn

  • Bring back VB6 programming.

    VBA programming and VB6 programming are widely used still.

  • And as a belated birthday present Microsoft have just announced for VB6 programming on Windows 10 "And yes, everyone’s favorite VB6 Runtime will continue to work, too."

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